Comic Corner: Morning Glories Issue 1 Review, Part 1

Issue 2, alternate cover

Issue 1, alternate cover

I came to Morning Glories (MG) a bit late. But I loved every issue I read. So I wanted to spend a little more time on the series, and what better way to do so than to review each issue. Starting with number 1.

Issue 1 of MG does a lot of things right. It sets the atmosphere of the story as well as the setting. Then it develops the type of dialogue, humour, and action that we can expect going forwards. Then it punches you in the guy. Spoilers and analysis after the break.

Note: Because this issue is ridiculously long, I’m splitting this post into two. Find part two here.

The first panel, which nobody but the writers understand, is something I can’t really judge right now. I can only assume it’s something we’ll come back to late in the series, or even at the end, to come full circle. The first little story of the issue, where the chalkboard explodes (!), is one of my favourite parts of the issue. I want to highlight the important parts of this mini-story before moving on to the meet-and-greets of our new heroes.

  • The “For a Better Future” sign at the back of the classroom lets us know that this school is connected to whatever is going on in the first panel.
  • Only one kid in the class is trying to escape after the explosion. She’s this class’s Casey. The rest of the students are just background—not everyone in this school is going to be a rebel.
  • Miss Daramount is well-versed in shenanigans. She regains her composure too fast for a normal teacher, and the security guards are made to look more ominous than your typical school security guards should look. (Both in terms of expression and how they’re holding the girl.)
  • The students’ plan is multi-pronged, and we don’t know the whole plan from the get-go. (Minor SPOILER for upcoming issues: this multi-step escape plot foreshadows the plan to save Jade, where we also don’t find out the full plan until after it’s successfully executed.)
  • Monsters, spinning whirry doodads, gore, mystery, explosions.

So now we know what the series will be like. Unlike a lot of TV pilots that were not very good, and then the series picked up later, Morning Glories knows what it wants to be from the start. It’s no Cougar Town, basically. We’re not going to be abandoning the entire plot and starting from scratch anytime soon.

This Year’s New Arrivals

The few pages/panels we spend with each character are straightforward in purpose: let the audience get to know a bit about each character and where they come from.

Casey:  With what happens to Casey’s parents later in the issue, it’s no surprise we focus on them here. She’s smart, driven, decisive, and her parents really love her. Not much else here.

Casey's introduction

Casey’s introduction

Ike: Ike doesn’t like his family. He’s a smartass. He’s a joker. The comic, jokey aspect of his personality comes through from his dialogue as well as the images. The same four panels, essentially, over two pages, with the butler standing comically in the middle, not moving, makes the scene surreal. Compared with the very sentimental introduction we got to Casey, the comedy and weirdness of Ike’s introduction takes centre stage.

Zoe: She manipulates guys. We don’t even see her interact with another girl, which foreshadows slightly the rocky relationship she’ll have with Casey. And she has fun messing with people. Again, Zoe’s introduction is the complete opposite of what came before. Each panel is a different image, and the first five even have five different guys in them. Clearly paralleling the staticness of Ike’s introductory panels, setting them apart as characters. Also, no reference to academics, an idea that played a bigger role in Casey’s intro.

Hunter: Hunter is very much the emotional centre of the series. He reminds me a bit of Xander from Buffy. In love with the heroine of the show. Comes from a broken home. Awkward. Sweet. He’s the only one who comes across as a thoroughly good person in his intro. Casey is a close second, but the eagerness to get away from her parents shows her as more overzealous than through-and-through good. (Chaotic good?)

Hunter's a nice guy

Hunter’s a nice guy

Jade: As much as I want to compare Jade to Willow from Buffy just for completion’s sake, it doesn’t really work here. Jade’s a total outcast, from her family and her atmosphere both at home and later at school. And she’s sad. Much sadder than Hunter, who has a rough situation, but is clearly trying to put on a happy air. We don’t even get Jade’s voice—just her writing. How much more helpless can you paint a character in her introduction than to straight up not let her talk?

Jun: Jun is a mystery. He anagrams his name. We have no idea why. He asks how long the driver has worked for the academy. We have no idea why. He seems to be questioning the rules of the academy, asking about what he’s allowed to bring, and the procedure about his family, etc. It sets him up as a cipher, to us and to the other characters. His opaqueness plays a significant role in a few stories down the road (SPOILERS: his role in the plan to save Jade and the reveals about his past, that everything we assumed about him before that issue are wrong, or at least sort-of wrong). It’s important that we ascribe the trait of mysteriousness to him, because that aspect is used to complicate and drive later stories, just like the traits we see in the other characters’ introductions serve as a benchmark of how they’ll act.

This seems like a natural break point for this review. I’ll pick it back up as the characters wake up from their limo rides, meet each other, and learn what they’re up against.

One Response to “Comic Corner: Morning Glories Issue 1 Review, Part 1”
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  1. […] ended my review of part 1 with our heroes being drugged on the way to Morning Glory Academy (MGA). So let’s pick up, […]

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