This review is from: X-Men: The Hidden Years - Vol. 2 (Paperback)
I actually found this in my local library - it's been on my 'wish list' for some time so I took the opportunity to read it and see if I really wanted to spend money on it...
...This second volume of Byrne's 'Hidden Years' settles down a bit after the indulgent excesses of the first ( the unnecessary retconned appearance of early Storm and foreshadowing of Jean's Phoenix saga) give way to a 'crossover' with the reprinted FF issues also included. It's actually more of a 'cross-beside' as whilst it's very cleverly done the involvement of the X-Men in that adventure is quite minimal. I loved those original FF issues and this is a glorious way of getting them and getting an added X-dimension to the tale. (Loved the new-look that never lasted Magneto!)
As for the X-Men themselves, Havok and Lorna Dane have rarely looked better but the way they are constantly marginalised from the 'original-five' grates very quickly.
Byrne's art is as Byrne's art is - that is to say very good but also curiously dated? The storytelling is good but it's all a bit overly styled. As for Byrne's writing - it does make you think the critisms of Claremont's 'over-wordiness' may have have been harshly only applied to his part of their original collaberations.(?)..some of Byrne's captions are so long they should have chapter headings!
Byrne planned this series as much more long running, so the ending here is abrupt, but while it lasted this was a breath of fresh - or at least recycled- air.
...so yes, it's not perfect, but it remains on my wish list !