Issue #26 kicks off the second season of Morning Glories, and we're treated to the return of the long-absent Casey. With this return, we get some answers -- she's alive, and she knows Abraham -- and we get even more new questions. What exactly is her relationship with Abraham? How much of what we've already seen has she influenced? How does Nick Spencer keep track of all of this in his brain?
And since it's a brand new season, there's a brand new layer of intrigue -- Casey goes brunette, and we see that she's been meddling with some situations (some of which line up with events we know to have taken place in the past) looking an awful lot like Miss Daramount.
Joe Eisma handles Casey's transformation into a Daramount doppelganger with ease; as surprising as the story twist might be, the visual shift is so seamless that it begs readers to flip through back issues looking for similarities between the two characters (they're there!).
The time-travel system that Spencer has set up for us gets yet another level of complexity when now-brunette Casey appears in the past-timeline of pre-MGA Casey and neither spontaneously combusts. "Primer" was name-dropped a few issues back, and it looks like we're dealing with an equally sophisticated web of timestreams. I'm on board with this; there's a dual payoff of surprise right now and a potentially awesome series of "aha!" moments when the series wraps and the full timeline is revealed.
In the past, we've been guided through montage and flashback sequences with handy caption boxes to tell us how far from "now" things are. This issue throws us into the same level of confusion Hunter must feel about which timestream he's operating in; we don't know when things are happening or if they're in any sort of order. I'm hoping that -- now that Casey is back and we've seen some glimpses of what she's been up to -- we'll start to see when and where those things were happening.
Like a hydra, MORNING GLORIES sprouts two new questions for every answer that Spencer and Eisma deign to reveal. It's frustrating, but in a good way -- they're clearly playing the long game, and when the series comes to a close, finding out how all of the pieces fit together will be a very sweet payoff. In the meantime, it's a compelling puzzle, and Season Two is starting off with just as much intrigue as Season One.