This was realy quite fun and it made me miss the "classic" take on the X-Men. Jeff Parker spends this trade telling "lost" stories of the original X-Men and I can't deny the charm and fun that he infuses into these stories. Professor Xavier seems like a cool teacher, in one story he actually arranges for Cyclops to get some alone time with Marvel Girl and then telepathically winks at Cyclops, saying "Don't say I never did anything for you." He's a headmaster actively trying to help match up his students!
Cyclops is a fun, less-confident version of the hero we know. He's powerful but always worried about his friends. He's a great straight man against Beast and Iceman, who are great fun in these issues. Iceman is the junior hero and his tone is always upbeat. Beast loves being a hero and seems to have the greatest potential. Marvel Girl is powerful and confident, and she uses her powers in some great ways. The group clearly wouldn't beat half their opponents without her. Angel is a sad sack some of the time, but Parker gives him a great relationship with Scarlet Witch to help cheer the guy up. The whole book is filled with great interactions both between the X-Men and their guest stars. Gorilla Man from Agents of Atlas wants to know if Beast is mocking him by walking on all fours. Angel always saves Marvel Girl first because she's his favorite to carry around. Beast feels a kinship with the Lizard and takes a personal interest in helping him. The book is full of neat interactions like that. I'm definitely going to seek out the other trades.
Roger Cruz's work looks totally different from the animation-influenced style I remember. The X-Men look like kids, they are all skinny and lean, but the older heroes look like they carry the weight (both physically and dramatically) that they should. Gorilla Man, Thor, Quicksilver, all the guest-stars look just right. Cruz does a nice job with a lot of animals too, there are hippos, birds, and alligators and they all look good.