What would anyone make of Morning Glories if they picked up this graphic novel without having read any of the previous material? Even regular readers won’t catch the significance of everything revealed here, as some elements are sowing seeds for the future. There are no concessions, that’s for sure. They’d see a mysterious and very accomplished woman in black eleven years before the present day story threads. She’s not afraid to resort to violence and murder, can speak several languages, and is touring the world visiting gifted children. Regular readers know who this is, and her purpose. In the present day, well, let’s just say life hasn’t improved for the children she’s visiting.

This volume is more filling in of backstory, but has a different connecting thread from the material in the previous Demerits, as Debbie Clarkson visits a number of talented five year old children. These are the remainder of the Truants not spotlighted in that book.

There’s been an increasing reliance on mapping in digital backgrounds to Joe Eisma’s art, and they’re unconvincing, all of them having the look of set construction rather than living environments. Coupled with the still extremely posed figurework it means the art is actually deteriorating slightly as Morning Glories continues.

In one sense the introduction of new characters over the past two volumes has freshened Morning Glories, but as it’s continued their experiences have proved to be variations on the same themes Spencer shocked with over the early volumes. It’s a case of diminishing returns, and while a sense prevails that Spencer does know where everything is leading, it’s now reached a point where it’s surely only the infinitely patient that will continue for the ride.

This is also available combined with the previous two volumes as Deluxe Collection 3, and also forms the final chapters of the enormous Morning Glories Compendium, gathering the first seven paperback volumes.