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Marvel Knights: Astonishing X-Men Blu-ray Collection Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) (Episodes 2 — 4), English LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) (Episode 1)
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Subtitles Color: N/A
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: NR
  • Run Time: 280 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Digital Copies: N/A
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 13, 2012
  • List Price: $39.98

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

In this Marvel Knights Astonishing X-Men collection, you get all four story arc of the limited Joss Whedon (TV’s Dollhouse; Serenity; TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer) written issues of the X-Men comics with illustrations by John Cassaday. They include the characters Cyclops and Emma Frost as the X-Men team leaders, Beast, Shadowcat, Colossus, Lockheed and Wolverine. “Episode 1” of these motion comics, Gifted, contains issues 1 – 6. Its arc follows a story about a cure for the mutant gene invented by Dr. Kavita Rao that forces the X-Men into a superhero role they are uncomfortable with, a battle with an alien foe backing the development of the cure, and facing public paranoia and fear about their abilities. In Dangerous, issues 7 – 12, a student’s death at the Xavier Institute reveals an enemy working against the X-Men from within the mansion familiar with all of their weaknesses. In Torn, encapsulating issues 13 – 18, find the X-Men again facing an enemy in a new Hellfire Club, with Emma Frost and Cassandra as two of their members. But is Emma truly their enemy now, or is she being manipulated by Cassandra? Finally, in Unstoppable, issues 19 – 24 and Giant Size X-Men #1, X-Men battle Breakworld to save the Earth from annihilation, but in the course of the battle, they just may lose Shadowcat.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The first episode, Gifted, is an obvious up-scale to high definition that suffers from many motion artifacts, stair-stepping, and soft details. The remaining three episodes are native high definition and they look it, although they aren’t absolute reference. They have strong color reproduction, but there is some softness and a little bit of banding.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The episodes all come with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) mix, except for the first, Gifted, which is supplied with an English LPCM 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit) mix. Either way, the sound is nothing to get too excited about with this release. There is a real lack of clarity in the sound effects, a bit of distortion in the low end, and edgy sounding highs. Dialogue is clean, however. The 5.1 mix doesn’t balance the sound too well across the six channels either, so it isn’t a very engulfing or engaging mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

There isn’t much here and almost everything is in standard definition.

The supplements:

  • A Conversation with Joe Quesada and Neal Adams (1.78:1; SD; 00:17:11)
  • “Rise Up” Music Video (1.78:1; SD)
  • Astonishing X-Men: Gifted Trailer (1.78:1; SD)
  • Behind the Scenes: Marvel Knights Animation (1.78:1; SD; 00:05:12)
  • Marvel Trailers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

For fans of the Marvel Knights Astonishing X-Men series, it will be fascinating to see and hear the comics come to life, although sometimes it never quite lives up to what you can imagine in your own mind. For the most part, however, the creators have done a good job at keeping these rather faithful to the spirit of the comic world without making them too repetitive to sit through. Recommended for fans of comics.

Additional Screen Captures

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Purchase Astonishing X-Men Blu-ray Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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[amazon-product]B008VIMLSW[/amazon-product]

Purchase Astonishing X-Men Blu-ray Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]


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