Children of the Atom #3 Review

  • Written By: Vita Ayala
  • Art By: Paco Medina
  • Colors By: David Curiel
  • Letters By: VC’s Travis Lanham
  • Cover Art By: R.B. Silva, Jesus Aburtov
  • Cover Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: May 12, 2021

In Children of the Atom #3, the story focuses on the third member of the Children of the Atom (COTA), Carmen. She’s a streamer (YouTube? Twitch?) who shares tips, tricks, and methods for creating cosplay costumes, which explains where the COTA got their costumes from. Through the issue we learn Carmen is conflicted and confused over more than one secret, and we learn how Cole was miraculously healed, opening the potential for the COTA’s seemingly fondest wish.

Was It Good?

The art is great. This issue marks the transition of Bernard Chang off the title in favor of Paco Medina, and there’s not a drop of reduction in quality. This is a good-looking book and big props go to Medina for picking up the baton seamlessly.

The story is a jumbled, disjointed mess.

What’s It About?

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

We begin this issue as with the previous two by focusing on the next member of COTA, Carmen. She’s depressed or repressed in some way that the story tries very hard to tap dance around without saying it until almost the very end.

Carmen is in love with Benny. It’s not a shocking turn of events but it is strange in how it’s carried out since Benny believes Carmen and Gabe are a couple (see Children of the Atom #1 during the basketball scene.) Is Carmen pretending to be in a relationship with Gabe? Is Benny making a bad assumption about Carmen and Gabe? Does Carmen not know Benny is straight? If Benny is straight, why is she uncomfortably close and constantly touching Carmen in a flirty way? Is Gabe totally oblivious to any of this? What is happening?

We then cut to a flashback where the COTA are on board an alien ship that’s coming apart around them somewhere in space above the Earth. There’s no explanation about how they got on the ship, where it came from, or why they’re the only one’s aboard. What is happening?

Back to now and the COTA have been invited to Cole’s house for Dinner. Carmen refuses to come with them as she tells everyone she’s not feeling well. When the rest arrive at Cole’s house, they meet Arthur Nagan, the tech entrepreneur who invented the experimental treatment that cured Cole. Through the exposition-heavy dinner conversation, we learn the treatment involves splicing mutant DNA with human DNA.

Of course, the COTA jump on the chance to ask Cole if he can cross the Krakoan portals since he has mutant DNA in his blood. Cole is insulted by the question as he feels they’re only their because the COTA are obsessed with mutants. Cole is sweating and acting out of sorts so he angrily asks the COTA to leave.

Back to the flashback and the COTA crash land on Earth using escape pods jettisoned from the alien craft.

Back to now (again), Carmen is still at home. Suddenly, she starts freaking out and runs to the bathroom while muttering about not getting sick. She collapses on the floor and starts turning into something with a lot of veins popping out and sharp teet.

And that’s the end.

Final Thoughts

Children of the Atom #3 contains good art, but the plot structure and execution is a confusing blob. You get the impression the writer is eventually getting to some point or big reveal, but whatever it is, the painful journey is making it hard to get there.

6.5/10

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