Review: Morning Glories vol. 1

Written by: Nick Spencer
Art by: Joe Eisma
Covers by: Rodin Esquejo
Colors by: Alex Sollazzo

This is what you would get if you combined Lost with The Breakfast Club.

Morning Glories had been recommended to me a couple of times, but I kept putting it off because of the already giant pile of books I need to read. However, Brendon – my boyfriend and fellow Geekin’ Out host – forced the book into my hands and the cover art alone made it jump to the top of my to-read list. This book is so pretty.

Right from the first few pages the story captivated my curiosity by diving right into the strangeness behind Morning Glory academy. The audience discovers immediately that the school is bad news and chalk full of mystery with no false pretense, which makes the introduction of the ensemble cast much more intriguing. I immediately began questioning why the school wanted this particular mish-mash of teens and felt apprehensive about their situation. I knew these kids were walking into a terrifying trap, and like watching a horror movie, no matter how much you yell at the screen you can’t do anything to stop it.

You feel for these kids – well, some of them.

Morning Glories - CaseyThe leader of the pack is Casey; a smart, goody-two-shoes type with an unbridled sense of nobility. She’s introduced as one of the few genuinely excited about attending the academy and is the first to discover the dark truth behind it. Because she is the strongest she loses the most which makes her continual drive to rescue her friends much more powerful. I just hope that in the next volume we get to see some cracks in her seemingly perfect facade.

Morning Glories - HunterHunter is the most endearing character in the group. He’s not strong or charismatic, but his big heart makes him want to help his friends to the best of his ability. He showcases bravery and smarts when the situation calls for it, but mostly I love him because he’s a giant geek who makes reference to Star Wars, Grant Morrison and Blade Runner. I can’t wait to see how this character develops and I’m certain he’s the one most readers will relate to.

Morning Glories - JunMystery surrounds the character of Jun. Unlike the all the others his life before the academy is not shown leaving you with questions about his past. All you do know is that he has some fairly mad karate skills and he’s portrayed as heroic. I’m looking forward to finding out more about this character and if it’s a coincidence his character design looks like a younger version of the villainous Mr. Gibbs (father-son perhaps?!)

Morning Glories - IkeIke is a rich, bored, troublemaker who’s only looking out for himself and I have a love/ hate relationship with him. I love him because he provides necessary juxtaposition against the other characters and because he acts as the devil’s advocate. I hate him because he’s a giant douche. He’s a frustrating character, but in that good storytelling kinda way. I’m curious to find out if he will become a full on villain or if he’ll eventually try to be redeemed.

Morning Glories - ZoeWhen Zoe is introduced you write her off as the 2 dimensional Paris Hilton-eque girl nobody actually liked, but everyone wanted to be in High School. And for most of the book that’s exactly what she is. It isn’t until close to the end when she discovers the odd spinning funnel thing that she finally becomes interesting. And her encounter in this room makes my head swim with questions about her past and other… stuff… oh, it’s so good!

Morning Glories - JadeJade is the character I cared the least for. She’s an overly emotional, irritating character that I didn’t sympathize with at all. Part of the problem was her absence in the latter half of the book so unlike the rest of the characters you don’t get to know her. The best part about Jade’s storyline was the creepy nurse that wanted to “crack her skull open”. Oh, and I guess the creepy writing on the wall scene that is essential to the storyline.

Because this is the first volume in an ongoing series, don’t expect this book to provide any answers, it’ll just get you started asking questions. If you’re like me and enjoy an original(ish) story with great character development and some of the creepiest villains I suggest hitting your local comic store right now and picking it up. Morning Glories does not disappoint.

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