I really don’t’ like this comic. Fortunately, nothing really important ever happens in it. In fact, issue #51 fights for its own irrelevancy by taking place entirely in an alternate reality with Excalibur barely appearing.
Then in #52, we pick up with the storyline of Rachel Summers struggling against the Phoenix force. Professor X comes by to help. As a result of his psychic work with Rachel, we get a long history of the Force and what it has been doing through history. If you want that kind of backstory, this isn’t a bad issue to get it in.
The cover to issue #52 acknowledges that this book isn’t very good. The X-Men don’t appear in the book, except as part of the flashbacks/history of Phoenix Force.
Creators: Alan Davis, with art by Doug Braithwaite (#51) and Will Simpson (#52)
For the complete history of the MU, year by year, go here.