Overview

Morning Glories #11

Review

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Morning Glories #11

Credits

  • Words: Nick Spencer
  • Art: Joe Eisma
  • Colors: Alex Sollazzo
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 10, 2011

Spencer delivers an amazing character piece helped along by Eisma’s solid artwork.

Spencer continues his character-centric vignettes with Ike and delivers another mind-bending, mind-blowing story. Previous issues featuring the back-stories of each student have been largely hit or miss, and even the hits felt iffy at best, but here Ike’s story is so tightly focused on what makes him tick as a person that it makes the series’ endless amount of mysteries seem superfluous – and that’s a good quality. Along with Eisma’s ever-solid artwork, this issue recovers from the misstep Morning Glories took last issue.

Ike has proven to be the sleazebag of the cast, always making sexually explicit remarks towards the female characters, bragging about his superior upbringing, and betraying his fellow classmates during the escape attempt. Based on what we have been shown before, watching him behave in a personable manner at the start of the issue proves to be a shock. As the story continues flashing back to show how Ike came into his fortune during a scandal where he was convicted of his father’s murder, the first showings of his crude behavior begin to show. Suddenly the question arises, was he always this outrageous, or is it a front he’s putting on as part of a bigger plan? That’s the kind of mystery I can sink my teeth into because it’s grounded in an interesting character and not giant spinning tops and 14th century Spanish prisoners.

A highlight of the issue is Spencer’s dialog. Ike earns the laughs when he delivers womanizing lines like “Don’t worry, we celebrated plenty in your honor, especially the blond one.” His personality shines best when he’s at his worst, and Eisma embellishes his raunchier traits by covering his room with empty liquor bottles, women’s underwear, and a camera. One of the best moments comes after a conversation with the headmaster where she, like Mr. Gribbs, changes tactics and plays off of Ike’s horn-dog ego. Stellar stuff.

Sollazzo’s colors help Eisma’s art look great, especially the faded flashback scenes. Eisma’s work is solid, yes, but the lack of variety in his character designs has never been more apparent. Most student characters have the same lean, borderline-anorexic look, while the teachers appear to be models of human perfection: the sadistic Mr. Gribbs is broad shouldered with the face of a Greek statue, while Ms. Daramount has the unfathomable figure of a Barbie doll. Do they not let chubby people into Morning Glories Academy? With a cast made up of mostly fair-skinned, light haired teens, it makes the mystery to what the school really is all the more plain – a secret Nazi base.

Spencer weaves Ike’s present-day tale into events that have already occurred to give it a sense of context within the overarching story, and while little occurs in regards to plot-progression, a reader would be hard-pressed not to feel hooked by the twist at the end. It’s the most grounded of all the twists so far and is believable on a practical level – something few and far between in this series.

Also present is a minor twist that I will spoil here: Ike lets on that he’s gay. It makes sense that at least one of the characters would be homosexual, and a lot of clues were pointing towards him; the over-enthusiastic attitude towards girls as if he’s trying to convince those around him that he’s straight and the dapper way he dresses in vests and scarves even though it’s not winter combined with this issue’s offhanded admission that he used to make out with guys makes for a pretty strong case. Is this a huge deal? Not really. But in a series as easy to figure out as a 100-sided Rubik’s cube, it’s nice to finally feel like you got something right.

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