REVIEW: ‘Children of the Atom,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Children of the Atom #4

Children of the Atom #4 is published by Marvel Comics. Written by Vita Ayala with art by Paco Medina. The colorist is David Curiel, and the letterer is Travis Lanham. Many of Earth’s mutants have left the danger of the human world for the safety of Krakoa. But five young heroes have been left behind. Dressed in costumes inspired by their heroes, the X-Men, the vigilantes have been patrolling New York and keeping it safe. They are determined to pass through the gates to paradise. The only problem is that they aren’t mutants; they’re humans. 

Within this issue, some of the team begin developing a new plan of getting into Krakoa. Cyclops-Lass, their leader, stole an item from their friend Cole that may allow them to trick the system and be granted access. And with the X-Men opening Krakoa up to humans for one day only, this is their best chance. 

The structure of the plot within this issue is much improved from issue #3. With many of the big revelations out in the open, the confusion has cleared, and there is a more linear narrative inside this chapter.  The ramifications of the previous issue are dealt with slowly and quietly, allowing the characters to try and come to terms with it simultaneously as the readers. What is also appreciated is that Ayala includes more of the personal lives of the characters alongside the superheroes. 

Children of the Atom #4 may be the best issue of the series regarding character development. The focus character is Marvel Guy. Like the other members, he is inverted and shy, wanting to be left alone by other people. But he is incredibly likable when acting as a support structure for his friends, even when he is struggling himself. There is a great connection between the different members of the team, in particular, Benny and his brother Jay Jay, who is the teleporting Daywalker. 

The strain is beginning to show in the fabric of the team as Marvel-Lass is yearning more for egress to Krakoa. This twinned with Carmen’s secret is starting to have an impact in how they function. But their inexperience as heroes is starting to show as well. They have changed from wanting to be heroes to fans longing to hang out with those they look up to. This difference has been woven expertly by the writer.

The fact that these five are humans has been a suspicion since their first denial into Krakoa and was laid clear in the last issue. There is a scene of the young heroes switching their gear and testing each others’ gadgets out. Not only has this got some awesome dialogue, but it is also superly drawn by artist Medina. There is terrific choreography. The uniforms and devices that the readers have gotten used to seeing on certain figures have changed. This reveals terrific adaptability by Medina. There is another set piece like this later in the issue, and the energy is much more frantic. This details a clear progression and elevation of stakes. 

Medina is also excellent at depicting quiet scenes. Whether it be two of the characters in their bedroom or a busy cafeteria, each setting is full of life and emotion. In addition, Medina illustrates not just great facial expressions, but body language as a whole.

The colors are stunning and brilliantly varied. During the lunch scene at the heroes’ high school, nearly every student wears a different color. This gives each figure a unique look. But all of the shades fit with the panel and aren’t out of place. Every page is bright and colorful, and full of energy. The presentation of the powers is epic and radiates fun.

There is a lot of dialogue within this comic, yet the lettering prevents it from being overwhelming. Lanham ensures that the word balloons and caption boxes are all very easy to read.

Children of the Atom #4 is a wonderful book brimming with energy. Ayala’s understanding of these characters makes them brilliant to follow. Throughout the miniseries, the readers have felt like they have known a lot about these five, yet they are also constantly learning more. But their secrets have been laid bare and may get them further into trouble. The art and coloring styles of Medina and Curiel are perfectly suited to capture the extravagant excitement of superheroics and the stark reality of high school to equal effect.

Children of the Atom #4 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 

 

Children of the Atom #4
4.5

TL;DR

Children of the Atom #4 is a wonderful book brimming with energy. Ayala’s understanding of these characters makes them brilliant to follow. Throughout the miniseries, the readers have felt like they have known a lot about these five, yet they are also constantly learning more. But their secrets have been laid bare and may get them further into trouble. The art and coloring styles of Medina and Curiel are perfectly suited to capture the extravagant excitement of superheroics and the stark reality of high school to equal effect.