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Morning Glories, Vol. 1: For a Better Future - Joe Eisma, Nick Spencer, Rodin Esquejo Morning Glories has been hailed as a combination between Runaways and Lost, with good reason. It mimics a lot of the strengths of Brian K. Vaughn's series, but it also copies some of the weaknesses. The plot begins with six kids of different backgrounds being thrust into a mysterious academy. They are each given broad strokes of personality, with the potential of being fleshed out as the series goes on. However, the writing sometimes threatens to veer into caricature, and the dialogue is geared toward uncovering the plot before their dynamics. This is not a bad thing, since the tension of why they are being held in this mysterious academy is the best thing going for the series.

The downside is that the story is given to the comparison of Lost, including it's biggest failings, plot twists or mysteries that seem to spring up inorganically. The six issue trade starts with a promising first arc of the students getting to know each other, then is suddenly yanked from everything in issue six with something that suspiciously looks like a "possible future" deal staring one of the students as an adult. There is plenty of time for the mysteries to make sense, and obviously reading it is about discovering things as it goes on, but Morning Glories missteps sometimes.

The behavior of students in the academy and some of the twists do come dangerously close to throwing readers out of the plot. Cliffhangers in single issue comics become annoying narrative dropping points in a collection of the story as a whole. There are examples of well done moments that prolong the mysteries, such as Jun's confrontation with someone who looks like him, Zoe's supposed connection with the ghost monster. And then there are ones that just come off awkwardly, such as Jade's apparent future self and letting the girls room with a random psychopath, or the fact that so many students seem to be completely content with the academy's draconian ways.

On the visual side, Eisma's penciling is generally nice to look at but he shortcuts too many things. The amount of repeated/copied panels in this book is downright disappointing and really the most grievous offense, artistically speaking. Quite often expressions look ill formed or too generic. Sometimes it's hard to tell that Zoe is supposed to look South American and Jun is supposed to look Japanese. Yet for the most part, the work conveys the story and is pleasing enough to read through.

On the whole Morning Glories stands on shaky yet very promising ground, with characters that have the potential to be really likable and a plot that has the potential to really give readers some excellent twists and turns. But it's too soon to tell how well this will pay off as a series, but for an introduction it definitely promises a better future.