Thursday, August 16, 2012

Morning Glories: Volume 1: For a Better Future

by Nick Spencer (words), Joe Eisma (art), Rodin Esquejo (covers), Alex Sollazzo (colors), Johnny Lowe (letters), and Tim Daniel (design), 288 pages

Six gifted sixteen-year-olds make the cut to get into the very exclusive Morning Glories Academy, only to find, once inside, that the curriculum could kill them--if the teachers don't get them first.

I don't know what's going on here!  The school is baaaad news, both for the students and their families on the outside.  There's some nununununess harking back at least to the Spanish Inquisition, some weird spinning physics experiment in the attic, a murderous ghost (?) with free rein over truants, and a lot of scary, faithful-to-the-mission (whatever it is) faculty members.  The set-up draws you in and the kids are an interesting mix of well-behaved youngsters and potentially bad seeds, with the most interesting wild card so far being the self-serving rich boy (if this were D&D, he'd be chaotic neutral, I think).  We don't know much about most of them yet, though, so we'll have to wait to see how they do or don't come together as a team (if they survive--unbrainwashed--long enough to get that far).

Artwise, the largely soft, pastel-hued interior art seems an ok fit for the school's cheerful veneer, as are the covers (with the exception of blonde Casey's weird skirt and legs on the front cover--they just don't look right to me at all).  I do wonder at the decision to relay all the swearing (and there's a good deal of it) with the traditional smattering of let-your-imagination-fill-in-the-blanks symbols, yet there's no hesitation to show things like the faces of unfortunate individuals having their eyeballs pushed out of their sockets from behind by intrusive semi-ghostly fingers (this happens at least twice and it isn't pretty either time).  Personally, I'd rather the gory violence be off-panel or merely strongly suggested and the text offer up the colorful metaphors without the squiggles and dollar signs, but that's just me.  I'm squeamish about things grisly and unbothered by foul language as long as it belongs, which it mostly does here.

I can't decide if I want to read more or not.  Some bits really bother me, others intrigue me, and I can't tell which will win out in the end.  Hrmmmmmmm.

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