Comic Corner: Morning Glories, Issue 3 Review

The hour of our release…

Morning Glories has a habit of following up a cliffhanger with something so wild that you don’t even remember what the cliffhanger was. Think about how other forms of media return after a “to be continued.” Most pick up the story right where it left off, and finish that plot fairly quickly. Consider many of the episodes of Alias season one (some of which I reviewed here). Significant cliffhangers involving lots of explosives are solved in the first few minutes of the next episode. This happens with comics too—the cliffhanger gets resolved in the next issue. That’s just how we expect “to be continued” to work.

Spoilers and more after the break.

Morning Glories issue 3, however, follows the cliffhanger about Jun having a gun pointed at his head with “1490.” That’s the first text you see. It doesn’t necessarily register how nuts this is your first time through. I read pretty fast, especially comics, so I just see it and keep going, ready to see the story. But in the context of a serialized comic like MG, a flashback to 1490 is fucking ballsy.

We saw similar-looking bricks in issue 2, when Ike and Hunter ran into the men in robes. So maybe they’re in the academy, but otherwise, we have no idea who these people are. Like some other elements in the first few issues (the prologue, the ghost guy), it’s designed to show us how deep the rabbit hole is. Point being: it’s deep.

The plot of this issue is pretty brief. It’s all about setting up the connection between the past and the present, something that plays a huge part in the series, though it just doesn’t make any sense in this issue. I would have liked this issue a lot less if I didn’t immediately read 13 more issues right after. First off, the previous issue’s cliffhanger isn’t even addressed, let alone solved. (Ballsy.) The plot doesn’t move forward much; only two things happen:

  • Casey listens to Ike and starts to work from within the system, rather than refusing to participate
  • Jade is tortured, and encounters the girl who speaks Spanish (same girl? Maybe, we don’t know—but, how can someone live from 1490 to the present? Interesting questions.)

The essential piece of this issue is that the past is connected to the present in ways other than just coming before it. The Spanish girl is not just history. She’s protecting Jade. And contrast that to the rhetoric of the Morning Glory Academy staff. “For a better future” is their slogan. Miss Daramount talks at the beginning about the different ways they can help fix Jade’s condition, which course of action she’ll take. They have a lot of plans. Going all the way back to the presentation in issue 1: “You hold the key to the salvation and security of man throughout all of time…soon the meaning of my words will be breathtakingly clear.”

…draws near

The motto we begin to identify with starting in this issue? “The hour of our release draws near.” It’s already happening. It’s on the way. There’s no mention of future, what might happen, various plans or possible courses of action. It’s a fact. It’s coming. For a comic so concerned with past and present (especially with the most recent issue, #20, which I just read), this contrast in language is an important part of differentiating the good guys from the bad guys of Morning Glories.

See you soon for issue 4. Sorry for the delay.

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