REVIEW: ‘Morning Glories’ #40

(Image Comics, 2014)

Written by Nick Spencer
Artwork by Joe Eisma
Color Artwork by Paul Little
Lettering by Johnny Lowe

Summary: Morning Glories is about a group of students who get shipped off to a school where things are not as they seem. And the more they learn, the more they must survive to keep a hold of their own sanity or lose everything precious to them.

Review: What is reality? What is Morning Glories? What is Nick Spencer? I don’t think I really know anymore. See, I dropped MG way back in issue #16 because I was frustrated with how little was getting answered with more and more questions thrown against the wall every. Single. Issue. But with issue #40, I decided to drop back in and check on how things were doing and if anything was not a bit easier to understand.

That was probably a little too much to ask for.

While – and let me be clear about this – this wasn’t a bad issue, and none of what I read have been “bad issues” there just wasn’t any real meat here to hold on and keep me dragging back for more. In the beginning the questions were a charm, as it continued they became an annoyance, and now, with MG “Season 2” underway, it’s just really more of a pain.

This issue focuses most of its page space on a single conversation between a professor and his class in contemplating the idea of reality. How do we perceive it? And how do we shape it? It’s a very interesting conversation focusing on many different theorems and ideas. From Bohr to Planck, and the Multiverse theory. It’s actually quite captivating to read. But… what does it add to the story? Will we ever really know WHY it was included into the story? This is my frustration with Morning Glories and the yarn that Spencer has been spinning for the last 40 issues.

I can’t guarantee we will.

The other side of the issue focuses on a new kid that wasn’t in the series when I last read it, he’s not new to the series but he’s new to me. Ian Simon is his name. And also of note, I noticed, was that there was only one character from the original 6 that was in this issue. The red-haired kid; I forget his name. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s good to see the cast has shifted around a bit. I like that.

Morning Glories just feels like a series that is building to something that won’t be a worthy payoff to all the questions upon questions building in each issue. And last thing we needed in issue #40 was more questions to go on top of them. Sure, some of the questions I had in the first 16 issues have surely been answered by now, right? I don’t want to sound cranky because things are different after I’ve missed so much of this comic already. No, no, I don’t want to sound like that.

Some of the information I gathered from a discussion forum that was in the back in the issue pretty much confirmed for me that in fact no, most of the questions I had probably haven’t been answered. And most of them, I bet, are still up in the air. I have thought about giving MG another try in trades, but at this point, I’d rather just wait till the series is over before doing that. I want to know there is an ending in sight, instead of it feeling like each issue is just stalling for time until the next question can be thrown against the wall in order to see what sticks.

I will say though, Morning Glories has impeccable art. I love more or less every cover of the series, and when I do pick up an issue I just praise how beautiful it looks. Eisma does a wonderful job at the character designs and atmosphere of the school. Each person is/looks different, I can tell them apart and that’s a great thing. I kind of wish MG was more an action piece, because I’ve seen Eisma do action in this comic and when he does I love it even more.

Whatever Morning Glories is – my reality of it, my take away of it is that there could be so much more here (and I truly hope there is) but several issues later and it still feels like there isn’t. Whatever you’re leading to Spencer, I hope it’s good.  I hope it’s damn good. I hope it makes me want to go back and re-read your series from start to finish in a mindless binge. Because I’m so damn interested by what you have to say, and yet I just can’t stay interested on an issue-by-issue basis. And that’s… just not good.

Final Score: 2.5 Quantum Physics Theories out of 5


DERRICK-image

Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.

You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net

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