By: Nick Spencer (writer), Joe Eisma (art), Alex Sollazzo (colors) and Johnny Lowe (letters)

The Story: An issue focusing on Ike and his father.

Review (with minor SPOILERS): Morning Glories is such an odd series.  I enjoy it quite a lot and I appreciate it even more in this era of short runs on ongoing series.  There simply aren’t that many current series from any publisher that have reached the advanced age of issue #24….and even fewer have done so with a consistent creative team.  But, I always feel like I need to defend the series against it’s detractors who complain about the slow pacing and lack of answers.  That’s just how it is with a longer running series.  At this point in 100 Bullets, we were just meeting the core cast of characters.  At this point in The Walking Dead, Michonne had barely showed up.  I guess there is something to be said for just waiting and buying it in trade, but I think stories like this lose something when you aren’t exposed to them in small doses on a monthly basis.

What’s good about this issue is that it turns the focus squarely onto one of the more interesting characters: Ike.  Morning Glories has a lot of characters.  In fact, I’d say that it has TOO MANY characters and sometimes MG follows less interesting characters around for a few months (and this has been a problem recently).  Not this month.  We’re focused just on Ike and his father.  Ike is a great character.  He has this snarly, aloof and obnoxious way about himself that makes you glad you aren’t his friend, but also makes it hard to stop watching.  Which of the other characters in this series could/would demand oral sex from Ms. Daramount as payment for cooperation?  Which other character would be such a jerk to Jade after Jade gave him an alibi by claiming that they were together in bed (only for him to go along, but scoff at the oddness of Ike stooping to sleeping with Jade)?  He’s a totally obnoxious SOB.

But, in this issue we also see what Ike’s childhood was like.  Not good.  I’m not one to make excuses for adults based on their childhood, but let’s just say that the parenting going on in Ike’s home was very substandard.  Not only did these scenes of Ike’s lousy father explain Ike’s character, but they made me feel like writer Nick Spencer actually has this whole series plotted out.  THAT is really important because we are putting our faith in Spencer to not string us along for ~80 issues for some crappy payoff.

And….we even got to see a fleeting moment of humanity from Ike.  Who knew that he had it in him???

It all sets up very nicely for next month’s issue which is the finale of “Season One” of Morning Glories.  I don’t expect all of the answers, but I DO anticipate that we’ll learn a little more about what the hell is going on at the Morning Glories Academy.  If you’re a new reader or someone who dropped off, Issue #25 might not be a bad place to jump back in.

Joe Eisma is again nailing it with the art.  MG is a really hard comic to illustrate.  There aren’t lots of dramatic scenes with rippling muscles or characters lunging around or anything like that.  Instead we get a LOT of talking heads and Eisma makes this about as visually appealing as is possible.  He’s really good at body language and facial expressions and conveying that little bit of emotion that would naturally underlie the words of the dialog.  If I had to offer a critique, I’d suggest that Spencer reduce his word count by ~10% because I sometimes find myself reading MG instead of reading and looking.

Conclusion: This issue is typically Morning Glories in that it gives the appearance of providing answers without really explaining much.  By now, you either like that approach or you don’t.  I DO enjoy it.  Plus, the issue gets bonus points for focusing on one of its more interesting characters.

Grade: B+

– Dean Stell