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Comics You Should Be Reading: Morning Glories

Writer: Nick Spencer
Art: Joe Eisma

If you’ve visited any comic book news website or talked to anyone at a comic book store in the last few months, you’ve probably heard about the series Morning Glories and its writer Nick Spencer. Morning Glories has become a smash hit. It’s selling out and requiring 2nd 3rd and even 4th printings. If you are one of the 7 people on the internet that hasn’t heard about Morning Glories you’re missing out on a fantastic book. You’re also missing out on the soon to be mayor of all comics, Nick Spencer.

Morning Glories is a great mix of teenage drama and paranormal mystery. That may sound like a weird mix but the two work together remarkably well. The first issue opens with what seems like it will be a story about a regular school. A teacher lecturing, kids passing notes, talk about a science fair. Then the tone of the book suddenly shifts as some students try to escape the school that seemed so ordinary a few panels ago. The students look like they will make it, but are suddenly captured by the school’s staff and a creature out of someone’s nightmares. All of this happens as just a prolog to the book’s first issue. It does a great job of letting readers know that they should never get comfortable. Nothing in Morning Glories is going to be what it seems.

After this opening, the story follows a group of teenagers who are accepted into Morning Glories Academy. The cast has a wide group of personalities. From the most cold and uncaring to relatively normal every day kids to emotional basket cases. Everyone reading will find someone they can relate to and someone they can’t stand. These teenagers have the same problem most other kids do. They want to succeed at school, fit in, become popular, make friends, get laid and everything else your typical highschooler wants to do. The problem is that most highschoolers don’t have those problems on top of being in the crazy, weird, and dangerous Morning Glories Academy.

There are plenty of unusual things going on at Morning Glories Academy. All the students have the same birthday, on the car trip to the school each student passes out, the students’ parents act like they don’t remember them and a lot more. The answers to these mysteries don’t seem like they will be coming any time soon but that doesn’t matter. When the answers do come they will be even sweeter. It also gives you plenty of time to come up with your own theories. That is always fun no matter how wrong you are.

The thing that makes Morning Glories work is Nick Spencer isn’t relying on just the mystery of Morning Glories Academy to hook you in. He has made interesting characters for those mysteries to affect. I want to see how this group of teens handles their new situation. I don’t just want the answers about Morning Glories Academy; I want to see these characters figure out the answers. With such a varied group it will be interesting to see how each individual reacts and how/if they will work together. Too many stories rely on just their mysteries to get your attention. I didn’t care about anyone on Lost so why should I care what the island is for. Same thing goes with the new show The Event. If the characters are boring I don’t care what situation they’re in. Nick Spencer does a great job of giving me interesting characters on top of a big mystery.

Morning Glories is the newest smash hit indie book for a reason. It is a fantastic story that further proves comics aren’t just about super heroes. I encourage every comic book fan to not only give Morning Glories a shot, but to get your friends and families to read it. Check your local comic book store for issues 1-3 or buy them on the Image or Comixology apps on the iPad (the iPad apps currently only have issues 1 and 2 but Nick Spencer has said that the series will continue on them.) Also, look for Nick Spencer writing almost every other comic book in the future. Along with Morning Glories, his (amazing) back up Jimmy Olsen story can currently be found in Action Comics. His upcoming DC work includes T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents in November and Supergirl starting in January. He is also writing a new War Machine series titled Iron Man 2.0 for Marvel and a new creator owned series named Infinite Vacation. Don’t be surprised if you see some of those titles in a future edition of Comics You Should Be Reading.

Pictures via Image Comics

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