Ten issues in, and the mystery of what the hell is happening at Morning Glory Academy deepens… especially when Jade is thrown into the mix.
Previously in Morning Glories: When the twin we thought we knew, turns out to be the long lost twin we knew nothing about, and spinning ghosts zap those it doesn’t like, then you know strange things are happening at Morning Glory Academy. And when Jade is older than she should be, but we find out she’s still as young as we remember, then the tables have flipped and it is time to ask Alice to pass the bottle and take a swig.
Since her first appearance in the series, Jade has been the one that creeps me out the most. If she isn’t almost dying in a forced drowning, then she’s slashing her wrists, or doing things that keep the school nurse busy. This issue, the teachers and the administrators take their assault on the girl to a new height when they convince her to hang herself in front of the entire class, and she does it while thinking she’s having another hallucination.
It is during her moments of death that we get a little revelation of why Jade keeps doing this to herself. The conversations she has with her future self – or perhaps an alternate universe self – let the reader know that Jade knows more than she is letting on, and this revelation gives us better insight as to why the administration is constantly trying to drug and kill the child. I’m not a big fan on violence against children, but I think the hanging scene was handled very well in this issue without glorifying the act.
While we as readers are still no closer to understanding exactly what is going on, I think Nick Spencer has the big reveal planned, or at least waiting for a dedicated fan to piece the little hints and drops on a website somewhere that reveals all. Of course until someone does that, I think Spencer might want to help the rest of us along by giving us a few more clues, or at least a couple of panels of information that smack us up the head and says, “Hey, Dummies! This means something!”
THE ART OF MURDER
With this issue, Joe Eisma really gets to explore what it means to have a trippy dream that connects from panel to panel, but also creates a tense terrifying experience for both the character and the reader. The way Eisma is able to flip so easily from scene to scene while Jade is dreaming is done so well, it really feels like a dream – or at least the way moments flow from one to another with me, and I really liked it.
I’m not sold on how Eisma draws Jade in the book, though. There are times when her face looks thin, only to be followed a few panels later by a much pudgier girl. A lot of it may have to do with self-image and how the world perceives Jade, but the slight inconsistencies in her look bothered me just a bit.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL WORTH IT
J.J. Abrams has led us by the nose around his world for such a long time without giving answers, that I think fans of this kind of manipulation have just about had enough. While Morning Glories is still a thriller that freaks the reader out a little with each new revelation, this kind of reader manipulation isn’t sustainable in the long run. We aren’t quite at a year yet, and I hope the series continues, but I’m starting to get the feeling the Abrams effect is starting to wear on those who pick up the book. Morning Glories is still worth reading, but this time around it only earns 3.5 Stars out of 5.