Review: Children of the Atom #1
After a lot of anticipation and some head-scratching, Children of the Atom #1 is here and it’s not quite what’s expected. The story revolves around a teenage group of heroes whose looks and powers seem close to classic X-Men. But, while this starts off as “Junior X-Men”, the end delivers an unexpected twist.
Written by Vita Ayala, there’s been a lot of mystery behind Children of the Atom #1. That surface focus feels like it’s helped the series creating expectations that are off. This isn’t New X-Men the New Class, it’s something different. Ayala introduces us to Cherub, Marvel Guy, Cyclops-Lass, Gimmick, and Daycrawler, the group of heroes at the center of the story. We’re thrown into battle with them, quickly learning their powers and personalities. And, for the most part, the debut issue feels like a weird riff on the X-Men. Like bad toy knock-offs, the characters remind us of the originals but are a bit off.
Ayala, brings it all together though. These are kids who know the X-Men and idolize them in some ways, so of course they’re going to riff on them with their looks and even names. Why their powers are similar is generally unknown and part of the mystery.
But Ayala doesn’t leave it just focused on the kids. She brings in a moral debate to the story as well. With underage heroes “outlawed” and little training, there’s a debate if there’s a moral imperative to bring them to Krakoa to train. Jena Grey, Cyclops, Wolverine, and Storm debate the various positions as to what to do and what they should do. It’s an interesting discussion that frames things in ways that makes the comic more than young heroes trying to figure things out. It also questions what’s the role of Krakoa towards new mutants not on the island.
Bernard Chang handles the art are generally nails it. Marcelo Maiolo handles the color with Travis Lanham on lettering and Tom Muller on design. The comic looks great with the character designs top notch. There are some issues during the battle where some of the action isn’t as clear with too much being covered. It took me re-reading those pages a few times to make it clearer as to what was going on. The comic has a nice youthful energy about it that fits its young cast and you can feel some of the emotional ups and downs of the comic through the art.
Children of the Atom #1 is a solid debut that’s not quite what’s expected. While it might seem like “Junior X-Men”, there’s something else going on that’s not clear as of yet. It delivers a bit of mystery in what originally seemed like a pretty straightforward adventure.
Story: Vita Ayala Art: Bernard Chang
Color: Marcelo Maiolo Letterer: Travis Lanham Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.05 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review