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X-Men: Children of the Atom

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A retelling of the first year of the X-men with a modern sensibility courtesy of new X writer Joe Casey. Also features the classic retro look of fan-favorite artist Steve Rude. Fans can re-experience the building of the x-men.


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A retelling of the first year of the X-men with a modern sensibility courtesy of new X writer Joe Casey. Also features the classic retro look of fan-favorite artist Steve Rude. Fans can re-experience the building of the x-men.

30 review for X-Men: Children of the Atom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Frankh

    For this month of June, I decided to read two different titles that mainly focused on the Original Core Five X-Men from Stan Lee's era in the sixties. The first one is Jeff Parker's X-Men: First Class series and the other one is Children of the Atom by Joe Casey. The former is a PG-13 series with splendid elements of comedy, action-adventure and heartfelt drama in its issues while the latter is a rather gritty prelude origin story. Unmistakably set to reminiscently match the tone and visual mann For this month of June, I decided to read two different titles that mainly focused on the Original Core Five X-Men from Stan Lee's era in the sixties. The first one is Jeff Parker's X-Men: First Class series and the other one is Children of the Atom by Joe Casey. The former is a PG-13 series with splendid elements of comedy, action-adventure and heartfelt drama in its issues while the latter is a rather gritty prelude origin story. Unmistakably set to reminiscently match the tone and visual manner of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, this one fairly showcases as to how exactly Charles Xavier recruited Scott Summers, Warren Warrington III, Henry McCoy, Robert Drake and Jean Grey to become a part of his elite mutant force known as the X-Men. Think of it as the issue zero before Stan Lee's first issue because that is how it certainly catered itself. That being said, there's a dissonance between this story and the Stan Lee series it supposedly preceded, particularly because of how strangely dark it is for something that was not originally intended to be heavy in the first place. Now, when I say that this comic book story has the same visual styling as that of Miller's TDKR, I totally mean it. Steve Rude's panels and the overall layout of the scenes have the same quality of the aforementioned eighties Batman classic, only that Rude's illustrations are more refined in texture and color. I think the obvious parallel to that of TDKR is intentional to really get readers in the mood for something inexplicably and bizarrely depressing and grim which just doesn't resonate right with the X-Men title, particularly if it concerns the Original Core Five. With six issues, Children of the Atom wastes no time introducing readers to a world predominantly led by ignorance and hatred against mutant kind, much like what the Claremont era has poignantly and compellingly expounded on during his seventies-eighties run. However, I can't help but feel that Joe Casey's work is slightly pandering to shock value. It even featured a not-so-subtle Adolf Hitler-placeholder of a villain who is rallying the troops to hunt down the "muties" because they are an "impure race" that must be "purged". Recognizable canon elements are still present such as Magneto as the avid crusader for mutant superiority as he unapologetically kills in the name of what he perceives to be the only way for his kind, and Bolivar Trask's Sentinels project, among other things. To really drive in the tension-laden era of this series, we get government spooks and conspiracy, outright racial segregation and some little bits of child abuse and military abductions. It's...just darn "gritty" in such a self-aware manner that never forgets to remind its readers that what he or she is reading is "mature content". I GET IT. Perhaps if I read this sooner before getting into most of Claremont stuff, I may have enjoyed this more. Perhaps I didn't choose to read this alongside the invigorating X-Men: First Class series by Jeff Parker, I would have appreciated its quality more. But I didn't. At this point, it just felt contrived and worn-out to me. It didn't offer anything different or meaningful in the varied content that the X-Men universe is already saturated in. Of course, there are moments that stood out particularly the characterization for Scott Summers who was a maltreated orphan being used by his selfish foster parent to commit petty crimes. Charles Xavier in this story is also morally ambiguous and quite cranky, making him more flawed than saintly as the recent film adaptations had portrayed him as. Other than those things, Children of the Atom just wasn't as impressive as I hoped it would be. It's an average, coolly drawn comic book, but ultimately sort of forgettable. RECOMMENDED: 7/10 DO READ MY REVIEWS AT:

  2. 4 out of 5

    Himanshu Karmacharya

    Children of the atom is a revisit to the early days of X-Men, prior to their official formation. The book deals with the recruitment of first X-Men and also dwells briefly in their back stories. However the book, only spanning for 6 issues, lacks the room for sufficient character growth and also leads to a hasty conclusion. The art is also incosistent, ranging from above average to downright atrocious. Overall, Children of the atom doesn't feel like it adds anything important to the X-Men mythos Children of the atom is a revisit to the early days of X-Men, prior to their official formation. The book deals with the recruitment of first X-Men and also dwells briefly in their back stories. However the book, only spanning for 6 issues, lacks the room for sufficient character growth and also leads to a hasty conclusion. The art is also incosistent, ranging from above average to downright atrocious. Overall, Children of the atom doesn't feel like it adds anything important to the X-Men mythos, but is still an enjoyable read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Casey erzählt in dieser 6-teiligen Miniserie die Entstehung der X-Men neu, und tatsächlich finde ich die Idee nicht schlecht, der Truppe etwas mehr gesellschaftlichen und psychologischen Tiefgang zu verschaffen, als es 1963 erforderlich war. Denn wer hätte seinerzeit angesichts des ständig vom Konkurs bedrohten X-Teams geglaubt, dass es einmal Marvels vielleicht erfolgreichste Serie würde? Casey beschreibt den Konflikt zwischen den Mutanten und dem Homo Sapiens als einen genetischen Rassekonflikt Casey erzählt in dieser 6-teiligen Miniserie die Entstehung der X-Men neu, und tatsächlich finde ich die Idee nicht schlecht, der Truppe etwas mehr gesellschaftlichen und psychologischen Tiefgang zu verschaffen, als es 1963 erforderlich war. Denn wer hätte seinerzeit angesichts des ständig vom Konkurs bedrohten X-Teams geglaubt, dass es einmal Marvels vielleicht erfolgreichste Serie würde? Casey beschreibt den Konflikt zwischen den Mutanten und dem Homo Sapiens als einen genetischen Rassekonflikt, und konsequenter Weise sieht der Gegner der Mutanten, der sich äußerst medienwirksam in Szene zu setzen weiß, einem gewissen deutschen Politiker nicht unähnlich, der vor ca. 80 Jahren die Macht ergriff, und trägt den sprechenden Namen "Metzger". Metzger also ruft zum Genozid an den Mutanten auf, und auf der Mutantenseite formieren sich die gegenläufigen Lager um Magneto und Prof. Xavier. Die X-Men sind verunsicherte Jugendliche, fast noch Kinder, die gegen ihren Willen in den Strudel der Gewalt einbezogen werden und Partei ergreifen müssen. Aber leider bleiben einige der fünf Schüler auch in Caseys Darstellung farblos. Ausgerechnet Jean Grey spielt eine vollkommen untergeordnete Rolle und Bobby Drake ist, wie so oft, in die zweite Reihe verbannt. Hank McCoy und Scott Summers sind offenbar Caseys Lieblingsfiguren und wetteifern um die ersten Plätze, gefolgt von Warren W. auf Platz drei. Vielleicht hätte Casey ein Soloheft nur um Scott Summers machen sollen, um den er eine Geschichte strickt, die so bislang nicht bekannt war und die den Leser mitnimmt. Beim Wiederlesen stach mir mehr als früher die Artwork von Steve Rude ins Auge: ein wunderbarer Retro-Stil, der nicht in die 60er, aber in die 80er Jahre zurück weist. Entgegen meines ersten Eindrucks finde ich Rudes Zeichnungen inzwischen fast perfekt, sehr detailliert und mit Sinn für Perspektive und Licht & Schatten. Schade, dass er nur die ersten drei Hefte gemacht hat, offenbar kam er wegen seiner Akkuratesse mit dem Termindruck nicht klar. Fazit: Es gibt zahlreiche neue Anläufe, die inzwischen jahrzehntealten Marvelepen neu zu erzählen. KINDER DES ATOMS ist sicherlich nicht das spektakulärste Projekt, aber vor allem wegen Rudes Artwork beachtlich und lesenswert. Ansonsten finde ich sehr gelungen die "All New X-Men", dort wird das Team von 1963 in die Gegenwart versetzt und mit den X-Men von heute konfrontiert und der Schuld, die vor allem Scott Summers auf sich geladen hat.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    I really wrestled with the rating system on this one. To me two stars feels more like "it wasn't the worst thing I've ever read" than "it was OK" but that's an argument for another day. Regardless, I would have said that Children of the Atom was better than OK, but that saying I liked it would be overstating my feelings towards it somewhat. So I'll go with two stars, until such time as Goodreads allows you to rate half stars. Anyway, the review. Children of the Atom is a retelling of the X-Men's o I really wrestled with the rating system on this one. To me two stars feels more like "it wasn't the worst thing I've ever read" than "it was OK" but that's an argument for another day. Regardless, I would have said that Children of the Atom was better than OK, but that saying I liked it would be overstating my feelings towards it somewhat. So I'll go with two stars, until such time as Goodreads allows you to rate half stars. Anyway, the review. Children of the Atom is a retelling of the X-Men's origin. It's decent enough, but it doesn't really throw up anything new. It's not terribly well-written either, and features artwork so bad it looked like it was done with a crayon. It's at least interesting to see Cyclops, Beast, Angel and Iceman before they join the team (Cyclops in particular has a decent story before Xavier recruits him) but Jean doesn't get much of a look-in. Starkey, the mutant with the most interesting power, is predictably killed off. In fact, all of the characters created for this story are killed off, in what seems like a pretty lazy attempt to justify why they don't appear in future stories. I did enjoy seeing a slightly different take on Xavier and Magneto: they're slightly younger, more radical, more dangerous, and I wouldn't have minded one bit if the entire story had been the two of them sat in a bar, making threats over dry martinis. Still, it wasn't enough to redeem this series in my eyes. Don't expect anything revelatory from this one, or a thoughtfully-constructed character piece. But if you like the X-Men, you'll probably enjoy it for nostalgia value.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Robinson

    After the fun ride that was X-Men: Season One, this was a letdown. The dialogue was boring, the art was lackluster (and managed to cram in two ass-shots from the teenage Jean Grey when she was barely in eight panels the whole book), and the plot was so forgettable that ten minutes from now I won't remember a damn thing. Pass. After the fun ride that was X-Men: Season One, this was a letdown. The dialogue was boring, the art was lackluster (and managed to cram in two ass-shots from the teenage Jean Grey when she was barely in eight panels the whole book), and the plot was so forgettable that ten minutes from now I won't remember a damn thing. Pass.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ippino

    "Non le abbiamo disobbedito. Siamo venuti qui in segno di fede." Miniserie carina, sia nella trama sia nei disegni. Casey fa il compitino, non ci sono grosse rivelazioni o colpi di scena ma la storia scorre bene. Lo stile di Rude è particolare ma non mi fa impazzire. "Non le abbiamo disobbedito. Siamo venuti qui in segno di fede." Miniserie carina, sia nella trama sia nei disegni. Casey fa il compitino, non ci sono grosse rivelazioni o colpi di scena ma la storia scorre bene. Lo stile di Rude è particolare ma non mi fa impazzire.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Appelcline

    An interesting intro to the X-Men, but ultimately too slow and not that unique in its focus on mutant-hating bigots.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nico D.

    A look at the formation of the original team of X-Men (Scott Summers, Henry “Hank” McCoy, Jean Grey, Bobby Drake and Warren Worthington III) with a seemingly heavy influence from Batman: Year One. The art starts strong, with great covers and stylistic similarity to the aforementioned Year One, but lessens in quality the further along it goes. By the climax the art seems so off-model that it really lessens the intended gravitas of the finale. Inconsistent art is one thing, but deft writing can sav A look at the formation of the original team of X-Men (Scott Summers, Henry “Hank” McCoy, Jean Grey, Bobby Drake and Warren Worthington III) with a seemingly heavy influence from Batman: Year One. The art starts strong, with great covers and stylistic similarity to the aforementioned Year One, but lessens in quality the further along it goes. By the climax the art seems so off-model that it really lessens the intended gravitas of the finale. Inconsistent art is one thing, but deft writing can save almost any project… but unfortunately the writing matches the art progression in consistency. In terms of character, the way Scott and Warren are written feels on point for the time of their lives being depicted. Scott was probably the best thing in the novel itself. His art comes across as the most consistently good—he’s slim and mousy and looks dirty and uncared for. His body language is almost more important that his dialogue, and his character and feelings of any given situation were given great thought and care in depiction. Warren gets a great segment early on where he’s going about the superhero gig that I enjoyed a lot. Bobby is similarly pretty good, though not much time is really given to establishing his character (he gets two good scenes, particularly in regard to how he intends to acquire transportation toward the finale, but they are brief). Hank is a little more up in the air, but I can say that his art was probably my favorite. He’s drawn very handsome, with his mutation (oversized hands and feet) not being incredibly obvious when taking into account that he’s just a big dude. Jean is relegated to the sidelines for a majority of the story (she doesn’t even get a line until near the end!) and her most important contribution is getting abducted and needing to be rescued at the end. It’s very tired and exhaustive and it feels like a waste of Marvel’s best character. Charles is given the opposite treatment—he’s the most prominent character throughout the story, but god if he isn’t a complete dick. Charles has often been capable of manipulation and pettiness, but it’s usually nuanced with his genuinely good qualities—like a true desire to spread peace across the globe. This Charles is said to have the good qualities—he tells someone he wants to open the school to help bridge the gap between humans and mutants— but in practice he’s whiny, snappish and pretty emotionally awful to the kids in his care. I think we were supposed to get the feeling that Charles would need to grow more into the facilitator he’s known for, but it’s hard to imagine anyone would want to follow him when he’s such a jerk. Especially five ostracized and rebellious teenagers! The overall plot is what it is. I’d like to say the Human Rights supremacists being an extremely flimsy analogue for Neo-Nazis is flat, unbelievable characterization… but the American political sphere circa 2018 says otherwise. So that’s sad. Overall I wasn’t really gripped by the story as a whole. There were parts that worked, but I got bored when the antagonist got especially wordy and would start skimming waiting for something more exciting to happen. That’s not my usual MO, and honestly that told me more about the story than anything else. While not a terrible read, better stories featuring the OG X-Men are out there. Practically any collected version of First Class will provide more character writing and at a far more consistent pace.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Neyebur

    Llevaba tiempo queriendo leer esta historia desde que la mencionaron en una reseña de la primera película de los X Men, pero no me he puesto con ello hasta su reedición. Y justo cuando iba a hacerlo surgieron varias reseñas negativas. Y, la verdad, no entiendo por qué. Esta precuela del primer cómic de los famosos mutantes de Marvel fue escrita a principios del 2000, adaptando unos personajes que fueron creados en los 60, pero se siente como si hubiera sido escrito recientemente, y eso es algo tr Llevaba tiempo queriendo leer esta historia desde que la mencionaron en una reseña de la primera película de los X Men, pero no me he puesto con ello hasta su reedición. Y justo cuando iba a hacerlo surgieron varias reseñas negativas. Y, la verdad, no entiendo por qué. Esta precuela del primer cómic de los famosos mutantes de Marvel fue escrita a principios del 2000, adaptando unos personajes que fueron creados en los 60, pero se siente como si hubiera sido escrito recientemente, y eso es algo triste. Con Trump o Vox consiguiendo cada vez que más gente escuche y repita su discurso de odio, llevando a crímenes en su nombre, el caricaturezco villano de la historia, que hasta el propio Magneto clasifica como cliché, no parece tan irreal. Por eso hoy en día necesitamos menos Metzger o Magneto y más gente como Cíclope o Xavier, al menos en sus mejores momentos, porque este cómic no ignora el lado más oscuro del líder de los X Men.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Igor

    VISUALS: 3,4 / 5,0 WRITING: 2,7 NARRATIVE: 3,2

  11. 4 out of 5

    Reyel2107

    great retell !!!!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The only thing stopping me from giving this 5 stars is the fact that the story felt incredibly drawn out, only to be concluded quite hastily, as if Joe Casey only realized in issue #5 that Children of the Atom was only running for 6 issues. Besides that though, I found this retelling of the X-Men to be quite dark, darker than usual, but this was something I really enjoyed about it. Jean felt a little weak and the character could have been molded together better. The others - Hank, Bobby, Scott a The only thing stopping me from giving this 5 stars is the fact that the story felt incredibly drawn out, only to be concluded quite hastily, as if Joe Casey only realized in issue #5 that Children of the Atom was only running for 6 issues. Besides that though, I found this retelling of the X-Men to be quite dark, darker than usual, but this was something I really enjoyed about it. Jean felt a little weak and the character could have been molded together better. The others - Hank, Bobby, Scott and Warren were really cool, but also could have been fleshed out more. It felt melodramatic in some cases, with the cast acting as stock characters more than anything else. However, as this was only 6 issues long there wasn't really room for a lot of character growth. Oh well. Still, the world-building was fantastic and as a retelling this book was great. I'm also a fan of this Professor X's eyebrows.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Holden Attradies

    I like this a ton, although I could see how the dialog could turn a lot of people off. It was a little too wordy at times and some of it was... just weird. But beyond that there is a ton to love here. The art style is done almost in the style of the original series but modernized. The setting is more contemporary yet feels old-timey. They do an amazing job of folding in all the retconned origin stories that appeared at the end of the original run. All in all this was a cool way to show what happe I like this a ton, although I could see how the dialog could turn a lot of people off. It was a little too wordy at times and some of it was... just weird. But beyond that there is a ton to love here. The art style is done almost in the style of the original series but modernized. The setting is more contemporary yet feels old-timey. They do an amazing job of folding in all the retconned origin stories that appeared at the end of the original run. All in all this was a cool way to show what happened before issue #1 of the original X-Men but written for a modern audience. My only real complaint was that it wasn't continued, I would have loved to see this creative team continue the story retelling the series up until the relaunch of X-men with Giant size #1.

  14. 4 out of 5

    catechism

    Somewhat existentially bizarre retconning of how Charles formed the first X-Men team (spoiler: by being super creepy). The style & setting of it is an interesting mix and there were some nice moments but after a while there's nothing narratively interesting about jackbooted neo-Nazi thugs and their Hitleresque leader. OH and the dialogue, oh my god, the dialogue. So painfully terribly bad. On a more pertinent note -- let's face it, we all know why I am (re?)reading these comics -- Erik and Charle Somewhat existentially bizarre retconning of how Charles formed the first X-Men team (spoiler: by being super creepy). The style & setting of it is an interesting mix and there were some nice moments but after a while there's nothing narratively interesting about jackbooted neo-Nazi thugs and their Hitleresque leader. OH and the dialogue, oh my god, the dialogue. So painfully terribly bad. On a more pertinent note -- let's face it, we all know why I am (re?)reading these comics -- Erik and Charles meet for drinks and Erik makes Charles get him a BLOOD AND SAND. Harsh. You know, like the time he left him bleeding out on the beach? In a totally different medium and continuity? :D? Shut up.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    The dialogue was painfully bad, specifically anything uttered by a non-adult (most of the book). People just do not talk like that! The pop culture references were very tiring and unnecessary. The art, for the most part, did not appeal to me. It was interesting to see the media be complicit in the rise of a leader bent on genocide in the way that it was, but this is really the only success of the book, in my opinion.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    Another Joe Casey mini retelling the early years of a classic marvel super team. Unlike, his Avengers and Fantastic Four stories, this one doesn't work. First big mistake is he goes back too far, and spends too much time with them as high school students. Teen angst on top of mutant angst is too much. Plus moving them all into the same school makes it feel too much like some kind of surreal Archie comic. Great Steve Rude art, but not a great story. Another Joe Casey mini retelling the early years of a classic marvel super team. Unlike, his Avengers and Fantastic Four stories, this one doesn't work. First big mistake is he goes back too far, and spends too much time with them as high school students. Teen angst on top of mutant angst is too much. Plus moving them all into the same school makes it feel too much like some kind of surreal Archie comic. Great Steve Rude art, but not a great story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    An OK book... Presenting some interesting 'origins' for the original 5 X-men (Hank and Scott in particular have great backgrounds) but the book really suffers for a complete lack of sense of humour. It's trying very heard to be the 'Dark Knight Returns' of the X-men, but with all the fun zapped out of it, it often felt really boring. An OK book... Presenting some interesting 'origins' for the original 5 X-men (Hank and Scott in particular have great backgrounds) but the book really suffers for a complete lack of sense of humour. It's trying very heard to be the 'Dark Knight Returns' of the X-men, but with all the fun zapped out of it, it often felt really boring.

  18. 5 out of 5

    N

    Kind of an odd take on the X-men, but I didn't hate it. I found the Big Bad pretty boring, but the X-men themselves were interesting. I really rather appreciated the depictions of Cyclops as tortured youth and Beast as BMOC. Kind of an odd take on the X-men, but I didn't hate it. I found the Big Bad pretty boring, but the X-men themselves were interesting. I really rather appreciated the depictions of Cyclops as tortured youth and Beast as BMOC.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Albert

    Joe Casey's script was good -- true to the feel of the early X-Men under Stan Lee/Jack Kirby. Steve Rude is a great artist to capture a more modernized feel of Jack Kirby. Unfortunately, Rude didn't stick around and only did 50% of the book. Changes in artist were distracting to me. Joe Casey's script was good -- true to the feel of the early X-Men under Stan Lee/Jack Kirby. Steve Rude is a great artist to capture a more modernized feel of Jack Kirby. Unfortunately, Rude didn't stick around and only did 50% of the book. Changes in artist were distracting to me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    Leído en una noche del tirón. Una historia contada ya muchas veces pero aquí en extenso y con más originalidad. Tengo que decirlo: hay viñetas en las primeras historias que son una maravilla de ángulos y perspectiva.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    One of the best stand alone graphic novels. It deals with the origins of the X-Men, how they came to be the team we know. Great artwork, and a great story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    J.

    This book does a decent job of re-telling the origin of the first five without just re-telling it. So it fleshes out some scenes, fills in some others. Not really necessary, but decent enough.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Miguel

    It was okay. Good for the people who do nothing abou the x-men. And when i say nothing i mean nothing. Because its the beginning of the x-men.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Fugo Feedback

    Me gusta el guionista, me gusta el dibujante, y me gusta que esta edición traiga varios extras. Además me salió muy barato, así que supongo que todo eso le terminará jugando a favor.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vinícius Mussato

  26. 4 out of 5

    Relar.kvothe

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Espinoza

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rick

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristie Hagberg

  30. 4 out of 5

    Waterfall

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