Sunday, March 11, 2012

REVIEW - Morning Glories: For A Better Future

Morning Glories: For A Better Future TPB
(Collects Morning Glories 1-6)
Story: Nick Spencer
Art: Joe Eisma
Colours: Alex Sollazzo
Covers: Rodin Esquejo

Morning Glory Academy is one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country... But behind it's hallowed doors something sinister and deadly lurks. When six brilliant but troubled new students arrive, they find themselves trapped and desperately seeking answers in a place where nothing is what it seems to be!

Like X-Men: Pixie Strikes Back, Morning Glories was a series I initially didn't take to. Aside from the slightly creepy covers by Esquejo, I just didn't see what was there that made the series so popular. However, with Easter coming up, I chose a copy of the second trade collection as a gift, and I felt it was time to re-read the first collection in preparation.

It's a fairly interesting series on paper. Six students are chosen to enter a prestigious school, and nothing is as it seems. There's two spoiled brats (Ike & Zoe), a geek (Hunter), a child prodigy (Casey), the token 'emo' (Jade) and a more mysterious character (Jun), and they must work together to work out what's going on, but perhaps to also escape. On top of this, we are shown that stranger things are happening behind the scenes, and that sinister forces may be involved.

In practice, however, it feels a little confusing and half-explained, although maybe this is an intentional device in order to add suspense. For example, in a later issue there is a scene involving the characters rebelling and using some materials, yet we were never shown or told how they knew about the materials in the first place.
Jade and Casey
I have to admit I quite liked the art, but I found parts of it a little odd. With the girls in particular, there's a lot of inconsistencies with the covers and the interiors. Casey is shown to be round faced and a little perky on the covers, but in the interiors she's got a more angular face, and something similar exists for Jade. She looks as if she has freckles or some sort of scarring on her cheekbones, but it can often make her look strange on the interiors, and the marks are wholly absent on the covers. The girls all tended to have the same figures, too, and I found their tops to seem to cling a little too much, often giving too much of a shape to their chests (and it tended to make them look bra-less, not that it's a bad thing) and I found it a little unnecessary.
Cover designs; Click to enlarge
With regards to the writing, it's a little hard to say. I feel as if Nick Spencer introduced some concepts a little too early, which tended to add to the confusion. The characters, however, seemed to be quite diverse and I didn't feel that they could be easily confused. The plot is a little unclear, but I felt that it was still being laid out by the time the sixth issue ended.

In conclusion, I feel Morning Glories: For A Better Future was - on a re-read - a fairly interesting yet bizarre read. I still have some doubts about this series, but I will be continuing for now. I have a feeling that this series may be best read in one go rather than as a monthly series or as the trades come out.

Rating: One Slightly Lost-Looking Redhead
I don't remember this panel, oddly. Probably from volume 2. I don't care, though.

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