After Morning Glories’ wildly entertaining and question-raising opening arc, Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma have slowed things down a bit. By spending time with individual characters these last two issues, we readers are able to catch our collective breath. This latest issue not only gives us a glimpse into just what makes Hunter tick, but also further develops the ongoing mysteries that make Morning Glories so damn interesting.
Morning Glories #8
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Joe Eisma
There are some mysteries where the less you know, the more intriguing the puzzle becomes. Like the opening season of Lost, Morning Glories is full of opportunity and promise when it comes to such a mystery. Six young students are recruited into an academy with some very dark secrets. Though there is something special about all the newly enrolled classmates, what that something is has been kept from us until now. Last issue we learned that Zoe, whose name isn’t really Zoe, has a bit of a mean streak, but is also apparently psychically gifted. Issue eight follows Hunter around, and though his talent isn’t quite as impressive as Zoe’s, there is clearly something more than meets the eye with this bright young man.
If the parallels to Lost weren’t obvious before these past two issues, once readers get a glimpse of the mysterious man in khaki (and a certain surprise guest in a another flashback), the similarities will become even more apparent. As Zoe’s savior, I thought him nothing more than a pawn of the MGA. A nameless man sent to do a task, and nothing more. His appearance in this issue though is more outright, as he encounters a young Hunter running home. It’s then that Hunter is given a watch at precisely 8:13 (I’m going to guess AM since it’s pretty bright out), and his inability to tell what time it is begins. You see, whenever he’s got an appointment to make, or a specific time to be somewhere, Hunter only sees the time as 8:13. I’m not certain that’s a special gift many of us would want. It seems more like a unique brand of torture. Then again, not a single piece of a puzzle is without a purpose, so it would seem that Hunter’s reason for being at the academy is still being held back from us.
As with Zoe’s story, Hunter’s raises a few more questions about the new surroundings the six starring characters find themselves in. Likewise, Hunter’s tale ends with the death of a few more random students. The phrase “All Will Be Free” makes another appearance, and Jun once again shows up in the nick of time. I like the intimate world that Spencer is building. The repetition of events, phrases, and even characters, all points to something. It’s a bit too early to tell what the big reveal is going to be (if there ever is one), but as long as the rest of the narrative is as tightly wound as these first eight issues, I’ll be very happy. Joe Eisma’s art is a good fit for the series, and he actually draws teenagers to look like teenagers. Sure, they’re all really good-looking, but they all still look like they’re burgeoning into adulthood, and aren’t stuck in some weird 90210 land. I agree with many of the sentiments I’ve seen online that Eisma’s linework shares a similar quality to that of Adrian Alphona. Both artists have an uncanny ability to render youth quite well, and I look forward to seeing Eisma’s sequentials grow with each passing issue.
I’m glad that these stand-alone issues are all still furthering the overall story, and I can’t wait to learn more about the rest of the six students over the next few months. Spencer and Eisma have their mystery cooking on a slow burn, and I can’t wait to unravel all the complexities and possibilities that are teeming forth from the pot. Morning Glories has established itself as not just one of Image’s best new titles, but one of the best new books of the past year. There’s still plenty of time to catch up, and I hope you all do. The book is quickly on its way to becoming a phenomenon, and it’s one you won’t want to miss.