Claremont will always be the definitive writer for the X-Men canon. No one will dispute that. He will always have that distinction. However, this contribution of his shamefully pales in comparison with all that he has accomplished from the past. Now and then when I read this series, I would catch glimpses of the sublime aspects that make his X-Men so relatable and superb as characters and heroes worth rooting for. The first season (issues #1-24) certainly had that quirky and surprisingly touching moments which made me enjoy the series even when there are issues between that frustrate me to no end.
However, after reading the nine issues of the second season, I was exasperated and almost close to rage-quitting my way out of this mess. Luckily, I'm very committed and will see things through to the finish line so I would get to the end of XMF no matter what. Besides, I remain faithfully invested on the character arcs aforementioned and would like to know how they will be resolved when this series ends.
In the first volume entitled Back in Action, this collects the first five issues. The storylines presented have a slow momentum and not enough great rhythm as a whole. I wasn't that interested in the events that happened for this volume, and only managed to enjoy Rogue the most of all the characters. As a tradition, I'm providing blurbs for each issue to succinctly summarize the plots therein:
Issue #1: A Cry--of Vengeance --> In which the Avengers try to arrest the X-Men and Thor makes a promise to a young Ororo in the midst of a heated battle, yet breaks that promise but only kindda, sorta. Also known as the issue where the Xavier Mansion gets obliterated, wiping out everyone inside it.
Issue #2: Six Weeks Later --> In which a great number of the human race grieves the loss of the X-Men while the rest of the anti-mutants are probably celebrating and shit. Also known as the issue where Spider-Man is the only who bothers to question the authenticity of their deaths and stumbles upon a confused Rogue wandering the New York streets.
Issue #3: A Night on the Town --> In which Spidey and Rogue almost kissed and the X-Men are alive (duh) but decided to fake their deaths so they can operate undercover and underground. Also known as the issue where Mystique makes a grand entrance and pisses everybody off, including her children.
Issue #4: Stolen Lives --> In which the Morlocks abduct Moira MacTaggert and Sabretooth for the dumbest reasons. Also known as the issue where Agent Diana Dugan admits she's falling in love with Sabretooth WHICH IS TOTALLY FUCKING STUPID
Issue #5: Dead Reckoning --> In which the X-Men and the Morlocks came to an accord but then they get interrupted by S.H.I.E.L.D agents when they captured the Morlocks and while the X-Men escaped. Also known as the issue where Rogue and Mystique shared their first ever embrace and Mystique officially joins the team while Calisto rescues the Morlocks.