DVD Season I, Volume IV:

"Xposing the Truth"

Episodes Included: "Shadowed Past"; "Grim Reminder"; "The Cauldron, Part 1"; "The Cauldron, Part 2"

Month Released: September 2003

Average Price: $10 (U.S.)

DVD Extras: Episode Introductions with Boyd Kirkland; The X-Men Unmasked; and an X-Men: Evolution Trailer

Packaging: The packaging artwork for this DVD is quite nice, and pretty appropriate. It depicts Rogue, Storm, Cyclops, and Wolverine in front of the radiation chamber used in "The Cauldron", with Magneto look on above them. In the corner, there's also a creepy fogish outline of the castle in the episode "Shadowed Past", and Kurt hanging on a crane, as he does in the same ep as well. The artwork is pretty good, with everything pretty much on the ball- well, except for Wolverine's face, which looks a little off. "Xposing the Truth" is also an appropriate title, seeing as how all four episodes involving doing exactly that ("Shadowed Past" and "Grim Reminder" do it with Nightcrawler's and Wolverine's pasts, respectively; and "The Cauldron" 2-parter reveals what Magneto is all about). The back of the DVD packaging gives a brief description of the premise of X-M:E and the episodes contained within, and it's done somewhat well. The actual DVD inside has a picture of Wolverine on it. Overall, pretty cool.

Episode Introductions with Boyd Kirkland: As with the other Season One DVDs, the episode introductions for these four episodes are of a good length, being slightly less than two minutes long each. In the intro for "Shadowed Past", the writers tell to us how they were purposely a bit vague in telling Kurt's past because they were basically stating something that wasn't entirely true in the comics- in the traditional canon, Mystique throws Kurt off of the bridge instead of accidentally dropping him- but obviously, they can't do that in a cartoon show. They also focus on the dark tone of the episode, the "dark side" of Kurt, the implied notion that Magneto was the one who experimented on Kurt and triggered his X-Gene, and that we get our first glimpse of Pietro basically spying for his father. In the intro for "Grim Reminder", the focus gets put on the main premise behind the ep, the "hallowed ground" of the whole Weapon X background, some of the fight scenes between Logan and Sabretooth, and the emotional role Kitty plays. In the intro for "The Cauldron, Part 1", a bit of the premise is discussed, but the main focus in on, first, the whole deal with revealing what Magneto's plans are, and second, the relationship between Scott and Alex. Their differences are discussed, as well as their reunion and what Alex's particular feeeelings are in this episode. Finally, in the intro for "The Cauldron, Part 2", the reasons for why Scott was duped into joining up with Magneto momentarily are discussed, but also the end result of the episode- how the X-Men are all united, but the fate of the Brotherhood is very much in question.

The X-Men Unmasked: The main extra for this CD- nearly seven minutes long- is LOADS of fun. Basically, it introduces us to several of the voice actors in the show- Neil Denis (Spyke); Scott McNeil (Wolverine); Michael Dobson (Blob); Maggie Blue O'Hara (Shadowcat); Meghan Black (Rogue); Colleen Wheeler (Mystique); David Kaye (Professor Xavier); and Noel Fisher (Toad). Basically, the voice actors tell us how they view their own character, as well as the process that they have to go through on a recording session. A lot of lines are said in their X-M:E voices as well, and it gets pretty funny- with Scott McNeil and Noel Fisher, especially (who are both EXACTLY as you'd picture them). Special attention is also played to the producers' preconcieved ideas of how they wanted the characters to sound in the first place, and the fight scenes. Pure gold.

X-Men: Evolution Trailer: This "trailer", which is on all the Season One DVDs, isn't really a trailer at all- it's just a commercial that was aired on TV that advertised the Season One DVDs, which is pretty pointless, since you already HAVE the DVD anyways. Lame.

Last Words: This DVD is definitely the best out of the Season 1 DVDs- not only do you get an additional episode for the same price as the other Season 1 DVDs, but the main extra- The X-Men Unmasked- is practically worth the price of admission all by itself! The crummy "X-Men: Evolution Trailer" is the only thing keeping this puppy from earning a perfect score. Definitely recommended for X-Men: Evolution fans.

Overall Rating: 9/10 Excellent

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