Morning Glories – First Arc #1-6
I’ve never seen an episode of Lost from start to finish, but I have heard an awful lot about it. For some people it was an addiction, others it was a pastime, and others still it was a guilty pleasure. Another common vein I hear when people talk about Lost is how damn confusing it was. I’ve never seen an episode, keep in mind, so this is just hearsay. But I think, in a way, Morning Glories is much like all of those things. It’s the confusing guilty pleasure of comic books if there can be such a thing. It’s a teenage soap-opera with a bit of psychological thriller and confusing-intrigue thrown into every issue. More than enough to keep you interested, but not quite the amount where you turn away fed-up.
The story revolves around Morning Glory, a highly lauded prep-school, where the six sixteen-year-old main characters end up, whether willingly or sent by their parents. Now I have to digress here for a moment to explain the confusing factor. In the opening pages, all these kids and their parents are fully aware of the school and how prestigious it is, but very shortly thereafter, in the same issue mind you, it becomes an off-the-grid place that is untraceable. See what I mean? Anyhow. These six students are about as by-the-book as they come for a ‘diverse’ group. Aside from all being extremely intelligent, there are the male and female anchors, who are the ‘leaders’; the male brat; the female socialite; the male foreign muscle; the female insecure one. And while that isn’t all that original, they are all written well and cleverly. Dialogue is what is key in books like these.
The arc revolves around the students quickly discovering that this school is not what it’s made out to be, and there are definitely some mysterious, and extremely deadly motives at play by the part of the (also very stereotypical) ‘Dean’. As the issues continue, alliances are made, attempts at escape, detention, and so forth. What makes it so typical of a guilty-pleasure style of television soap-opera is that for every question that gets answered, at least three or four new ones pop up. This is definitely a good tactic to keep readers guessing, but more often than not it left me agonizingly frustrated instead of excitingly intrigued.
To sum it up in one sentence: so what happens next? Sure it may not be the greatest concept with the most enthralling batch of characters, but Nick Spencer has obviously done his job. I enjoy it enough to want to know what’s around the corner. That being said, it certainly won’t take a whole lot to steer away my interest; the scene with the cryptic writing on the wall nearly did that for me. But if he manages to start answering questions with at least half the frequency that he presents new ones, this could end up being an intriguing “guilty pleasure comic” to follow.