Friday, May 31, 2013

X-MEN: CHILDREN OF THE ATOM #5 - August 2000

Where Your Children Are
Credits:  Joe Casey (writer), Essad Ribic (penciler), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Paul Mounts (colors), Comicraft (letters)

Summary:  Hank finally accepts Xavier’s offer to attend his school, joining Scott, Warren, and Bobby.  Later, Magneto meets Xavier in a bar, warning him of the upcoming war.  As the newly formed X-Men train in the Danger Room, Jean Grey is abducted from her home by Metzger’s agents.  Fred Duncan informs Xavier, who insists on rescuing her without the neophyte X-Men.  After he leaves, the team decides to go on their own rescue mission.

Continuity Notes:  Xavier’s conversation with Beast establishes that he grew up on a farm in Illinois, but doesn’t explain how he ended up in a New York high school.

I Love the '90s:  Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is parodied by a game show that focuses on the mutant issue.  (“Your next door neighbor is a mutant.  According to William Metzger, you should…A) Report him to the police…B) Move away…C) Exterminate him…D) Build a fence…”)

Review:  Five issues into the series and the X-Men have finally managed to put on a pair of black and gold tights.  Actually, I wasn’t expecting this to happen until issue six, so that’s a nice surprise.  Even if Steve Rude and Paul Smith are gone, I would probably have to label this issue the strongest so far.  Essad Ribic isn’t a bad replacement artist at all; in fact, his style is so compatible with Paul Smith’s, I wonder why he isn’t asked to fill in for him more often.  And in defiance of the previous issues, things are actually starting to happen now.  The villain is making his move, 4/5th of the X-Men have formed, and there’s a cliffhanger that might lead to more than just a conversation scene.  Plus, there are a few of the moments you probably want to see in an X-Men prequel series, such as Xavier and Magneto having a passive-aggressive chat, and the X-Men getting beaten up by the Danger Room for the first time.  Jean Grey also gets a nice scene with Metzger’s former follower that’s been cast out after his mutantcy emerged.  None of this is enough to change my overall opinion of the series, this is a book that had Beast kill someone as a part of his origin story in issue #2 and forgot about it until now, but at least it’s coming together as a more cohesive story.

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