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X-Men, Volume 1 (Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection)
‘X-Men’ V1: Positive fables about sexual orientation and race
Having grown up on the highly entertaining and equally cheesy “Super Friends” cartoons, I was surprised pleasantly to see that the 1990s cartoon series “X-Men” was far superior in every respect except humor.
Volumes one and two of “X-Men” are being released on DVD on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. This premiere edition of “Animation Friday” on TVparty.com will discuss Volume One, and I plan to discuss Volume Two next week.
Volume One starts with the parallel stories of Jubilee, who can cause small explosions, joining the X-Men and the anti-mutant activist Trask developing the Sentinel robots to destroy the mutants. These 16 episodes have more betrayals, twists, and shifting loyalties than several seasons of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and it seems that these elements continue into the 17 episodes in Volume Two.
In addition to providing an exciting animated saga, “X-Men” also presents good subtle parables about racial and sexual diversity. I write regularly that people provide plenty of reasons other than their race to like or dislike them. Similarly, “X-Men” emphasizes that there are good and bad mutants and that the evilness of the bad ones does not justify the pervasive prejudice against the good ones.
The nice lessons regarding sexual orientation were primarily in a story line regarding a machine that supposedly could “cure” mutants by stripping them of their powers. X-Men leader Professor X reminded his team that a mutation was not a disease, that mutants were human, and that their mutations were simply something with which they were born. X also told the team that whether to embrace their powers was a personal choice.
On a less serious note, the first several shows offer the helpful feature of showing images and brief descriptions of the characters during the closing credits. Being an aging fanboy, I had difficulty remembering the abilities of each X-Man.
My only criticism of the show is that there are a few very brief instances of amateurish animation; this is surprising because many of the scenes were the same as much better animated sequences. For example, there is one shot of a crudely sketched exterior of the X-men’s mansion that is the same as a scene that is depicted very well numerous other times.
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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
X-Men, Volume 1 (Marvel DVD Comic Book Collection)
Jean Grey is a telekinetic and telepath. Rogue has super-strength and the ability to fly, but can never touch another human being. The eloquent Storm can control the weather. The Cajun thief Gambit can charge any object with kinetic energy... making the smallest objects powerful bombs. The Beast has superhuman intelligence, agility, and has a body covered with blue fur. Jubilee is the new girl, a confused teenager with the ability to shoot plasma from her fingertips. Together they form the X-Men, fighting mutants like Magneto and Mystique, as well as stopping hate-mongers like Graydon Creed, Henry Guyrich, and Senator Kelley.
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