silkcuts's Morning Glories #1 - Volume One: For a Better Future review

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Lucifer is up in the morning.

*Short Review* Morning Glories simply is a great new series and I would recommend this psychological thriller to anyone who likes a well layered story. The trade is $10 USD, not a whole lot considering how good the book is.
*The Invisible decode*  Morning Glories is great because of all the layers in this book.  On a basic level is it a great drama story with more and more questions to be asked.  The deeper you dig the better the series gets.  Recommended reading to enhance this series would be Phillip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, Grant Morrison's Invisibles and Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. Recommended TV watching would be the cult classic The Prisoner, because book three of the Invisibles depends a lot on it and this series depends on what we learn in The Invisibles. 

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In decoding The Morning Glories, I think we should start with the name and oh what a great name it is.  A morning glory is a beautiful flower and in its purest form can induce effects similar to LSD if taken in large quantities.  I did not know that information until it was watching the Movie adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly and the "little blue flower" of New Path was grown so that the government can control their people.  In this books simplest decode, a simple nod to Phillip K. Dick is likely one of the reason Nick Spencer would name his series about control; Morning Glories. Nick Spencer makes sure that he informs us that Phillip K. Dick is an influence, when the character Hunter mentions the movie Blade Runner, which is the movie adaptation to Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"
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Nick Spencer makes sure the character Hunter references Grant Morrison's Invisibles, which I felt was neat, almost like he is the "Hunter" of "Truth".  If The Invisibles are an influence to Morning Glories then the name again is a perfect choice.  Morning as in Day and Glory as in Sun, could be seen as a poetic nod to Barbelith. Barbelith is seen almost like a sun. The Sun being the Bringer of light.  Light meaning Truth.  The Term "Light Bringer" is the actual definition of Lucifer. 
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There may be many other possible meanings for the name, but I like the three above. So lets move onto the meat of the story and why it is a good one.
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The Universal truth in Morning Glories is that knowledge is power and that a physical prisoner does not always mean a mental one.  These universal truths of freedom became pop-culture reference from the Cult TV Show The Prisoner, which I will tell you is great.  Morning Glories is a prestigious academy in which everyone who is accepted has the same birthday, which in some ways seems like the "Control" to the testing in which these students don't know they are signing up for.  Some Prisoner references would be the fact the kids gets knocked out with gas and then wake up in their "Prison", which doesn't look like a prison, but it is.  

 Richard Lovelace (1618-1658) to Althea from prison (1649). The whole verse reads"
"Stone walls do not a prison make,
Nor iron bars a cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an hermitage;
If I have freedom in my love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above
Enjoy such liberty."

No truer words have been spoken when thinking of a prison.  These students have their uniform, which is suppose to take away their individuality.  The students cannot leave the academy by free will.  A few select students however have chosen to keep their individuality by challenging the authority, they do this by taking what they have learned and using it for survival. 
My personal favorite characters are Casey and Hunter who seem to play the part of the Star-Crossed lovers.  One is a handy homemade weapons expert, while the other is the Pop-culture expert, a great balance between fact and fiction.  Fiction not being a bad thing, because many great archetypes are found in fiction and those archetypes have truths to them.
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The tone of controlling behavior is portrayed nicely in this book, there are the many obvious forms like drugs and needles, but the subtle ones are the best ones.  I like that the roommate Pamela talks like a child with her rhyming names like Jadey Wadey.  By having her interact with so often to the newer students, we see just how "Conditioned" the student body can get.  The Student Body no longer are free minded individuals, but Pavlov Dogs.  We have yet to really get into the Ivan Pavlov or B. F. Skinner levels of conditioning tests, but the "water test" does set up this series as a great psychological thriller.
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Bell's Theorem is an interesting angle in which Nick Spencer is exploring, but since the theorem has never been test successfully, I would just simply like to point out that Mr. Spencer wants us to know about it.   
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The art is pretty good for most of the books, my only problem is really anatomy, were things like the caff muscles on  women legs looks weird, foreheads are not always consistent and some of the facial reactions just don't look right to me.  This book gives off a "Teen Drama" feel  that was originally a turn-off and that could be why I wasn't in love with the art.  But I have to admit, I enjoyed the panel layouts, either Nick Spencer Scripts like a seasoned vet or artist Joe Eisma illustrates like he was born to visually tell stories, either way there are some great panels.
The Verdict is simple, this series is a winner.  With Nick Spencer's layering, there is something for everyone, from those who like to get "Lost" in a great Thriller to people like me who like to unravel the story while digesting it, this book should be in your reading pile.
Thanks for reading review number 540... or 5-4-0.... much like the shared birthday May, 4th....
 - Silkcuts

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    The Story:  Six students arrive at a prep school and before long, they realize things aren't what they seem and that something else more sinister is going on.  My Thoughts:  Nick Spencer does a brilliant job scripting this story that immediately sucks you into this world he's created. You can tell he's really planned and thought this out over time which results in a truly innovative story. I don't think I've had the pleasure of reading anything of Spencer's before now, but after reading this I'm...

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    Morning Glories: For a Better Future Review 0

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