Trade Review – Morning Glories vol. 3 : P.E.
Synopsis: The critically acclaimed smash hit series rolls on with this collection of the blockbuster third arc, “P.E.!” The first days were just the beginning – when the faculty cancel classes and send the students on an outing in the nearby woods, all hell breaks loose – sending the Glories on a mysterious journey through time and space. Nothing is what it seems to be as Academy’s hold on the kids collapses and new threats emerge! Collects MORNING GLORIES #13-19
I hopped onto Morning Glories with issue one and found myself immediately hooked. While many people seem to call this the Lost of the comic world, I get a more clear and present feeling that much of the book is an homage to The Prisoner. The themes of isolation from the outside world and the mystery of the protagonists’ prison seems to fall more in line with that show than J.J. Abrams’ big hit. Though with this volume more than any other, the presence of time travel as a plot element seems to push it closer into that territory. The only thing is that the manner which it is conducted leaves us feeling less frustrated because we are told from the outset that it will be an omnipresent theme.
Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma have created a book that is damned hard to put down. This volume could have been called the book of revelations, as we get a deeper look at many of the characters origins. While the book likes to play in a mysterious sandbox, it never withholds information in a way that frustrates the reader. The pacing is truly out of this world. Now, I say that with the full disclosure that I stopped reading the monthlies around issue twelve because of budget constraints as well as my own feeling that the story reads far better as a collected edition. That isn’t a slam. None of this feels decompressed or drawn out. The pacing and the suspense would work just as well in individual issues, and now would be a great time to jump on board as things are really starting to heat up.
I think what anybody can appreciate about the series is the way the stakes are continually raised and conventions find themselves getting flipped from issue to issue. Totally unlikable characters get moments of humility and sympathy and you may find yourself questioning whether or not someone you liked was really so likable at all. Nick Spencer truly does know how to plot out a narrative and fill it with amazing character work. It’s no wonder he’s established himself as such a major talent so rapidly. I don’t think I’ve read anything he’s penned that I didn’t enjoy. His voice is a perfect fit for this medium and this is one of the best examples of his top tier writing. His pairing with Joe Eisma is a master stroke of genius as well. Eisma’s style is a perfect match for the tone of the book. His style reminds me of the Luna Brothers but fair more detailed. I adore small flourishes he will add to panels, such as the random insert of Kat Dennings’ 2 Broke Girls character into a diner scene. His art has personality and it serves the book well.
I recommend people pick up all three of these trades and give the series a go if they haven’t already. It lives up to the hype it has garnered and I think that in a few years time we’ll all be talking about what an amazing run it really was. I don’t know when the endpoint for the series is but I’ll keep reading as long as they keep putting it out.