Morning Glories #12A comic review article by: Nick Hanover
If you think about it, most stories about teenagers usually have that one adult who wants to help the kids. Someone who claims to "get" them and just wants to help. And of course what usually winds up happening is that the adult betrays them somehow, either in order to "save" them or because the plan all along was to find out what kind of trickery the kids were up to. Twelve issues in, Morning Glories now has its own adult who just wants to be one of the kids, a Miss Lara Hodge.
But there's more to Miss Hodge than a guilty conscience and a need to get her kids through the pain of puberty and whatever horrorshow operation MGA is running, she also has a direct connection to the Academy. And perhaps a theoretical one. You see, Miss Hodge is Miss Daramount's sister, and like a lot of siblings they appear to have a bit of a rivalry going on. They also appear to have some daddy issues, with the twist being that their father may be the headmaster.
I say may because it's unclear at this point whether father is meant in a literal sense or something more akin to a convent. Miss Daramount at least has the scars of corporal punishment spread across her arm to lend credence to the latter:
Some reviewers are taking issue with how slowly things are ramping up in Morning Glories, specifically with the fact that Spencer and company have just introduced a brand new wild card into the equation, complete with her own set of mysteries and problems. But considering Spencer's main narrative influences on this book are shows that more than took their time to start providing answers, expecting definitive reveals at this point is a little like expecting Lost to have revealed the truth behind the smoke monster two thirds of the way in to season one.
But fear not, nail biters. The introduction of Miss Hodge fills me with a lot of hope for the advancement of this series as she's the kind of character who can glue the others together. Regardless of whether Hodge winds up being on the side of the angels or the brain eating demons, she's already pushing the kids into action, putting a gun in the hands of Zoe (despite or because of the fact that Zoe's "not a killer"), giving Jade medication to help with her nightmares, comforting Hunter with a reveal of her own weird perception problem and offering Casey an irresistible deal. Hodge leaves Ike alone for the moment and Jun gives her the cold shoulder, but it's clear that she's accelerating the plot and stirring the kids back to action.
Part of what's giving me faith is admittedly the conversation I had with the Morning Glories team earlier this year at SDCC, where Spencer outright said we're about to get a "pretty harrowing arc" that "owes a great deal to The Prisoner." Spencer even travelled to Portmeirion, the real life resort that The Prisonerwas filmed at, for influence, claiming that we're going to be learning a lot more about the Academy and its setting now.
This is about as good as the first issue of a brand new arc can get, offering myriad possibilities for what's coming next and ramping up the tension even more. As always, Eisma's strength with making his characters act really shines, enabling the tension between Hodge and Daramount to be so thick you can feel it coming off the page. There's a sense of dread that's apparent in the main cast's faces and even Alex Sollazzo's colors create a mood of pending doom, like the last bit of light cast just before true darkness falls. If you've been patient this far, you owe it to yourself to stick around for what's going to go down.
When he's not writing about the cape and spandex set, Nick Hanover is a book, film and music critic forSpectrum Culture and a staff writer for No Tofu Magazine. He also translates for "Partytime" Lukash's Panel Panopticon.