“Morning Glories,” though full of interesting twists and turns and great cliffhangers thus far, has had a fatal flaw of the “Lost” variety. In a nutshell, it lays out far too many mysteries and questions while answering almost none of them. However, we turn a corner in “Morning Glories” #8 by finally getting at least one answer. It’s a small piece of the giant sprawling puzzle, but having even one answer goes a long way toward reassuring a reader that there are actually answers out there to be had.
In this issue, Nick Spencer focuses on Hunter (aka “the nice one”) and gives us a little bit of history on him. It’s one of the more intriguing origins we’ve seen. Hunter, when he looks at a clock, always sees “8:13” regardless of what time it is. It’s the kind of problem that really makes a reader think about where Spencer might be going with this story and how it will all tie together. Hunter, who has been pining for Casey since the beginning, finally asks her out, and in a sweet and humorous sequence, after first saying no, she ends up saying yes. Hunter is of course panicked, and rightly so, that he’s going to miss the date, thanks to his issue with time. When the now standard weirdness of the school and a few of its crazy inhabitants including the Jun “double” get involved, missing the date should be his last concern, though it’s not.
This is a well-plotted, well-written issue that develops the characters nicely and sets up further intrigue while finally delivering an answer (or at least a partial one) to one of our many cliffhangers. Spencer is doing cool things in “Morning Glories” and I hope that he can continue to mete out the answers as he continues to dole out the questions. Spencer’s series continues to deliver interesting stories month after month, but there is a little bit of believability that continues to be missing. These kids are set up to be tough survivors, and maybe something far more than that, but on the surface it’s still hard to believe that with everything they’ve been through that they continue to just roll with the punches. A certain amount of suspension of disbelief is required in most comics, but I’m not sure Spencer has quite convinced me to cede him that in “Morning Glories.”
Unfortunately, the biggest problem with this book continues to be the art. While clear, crisp, and easy to follow, it’s just far too uneven for so otherwise compelling a book. The characters are mostly well drawn, but occasionally look nothing like themselves, even from panel to panel. The backgrounds are generally bare, making the book feel visually inconsequential, instead of rich. A story this textually loaded, with intrigue upon intrigue layered together, should feel that way visually as well, but Joe Eisma’s art is too inconsistent and sparse to manage it at this point.