The Social Event of the Season: Morning Glories, Issue Forty-Seven

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MORNING GLORIES #47 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: JOE EISMA WRITER: NICK SPENCER
COLORIST: PAUL LITTLE LETTERER: JOHNNY LOWE
COVER ART: RODIN ESQUEJO DESIGN: TIM DANIEL

Real talk, fellow former high schoolers: did you ever go to any killer parties? I sure didn’t, so the setting of most of Morning Glories #47 is a bit foreign to me, and I can’t confirm whether or not the idea of rockin’ dance parties in secret places is legitimate. Fiction tells us it is, though, and Morning Glories has had so much fun doing its own spins on high school cliches (especially this season) that there’s no way the book would have gone on without one. Of course, this isn’t just a party- we’re nearing the end of Season Two, and that means we need to cover our bases.

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Time and Space: Morning Glories, Issue Forty-Six

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MORNING GLORIES #46 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: JOE EISMA WRITER: NICK SPENCER
COLORIST: PAUL LITTLE LETTERER: JOHNNY LOWE
COVER ART: RODIN ESQUEJO DESIGN: TIM DANIEL

You can’t say Morning Glories doesn’t have scope. It’s a book with so many wheels spinning that this month’s central character hasn’t appeared in an issue for nearly two years, and it brings her back with maybe the most explicit confirmation the book has ever given about how vast it wants its world to be. There’s not much bigger you can get than implying your main cast consists of literal gods- and much of Morning Glories’ plot has revolved around the fact that few of its characters can fully comprehend such a massive idea. Irina and Mr. N, on the other hand, certainly can, and that awareness allows this issue to break a lot more ground than most.

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“They never wanna come back to us.”: Morning Glories, Issue Forty-Five

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MORNING GLORIES #45 IMAGE COMICS
ARTIST: JOE EISMA WRITER: NICK SPENCER
COLORIST: PAUL LITTLE LETTERER: JOHNNY LOWE
COVER ART: RODIN ESQUEJO DESIGN: TIM DANIEL

(Spoilers for both this and up to season four of LOST in here, immediately, in the next two sentences) 

While I hate to jump on the LOST comparisons before anything else when it comes to Morning Glories, someone I know who’s watching the show for the first time recently got to the episode “Ji Yeon“. While the infamous “We have to go back, Kate!” scene at the end of the third season may be LOST‘s most infamous example of turning its flashback format on its head, discussion of “Ji Yeon” reminded me that its goals are inherently similar, but it’s a much more personal affair. The episode is set up to make the viewer think scenes with the couple Jin and Sun shown separately are both flash-forwards, and that the only reason they’re apart is because Jin is trying to get a gift for their soon to be born child- but in a cruel twist, it’s revealed the scenes with Jin were all flashbacks, and in the future, Sun is a new single mother who believes her husband dead.

Comparing that episode to this week’s Morning Glories may initially seem a bit of a stretch, but it serves a similar purpose. “Ji Yeon” wasn’t meant to break your brain like Jack screaming in that parking lot did, but it was still a revelation, though a more character-based one, explaining the actions of a character rather than a major facet of the series. The death and subsequent revival of Jade’s mom has been used similarly. It’s been three years since #17 opened with the accident and implied Jade turned to veganism and arson as a method of coping, but it wasn’t until now that we’ve learned the true reason behind Jade’s strange behavior, and the real way her mother passed on.

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“Believing takes practice.”: Morning Glories, Issue Forty-Four

UntitledIt’s truly bizarre that A Wrinkle In Time has become a classic. If summarized, the book comes off as a complete mess- filled to the brim with Christian themes, obscure physics references and capped off with a moral statement about the all-encompassing power of love. While those things certainly make it a weird book to approach, they also make it a very appropriate thing to come up in Morning Glories, which has long shared its love of biblical references and scientific lingo. Love doesn’t come up that much in a book so full of violence and death as this is, but this month’s issue is definitely powered on it, focusing on Ellen Richmond and her relationship with her daughter.

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“Did you get the answers you were looking for?”: Morning Glories, Issue Forty-Three

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I hear Morning Glories described more often than not as one of those stories where “all answers just lead to more questions.” I can’t say that isn’t true, but I don’t think it’s the best way to describe the way it treats its mysteries. Despite how complicated it seems, Morning Glories answers questions all the time- it just likes to answer smaller questions much more than it likes to answer bigger ones. This month’s installment is obsessed in this regard. It’s full to the brim with answers, referring from everything to what’s behind that strange company Wow-Mo to who that old dude with the fedora was when Ike had a breakdown nearly twenty issues ago. No, it’s not the answer to who the Headmaster is or what exactly Morning Glory Academy is, but the book knows that well. After all, the concept of finding answers is just as prevalent in this issue, and in the minds of Morning Glories’s cast, as the answers are in this issue itself.

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“Where is she?!!”, Act Two: Morning Glories, Issue 42

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(Spoilers!) 

In many ways, Morning Glories #42 functions a bit like a reward. For anyone who’s read the book thus far, it’s often been a bit hard to juggle every single plotline, especially when the decision is made to usually focus on one per issue. That’s not a bad choice, far from it; in fact, the book’s high quality of storytelling would probably suffer otherwise. But it may be hard for someone reading the book month-by-month to handle, especially if they read it casually. That’s where this issue shines: it not only touches on most of the book’s biggest stories (even if briefly), but it throws it a multitude of references to earlier parts of the series, creating what one could call an extended “thank you for reading, here’s lots of nice things”.

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