Morning Glories

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Morning Glories
Teaser Campaign Promo Art by Rodin Esquejo
Group publication information
Publisher Image Comics
First appearance Morning Glories #1 (August 2010)
Created by Nick Spencer
Joe Eisma
Morning Glories
Series publication information
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre Mystery, Drama, Adventure
Publication date August 2010 - Present
Number of issues 42
Main character(s) Casey
Zoe
Hunter
Ike
Jun
Jade
Creative team
Writer(s) Nick Spencer
Artist(s) Joe Eisma
Alex Sollazzo
Johnny Lowe
Creator(s) Nick Spencer
Joe Eisma

Morning Glories is a comic book series published by Image Comics. Described by writer Nick Spencer as "Runaways meets Lost," the series focuses on six "brilliant but troubled" new recruits at Morning Glory Academy, a prestigious prep school hiding "sinister and deadly" secrets.[1] Featuring interior art by Joe Eisma and cover art by Rodin Esquejo, the series debuted in August 2010.

Publication history[edit]

Though sharing qualities with other long form, high-concept mysteries, writer Spencer points out that Morning Glories was launched with a planned run of about 100 issues and a definite ending.[2] The first pages of the debut, Spencer says, will "completely prove that we knew what we were doing from the get go."[3] The series found commercial success from its inception, with four printings of the first issue alone.[4] The first volume of the trade paperback edition (containing issues 1-6) sold 10,000 copies in a month.[5] Critical success is abundant as well, with IGN calling the first issue "one of the most engrossing...in recent memory" and noting that Spencer is "determined to make the rest of the comic book world stand up and take notice."[6]

Premise[edit]

The series takes place almost exclusively at the fictional Morning Glory Academy, an exclusive boarding school for teenagers. Beneath its placid facade, the school is actually involved in the murder and torture of students as well as various investigations into occult and supernatural phenomena. The main action focuses on six students from diverse backgrounds as they enter Morning Glory Academy and try to survive.

Characters[edit]

Students[edit]

The six main characters are all new students at the Morning Glory Academy:

Casey[edit]

Casey Blevins, is a smart, beautiful, blonde student from Chicago, Illinois. Casey is the only one of the six protagonists who does not come from a broken home in some manner. Her parents loved her and gave her affection, especially her father, a former soldier, who taught the tomboyish Casey various survival skills including boxing and how to construct tear gas. When she enters Morning Glory Academy, her parents refuse to cut off contact with her and are murdered by the administration. After this Casey determines to resist and "burn this place to the ground." She appears to be the most academically gifted of the students and shows a real flair for leadership, easily organizing her fellow inductees around her. She has so far been protected from official reprisal by orders of Morning Glory's mysterious Headmaster.

"There's a very maternal aspect to Casey's character, a kind of 'beyond her years' thing in terms of responsibility that makes her want to hold this group together and make sure they're safe. At the same time, I think she's like a lot of those kids you see getting straight A's and doing all the right things, in that she may be pushing herself a bit too hard and taking on too much."[7]

Zoe[edit]

Zoe is an Indian-American student who embodies the stereotype of the popular and mean cheerleader. In her previous school, Zoe had numerous boyfriends all of whom believe that she loved them. Initially her concerns in Morning Glory Academy seem to be a continuation of her previous obsessions with cute boys and popularity. She expresses annoyance with the other students, particularly with the earnestness of Casey and the moodiness of Jade. With the boys, she is disdainful of Ike's crude pickup lines and disdainful of Hunter's lack of status. As the series progresses a darker, and more murderous side to Zoe is seen and it is hinted that she may have a deeper connection to the events at Morning Glory Academy.

"She's not a bad person person, but she's someone who's gotten used to living in the rarified air that is being beautiful and smart. She's very driven and tends to view the people around her within the context of how much they can help her reach her goals - especially guys."[7]

Hunter[edit]

Hunter is the comic book loving, pop-culture savvy son of a single father. Seen by others as largely a non-entity, Hunter is not especially good looking or smart, and has a quirk where he is unable to read clocks or hear their alarms. Hunter can never seem to be on time when something important is happening. Early on he develops an attraction to Casey, but through various quirks of fate is unable to actually go on a date with her.

"Hunter is like a lot of people who grew up in a broken home - he took to pop culture and his own imagination as a way of coping with the world around him. He's eternally well-intentioned and optimistic in ways that often come back around to bite him in the ass."[7]

Ike[edit]

Ike is a rich and entitled student from a privileged Manhattan background. As a teenager he was accused, but eventually acquitted of, murdering his father. A deceptive and manipulative delinquent, Ike claims to care only for himself and brags about his experience in challenging authority. He quickly falls out with the other students after he betrays them to the administration in order to gain more privileges.

"He comes from a very privileged but strange upbringing and he's got a bad reputation. He's the ultimate opportunist and happily inhabits a very sinful, very troublesome life. He's a schemer."[7]

Jun[edit]

Jun is a very serious student from Japan. In some ways the most straightforwardly heroic student, Jun befriends Hunter and quickly joins in Casey's plans against the school. It is eventually revealed that Jun has an identical twin brother Hisao, who has been a student at Morning Glory Academy for years and that Jun has infiltrated the school with the intent of rescuing his brother. It is later revealed that he is actually Hisao, and that Jun had taken his place before he was supposed to be taken to the academy. Jun had been sent to infiltrate Morning Glory Academy by a group opposed to the Academy's mission. Jun is one of several students sent to infiltrate the Academy, including his boyhood crush Guillaume.

"He's a very serious, very direct person who isn't playing around. And yes, when he needs to, he can definitely kick your ass, so it's probably best not to put him in that position. There's a lot Jun isn't telling us. [...] He seems to know more about The Academy than they do."[7]

Jade[edit]

Jade Ellsworth is a young emo student from the Midwest. Raised by a single father, Jade was moody and emotional even before arriving at Morning Glory Academy. This was exacerbated when, shortly after arriving, her father claimed to not know who she was. Depressed, Jade attempts suicide and is put in the custody of the school nurse who performs a mysterious experiment on her. During this experiment, and during a subsequent suicide attempt, Jade has an out of body experience where she travels both to the past as well as to her own future, meeting an adult version of herself who is apparently involved with Morning Glory Academy in some way. "She's from a very traditional small town where everyone seems to think and act differently from her. [...] She's been through a lot in her life so far, a lot of personal tragedy, and it's certainly done a great deal to shape the way she looks at the people around her."[7]

Faculty[edit]

Though the dark forces at work behind the academy are still largely mysterious, a few villains have emerged:

Miss Daramount[edit]

Miss Daramount is the main teacher who the students interact with. While on the surface she is a traditional strict schoolteacher she is actually a murderous and manipulative villain. [8]

Mister Gribbs[edit]

Mister Gribbs is the other primary teacher in the early issues of the book. He often acts as the muscle for Miss Daramount. He will sometimes engage in violence personally and often advocates a more direct and confrontational approach than Daramount does.[8]

Nine[edit]

The school nurse, Nine's job seems to consist mostly of conducting experiments on the living students and autopsies on dead ones.

Miss Hodge[edit]

The sister of Miss Daramount, Miss Hodge is the school guidance counselor and appears more supportive of, and loved by, the students. She claims to be a metaphorical prisoner of the school just as the students are literal prisoners and offers help to Casey in escaping. However, her proclaimed allegiance to the students may be a falsehood.

The Headmaster[edit]

Father to both Miss Hodge and Miss Daramount, the headmaster is the mysterious head of the school.

Story arcs[edit]

"For a Better Future" (#1-6)[edit]

Six students, Casey, Zoe, Jade, Jun, Hunter and Ike are granted entrance into the prestigious boarding school Morning Glory Academy. After arriving and orientation, Jade tries to contact her parents, but her father claims to not have a daughter. Distressed, she confides in Casey who investigates the matter. Casey then discovers the academy has killed her parents. The faculty apprehends Casey where they ask her the same question over and over: “Whose theorem established that reality must be non-local?” Casey refuses to answer and is thrown into detention where she finds the other five students also there for various reasons. The faculty floods the classroom. Jade attempts to kill herself. The water level nears the top of ceiling when Casey shouts out the answer to the question posed to her earlier. The water is drained and the faculty takes Jade to the infirmary.

When Jade is not seen or heard from for days, Casey comes to believe that the school is going to kill her and hatches a plan with the other four students to save her friend. Ike betrays Casey’s plan to the faculty, and Daramount, with some thugs, arrives to stop the students. Casey and Zoe flee the scene, while Hunter is knocked unconscious. Miss Daramount catches the two girls and leads them back to their dorm, where, much to Daramount’s surprise, Jade is waiting for them. Casey had factored in Ike’s betrayal. While Casey and Zoe were running from the faculty, Jun had infiltrated Daramount’s thugs, took the “unconscious” Hunter to the infirmary and the two of them sprung Jade free. Gribbs threatens Casey with bodily harm if she ever pulls something like this again

Issue #6 is set in what appears to be the future. A red-headed woman offers a scientist, on the run for murder, a place to continue her research on a mysterious device at Morning Glory Academy. This red-headed woman is revealed to be an older version of Jade.

"All Will Be Free" (#7-12)[edit]

This arc focuses on one particular character for each issue.

Zoe[edit]

A man named Abraham visits India on the hunt for a special child. He finds a young Zoe and she greets Abraham as an old friend and hints that she knew he was coming, implying some sort of psychic ability.

In present times, Zoe looks to join the cheerleading squad at MGA. A flashback to her life reveal that Zoe used to be on a cheerleading squad at her old school with a close friend. During a practice, a teacher reprimands Zoe's friend for not completing her homework and instructs her to drop it off before 5. Later, Zoe is leaving practice when she finds the teacher attempting to rape her friend. She rushes to her aid by hitting him in the head in with a book and he falls and strikes his head on the edge of a desk, killing him. Her friend then confesses that they were really lovers and they were merely 'playing'. Zoe, outraged, yells at her to help burn the body. Back in the present, Zoe heads to the midnight initiation ceremony for the squad, where through a series of questions she has to answer truthfully, she confesses that she killed the teacher and destroyed the body. The head cheerleader reports back to Daramount this information. As the cheerleader leaves, a figure stalks her and stabs her. The killer is revealed to be Zoe.

Hunter[edit]

A young Hunter, running late in meeting his father, is saved from an oncoming truck by Abraham. He gives Hunter a watch so that he can keep track of time.

Back in present day, Hunter asks Casey out on a picnic date, and after some hesitation, she accepts. Excited, Hunter dances through the halls and bumps into an Australian student, Chad, knocking his books askew. Chad seems not to mind and tells Hunter to just pay attention next time. Hunter dresses for his date and asks Jun to please remind him when to leave. A flashback reveals that for important appointments, Hunter is always late because he cannot hear the alarms he sets and the clock always reads 8:13. Hunter heads for his date and is jumped by Chad who apparently is now angry about the earlier altercation. Hunter pleads with Jun who is passing by for help, but Jun screams at Hunter, "What did you just call me?!" and punches Hunter across the face knocking him unconscious. Jun, Chad and another boy tie Hunter up, pull a hood over his face, and drag him to the greenhouse. Hunter awakens to hear his assailants being stabbed. Meanwhile, Casey has arrived by the tree for her date with Hunter, but leaves after waiting for him until the sun sets. Jun finds, unties, and explains to Hunter that it was his brother who attacked him.

Jun[edit]

Five years previously, Gribbs and Daramount come to pick up both Jun and his twin brother Hisao for Morning Glory Academy. While the boys are getting ready, their mother mentions to Daramount that Hisao and Jun were born 30 minutes apart unlike what their birth certificates report. Daramount proclaims that they now can only take Hisao. Their mother argues that she will not let them split up the brothers. Jun runs downstairs to see that Daramount has ordered Gribbs to strangle their mother. She orders Gribbs to ignore Jun and grab Hisao. Jun runs upstairs and switches shirts with Hisao so that he can take his place. They take Jun unknowingly and light the house on fire. Abraham arrives and helps Hisao escape from the burning home.

Prior to the events of issue 3, Hisao confronts Jun. Hisao has been brainwashed and no longer loves his brother and actually thinks he is Hisao. Jun tries to convince his brother that he is here to save him, but this only angers Hisao. Gribbs arrives, and breaks up the two brothers.

Jade[edit]

Jade dreams of a destroyed city, a laboratory, her mother's death and a French aristocrat. Casey wakes her for school, and when Hunter tries to explain to Casey why he was late for their date, but she says that with the current state of affairs, she doesn't think they should go out. Jade and Casey head to class, where the teacher lectures on how to make a hangman's noose and asks the class if anyone can demonstrate how to use one. Jade volunteers and hangs herself. Jade is transported to a room where the older Jade is waiting for her. They discuss Casey, Hunter, Ike and Jade's dreams. The older Jade instructs her not to tell anyone what she saw, except for the shooting stars overhead. Jade awakens in the infirmary and tells Nine that all she saw were silver streaks in the sky.

Ike[edit]

A year previously Ike sits over a dead man bleeding on the floor. Abraham tells Ike that he needs to leave and to follow the plan.

In the present, Gribbs approaches Ike with a proposition. Ike will be set free from the Academy if Ike kills someone for him. Ike ponders the offer, but decides to decline because he has no desire to be set free. However, Daramount convinces him to reconsider by seducing him. Gribbs leads Ike down to the basement to the man he must kill, revealed to be Abraham. Ike greets him, acknowledging him as his father.

Hodge[edit]

Hodge, Daramount's sister is introduced. All of the students greet Hodge as if one of their favorite teachers. Hodge learns of the killings at the school and confronts Daramount, who is revealed to be her sister. She learns the headmaster is upset with Daramont. Hodge then meets with the six new students. She gives Zoe a revolver telling her she'll need it, but that she wouldn't hold someone hostage, telling her that she is not a killer. She approaches Hisao who seems to know her but does not wish to talk. She gives Jade pills to help stop her nightmares. She tells Hunter that she can help with his condition, saying it is all in his file. Surprisingly, she reveals the file is all empty papers and asks him: "How do you suppose that works?" Finally, She finds Casey down where her parents were hung. Hodge tries to comfort her, but Casey hits her. Before she hits her again, Hodge offers her a way to bring her parents back.

"P.E." (13-19)[edit]

Casey receives a letter from Miss Hodge and, with Jade, frantically tries to find Hunter. However, they are interrupted by the announcement of "Woodrun", a sort of scavenger hunt in the woods around the school. Students are sorted into teams of three with Ike joining Casey and Jade. Hunter is sorted into a group with Zoe, who is angry at him for his hurtful comments to her, and a distracted seeming Jun. As the students begin Woodrun, Casey leads her team to a hidden cave where they find Miss Hodge waiting. Miss Hodge explains that she is going to help Casey escape, but that the process may not go entirely right because Hunter was supposed to be there. While Ike and Jade watch, she and Casey go sit in a pair of seats below them and watch shadows cast on a wall. Eventually, they disappear. Casey discovers that she and Miss Hodge have been sent into her own past, to when she was a child and her father was the military commander of a mysterious base. Captured by the military, Miss Hodge breaks them out by hypnotizing the guards, something she also instructs Casey on how to do. While Hodge returns to Morning Glory Academy, Casey is left to wait until she can try and save her fellow students.

Meanwhile, the sky over Morning Glory Academy suddenly goes from day to night. The students and faculty seem separated into two different realities where the other group has disappeared from the school. Jun abandons Hunter and Zoe, who achieve one of the scavenger hunt items. Hunter then has an encounter with a geeky girl who seems romantically interested in him. However, that night, after an angry conversation with him, Zoe murders the girl. When Hunter sees the attack, Zoe tries to kill him too, but is shot by the leader of a mysterious group of students. A flashback shows Jun being trained in military matters by Abraham at a desert camp. A number of other children at the camp are selected to be sent to Morning Glory Academy, including Guillaume, who says goodbye by kissing Jun. In the present, Jun reunites with Guillaume at the school and the two have sex. Guillaume then informs Jun about the others sent to infiltrate the school. Another flashback shows the childhood of Miss Hodge and Miss Daramount. Their initially loving relationship as children turns sour when Hodge becomes their father's apparent favorite. One night, a student from Morning Glory Academy awakens the young Lara Hodge and takes her to the cave in the woods. The student, Vanessa, says that Miss Hodge has sent her from the future where Hodge is the student's ally against the Academy leadership. However, the young Miss Hodge murders Vanessa and offers her up as proof of loyalty to her father. As the first students arrive at Morning Glory Academy, Miss Hodge explains to her governess that while Miss Daramount, who has been selected to run the school, will be hated by the students, she will control them through love. In the present she explains to her sister that she has weakened the rebellious students by tricking Casey into abandoning them.

"Truants" (#20-25)[edit]

Collected editions[edit]

The series has been released in trade paperbacks (TPB) and "Deluxe Edition" hardcovers (HC). Detailed information of the releases is listed below.

# Title Release date Page count Collected issues Cover price TPB ISBN
1 Morning Glories Vol 1: For a Better Future March, 2011 192 Morning Glories #1-6 $9.99 ISBN 1-60706-307-7
2 Morning Glories Vol 2: All Will Be Free August, 2011 168 Morning Glories #7–12 $12.99 ISBN 1-60706-407-3
3 Morning Glories Vol 3: P.E. June, 2012 240 Morning Glories #13–19 $14.99 ISBN 1-60706-558-4
4 Morning Glories Vol 4: Truants April, 2013 216 Morning Glories #20-25 $14.99 ISBN 1-60706-727-7
5 Morning Glories Vol 5: Tests September, 2013 136 Morning Glories #26-29 $12.99 ISBN 1-60706-774-9
6 Morning Glories Vol 6: Demerits December, 2013 144 Morning Glories #30-34 $14.99 ISBN 1-60706-823-0
7 Morning Glories Vol 7: Honors June, 2014 124 Morning Glories #35-38 $12.99 ISBN 1-60706-943-1
# Title Release date Page count Collected issues Cover price HC ISBN
1 Morning Glories Vol 1 Deluxe Edition November, 2011 352 Morning Glories #1-12 $39.99 ISBN 978-1-60706-430-5
2 Morning Glories Vol 2 Deluxe Edition October, 2013 480 Morning Glories #13-25 $39.99 ISBN 978-1-60706-793-1
3 Morning Glories Vol 3 Deluxe Edition November. 2014 Morning Glories #26-38 $39.99 ISBN 978-1-63215-164-3

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Are You Prepared for This Prep School?". Image Comics. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  2. ^ Brown, Nick (2011-03-18). "Nick Talks With Joe Eisma and Nick Spencer". The Daily Blam. 
  3. ^ Wigler, Josh (2010-09-16). "Commentary Track: 'Morning Glories'". Comic Book Resources. 
  4. ^ "Glory Be!". Hypergeek.ca. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  5. ^ "Nick Spencer on Morning Glories Collection Sales". The Weekly Crisis. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  6. ^ Perez, Miguel (2010-08-11). "Morning Glories #1 Review". IGN. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Getting to Know the "Morning Glories"". Comic Book Resources. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  8. ^ a b "Morning Glory Days: Forward Momentum". Comic Book Resources. 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2011-03-19.