Morning Glories is one of the most interesting new series I’ve happened upon in a while. For the uninitiated, Morning Glories is the story of several gifted but troubled students who have been sent to the private Morning Glories Academy, which turns out to be way more than they bargained for. Secrets, lies, mental manipulation, violence, death, murder, and that’s all in the first seven issues.
Issue #8 is the second in what seems like a series showcasing an individual child. This time it’s Hunter, the nerdy kid that most folks reading comic books will identify with. As with everything centered on Morning Glories, this issue raises more questions than it answers. It’s well written and, as always, gripping, but you’re no smarter coming out than going in.
Issue 8 opens with Hunter and Casey studying. Casey is the beautiful and whip smart self-appointed “leader” of the seven students who Hunter obviously has a thing for. After a few uncomfortable moments Hunter blurts out a date request, which is met with the usual “Um, I’m flattered but…” line from Casey. Then, in an interesting twist, Casey reverses he decision and accepts s the invitation from Hunter.
Thus far Morning Glories writer Nick Spencer has done an excellent job of walking the line between comic book fantasy and the normal patter of adolescents. Spencer’s kids sound like teenagers, surly but without over using dated lingo, completely pissed off and confrontational in order to hide feelings of inadequacy. The exchange between Hunter and Casey is not only real it’s touching.
Naturally the date gets screwed up, we all saw that coming, but the sequence of events leading up to the date is pretty original. Hunter bumps into an older kid who seems like a sweetheart, until later when him and his crony attempt to beat the crap out of Hunter. Enter the big surprise, the twist, and the unexpected thing that jolts the reader to attention. I actually would have preferred it if issue 8 ended with the first twist, but instead it opts for a more over the top ending. I understand that’s what sells Morning Glories comics, the violence, but after eight issues I worry that this might become the comic book version of
Take the subplot involving Hunter’s past. Apparently whenever Hunter has something important to get to any clock he sees only reads 8:15. It has something to do with a watch he was given at 8:15 when he was young, but that’s all we really get. Instead of an answer we get a doctor visit where brain specialist makes an “Oh My God” discovery while looking at Hunter’s X-rays, a discovery she’s told to ignore by a man who appears suddenly with a gun to the doctor’s head. Clearly this is something big but we just get more questions.
Thus far, in all eight issues, nothing has really been established that you can bite into. The relationships are flimsy, the school’s goal is shrouded in so much mystery that it’s almost unrealistic and the constant twists and turns are hard to deal with because nothing has been established as common ground. I would hate for Morning Glories to become something that’s weird for weird sake. Only eight issues in, it’s hard to get too worried about it but the recipe for disaster is there.
The art from Joe Eisma is decent enough, nothing to really go insane about. It’s a lot of bold lines, and flat spaces. There’s not much expression to the faces but it gets across what it needs to. Thus far I’m really enjoying Morning Glories, and I enjoyed #8 very much. That being said, I worry about the future for the most fucked up academy in history.