Previous Wolverine and the X-Men Reviews: Vol. 1 Vol. 2 Vol. 4 Vol. 5
Oh, man, what a bummer. Watching the sixth and final volume of the first season of Wolverine and the X-Men, I started to wonder why I hadn't heard anything about the second season airing yet. It's been a long time since this one ended, and the teaser in the last episode, promising us that the Age of Apocalypse is upon us, is soooooo good. Screw you, internet, for telling me the show was cancelled due to financing issues! Way to ruin my day.
Because Wolverine and the X-Men was a fun show, with lots of awesome superhero action and high quality animation. This concluding disc, subtitled the Final Crisis Trilogy--a title that both connects it back to vol. 1, Heroes Return Trilogy, and throws an elbow in Marvel Comics' nerd fight with DC Comics (and you have to be a nerd to get it)--is a rousing conclusion to the season/series. It brings together all the storylines that have been simmering over the last 23 episodes, giving them full focus in this last trio, a three-show cycle called "Foresight." The mysterious scene that started the series has its full meaning revealed at last. Finally, we will find out what happened to Jean Grey and how she fits into the future where Charles Xavier has been stranded. We also get to see Logan slap that whining Scott Summers around some more, Logan jumping through time, and Logan slicing up a bunch of stuff, too.
It seems a little silly to do too much discussion of the plot here. Chances are you're not coming in on the series at this late a date and starting with disc 6 (though, honestly, if you have a passing knowledge of the X-Men, you could actually pick up this DVD and probably enjoy it just fine). Suffice to say, there is a traitor in the X-Mansion, and one that is working at cross-purposes to Magneto's big plot on Genosha. Both, however, are integral to setting off the war that will decimate mutant and humankind alike, and if Wolverine doesn't stop that from happening, Xavier could die in timestream exile.
Fans of the comics will like seeing so many of the mainstay characters gathered in one place. Just about any mutant that was in the series so far makes a return appearance, and gets a scene or two to show off (yay for the X-23 clones!). The Stepford Cuckoos are even introduced for the first time, playing a fairly substantial role. Final Crisis Trilogy is all forward momentum, all plot, all action. In other words, just about everything a fanboy or fangirl could want. The animation looks great, with slick movement and solid character designs. This is definitely higher end than the X-Men animation from when I was a kid.
My only complaint is that Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy is really, really short. 66 minutes, only three episodes, compared to four or five on the middle discs (vol. 1 was the same length). It's a chintzy end for what has already been an expensive series. It's taken Lions Gate sixteen months to release these individual volumes, as well as one lower-priced interim bundling of the first three discs. I am sure there is a second bundling on the horizon, and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a full set on the way, too. Which has been my complaint all along: why not cut to the chase and just give us the whole thing?
Update/Edit: Annnnd, here it is. All 26 episodes on three discs for the price of two of these stand-alone editions. What's that, a 66% markdown? And only two months away: on sale October 12.
Continuing the fine quality of the rest of the DVD series, Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy is presented as a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer. An excellent overall picture with colors that really pop. Some slight digital noise, but no major glitches.
Another good 5.1 audio track. The action sequences sound fantastic, with the effects ringing through really well.
A Spanish 2.0 dub is also available, as is English Closed Captioning.
Again, we're talking pretty standard territory here. The extras are as we have come to expect, with a collection of trailers and audio commentaries being the only bonus features. The commentary tracks are on all three episodes and feature supervising producer Craig Kyle, head writer Greg Johnson, and writer Chris Yost, and though the fact that this is the end of the cycle gives them some new stuff to talk about, their discussions are pretty much what you expect.
Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy comes in a standard-sized keep case with a cardboard outer sleeve.
Well, I'm sad it's over. This has been a fun ride, and Wolverine and the X-Men: Final Crisis Trilogy is a fitting conclusion. This cartoon show was smartly crafted. Intricate plot lines developed over 26 episodes come to a head in this three-pronged finale. Lots of questions are answered and mysteries are solved, and we are treated to more superhero thrills than we can shake an adamantium claw at. Even though there will be no payment on the show's final teaser, Wolverine and the X-Men was at least satisfying enough unto itself that we can still be happy with what we did get. Recommended.
Jamie S. Rich is a novelist and comic book writer. He is best known for his collaborations with Joelle Jones, including the hardboiled crime comic book You Have Killed Me, the challenging romance 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, and the 2007 prose novel Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, for which Jones did the cover. All three were published by Oni Press. His most recent projects include the futuristic romance A Boy and a Girl with Natalie Nourigat; Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, a loopy crime tale drawn by Dan Christensen; and the horror miniseries Madame Frankenstein, a collaboration with Megan Levens. Follow Rich's blog at Confessions123.com.