Don't get me wrong, the annual isn't a bad read; when you follow the excellent Fantastic Four annual, well, this just pales in comparison. The main story takes some interesting twists, as older Franklin manifests the New Mutants of the future. Can you say Doug Ramsey? This book can. In the future? Indeed. Besides this confrontation, nothing really jumps out in the story. Rictor gets some moral attention but this ultimately leads to the tedious introspective thoughts that take up more than one panel. (Thanks, Louise Simonson.)
The second story is another tribute to Doug Ramsey. People missed him and so he got two shout outs in this annual. The story deals with him being dead and wishing he could be alive. All-in-all, the story is pretty lame and choppy. One thing we do get, however, is Rahne confessing herself that she has feelings for Rictor.
Really, it wasn't a bad book. But, when you go against the quality of the first book in the series then you have some pretty tough competition. If I were a new reader and this was my first arc, I'd probably decide to stick with the Fantastic Four simply because they had quality through and through.