Children of the Atom was a book that was delayed for so long, fans were starting to believe it would never come out. With the cast of new characters finally past their debut issue, issue #2 shines a spotlight on Cherub in particular.
Little is known about the kids and why Cerebro fails to detect them, and issue #2 does little to solve that mystery. One thing is clear, however: Vita Ayala loves Storm, and Children of the Atom #2 gives her some really great moments. Between the way she approaches the kids for help and her interactions with the Helles Belles, Ororo truly shines. If Marvel ever wanted to give Storm another solo (they so totally should), Ayala constantly makes a great case for being the head writer on that project.
It is a little funny though, to see Briquette and the other Helles Belles tell Storm they’ve never been offered a place on Krakoa when the Briquette was seen in X-Force #9 in the Green Lagoon spread. It’s safe to assume that continuity error means Briquette wasn’t at the Green Lagoon after all in order for Children of the Atom #2’s interaction to make sense.
The issue shines mostly for Ayala crafts the character of Gabriel, showing the audience that this boy wants nothing more than to do good in the world. The panels of him saying his first words were “I help” and later on reflecting on the good his father did before he died go a long way to tell the audience a lot about this character. He’s a good kid with a really big heart, and Ayala deserves credit for creating a character as instantly lovable as him.
One thing Ayala is proving to excel at is capturing the youth in these characters. When Daycrawler starts wavering on his name and deciding “Nighty Nightcrawler” sounds cool, it sounds exactly like something a teenage hero would be doing. The kids are cute even if we don’t have their whole story yet and it’s nice to see a new generation of X-kids.
All in all, Children of the Atom #2 is a fun read that makes the audience instantly fall in love with the character of Cherub. This new cast of X-kids is peculiar, but solving their mystery seems like it’ll certainly be a fun ride.
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