When "Morning Glories" began, it quickly grabbed readers' attention with its mysterious school from which there's no escape, and the deadly situations that the students are being placed in. Fifteen issues in, there's still a lot to enjoy, but at the same time it's also hard to keep from noticing a lack of forward progress.
Issue #13 began a multi-part story involving a combination of a war game mixed with capture-the-flag being run on the school's campus and what might possibly be a new escape attempt. In this chapter, we focus on Zoe and Hunter as they go in search of one specific flag, while also continuing Zoe's flashback story from "Morning Glories" #7.
Taken by itself, "Morning Glories" #15 is fun. We see how the game works, there's a fun little spark between Hunter and a member of a separate team, and we learn a lot about Zoe, both past and present. We'd already learned that Zoe is one of the more dangerous students at the school, and Nick Spencer drives that point home even more here. She's ultimately untrustworthy at best, and it raises all sorts of questions on what her true motives are.
But when you look at this issue as part of the bigger picture, it's hard to keep from feeling like Spencer is continuing to pile on the mysteries without any sign of resolving any of them. You don't expect to be told everything right off the bat, but the lack of anything being explained is getting problematic. When the clock that says "8:13" shows up once again, it's hard to keep from feeling like it's just another reminder that Spencer has all of these creepy portents and oddities scattered throughout the comic, but no answers will be forthcoming. It's been well over a year since "Morning Glories" began, and by the end of the current "P.E." storyline I think a few answers need to be provided, or Spencer runs the risk of losing readers. (Call it the "Lost" effect.)
Joe Eisma's art continues to strengthen. Looking back at the first issue and comparing it to this one, it's impressive how much smoother his lines have gotten. Characters look much more distinct now than they did early on, and in general I feel like Eisma has created a real cinematic feel for the comic. With careful focuses on both the characters and the backgrounds, we have a good sense of storytelling and a guiding hand to bring you all the way to the finish.
"Morning Glories" is still entertaining, but it's hard to keep from feeling like some of the shine is now missing. Hopefully the next few issues will pull things together and start providing some answers. There's still room for mystery in "Morning Glories," but only after a few have been closed off. I'm on board for now, but this is a series that runs the risk of burning off a lot of reader goodwill right about now. Here's hoping it doesn't do just that.