“Morning Glories” continues to be a very interesting idea that writer Nick Spencer is coming dangerously close to screwing up. Filled with interesting concepts and compelling twists and turns, there just aren’t enough answers and reveals for the number of mysteries we encounter.
In this issue, readers get a peek inside the head, or more appropriately the dreams (and nightmares), of Jade. Jade is a character that remains even more mysterious than the others. Unfortunately, that's true even after she’s had her spotlight moment here. The issue honestly doesn’t make a lot of sense, certainly less than any of the others I’ve read. Jade, though the star, feels very much like a guest star in it all. As if everything is just happening to her, rather than her being actively engaged in anything. The most revealing aspects of the issue, which come at the very end of the book, appear to be Jade in a dream of sorts with her future self. The rest, which consists of vague suggestive dreams, an “is it real” suicide, and some teen drama, is confusing at best and frustrating at worst.
Of all the issues thus far, this has been the least satisfying emotionally and from a plot clarity standpoint. Usually an issue of “Morning Glories” falls down for me because though it is fascinating, there are just too many questions and not enough answers. But in this issue, in addition to that problem, we also have a lack of clarity. The combination of our mysterious school situation with dreams that make little to no sense leaves a reader feeling at sea within the issue. The final “dream” in which Jade appears to have a conversation with her future self was certainly the most interesting part of the book and, strangely, also the most clear. It just wasn’t enough to make the issue as a whole work. Nick Spencer is a talented writer and he’s put together some interesting ideas, good characters, and a narrative that is full of potential, but the longer he strings it out the more it flounders and the less compelling it feels.
Unfortunately the biggest problem with this book other than its lack of answers continues to be Joe Eisma’s art, which is far too sketchy and sparse to be a great fit for the story it is trying to tell. A story this layered, which is dolling out precious few answers while it piles on the mysteries, should feel as layered in its visuals as it does in its plotting. But instead the visuals feel skimpy and uneven. Backgrounds especially are scant on details, creating a distinct lack of richness overall. The book is very sparse, and so with no answers and no layered visuals to examine, it feels even less substantial than it might if it was more visually complex. Eisma has gotten more consistent in his character work and his expressions are a bit more nuanced, but overall the style is just not effective for this story.
“Morning Glories” continues to be an intriguing concept, with a ballsy approach. Nick Spencer has clearly outed himself as a talented writer, but this book needs to start leading somewhere and adding up to something or readers are likely to wander away. I know I’ve certainly started drifting.