DVD Review: Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Distributor: Shout! Factory
· Mark Hildreth
· Laura Harris
· Brian Drummond
· Lara Gilchrist
by R.J. Carter
Published: April 18, 2012
The latest entry into the 'motion comics' adaptation market, "Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous," brings to life Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's unique story that introduces a new character into the X-universe -- a character that's actually been there from the very first issue.
As the X-Men recover from the latest attack on mutant-kind, hidden in the guise of a cure for the mutant condition, the students at the Xavier Institute come under attack -- by the Danger Room itself. Normally the Danger Room would shut down before anything fatal could happen to any of the mutants training in it. But now it's become positively lethal. Why? Because the Shi'ar technology incorporated into it by Professor Charles Xavier was actually a sentient AI, now freed from its restraints with a huge mad on at the group that has "imprisoned" it.
Rebuilding itself, and taking over a partially defunct Sentinel, "Danger" goes on an all-out offensive against the X-Men, first shutting down all the psychics, including Emma Frost (who is still hiding some secrets from the X-Men, putting into doubt her loyalties). Having "fought" the X-Men for years, Danger knows all their strengths -- and all their weaknesses. In her mind, she's fought them in simulations millions of times. Now it gets to fight the one X-Man it's never faced: Professor X himself!
"Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous" contains all the great action of a classic X-Men story, and it puts a nice little twist on their moral code as well: if they fight against the oppression of a minority -- humans against mutants -- how do the reconcile with Xavier having done the same thing with mutants against AIs?
The story also has some great black humor in it. When Danger breaks through the walls of the X-Mansion, destroying it for what must be the umpteenth time, Wolvering dryly comments, "Next time guys, we should just rebuild this place out of Lego." Throw in a guest appearance by the Fantastic Four, and the concept of seeing John Cassaday and Laura Martin's brilliant artwork literally come to life, and "Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous" becomes a really fun story to watch.