ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Morning In America,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Morning in America

Morning in America #1 is the start of a miniseries published by Oni Press. The comic is written by Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl), illustrated by Claudia Aguirre, with letters by Zakk Saam. The series follows as four friends in the small town of Tucker Ohio as they unravel the mystery behind the strange disappearance of serval of their fellow high school students.

Despite taking place in 1983 and centering the story around bizarre disappearances, Morning in America does not remind me of the current trend of spooky properties capturing nostalgia like Stranger Things. The characters work well together but hardly seem to fit in the mystery. The four main characters dubbed the sick sisters, are very different personality-wise and are like Sailor Scouts that have a juvenile record.

The issue focused mostly on Nancy who, sticking with Sailor Moon reference, most closely resembles Sailor Mars. Nancy’s parents are clearly struggling to make ends meet since the town has lost all of its union jobs, leaving her father is out of work. This happens around the same time as the opening of a bizarre new factory.

The issue does not get into anything supernatural or even the missing teenagers until the last pages and it is anti-climatic, to say the least. Toward the end of the issue, Nancy is approached by a slightly strung out fellow student who asked if she has something he can purchase to take the edge off. After meeting with him and him acting erratically causing him to lash out at Nancy and plead for her help in finding his lost sister, the two get into a physical altercation.

The fight is broken up by the cops who are now patrolling the school as part of increased security following the disappearances. While waiting for punishment from the school administration, Nancy overhears the Chief of Police say they are not investigating the missing teenagers. From there, Nancy insists to her other friends the sick sisters have to investigate the disappearances.

There are a lot of clues set up here but they are poorly drawn into the story. Nancy’s connection to this mystery is so loose it is hard to understand why she would drop everything. While it is disturbing to know the police aren’t investigating, the story, in my opinion, hasn’t given Nancy enough motivation to pursue this dangerous case on her own with just her friends.

I also wish we had seen more of a glimpse of whatever supernatural monster is lurking. The only reason I know that is the case is because of the marketing and promotional emails I have in my inbox promoting such. While that oversight might be a con on the marketing team and less on the creative team it still is hard to get excited about a supernatural mystery without seeing any of those clues or threads even dangled.

Aguirre’s art is gorgeous and the book also boasts and fantastic variant covers in addition to regular cover but other than that, this book is just boring. It feels rushed and yet at the same time showed us nothing at all. Hopefully, in future issues, more clues will be revealed but until then, this just isn’t the mystery for me.

Morning in America #1 is available in comic book stores everywhere March 6, 2019

Morning in America #1
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TL;DR

Aguirre’s art is gorgeous and the book also boasts and fantastic variant covers in addition to regular cover but other than that, this book is just boring. It feels rushed and yet at the same time showed us nothing at all. Hopefully, in future issues, more clues will be revealed but until then, this just isn’t the mystery for me.