For months, Children of the Atom was subject to pushbacks, leaving the series in a state of limbo. Issue #3 however, proves this series was truly worth the wait.
Like previous issues, this one centers in on one of the new kids, this time Carmen Cruz aka Gimmick. Of course, Carmen does cosplay and has a podcast like a typical teenager in the modern world, but that’s not what makes Carmen such a relatable character. The thing that will undoubtedly make Carmen such a relatable character to young readers is how human she is. She wants to be special and sometimes feels she blends into the crowd, but she also doesn’t want to be too special that she sticks out. She’s also got a huge crush on someone she’s not sure notices. She’s the perfect “teen” character for the modern era and Ayala really struck gold creating her.
Carmen’s feelings for Buddy create an interesting dynamic on the team, the “pining romantic and the oblivious object of their affections” –it’s pretty classic, actually. It’s great to see another explicitly LGBT character with prominence in an X-title this era — even more pleasing when that character is a queer woman of color. This is another aspect of Carmen’s character that will really resonate with some people, and it’s an important piece of representation for queer women in X-comics.
Medina’s art has always been phenomenal, but he really does steal the show in Children of the Atom, making every page look near-flawless. Each character is distinct and expressive — he really is a great presence to have on this book.
Children of the Atom has been mostly grounded (as much as an X-Men comic can be!), featuring the school life and home lives of the kids for the most part. Issue #3 delves outside of that, introducing an entire sequence of pages with an alien space shift and another one with a businessman who found a way to bond human DNA with mutant DNA. The latter is a huge reveal and sets up the stage for an interesting future for the series.
Issue #3 of Children of the Atom sets up an interesting premise and continues to unravel new information about these mysterious kids. Carmen is already an extremely lovable character and I for one can’t wait to see where Vita Ayala takes her in the future of the series.
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