It has been described as “Runaways (a comic) meets Lost.” On the surface, “Morning Glories” looks like it came straight out of the young adult book section, ABC Family or CW. This might have deterred some avid comic readers to ignore the title, but surprisingly, when they read it, minds are changed. Scenes are violent and graphic. The plot is engaging.
“Morning Glories” is the brain-child of writer Nick Spencer, creator of Marvel’s Iron Man 2.0 and DC’s Action Comics. The series debuted in August 2010 on Image Comics, and focuses on six brilliant but troubled new scholarship recruits at Morning Glory Academy, a prestigious prep school hiding sinister and deadly secrets. On their first day, they soon find their parents have forgotten them, their roommate is out to kill them and the teachers try to drown them. Each of the six main characters switch within the role of narrator and they each have a storied history. There are no polar bears or Locke sightings, yet.
To me, “Morning Glories” seems a bit of The Breakfast Club meets “Pretty Little Liars,” but a lot more dark. This isn’t a comic to give to your daughter before reviewing it (but who am I to judge, with the stuff on TV nowadays.) The pacing seems on par with these two comparisons, which is difficult and slow in the comic world, but recent releases have picked up the story a little, finding its footing.
The art comes from self-taught Joe Eisma, who is sometimes criticized for his simplistic style for the comic. However, the characters “act” on the page, and you can understand their actions if the word bubbles were removed, though you might know the true evil behind some of the players. The art really pushes the comic along when the plot seems dry, which is a saving grace for the series.
If you haven’t tried “Morning Glories” yet, it is something to get into soon, and ask for the first collection for the holidays to catch up.
Comic Book Wednesday is a new feature that will showcase a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.