All-action issue is (almost) all-good
A super-fast read that's almost all action – and, smartly written action, at that.
The main battle between the X-Men and the Acolytes has the team using their powers to great effect – Storm muses that it's good to be leading such an experienced team, and as a reader I think it's good to be reading that team as well. Rogue using Shadowcat for a Fastball Special, Colossus using his brain rather than being a brawny battering ram – it's a fun fight.
The artwork is strong – Yu spends time to make each of the Acolytes well defined, especially Scanner and Kath. He also delivers some of the best depictions of Marrow in several issues. I still think he has problems with Joseph, who simply looks too old in Yu issues. Maybe it's an over-eager inker? One spread of Astra is beautifully dark, reminiscent of Jae Lee.
The one jarring element is the writing of Astra – her speech is far too glib and contemporary for someone who was an original member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (as well as someone who has spent a lot of time off-world). Her anachronistic speech is just one more tell of what a slapdash major retcon slash deus-es-machina she is.
If you like the late-90s X-roster, smart X-fights, with strong X-art then pick up this back issue.