Long-time readers of MORNING GLORIES are deeply familiar with the Glories and the Truants, the two most recent classes of students at MGA, and this issue, are introduced (by way of Hunter) to a new group at the Academy -- the AV Club.
Spencer and Eisma have a talent for introducing us to new batches of characters at exactly the right time -- the Glories and Truants are all dispersed, dead, or in danger, and in a strange way, this is a form of stasis. None of their stories are ready to progress without a catalyst, and now we've got that in the form of the (already operating, but not in our field of view) AV Club. Hunter is the perfect character to introduce us to this secretive club -- he's an original Glory that we know and feel attached to, but he's had interactions with the Truants as well -- in essence, he's our Virgil, showing us around the Academy and its many mysterious residents at just the right moment.
This introduction is fantastic because it's so ambiguous. It's easy to brand the AV Club as a group of freedom fighters, using the press and their special abilities to help rescue everyone from the worst parts of MGA. But Hunter can't sleep after meeting with them, and we've already seen their invisible-paper move used by the also-questionable Hodge, and...nothing at MGA is what it seems. (Some of it -- notable the club itself -- might not even be real.)
Speaking of things not being what they seem -- it's clear that even if Zoe isn't coming back, her story is far from over. Hunter is especially keen on things that don't seem right, and his divided perception of Zoe (including the wise observation that Jade wouldn't have made it to adulthood if Zoe hadn't saved her) suggests that we'll learn more about her -- and her motivations -- later on.
Given that last panel, it's unclear whether any of the issue is real -- it's entirely possible that it's all a dream, and just an additional layer of insight into Hunter's psyche. And yet...I'm not sure, because Hunter's first conversation with Andres makes me wonder if the final panel was mere misdirection. Is the talk of dreams/Hunter's earlier dream the first instance of the trope (therefore making this issue not a dream, because Andres-as-proxy-for-the-creators tells us that they cannot use the same trick twice), or is this issue the single execution of that trick, thereby assuring us early that the entirety of MORNING GLORIES won't be someone's dream?
Count this as another exciting and well-executed twist in the grand MORNING GLORIES puzzle. We got to meet a new set of characters, learn more about how the school works, and -- of course -- doubted everything we knew.