Iron Man: Extremis/Spider-Woman: Agent Of
S.W.O.R.D. (Marvel Knights Double
Feature/Shout! Factory Blu-ray)
Picture: C+ Sound: B- Extras: C Features: C
Comics has had a mixed history with animated versions of their characters,
starting in the 1960s with fun series that usually used actual frames from the
pages of their comic books, but with cool vocal theme songs, the shows were
hits and the 1967 Spider-Man was
more fully animated. Since then, the
series that followed have been a mixed bag.
series direct to home video of Marvel Knights has had a mixed reaction and I
was not particularly impressed. Now, two
of the titles have been paired on Blu-ray after being issued on DVD for a
while: Iron Man: Extremis/Spider-Woman:
Agent Of S.W.O.R.D. and we covered both of them separately as follows at
Iron Man: Extremis
Spider-Woman: Agent Of S.W.O.R.D.
throwback to the 1960s shows, they are more like drawings with some animation
in spots not unlike some early PC animation and video games. I could have tolerated the animation style,
but the writing is uninvolving and may even expect the view to have read some
issues of the comics, which is not a good thing at all.
liking only one of the two programs, my fellow critic Ricky Chiang was very
hard on the picture and sound on both discs, similar to his critiques of the
Tintin theatrical animated features he covered as an import DVD set a while
ago, though I liked those transfers much more and they came from impressive HD
masters. In this case, the 1080p 1.78 X
1 digital High Definition image on both programs can make them both look a
little better and cheaper for the worst.
These is barely a step-up from the 1960s Iron Man and 1980s Spider-Woman
shows respectively and maybe really a step backwards overall.
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes fare a bit better and are a
little warmer and richer than their DVD counterparts, yet this is far from the
best state-of-the-art sound design and is some dialogue recording can sound too
forward or even fake. Extras repeat the
Spider-Woman has had this much animation at all is surprising, but I remember
the 1980s show being a bit more engaging.
I still like the first Iron Man series from the 1960s the best, but
recent animated versions have been a mixed bag, as you can see from these
Invincible Iron Man/Next Avengers:
Heroes Of Tomorrow w/young Iron Man
Iron Man Armored Adventures: The
Complete First Season import
former examples have some good animation, while the latter used more still
cheats and CG than I would have liked, but the character has had more overall
success than you might think including other animated shows that have only
appeared on DVD if that. However, Marvel
is behind DC Comics in the animation department and new owner Disney has to decide
if they are going to get serious and start making more fully animated
adaptations of the characters in new shows.
the 1967 Spider-Man and the rest of
the entire Marvel catalog of 1960s animated TV shows (including Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Sub Mariner) on DVD and all on Blu-ray
(they were all filmed, have great color and that art would look great in HD)
would be a smart starting place before getting behind some serious animated
revivals. Fans might like this Iron Man: Extremis/Spider-Woman: Agent Of
S.W.O.R.D. Blu-ray, but I expect the audience to be limited to mostly that
- Nicholas Sheffo