X-Men Evolution
Powers Revealed
Season 2 Vol 2

Starring: X-Men
Warner Home Video
RRP $14.97
Certificate: Not Rated
Available now

So here we go with another batch of episodes from this modern-style series which makes good use of conventional animation. This time the stories are from season two. I have to admit to a growing admiration for this work; the more of these I see the better I seem to enjoy them. The characters are well fleshed-out, each possessing their own idiosyncrasies which made me warm to the people rather than their superpowers. There is also a good balance between tales concentrating on the new arrivals and those centring on the more established heroes. This flexibility extends to the emotional aspect of the show too. Serious rescues or clashes with powerful villains are interspersed with light humorous touches.

In The Beast of Bayville, Hank McCoy, ex-American football hero and now respected teacher at Bayville High School, suffers from Jekyll and Hyde moments as the beast inside him attempts to assert itself. Personally-concocted serums no longer have any effect in keeping it at bay. However, help comes from an unexpected source. When Evan Daniels (alias Spyke) cuts class McCoy is lenient, appealing to the boy's teamwork nature, and so when the other X-Men are battling McCoy's alter ego Spyke simply talks him into accepting the nature of the beast.

In Adrift, Scott Summers (Cyclops) attempts to rescue his brother Alex caught surfing in a virulent storm. They are both cast adrift, and even a rescue helicopter is struck by lightening and crashes, dumping its pilots into the sea. When the coastguard picks up the helicopter crew there is no sign of Scott or Alex, and it is left to the X-Jet and its occupants, Storm and Jean Grey to save the day.

In the Christmas episode, On Angel's Wings, a mutant with wings saves a crippled woman from a burning building and thwarts a mugging. Rogue, who is rather taken with Scott Summers, accompanies him in investigating the sightings. Magneto causes some mischief to turn the public against Angel after he saves the life of a little girl. When Angel refuses to join Magneto, Cyclops and Rogue help battle the arch nemesis of the X-Men.

In African Storm, Spyke fails to protect Storm in an X-Men training simulation. An African shaman, whom she had years ago justifiably turned the tribe against, captures her spirit in his staff. The X-Men come to her rescue, but it is Spyke who proves his worth.

Disc extras include: Stan Lee - The Original X-Man, in which Stan the man talks about his original creations and how they have been adapted for this animated series; and Inside Xavier's Institute, which has the voice of Wolverine give a guided tour using clips from various episodes. There is also an extended trailer for the season one DVD releases.

This DVD contains four episodes, as opposed to the three of previous releases, and would have gained an extra point if not for the fact that The Beast of Bayville has already appeared on the region 2 disc Mutants Rising.

Ty Power

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