Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Joe Eisma
The comparisons between ABC Television Series Lost and Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma’s prep-school-with-a-twist comic book series Morning Glories seem, at first glance, to be fairly well founded. Volume one covers the first six issues of the series, and does a commendable job of hurling what could be seen as an unrelenting onslaught of characters and plot threads at the reader while still managing to keep it interesting. However, the only thing that is being particularly well established at this point is the ‘smaller picture’ stuff (who the kids are, what they are doing right now, the immediate threats they are facing), leaving the ‘bigger picture’ details (basically everything else) open to speculation and guesswork.
The six main characters are all fairly well established and defined, and by the end of the sixth issue I felt that I had a pretty good grasp of each of their individual personalities and unique traits. The teachers are a little less well rounded, serving only as a catalyst to push the story forward at this point, although there’s some definite potential for character development in the future.
The trouble with series’ like this is that it’s difficult to judge the overall story simply by reading the first six issues. Yes, it’s an interesting premise and yes, Nick Spencer does a great job of writing realistic dialogue and creating compelling situations. But, as with Lost, a lot of the impact of the writing will only be fully appreciated once we can look back at the series as a whole. Thankfully though, Spencer is dropping enough breadcrumbs and teases of things to come to make the journey an extremely enjoyable – if initially a little confusing – one.
Joe Eisma brings a crisp, distinctive and highly polished artistic style to the title, and managed to hold my interest in a comic book where the bulk of the panels involve sixteen year olds talking to one another, which is most definitely something to be commended. His frame layout is creative when it needs to be, and his work absolutely excels when it comes to the sudden, often shocking scenes of brutal violence that crop up when we’re least expecting them.
As I’ve said, it’s difficult to judge this series fairly without knowing where it’s going, but with a clearly defined ending in mind (Spencer has confirmed that the title will run for 100 issues, and will be broken down into four 25-issue “seasons”) and so much interesting material being brought up already, it’s difficult not to get sucked into this creative and intriguing world Spencer and Eisma have created.
I devoured the entire book in one sitting, eager to see where each development would lead next, but I can honestly say that after six issues I’m still none the wiser about pretty much anything. That said, when a comic is this well written, this well illustrated and this damn addictive, it’s difficult not to recommend it.
Well worth a look to anyone who loves a good mystery. But don’t go looking for answers just yet.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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