Written By: Vita Ayala
Art By: Bernard Chang
Colors By: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover Art By: R. B. Silva, Erick Arciniega
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 14, 2021
Children Of The Atom #2 spends a little quality time with Gabe (no relation) aka Cherub to get to know him as a person… almost. When the Children of the Atom (COTA) gang head out to a Dazzler concert for a little fun, they get a call that the Hell’s Belles are breaking out of prison. COTA skips the concert to stop the breakout. When the heroics are all done, Storm arrives to invite them to Krakoa to join the mutant family.
Was It Good?
No, for a few reasons. First and most importantly, it’s almost a beat-for-beat copy of issue #1. Second, the story is mostly told from Gabe’s perspective but you wind up finding more about what society thinks about him rather than learning who he believes himself to be, what motivates him, or what he hopes to become. Third, the breakout sequence makes no sense.
What’s It About?
We begin with the Avengers paying a visit to the Krakoan embassy in NYC. The COTA are making some noise with their heroics and they’re putting themselves and everyone around them in danger with Kamala’s Law (yes, Outlawed is still a thing) in full effect. Mystique and Strom coldly greet them but explain the COTA’s mess, Kamala’s Law and anything concerning non-mutant affairs are none of their concern. Multiple Man shows the Avengers the door.
Despite what the X-Men have thought of humanity, there has always been at least some cordial respect between the X-Men and the Avengers as brothers/sisters-in-arms. This cold, tense exchange seemed out of character for both teams. Also, Avengers are coming to the embassy in good faith to help get the COTA off the streets and under Krakoan protection. It makes no sense the mutants would be so hostile about the visit, continually insinuating the Avengers are making threats when they clearly aren’t.
Next, we shift to a slice of life montage centering on Gabe aka Cherub aka Angel knockoff. He’s convincing his mom to let him go to a Dazzler concert with his friends. During the exchange with his mom and the narration of the dialog, we learn Gabe is a model student and citizen in every way possible. Yet, he still feels not accepted for who he is and the example he sets. This scene was meant (I think) to help you get to know Gabe, but all you really get is what other people (incorrectly) assume about Gabe. It doesn’t inform the reader about the character at all.
Suddenly, an entire page is taken up with the instructions for an Ab workout written by Gabe aka Cherub. I have no idea why this is here, or why Ayala is wasting whole pages on this.
The COTA gang arrive at the Dazzler concert for a little team bonding. Before they enter the main arena, they receive texts that the Hell’s Belles are in the middle of a prison break. They rush to get there and stop the breakout before the cops or Avengers arrive.
It’s unclear how anyone is texting them about a prison break in progress before the police or Avengers can find out. Why do they have to be the ones to leave the concert to stop it? How do they get to the prison before the Avengers? All unknown.
COTA arrives to find former Hell’s Belles member, Briquette, busting her former teammates out. The COTA tries to stop them as best they can but the best they can do is a stalemate. During this entire battle, which lasts 7 pages, the prison isn’t locked down and there isn’t a single prison guard, police office, or Avenger present to help. The prison looks completely abandoned, and it make no sense that a super-powered prison break would be in progress and this group of cosplay mutants are the only ones to show up and lift a finger to stop it.
Before the COTA get completely demolished by Briquette, Storm arrives and offers Krakoan amnesty to Briquette and the rest of the Hell’s Belles. They accept.
Storm offers to bring the COTA along but they awkwardly refuse, clearly holding something back. Accepting their deicsion, Storm leaves them a communicator to call for help from the X-Men if needed in the future.
“Wait a minute,” you say. “This sounds very familiar,” you say. And you would be right. Issue #2 is almost beat-for-beat the same story as issue #1.
- One of the COTA has a little inner monologue moment that trys (and fails) to get the reader to know who they are as a person. In issue #1, it was Buddy. In issue #2, it’s Gabe.
- The COTA battles the Hell’s Belles and wins… sorta.
- X-Men arrive to diffuse the situation and offer the COTA a place on Krakoa, which they awkwardly refuse.
- We end with the COTA standing in front of a Krakoan portal.
Two issues, same plot, less sense.
Children Of The Atom #2 is telling a story that’s going nowhere fast. You get the impression there’s going to be some big reveal or point made with cosplayers pretending they’re mutants when they’re not. If you’ve read issue #1, you can skip issue #2 and hope #3 goes somewhere. This issue still gets a 6.5 for the excellent art by Chang and team. At the very least, it’s a good looking comic