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Review: 'Astonishing X-Men - Torn' Motion Comic DVD

The third ASTONISHING arc has been given the motion comic treatment.

Motion comics have been received with mixed results. I've heard from those that dig them and others that question the purpose of them. Motion comics aren't meant to be fully animated movies. The idea is to enhance the existing art along with adding voice actors, music and some slight animation. The most important factor should be what material is being used and adapted.

Marvel previously released motion comic episodes for the first arc, 'Gifted,' from ASTONISHING X-MEN. The comic was written by Joss Whedon with art by John Cassaday. The second arc, 'Dangerous' also was given the motion comic treatment. Those that read the issues know how good their run on the series was.

Today, Shout! Factory is releasing a DVD for the 'Torn' arc. This covers ASTONISHING X-MEN #s 13 to 18. This was where the Xavier Institute was infiltrated by the Hellfire Club. You may recall some of the events including Emma's role in the encounter as well as Wolverine being reduced to a frightened child-like state. There was also some interesting scenes involving conversation between Cyclops and Emma over Jean Grey.

If you haven't seen the previous ASTONISHING X-MEN motion comic, you can check out the earlier episodes on Netflix Instant streaming to get an idea (only the first six episodes, 'Gifted,' is available for streaming). Or if you prefer, you can still purchase a copy of that DVD and the second for 'Dangerous.'

There's no questioning the source material. While the X-Men have come a long way over the years, it even feels like this story took place a while ago. It was a different time that didn't quite have the cluttered feel we sometimes have with all the different series and crossovers. ASTONISHING X-MEN was a nice self-contained series that was allowed to tell the story that Whedon and Cassaday wanted to tell.

In that regard, you know this DVD will feature a good story with great art. The big question is, is it worth picking up? Part of it depends on how much did you enjoy the story, assuming you have already read it? Seeing it in this format does offer some enhancement to the story. The voice acting is done well and there are some nice effects adding in. It's a great way to experience the story in a different format.

What about the animation? I'll admit, it's not perfect. There are some parts that feel a little stiff or clunky. It's a matter of how forgiving you are. What I enjoyed about this was seeing the comic brought a little bit to life. Yes a fully animated adaptation would have been nice but there is something about this format in that it does retain more of the original comic feel than animated series do. Even if the animators try their best to copy the original art, there usually is some difference.

I was actually a little surprised at the release of this. I know more preferred Marvel's attempt with Iron Man: Extremis. Either this batch of episodes went live on iTunes and other media quietly or the decision was made to just release them straight to DVD. The fact that separate individual episodes are here including full credits after each episode, I would assume they were made available before. Actually, I wasn't even aware that the second arc, "Dangerous,' was released as well.

If you enjoyed the issues or the previous motion comics, of course you'll want to pick this up. It has a running time of 81 minutes. It's simply a matter of how much you enjoyed them and whether or not these motion comics are to your liking.

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He sometimes wonders what life would be like as a motion comic.

26 Comments
Posted by cc1738

That pic of Wolverine...wow...just wow.

Posted by G-Man

@cc1738:

Staff
Posted by TheCheeseStabber

I remember that Issue.

"Im the best at what I do, and what I do....Is Very Pretty" x3

Posted by madtownvox
Posted by kuma_far

Somebody explain me what the fuck is the wolverine pic about? I just dumbfounded and going dafuq! everywhere

Posted by Outside_85

I am a little perplexed, has Wolverine lost his marbles and has Scott been ignoring Jean for a little too long now?

Posted by x_29

@kuma_far said:

Somebody explain me what the fuck is the wolverine pic about? I just dumbfounded and going dafuq! everywhere

Cassandra Nova turned Wolverine's mind into that of a little boy.

Posted by kuma_far

@x_29: Dafuq!

Posted by hortrorog

@kuma_far:

you havent read josh whedon astonishing? 0_o

Edited by cc1738

@x_29 said:

@kuma_far said:

Somebody explain me what the fuck is the wolverine pic about? I just dumbfounded and going dafuq! everywhere

Cassandra Nova turned Wolverine's mind into that of a little boy.

That explains a lot. I found that pic really confusing. But I don't know anyone else, but when I was a kid I didn't cut rows of people with pink paper. I picked up a stick and hit people with it. lol. What kind of kid was he??

Posted by Baddamdog

Watched all of these on....NETFLIX MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by x_29

@kuma_far said:

@x_29: Dafuq!

Well, telepaths can be weird.

Posted by G-Man

@Baddamdog: I thought Netflix only had the first 6 episodes (first arc)? This is the third arc.

Staff
Posted by kuma_far

@hortrorog: I live in Argentina and comics dont come here easily or in tandem with yours, and they are pretty damn expensive, today I saw the first Batman & Robin post reboot from Dc with the cost of 45 pesos (something like 10 dollars) And is difficult to get it here. But I have my eyes opened as I only got positive critics from the internet about Whedon run

Posted by Hareil0079

@Baddamdog said:

Watched all of these on....NETFLIX MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Didn't netflix had the first 6 issues not the full deal, has that changed?

Posted by DrCory

@x_29 said:

@kuma_far said:

Somebody explain me what the fuck is the wolverine pic about? I just dumbfounded and going dafuq! everywhere

Cassandra Nova turned Wolverine's mind into that of a little boy.

That explains a lot. I found that pic really confusing. But I don't know anyone else, but when I was a kid I didn't cut rows of people with pink paper. I picked up a stick and hit people with it. lol. What kind of kid was he??

James Howlett was born in a very different era. Old women taught children to make paper dolls as entertainment to prevent them running around, getting dirty or drowning on hot days. Apparently they felt that giving kids scissors and leaving them largely unsupervised was somehow safe.

Posted by They Killed Cap!

There is a number of these and I have always wondered if they are worth picking up. Please let me know what you think?

Posted by MadeinBangladesh
@madtownvox: yea I saw your motion comic a while back
Edited by jcbart

I want Marvel to give The Dark Angel Saga the same treatment, especially after the great motion comic trailer for Uncanny X-Force way back when in 2010!

Posted by weaponx

I've watched the first two arcs, I liked them both a lot. I prefer an actual animated movie/show, but since we don't have that, these are a fine substitute. After watching them for a few minutes it almost seems like an animated movie anyways.

Posted by Rabbitearsblog

I've just seen the first two arcs on DVD and I really enjoyed both of them, although I didn't like the fact that they changed Colossus and Kitty's voices in "Dangerous" since I loved their voices in "Gifted." I've actually read Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men and I really loved it, so I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

Online
Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope

Must be the work of psychics. Because regular Wolverine wouldn't be caught dead cutting paper into little dolls.

Well, at least PINK paper.

Edited by jaredbright

Wolverine's character has been destroyed a lot over the past 12 years.

Come on, people!

Posted by charlieboy

i love motion comics. the x-men ones are awesome. i have also seen the buffy ones, spider-woman, and batgirl year one. i enjoyed them all. 

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Motion comics I've always loved, so I know I would enjoy this easily. Bring it on!

Posted by Baddamdog

@G-Man: @Hareil0079: I live in the UK and over here we have all of them. I didn't even though they had made them for this part of the series till I watched them