X-Men: Second Coming has been on my comic book reading list for quite some time now. I had heard plenty of great buzz for it over the last few years and when www.watchmojo.com listed it in the top ten X-Men comic books of all time (specifically #8), I knew this was something I had to read. So, I recently purchased this as a birthday present to myself.
This is a great comic book. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as I finished it, I went straight to page 1 again to relive the experience. The story takes place after the events of House of M; another fantastic run, easily one of the best for the X-Men. Without going into too many spoilers, after the events of House of M, the mutant population is down to a mere 181 and no new mutants are being born. Suddenly, a mutant baby girl is born and she is sent by the X-Men to the future with Cable for safekeeping. Second Coming is the story of what happens when Cable and this mutant messiah, now a teenager named Hope, return to the X-Men in the present time. A present time in which certain human forces are fully aware of Hope's importance and are incredibly well prepared to eradicate both her and all mutants forever.
IGN described this story as "feeling more like the X-Men in their heyday than anything in recent memory" and man is that right. This has grounded action with good character development, all leading up to an epic climax. The action is so impactful because when reading you know the stakes are high. Not only is mutant existence on the line, but so are the individual lives of every X-Men in every battle. The danger is very threatening.
Various writers contributed to this story arc and yet it all feels well connected and well serving of a larger picture. In my opinion, the plot seems to revolve around a common theme of leadership and the hardships that come with that. This is especially true for Cyclops. However, several key characters are forced into tight corners to reveal the ideologies for which they truly stand.
If you're a fan of the X-Men, then I highly recommend this comic book. Definitely read it after House of M to appreciate it better. In addition, I would argue reading this after Joss Whedon's astonishing Astonishing X-Men is also beneficial so as to get a good grasp on the modern X-Men. However, I always recommend that comic book, it's my favorite by far of all time.
I have to agree with WatchMojo, this is definitely in the top 10 of X-Men comic books.