Continuing in the current story structure of spotlighting a character, ‘Morning Glories’ issue 8 focuses on the character of Hunter.  The story unfolds in current time with flashbacks that tie to the plot thread of the issue, while at the same time continuing the overall plot of the series.  This series is doing a fantastic job filling the hole that Lost left in the hearts of fans everywhere.

The book opens with a scene of a young Hunter who is late to meet his dad.  A man stops Hunter from running out into the street.  Hunter a bit frazzled by being late, and is given a wristwatch by the man and told to use it so he would never again be late.  The wristwatch read 8:13 as the time, which will play out in the issue, and much in ‘Morning Glories’ fashion, adds a wrinkle to the story.

The next scene hits close to home in an awkward moment between Hunter and Casey.  Hunter asks Casey out on a date, and after a cute runaround, she accepts, and Hunter proposes that they go on a picnic since they can’t leave Morning Glory Academy.  The date is set for 5:00pm at an apple tree in the yard behind the academy.  Hunter, in no haste, takes off with his iPod blaring and bumps into another student in the hall.  The student, Chad, is not fazed by Hunter bumping into him and is rather nice about it.  This interaction plays out again later, but a bit different.

From here on in, the issue darts in and out of current time, and flashbacks tell the tale of Hunter’s eternal tardiness.  No matter what time it really is, Hunter will always see the time as 8:13.  Troubled by this strange occurrence of time, Hunter seeks help, and through a series of referrals ends up with an unusual CAT scan.  Of course, once again in true Morning Glories fashion, Hunter is not made aware of the results of the CAT scan, and instead (due to an outside force) is referred to a Psychosomatic specialist.  Current time: Hunter is off to his date with Casey and is attacked by Chad and another bully, who is accusing Hunter of jumping him and is looking for payback (uh…wha?).  Hunter trying to talk his way out of the situation and, a bit confused, sees Jun (maybe?).  It would be safe to say a roommate would normally defend his friend but Jun attacks Hunter as well, and the bullies beat him up, throwing a bag over his head.  Hunter finds himself later at the feet of the dead  bullies with a familiar phrase written on the floor in a bodily fluid.  His savior is unknown to him, but Hunter overhears that it might have been one of the new girls (hmmmmmm?).  Hunter is discovered by Jun and it’s explained why it seemed Jun attacked him earlier, which also explains previous issue’s similar occurrences with Jun.

The writing, by Nick Spencer, is spot on.  The kids speak like most kids their own age and for the most part Spencer avoids using current slang keeping the dialogue sounding fresh.  The moment between Hunter and Casey will leave the reader with sweaty palms and butterflies in their stomachs.  The pace starts slow and speeds up causing the reader to want to pull the bag off Hunters’ head for him.  The one bit of criticism is that Hunter references the movie ‘Dead Poet’s Society’.  Now, the character of Hunter is the pop culture kid, but that movie in all its glory, just seemed a bit out of Hunters’ realm, but didn’t seem forced.

The art chores are done by Joe Esima, with colors by Alex Sollazzo, letters by Johnny Lowe and cover by Rodin Esquejo.  The art depicts the kids as being all very physically fit but seldom does Esima ever cheesecake up the physical characteristics of the student body.  The panels are framed very well with use of Dutch angles, and over the shoulder shots, giving it a very cinematic feel.  Esima did a wonderful job capturing the awkward moment between Hunter and Casey.  His art will make the reader fidget in their seats and want to blurt out loud “Just ask her dammit!”.