Morning Glories #21 Review

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Oh Morning Glories.  You have become a one of those books that is great each month.  But occasionally we have issues like #21, where lots of information is thrown at the reader and we’re not sure what the hell just hit us.

Nick Spencer throws long time readers for a loop in this issue.  There are plenty of classic scenes referenced, and many of them are turned on their head.  It’s fun to see him reference these events, as it makes these few years of reading pay off.  But I pity the newbie reader trying to figure out what is going on.  Hell, I’m sure a few long time readers don’t know what is going on.  The similarities to the original team of students is a fun parallel, and it will lead to some fun encounters in the future.  Spencer quickly establishes the voice of each character, giving the reader a basic understanding of who they are.  We don’t know much, but enough to understand their actions.  The other school that they attended is still ambiguous, which I call a fault.  In LOST, we knew a little bit about The Others, which made us fear them that much more.

Spencer has tweeted that #25 is going to be called “Season Two,” which means this current arc is going to go out with a bang.  Spencer is leading up towards all sorts of big reveals, but this issue is slightly worse because of it.  This is the problem with this series. It’s still one of the most ambitious books on the stands, but it needs time to be great.  Much like Invincible Iron Man, you need to read the entire arc to get a clear understanding of what is going on.  And since trades come out twice a year, the single issue reader can feel a little cheated.  I have always compared this series to LOST, as it’s the only thing in any media that Morning Glories reminds me of.  LOST had a few episodes like this.  Where big revelations made us rethink thing we had seen that season, but it didn’t answer any questions.  These episodes can be frustrating in the short-term, but help the big long-term payoffs.

Joe Eisma’s pencils have improved drastically over the course of the last few years.  His great work on facial features continues with this plethora of new characters.  While a few of the characters have similar body shapes, he gives them enough differences that the reader can quickly tell who they are.  Eisma is one of the few pencilers who is best suited for quieter issues.  With this entire issue being talking heads, Eisma is in comfort zone.  The look he gives Irina near the end is a great work of subtlety.  The reader can’t tell what  Irina is feeling, making her next few lines that much more surprising.

Morning Glories is one of those hard books to review.  The reviewer doesn’t want to give the plot away, but that is a big part of this job.  Bottom line, old fans will like this book, and new fans will want to catch up as soon as possible.

Morning Glories #21 gets 3.5/5.

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