REVIEW: ‘Children of the Atom, Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Children of the Atom #5 - But Why Tho

Children of the Atom #5 is published by Marvel Comics. The writer is Vita Ayala and the art is by Paco Medina. Colours by David Curiel and letters by Travis Lanham. This is the penultimate issue of the series. Five children have been superheroes, using identities and abilities similar to their icons: The X-Men. The team is desperate to make it to paradise on the island of Krakoa. The biggest issue is that they aren’t mutants. They are only using alien armour to mimic the superpowers. But Carmen, also known as Gimmick, starts exhibiting mutant traits, just as the team tries the latest tactic to rig the gates to Krakoa. But they are ambushed by U-Men and captured, except for one.

With his friends and big brother held hostage, the youngest member of the team goes to the only people he can think of to help. Jay Jay, AKA Daycrawler. With help from the X-Men, Jay Jay returns to the scene of the crime with backup. The kids finally get to team up with their heroes, but their true identities are at risk. And they still have to battle a squad of dangerous U-Men, with stolen powers of their own. 

The pace of the issue is brilliant, the majority of it the battle between the X-Men and the U-Men. The start fills the gaps of how Daycrawler managed to connect to the X-Men and make it back. The fight itself is exhilarating. Ayala has been building up to this since the start and delivers remarkably in Children of the Atom #5. The outcome of the fight may not be a surprise, but the reaction and epilogue definitely are. It sets up a final issue that may tear this tight-knit team apart. 

The next character chosen to be the main character of an issue may also happen to be the best. Jay Jay is a bundle of energy, leaving readers with a smile on their faces when he is narrating. His perspective on being a superhero is exactly that of a typical 13-year-old. This is fun for him, he loves doing it despite the danger. Ayala writes young characters beautifully, always remembering their age and the way they would act at that age. They all talk in a natural manner, something that other writers struggle to get across in an authentic manner.

It is awesome to see the young heroes and these experienced stalwarts work alongside each other. For some of the teenagers, it allows them to fight with the person that their identities have been based on. The likes of Cyclops-Lass, Marvel Guy, and Daywalker now see who they are trying to be in action. The former even seems to mirror the leadership qualities of Scott. 

The art is terrific, especially within the battle. There is a large number of figures and abilities involved, mutants and those acting like mutants. But Medina sets the fighters out well and choreographs a phenomenal fight scene. It is fantastic to see the characters we know and love start fighting in a way only they know-how. It is fun seeing Jay Jay move, as he is so much smaller than everyone else. Despite this, the impact that he has when he hits something gives him more than enough of a presence. Each of the X-Men looks amazing. This isn’t just in costume either, as Medina provides casual outfits in the aftermath that match the personality of the characters.

The colours are stunning. All of the powers has a bright, vibrant colour depicting it that fills the panel with life. Curiel uses these unnatural colours everywhere, including the background. This keeps the positivity of the comic high, attractive to younger readers. 

The letters are really well done by Lanham. There is a lot of dialogue from many different characters in Children of the Atom #5, but it is always effortless to process who is talking and to follow the conversation. Through all the action, the SFX are used sparingly, so as not to clutter the page. When they are implemented, the effects are effective and fit perfectly.

Children of the Atom #5 is a superb issue. Ayala has told a terrific story using these characters. They have felt natural and real from the start, and all with feelings and troubles that are relatable to almost everyone. Themes of identity and exploring said identity to discover the truth is an important message, using a powerful allegory in order to tell it. The art has been tremendous, propelling the book forward with infectious energy. It may be difficult to know where these characters may be used going forward, but the issue creates as many questions as it answers.

Children of the Atom #5 is available where comics are sold.


Children of the Atom #5
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TL;DR

Children of the Atom #5 is a superb issue. Ayala has told a terrific story using these characters. They have felt natural and real from the start, and all with feelings and troubles that are relatable to almost everyone. Themes of identity and exploring said identity to discover the truth is an important message, using a powerful allegory in order to tell it. The art has been tremendous, propelling the book forward with infectious energy. It may be difficult to know where these characters may be used going forward, but the issue creates as many questions as it answers.