Whatever you do, do not start reading Morning Glories with this issue! If you do, you will be scratching your head wondering what on earth is going on. On second thought, I’ve been reading this series since the beginning, and I’m still scratching my head. But that’s the point of Nick Spencer’s uber-mysterious and highly convoluted tale. But I’m sounding like I didn’t like this issue, when in fact, I really did.
What you have to understand about Morning Glories is that mystery is what it’s all about. From the scratches on the walls that coax us with the words “The hour of our release draws near,” which have appeared throughout the first ten issues, to the crazy teachers who encourage the kids to commit suicide, Spencer’s ideas range from the sublime to the morbid. But that’s the mystique of this title and it’s what keeps me buying it with each issue.
The issues of this current arc have focused on each individual character, and have given us a glimpse at what makes them tick or have peered into their past to shed light on where they’ve come from. Last issue’s reveal about the character of Jun was a tough act to follow. Jade’s perspective is not quite as riveting as that, but it does progress the story along quite nicely. Spencer does a fantastic job of revealing small parts of the overall puzzle, while dangling more carrots in front of the reader to surmise what’s going to happen next. Also, Spencer likes to shock us with things in this book, and there is quite a shocker that happens in this issue. I don’t want to spoil anything, for sure, but I’ll hint that Spencer certainly leaves us “hanging” in regards to what happens with Jade.
I have firmly settled into Joe Eisma’s art. His background work, which I have been critical of before, looks excellent in this issue. His details get stronger with every panel he draws. Alex Sollazzo’s colors look richer than I remember in previous issues. I am more comfortable than ever with this team of artists, and am hoping that they stick around, whereas I have not always felt that way.
If you don’t like the kind of long-plan mystery type of story that you might find in shows like Lost or the latest seasons of Doctor Who, then Morning Glories may not be for you. But if you enjoy a layered tale that keeps you guessing with wonderfully-crafted and dynamic characters, then go back, pick up the first nine issues, and see what I’m talking about.
You may be scratching your head, but sometimes that feels really good.