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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New DVD Tuesday!

Ah, Tuesday, the day of the new DVDs. There's a couple of releases out today that I feel are worth noting.

With the explosion of popularity of DVDs, so has exploded the medium of straight-to-DVD animation. Both of the major comic book companies have gotten on board. And while DC Comics and Warner Brothers have released a series of straight-to-DVD films to critical acclaim, the Lionsgate/Marvel Comics films have been met with a resounding shrug of indifference. That seems to turn around today with the release of Hulk Vs.

Hulk Vs is actually two short films. The first one is Hulk vs. Wolverine. Taking it's cues from Wolverine's first appearance in Incredible Hulk #181, it starts off with the Hulk wreaking havoc along the Canadian/American border, so the Canadian government dispatches Wolverine to investigate. And Wolverine and Hulk fight.

The second short film is Hulk vs. Thor. Loki figures that he's finally found away to defeat his brother Thor and rule of all Asgard. He lets the Hulk loose in Asgard to tear the place down. And Hulk and Thor fight.

The 2-disc set is fully loaded. Each short film boasts a pair of running commentaries and it's own featurette as to its production. You also get trailers for the new X-Men toon and Marvel's next straight-to-DVD animation project, Thor: Tales of Asgard.

Also out on DVD today in the "Oh my God, I can't believe they released this" file is M.A.N.T.I.S.: The Complete Series. This superhero show came to us in the early 1990s. It was the brainchild of Sam Raimi, who went on to give us the Spider-Man films, and Sam Hamm, who gave us Tim Burton's first Batman.

The entire thing was a not-too-bad Iron Man clone. Billionaire scientist Miles Hawkins is shot in the back while trying to deliver aid in the middle of riot, and is paralyzed from the waist down. Using his company's resources, he develops for himself an exosuit that allows him to walk again. Using the suit's power, he sets out as a crimefighter.

Carl Lumbly, whom you may remember as Marcus Dixon on Alias, played Miles Hawkins/MANTIS. Roger Rees, still probably best remembered as Robin Colcord on Cheers, played John Stonebreak, Hawkin's best friend, colleague, confidant, and gadget-meister. Let's see...there was also a bike courier and a plucky female police detective who served as his agents. They mostly battled evil industrialist Solomon Box, who was played by Andrew Robinson, still best known to my fellow Trekkies as Garak.

Well, they started out battling Solomon Box. Then, under orders from the FOX network to make the show more like The X-Files, MANTIS started battling more paranormal advisaries, such as invaders from parallel universes. MANTIS met his end in the final episode, when he was eaten by an invisible dinosaur.

And the complete series is out today! There's absolutly nothing for bonus features.

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