Marvel’s solicitations for April 2020 are days away, which means they’re working hard this week to announce everything ahead of time. Today it’s another new X-Men book, though this one has an interesting twist to it. Children of the Atom is a new ongoing series written by Vita Ayala and illustrated by Bernard Chang. The series will introduce a new team of characters to the Marvel Universe—characters who will allegedly be sidekicks to the original X-Men.
No information about the new characters was revealed beyond an image by Powers of X artists R.B. Silva & Jesus Aburtov. The image features a group of young heroes with apparent connections to Angel, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, and Gambit.
Additionally, Marvel has released a motion version of the image, which alternates between the new characters and their X-Men mentors (I hope they’re referred to as ‘X-Mentors’ in the book).
In the announcement for the series, Ayala described how the series came to be, and what drew them to want to work on it:
“The initial seed of the idea actually came from [Editor] Chris Robinson: What if the X-Men had sidekicks?” explains Ayala. “MY take on it became, what would actual kids from our current time be like, if they were X-Men sidekicks? What would Gen Z X-Men be like?”
“What makes the new cast special to me is that they are reflective of a lot of people I know who look up to what the X-Men stand for, and have taken it upon themselves to further those ideals. These kids are exactly the kids who, in real life, have posters of Storm and Wolverine in their rooms, who grew up seeing them as heroes and want to live up to that.”
Ayala was teased as a creator for one of the new X-books all the way back at SDCC, along with Leah Williams, whose X-Factor series was announced earlier this week. Ed Brisson was also mentioned back at SDCC as getting a series in the second wave of ‘Dawn of X’ titles, so keep an eye out for that announcement at some point assuming it’s still going forward.
Children of the Atom is the latest addition to the ever-growing line-up of X-Men titles coming in April from Marvel. The Jonathan Hickman-led relaunch of the line was a huge success, and it makes sense that Marvel would want to capitalize on that, but one wonders just how many X-titles the publisher is willing to put out before the whole thing collapses under its own weight.
Children of the Atom #1 is due out in April.