Children of the Atom has been delayed and delayed and delayed. It got to the point where I didn’t know if it would come out in print at all, or if it would be a digital only release. While a series like this can be polarizing, and seem like a cheap way to make a buck, as a Cyclops fan, I had to pick it up. While the concept doesn’t appear to be anything new, this still seems like an interesting read for a slow week of comics.
Vita Ayala has the task of shaping this book into something that we haven’t seen before. With books like Children of the Atom, characters are created for the series and never used again. This issue starts off a little rough. We’re thrown into the action as the children are attempting to stop a villain. The dialogue is cheesy, probably intentional, the characters come off as amateurs, also intentional, but I wasn’t invested at that point. Ayala gives us several pages of the current X-Men discussing what to do with these kids. This is a good conversation between most of the heavy hitting mutants. The issue starts to work when Ayala focuses on who these kids are. The pages spent with Buddy and Carmen talking are very good and give us a glimpse into who these characters are and who they could be. Ayala gives them legitimate high school problems that are common among today’s teens. For a book that many didn’t seem too high on, Ayala does a very nice job of keeping things fun and interesting.
The pencils this issue are handled by Bernard Chang with colors by Marcel Maiolo. Chang does a fine job on the pencils for this book. We open with a fight scene, which Chang draws very well. The first page of the team assembled looks like a classic X-Men page. Chang shows his ability to draw not only the new kids, but also the senior X-Men team too. Pages where the X-Men discuss what to do with the new kids look great. Wolverine looks like an ox as he drinks a beer. The colors by Maiolo are amazing as usual. The panel that sticks out to me in this issue is in the early pages of the fight. As the villain attacks Buddy, she is air bound with her fist raised. Buddy is standing in close proximity, but Maiolo uses an all red and white palette to cover the page. It works really well and is my favorite panel in the whole book.
Children of the Atom is surprisingly fun and entertaining. If you think this is something you’ve seen before, there is a little more going on than we think. Vita Ayala proved the naysayers wrong with this strong debut on Children of the Atom. The pencils and colors help build up the likability of this issue. Children of the Atom is a book that should be read by anyone who enjoys a good story.