Update: A Marvel Comics representative has confirmed to Newsarama that the digital comiXology version of Children of the Atom #1 has been updated to reflect the contents of the print version. The version previously available on comiXology differed slightly from the print version in terms of the lettering and at least one page of art.
Marvel has offered no explanation behind the apparent error, though it seems an older version of the comic's contents was inadvertently added to comiXology as opposed to the final, updated version, which was correctly printed.
It's common for comic books to undergo edits between the first draft and the actual print run, especially when there are long delays as in the case of Children of the Atom, which was put on hold for nearly a year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
As for the contents of Children of the Atom #1, the story contains a major surprise about the characters who make up the nascent mutant team.
Original story follows:
Readers of this week's long-awaited new X-Men title Children of the Atom #1 may find themselves surprised not just by the reveal of the team's true nature, but also by the actual content of their copy of the book.
In a rare (and odd) situation, it seems there are marked differences between the print and comiXology digital versions of Children of the Atom #1. Though the story's overall content remains the same, with the characters still receiving the same introductions and apparent origins, the print and digital versions of the issue have small differences in their dialogue, word balloon placement, and in some cases, the art, with at least one major difference between the two versions.
Most of the changes are subtle – removing or adding words from word balloons, or moving the position of word balloons and text boxes between panels and pages. However, the issue's final page features totally different art, a fully redrawn splash-page from series artist Bernard Chang.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two pages, with the print version on the left, and the comiXology version on the right (beware of mild spoilers, if you haven't read the issue):
Both versions of the page depict the same scene – the five heroes of Children of the Atom attempting to traverse a Krakoa Gate – but from completely different angles, with somewhat different emotional contexts.
The unannounced difference between the print and digital versions remains unexplained by Marvel, who as of publication has not responded to Newsarama's request for comment.
Children of the Atom #1 was originally scheduled for release all the way back in April 2020 before COVID-19 cause shutdowns across the comic book industry, which delayed the title's release (along with many other comics, some of which are still awaiting new release dates). Children of the Atom #1 was then scheduled to launch earlier this year but was delayed briefly until its actual March 9 release.
It's possible that the latest delay was caused by the changes to the issue, with some copies having already been printed with the previous, altered version of the art and lettering. The physical copy obtained by Newsarama, which differs from the digital comiXology version, displays a February, 2021 printing date in its indicia.
Children of the Atom #2 is due out April 14.
Stay on top of all Marvel's planned X-Men comic book releases for 2021 and beyond with our definitive listing.