This book conatins the stories from uncanny x-men 500-503, x-men free comic book day 1 and manifest destiny 1-5
If the manifest destiny stories were not present this would undoubtedly be only 1 or 2 stars. Even the 3 stars i gave is generous. The first story focuses on Pixie, in her native Wales and is a one off story about the old school x-men opponents, the n'garai, who are basically demon creatures introduced in the very early days of the storm/wolverine and co x-men team. The art here is poor, the n'garai make for pretty boring opponents and there's a pretty mudane fight with them at the end. also at the end, pixie is asked to come back to the x-men which she gladly accepts. UXM 500-503 is about the x-men establishing thier home in San Fran and at the newly made and very unhomely named Grey Malkin Industries. In this phase we see an uncharacteristically upbeat cyclops and co, which make for cheesy one liners and quite frankly boring dialogue and characters. I guess they try to spice it up a bit by further sexually exploiting emma frost, by having her in some some pretty steamy positions but like I read the legend Claremont once say, just becuase you can make something more adult, it doesn't mean you have to and it doesn't necessarily make for better story telling. well the main story is about fighting the new hellfire cult that severly beat up Pixie (and another). There's a few well done action sequences but other than that, just plain boring and uninteresting. And on the same sexual exploitation lines, they set the hell fire club in a former SnM club and have the red queen whipping empath in bondage gear. And all credibility of a decent fight is ruined when emma wants to get it on with cyclops, at the club, in the middle of a raid and projects an image of her in kinky leathers, into cyclops' head. man, what has happened to the quaility of x-men comics these days?
I was really ready to give up on this but I am glad I percevered because the manifest destiny stories, which are basically short stories on particular characters are actually pretty good. It's written well and the dialogue is philispohically claremont esk. The emma frost one about her guilt and self loathing is pretty powerful as is the juggernaut one where he's in a bar and basically forcing people to debate whether he's good or bad. There's some excellent dialogue in this one in particular. My particular highlight is where someone makes the very real point that if she (the person speaking), as a non-superhero or supervillian for that matter, was to murder someone, she would be in serious trouble but put on a costume and have a power and it doesn't seem to be a real issue. She makes the point that there's a pretty fine line between good guys and bad guys now. Oh yeah and the one where they try to cheer up colossus from Kitty's apparant death is really funny.
so overall, you may like it if you like the modern style of adult x-men comic. I mean don't get me wrong, modern x-men stories are not all bad, just look at messiah complex, age of x, second coming or x-men legacy- sins of the father for example but this just isn't that great. So if you want to avoid the bad part of the book, ignore this book and try and get the individual manifest destiny stories included here, on thier own.