This book could have been a mess. Could have. The creators here did a fantastic job pacing the story and its characters. We never get too long of a look at any one character and the teams split up so we don't have to wade through panels of myriad mutants. It's a veritable who's who, but we don't get overwhelmed. The art is also done well. The cover is pretty dang sweet but it did not get me looking forward to a whole story told with those odd proportions. No frets, the inside is "prettier," if I can say that.
The other stories included are great. The origins tale is told in a much better way than the New Warriors counterpart. The second installment of "The Killing Stroke" actually gets you feeling bad for the Freedom Force, which is quite the feat. And Wolverine's end story is executed so well. The art, story, all of it. I am continually impressed with the quality of book the X-Men annuals continue to be. It could be the fact that they are more established than their counterparts. Regardless, a fun read.