I really didn't enjoy this TPB that much, and it definitely enforced why I'm not that fond of Morrison's writing on any X title from Marvel. He brings the angst to the characters, and he writes them intelligently enough, but he also makes me dislike all of them. Even normally upright characters like Jean Grey and Cyclops were so twisted I forgot they were heroes in this. Yuck.
My main complaint is that I was hoping for a cleaner back history of Wolverine's Weapon H/Weapons Plus origin, and I really didn't get that from this at all. Instead, Wolverine's mission with Cyclops is tacked on as an untidy footnote to three (or four, I lost count) issues focusing on the love triangle of Emma Frost, Jean Grey, and Scott Summers. I thought the title of the TPB was misleading because of that.
The opening issue continues Jean's discovery of Scott's psychic infidelity with Emma. Jean barges into his thoughts and finds Emma dressed up in her old Phoenix costume, which was kind of tacky and bizarre, anyway, when you consider that Emma's old organization, the Hellfire Club, was responsible for Jean turning into Dark Phoenix and subsequently destroying herself. My first thought was, why would that be a turn-on? Very twisted scene. So, Jean strikes out at Emma, invading her mind and plowing through her most private memories as she searches for the first moment when they started their affair. Emma stays in character, not feeling as though she had done anything wrong by offering Scott salvation from his unhappy marriage, and calling Jean "a playground bully" hiding behind her righteous posturing. Pot calling the kettle...
That issue itself offered sympathy for Emma from unexpected sources, namely Hank and Logan, both of whom I automatically expected to side with Jean. In the meantime, all any of them did was blame Jean for the dissolution of her marriage by "not taking care of it sooner." That alone made me not like this story.
This arc was kind of odd going in because it was sandwiched between arcs of the other X titles without reflecting anything that was happening in the others. Bishp and Sage were both fresh from X-Treme X-Men, namely "Schism," after solving the Jeffery Garrett murders in Alaska. The second issue to this story arc features a murder mystery, since Emma is shot and shattered while in her diamond form. I've heard readers comparing it to Clue, but I don't give it that much credit, I thought the plotting was weak. I noticed that Sage and Bishop never once implicated Storm, who not only hates Emma, but who openly threatened her with hurling a spear at her carried by tornado-strength winds to see if she would shatter. Hello? Missed the boat there, Grant. I'm guessing Storm's name never came up simply because this wasn't her book. Oh well.
The motive for Emma's murder was kind of silly; two minor characters have a secret to hide in the farmhouse on the Xavier property, and Emma's prize pupils, the Stepford Cuckoos, know what's going on but won't spill their guts.
The Weapons Plus arc started with what was actually a satisfying confrontation between Logan and Scott at the Hellfire Club. The artwork was weird, though. I like Bachalo's work on Uncanny and New X-Men Academy, but he makes it darker, and the inks are heavy-handed. Bachalo draws the ugliest Cyclops I've ever seen, and his Wolverine looks like a gopher. In this scene, Cyclops tells Wolverine that he refuses to come back to the X-Men, but Logan instead recruits him for a big mission with Fantomex, an upgraded Weapons Plus graduate who clarifies that Logan was really Weapon Ten, not Weapon X as previously assumed. This was the most poorly written issue of this collection, and it jumped around too much for me to tell where the action was taking place. Somehow Logan and Scott ended up on an asteroid, presumably with help from E.V.A, Fantomex's ship. Somehow they managed to escape, leaving Logan behind to blow up the asteroid and destroy Weapon Fifteen. Morrison and Bachalo didn't even bother to pitch a knock-down, dragout battle between Logan and Fifteen that could have been the highlight of the story. It was a waste.
The jump from Jimenez's clean penciling to Bachalo's more cartoony style is very stark and does not work. I longed for Frank Quitely's pages instead, feeling he would have done a better job of conveying the images. As a lead-in to the much more important "Planet X" arc (still not one of my favorites, but better than this drivel), this book was very weak.
Overall, I'm sorry I spent the money on this story, and I will avoid Morrison's back issues going forward.