The world of MORNING GLORIES continues to both expand and contract, filling in gaps that we've been wondering about since the beginning, and -- of course -- opening up new questions and mysteries.
Among these answer-question combos, the reveal of David's parentage was probably the most unexpected, and I'm still trying to sort out where he fits into the giant puzzle. This book just got about sixteen levels more complicated, but knowing that piece makes it feel like everything will, eventually, converge on a single point and make sense at the end.
And in the midst of all of the revealing and obscuring, there are emotionally-charged moments. Jun carrying his brother. Irina's explosive downfall. Hodge's cryptic yet contrite recording to her father. Whatever MORNING GLORIES has lost in terms of consistent time-stream or linear continuity, it's absolutely retained in character relationships.
Also consistent: Joe Eisma's killer art on this book. He's taken a massive cast and made it visually varied (with the exception of alt-Casey and Daramount, and the twins, everyone has a distinct "look"), and he's taken a lot of strange and supernatural elements in stride, as though they're totally normal for a school setting. Of note, especially in this issue, are his incredibly expressive faces -- I'm not a fan of Pamela, the resident murderous psychopath with a smile, but I enjoy the way Eisma captures her perky rage. And Irina? I don't think many human actresses can emote as well as she does after plans go awry.
Issue #29, like the several before it, comes with an array of variant covers (check them out here!). The mix of talent and creativity on these covers is always impressive, and the art ranges from cutesy to dark, making all of them right at home at MGA.
On occasion, I get the urge to trade-wait this book. It's a fascinating story, and the big-picture is incredibly detailed and complex, but sometimes, the single issues just stir up confusion. This is one of those issues; I felt like there were so many pieces swirling around, waiting for connecting points that we haven't seen yet because they haven't yet been printed.
Part of the confusion stems from fragmented reveals; we know that David is important, and we've seen him before, but we don't know why he's important yet, so it's frustrating to know where he comes from without that piece. Likewise, we know that the giant cylinder is powerful and scary and important, but we don't see much happening besides Casey and Hunter stumbling away from it, possibly having altered things, possibly not, scale unknown. And the ultimate question: is everything in the issue back to operating on the same timestream, or are things still fragmented?
MORNING GLORIES is an addictive mystery, and it's incredibly easy to get caught up in solving all of the exhaustively-planned threads that Spencer and Eisma have been weaving into the story. The decision of whether to devour each single issue as it's printed or wait for a trade for more digestible answers is a tough one, and both reading styles make sense. Issue #29 delivers some major plot shifts, but because they're ordered in such a complex manner with minimal context, this week's single-vs-trade coinflip lands on the side of trade.