DVD Review: Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous



What happens when your toys turn against you? Normally it just means getting a fresh battery or rebooting them. But it’s not that simple when the Danger Room goes homicidal against the X-Men. This is the training chamber that is supposed to push the mutants to the next level. Normally it’s a nice place to work out and create battle strategies without being killed. But the electronic wonder becomes a spot of evil in Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous.

Marvel Knights animates the comic book series that was written by Joss Whedon (Firefly) and illustrated by John Cassady. This was the follow up to the previously released Astonishing X-Men: Gifted. The panels gain motion and the words in the balloons are spoken. Like the Danger Room, the comic book comes alive. Luckily it doesn’t turn against you.

What turns the Danger Room into a killing floor? Turns out there’s a dangerous secret on how Professor X created the training facility. That secret is now back and ready to get revenge. The other X-Men have to rescue the group trapped inside the cyberspace. It’s a storyline that’s much more intense than the live action movies. There’s a bit of intrigue as Emma Frost has something to do with the cybertronic revolt. Has she really flipped back to the dark side? None of the X-Men seem to trust her that much. The storyline plays out over six chapters that use the lines and artwork found in the six comic books that covered Dangerous. The best part is that Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous gives me hope that The Avengers movie written and directed by Whedon isn’t going to stink up the screen. He’s a guy who understands comic books from the page and not from overblown superhero movies.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfer looks fine since it is a recent production. The details of Cassady’s art come alive in the frame. The audio is in stereo. There’s no subtitles, but you should be able to read along with the original comic books if you need assistance.

No bonus features.

Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous is a fun way to watch the second arc created by Joss Whedon. It is best to watch Gifted first to completely follow what’s going on at the beginning of this installment. There’s even a cameo from the Fantastic Four in the first episode. The only thing lacking is any real dramatics in the voice crew. Maybe the producers are fearful of making this sound like a comic book.

Shout! Factory presents Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous. Written by: Joss Whedon. Illustrated by: Jack Cassady. DVD Contents: 6 episodes on 1 DVD. Released: April 17, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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