Æon Flux: The Complete Animated Collection

Before Charlize Theron dons Æon Flux' iconic S&M get-up for Hollywood's controversially altered film version of Peter Chung's future feminist sci-fi saga, MTV has finally collected all their Æon animation into a "remixed" DVD box-set. Beginning in 1991 as a six-part serial of two-minute silent segments squished into Liquid Television's lysergic line-up of head-fuck cartoons, Æon Flux, with its contortionist philosophising and avant-animé look, quickly became a cult classic and presaged the "girls gone heroic" trend of Buffy, Alias and The Matrix. Upgraded in its second season to standalone shorts (in which our heroine violently perished, Kenny-style, at each and every brutal climax) and finally a ten-episode, 22-minute each series that further developed the dystopian cityscape and star-crossed love story the shorts had only hinted at, and filled with cyborgs, clones and assorted futuristic claptrap, Æon revolved around the war between the ungoverned utopia Monica and the police-state of Bregna. As both a satire on violent entertainment — Chung used moral ambiguity to confuse the viewer's notion of right and wrong — and an allegory about anarchy versus order, Æon Flux essentially concerns the struggle between its titular anarcho-assassin and her nemesis/lover Trevor Goodchild, Bregna's dictatorial leader and mad scientist. The three-disc set is comprised of the pilot, shorts and half-hour episodes, all remastered for improved colours and sound, with special features including Chung's commentary, an illuminating doc about Æon's evolution and an uber-geeky featurette on the show's "deviant devices," trailers for the upcoming videogame and movie, as well as production art and selections of Chung's other short works. (Paramount)