The idea of this trade is to lay out the groundwork for the events of Civil War. It does this through three separate storylines. The first is the single issue Illuminati, which has the strongest writing in the collection. The idea is that some of the most influential voices in Marvel's superhero communities have been secretly meeting for years. The second storyline is a two-issue Fantastic Four thread that honestly didn't do much for me. Not a FF fan. Finally, there's a three-issue Spider-Man story that does the best job of laying the groundwork for Civil War. For those who haven't been reading Marvel for awhile *raises hand* it'll also get you familiar with the idea of a Spider-Man who is very much under Tony Stark's thumb. Not really required for understanding Civil War, but certainly helpful. The FF issues aside, the writing is pretty solid.