Oh god, what do I say about a comic that literally grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let you go… This is an incredible series and in 2011 at Wizard World Comic Con Philly I was lucky enough to pick up the first of two deluxe editions of the series written by Nick Spencer and drawn by Joe Eisma, with cover art by Rodin Esquejo. By his own admission, Spencer said Morning Glories is “Runaways meets Lost,” and I couldn’t agree more.
We begin by meeting six new students to the famed Morning Glory Academy, all different in their own ways, all with their own seemingly strange, sad pasts. Casey, Hunter, Jade, Jun, Zoe and Ike know nothing of the danger they are entering when they arrive at the school, which seems at first to be just another first rate private school. They quickly learn however, that nothing is as it seems at Morning Glory Academy, Casey perhaps worst of all. Their ragtag little team sees constant action from teachers and students alike trying to wear them down to some unknown end, and the horrors don’t stop there. All these kids are brilliant and through the first story arc, For A Better Future, we see them grow closer as a group towards the common cause of saving Jade from both the faculty and herself. Casey emerges as a leader, though she distances herself from the group emotionally by hiding a tragic event and keeps everyone at arms length. In the second story arc, All Will Be Free, each character has the focus of the story for one issue, and we jump from past to present in order to more clearly understand the purpose and motive behind each person. Still we’re left in the dark, wondering about certain things, hoping that by the end there will be some kind of grand reveal that will pull everything and everyone together. We’re left hanging at the end of issue 12, wondering if a newly introduced guidance counselor Miss Hodge is really friend or foe, like everyone else.
This series has enough gore for the horror lovers and enough suspense for the thriller/mystery crowd. I think there’s something for everyone in Morning Glories and it certainly keeps you guessing until the end. I loved how I never knew what was around the next corner, never knowing what to expect or from who. People we think can be trusted prove themselves otherwise and the suspense grows constantly and exponentially, as Spencer gives us little tidbits of the past, present, and future to work with. It’s clear from the very beginning that Nick Spencer had this whole thing very well planned out when they started Morning Glories and it really works in the series’ favor, keeping it tight and concise while leaving us wondering, but ultimately knowing that things will be revealed all in good time. The cover art work by Rodin Esquejo is exquisite and Joe Eisma really makes these characters come alive on every page of the series. I absolutely cannot say enough good things about Morning Glories and it’s a series I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys reading comics.
(I have read the whole series, and own volume two of the deluxe editions, however in the spirit of reviewing only what I have read in the above mentioned book, as I do with any other review, not all story arcs for Morning Glories were discussed. I encourage you to read the entire series, and to keep an eye on my blog for a review of the second volume in the coming days.)