As is sometimes important in Time Travel stories, we need some exposition. How did our villains get here? Why are they here? How did they wind up where they wound up? You could do a decent job of it with, at this point, long-winded exposition. What Bendis does so well is show, rather than tell. Buckle up, dear reader. It's gonna be a bumpy ride. (Spoilers below.)
The entire concept of All New X-Men is elegantly simple: The original X-Men have been dragged from the past to see how events have left Mutantkind in, well, pretty dire straits. It's been two decades (ballpark) and nothing's changed for the better. At least, not in the longterm.
But this is a comic book, and you need super-powered fistfights, and this comic delivers. It continues to deliver. It's the super-powered Mail Man. The exquisite work of Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Marte Gracia make every freaking issue a joy to look at. It's a phenomenon.
Any comic book worth its salt will pit its heroes against their mirror opposites. This makes sense, because in order to maintain tension, there must be risk. In order to have risk, you need someone every bit as dangerous as you are, leaping at your throat. Bendis provides.
Enter the X-Men of the future: a bitter, vengeful lot led by the Son of Xavier, a shadowy reflection of his old men, using his own X-Men as puppets, without shame. All of Xavier's worst possible traits, personified in a man that looks exactly like him.
The kicker is that the clever SOB and his people have come back to this time and place to kill the X-Men... at a time that wouldn't negate their own existence. It justifies the timely arrival of the bad guys, even going so far as to incorporate their previous failures as a learning experience. These evil X-Men are even cavalier about it. It's beautiful.
And so the plot thickens! Evil Xavier and his cronies are wiping the floor with our heroes when two unexpected developments throw a spanner in the works. If you want to know what they are, go buy the comic. It's grand.
My one problem with this otherwise fantastic read... is the cover. I hate it when comic book covers 'lie', for lack of a better word. Young Scott is writhing in agony on the cover, and he's nowhere to be seen in the story. Scott isn't even in the right solar system. It's annoying. How hard would it have been to draw older Scott in his place?
Anyway. Go pick it up. It's a delightful read.