MGA Study Hall: Issue #12

By and | September 7th, 2011
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Hello and welcome back to Morning Glory Academy Study Hall! In this column, MC contributor (and TV Overmind writer/FuckYeahLost’s head honcho) Crit Obara and I sit down and analyze the latest issue of Morning Glories. We are now in the finale of the second arc with the 12th issue, this time focusing on the faculty of the Academy and a brand new character. If you thought you had everything figured out before, you certainly are going to be thrown a few curveballs now.

So join Crit and I after the cut as we discuss the issue, it’s story and possible hidden secrets that we may or may not be picking up on. We should also note: this discussion contains massive spoilers for the issue. Colossal. Ginormous, even. The issue is out today, so make sure to read it first before you read our thoughts. It helps to give the issue a few read throughs before coming to us, but consider this your warning about impending spoilers.

As always, our very lovely/supremely awesome column header was designed by the graphic designer for the actual book, Tim Daniel! For more of Tim’s work, please visit his site Hidden Robot. Many thanks to Tim for being fantastically awesome and providing it to us.

Previous issues: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6#7, #8, #9, #10, #11

Matthew Meylikhov: Hi everyone, and welcome to Study Hall! I am sitting here with Crit and we are ready to dive into this issue face first! Say hello to all the wonderful readers, Crit!

Crit Obara: Hello to all the wonderful readers, Crit!

MM: This issue is a bit of a whopper, isn’t it?

CO: Oh yes.Another great issue, another WOW issue.

MM: I will say, before we even begin: I started shouting at the comic outloud while reading it. That doesn’t happen often. Occasionally I’ll laugh or let out a sigh, but I never start talking to the book.

CO: I hope the cats were entertained. Or scared.

MM: They’re always entertained. Or scared!

CO: Well then, let’s start discussing Morning Glories Babies. Oops, I mean, Morning Glories 12.

MM: We open with a brand new character driving up to some unknown location in a jeep. I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to think that this lady just had a sexy weekend. What with the wink, and all.

CO: The wink, the goodbye kiss and the “it was…fun.”

MM:I bet it was. Can we also note her outfit? She looks kind of like a zookeeper. Or at least, my preconceived notion of what zookeepers dress like.

CO: She does, and someone even says that exact thing to her later.

MM: I’m jumping ahead. My bad!

CO: It’s okay. She looks like a zookeeper now, and she still does later in the issue.

MM: I suppose we can call her by her name, right? This new character is Lara Hodge, although her role is unclear at the beginning of the issue. Granted, given the comic, I assume everyone knew she was related to MGA, but for the sake of us doing our usual play by play, let’s pretend we don’t know.

CO: That sounds good. Lara steps out of the lovemobile and meets up with two men after entering a building.

MM: Those two men are in the familiar security garb that everyone should be familiar with, which is the first clue, “Hey, guess where we’re going.”

CO: Indeed. Those outfits, however, are soon covered up by hazmat suits.

MM: That’s a curious element, isn’t it? Why would they need to be in hazmat suits to go into what is ostensibly just an elevator?

CO:I thought that was strange. too. They head down the elevator shaft, and hop into a vehicle that takes them through a tunnel. There’s nothing to report about the tunnel; it looks like a big, clandestine tunnel. Except one thing. The radioactive symbol can be seen behind them as they drive through.

Continued below

MM: Right. So they’re going down, assumedly into the Earth (because where else would you go down into?), but to a place that is radioactive? That doesn’t seem to make sense, which makes me question where exactly they really are. Besides, you know, underground. As far as I knew, the further you go into the Earth’s core, the hotter and denser gravity becomes – but not to the point of radiation. Unless I missed a fundamental lecture somewhere in high school about the Earth?

CO: Right. I don’t think whatever radioactivity is down there is naturally occuring.

MM: So there is something else about where they’re going down into, something that requires heavy radiation – but can we agree that they’re going down into the Earth?

CO: Yes.

MM: That actually explains a lot, without saying anything. What we learn here is that Morning Glory Academy is actually located deep underground inside of this artificially created … I dunno, habitat, I guess? But that underground aspect explains something from back in issue #5, when the ground fell apart into a lava-y pit of Hell/doom. It was a big mystery for us, but now we know that they’re somewhere assumedly close to the core of the Earth. It would explain the unstable nature of the ground and why – in the case of the Cylinder vibrating like crazy – the ground would open up like that. It also would seem to imply that the Cylinder not only reacts to some kind of unexplainable magic thing, but possibly due to shifts in polarity which could because by — I don’t entirely know. I’m losing myself a bit.

CO: Ah yes, I remember that scene. That does explain why that pit would be there. What about what we learned recently from Gribbs, when he told Ike that there was a gate and then another gate (and a third gate? I can’t remember) and that was the outside world. Perhaps that last gate is just an elevator shaft that goes up?

MM: I was going to mention that, actually!

CO: Were you thinking what I was thinking, or something else?

MM: I was thinking about the gates! There were three, and if we don’t include the elevator, I think that remains true. There is the gate into the initial facility, the gate at the bottom of the elevator that you have to drive to, and the final gate into the school.

CO: Ah. So we just saw her go through the first gate, then down to the second gate?

MM: Well, and I guess the gate to the actual school. When I said “final gate into the school,” I meant the door that opens up to the artificial environment. So ok. Four gates, and an elevator shaft.


MM: I mean, we went a bit crazy last issue with the three gate metaphor, and I think we’ve said many times we probably read far too into some of the offhand comments in any given issue. I did like our three gates theory, though!

CO: I like it too. It answers what I was wondering about, which was what Gribbs had said. I think it’s a good way of applying what we see here to what we learned from Gribbs. Of course, we don’t know if he was even being truthful. It seemed like he was being open and honest with Ike, but you never know.

MM: I think they’re always generally honest. They just use a lot of doublespeak and metaphors. As much as Spencer is creating this big mystery in the story, the characters who know things just never give you the entire piece of the puzzle. It’s a lot like LOST, and how Ben Linus used to speak to John Locke, if that makes sense. “John, there’s a box in the island.” (For those of you reading this who did not follow LOST, I apologize for the vague analogy!)

CO: True!

MM: Ok, so Ms. Hodge goes through her four gates and an elevator and arrives at Morning Glory Academy in an underground artificial environment at the end of a mysterious nuclear-radiating hallway. That was the part of the comic I started shouting at, by the way. We had guessed where the school was previously, and as soon as I saw the second page, I started screaming “Oh! They’re in an underground artificial environment! They’re in an underground artificial environment!!!!”

Continued below

CO: There goes your island theory!

MM: True, but – … yeah, no, just true. Although, I know you haven’t seen the Prisoner yet, but in the original Prisoner – and I won’t spoil anything for you – there was both an island and something underground. So, you never know. An island could show up.

CO: Alright then! The island theory lives…maybe.

MM: We still have the place that Jade time traveled to! The one from issue #3, that exists in the 1800’s?

CO: Indeed. Hodge returns to MGA, and everyone is very happy to have her back.

MM: She is the single most popular adult at MGA.

CO: Maybe the only popular adult? I was taken aback by the response to her. In a place where most other adults are feared, she is loved.

MM: We’ll shortly learn that she is the guidance counselor of the school, so she is assumedly the only person at this school that the kids can relate to. “Miss Hodge, Gribbs and Daramount tried to drown me again because I couldn’t remember Bell’s Theorem.”

CO: Haha, sounds like something that they’d say to her.

MM: The FOR A BETTER FUTURE poster also appears right when she walks into the school, for those keeping track of the poster.

CO: She knew the details of one students struggles, and another’s relationship, showing just how close she is to the student body.

MM: That does make sense. A good guidance counselor would be close to the students she guides, and in a school like Morning Glory Academy where the children are being groomed to a higher purpose, she probably has a lot to remember and monitor. There’s a specific reason for that that becomes more obvious later, but we’ll get to it.

CO: Yes! Next, she enters her office, seeming relieved to be there. She picks up a photo, glances at it, and then turns it around and puts it back on the shelf. I think this showed that she, like the students, misses someone, or has something outside of MGA that she longs for.

MM: That photo has to be important. It’s SOMETHING, for sure. I’m not sure if it’s something outside that she longs for, but it is definitely something personal. It could be a photo from her childhood, for example – which, again, would make sense later.

CO: To make another LOST reference, as we learned from Ben, if you know what really matters to someone, you can manipulate that person with that.

MM: That’s very true. I’m not sure anyone at MGA is manipulating Miss Hodge, though. I have a theory about this, but I want to save it for now. There are two things about her office that I think are also noteworthy, besides the picture.

CO: What are those two things?

MM: Well, from the decorations, we can learn that she’s a bit of a hippy. A Bonnaroo poster, a GO GREEN! poster? Yeah. If she wasn’t working at MGA, she’d assuredly be at Greenpeace or something.

CO: Bonnaroo AND Lollapalooza. I think she’d fit in at Greenpeace as well.

MM: Oh, good call! I missed the Lollapalooza poster, hahaha. The other thing worth noting? All the papers on her desk are blank.

CO: We will find out more about that later.

MM: Someone on the internet will see that in a preview and go, “Oh, way to be lazy, guys! Rarara!” Yeah. Not so much. Go sit in the corner. But even so, she reads something on a blank piece of paper, and gets somewhat infuriated by what she reads, storming out of her office.

CO: She heads down to see Nurse Nine, who has four dead bodies laid out.

MM: Four bodies I think we’ve all seen before! Two of them are Steve and Chad, who died in Issue #8 by an unseen killer. The other is Amanda, who died in issue #7.

CO: Interesting line here: “our little mascot’s handiwork” in reference to the murders.

Continued below

MM: I thought their mascot was a ram. See, here’s a question I have – who is the last body, Crit?

CO: The question I had was why does she ask “where is she?”

MM: I can answer that question.

CO: Good. I’m not sure I can answer yours.

MM: The “she” being referred to is Daramount, who Hodge talks to in the next scene.

CO:Ahh, that would make sense. I was thinking she was referring to the person she was seeing, and therefore the answer should be ‘you’re looking at her, dummy.’ Now I get it. Do you think you know who it is?

MM: Not sure, no. Nine names without naming Zoe as the murderer of Amanda. The line is “gutted her right open, she did,” which means they know Zoe killed Amanda – even if, like we theorized, it wasn’t really Zoe in control. However, the next three bodies are assumedly killed by this aforementioned mascot, which Nine also labels as a “he” Nine says, “Bet you never seen a brain popping out of an eyeball,” so I’ll guess that the mascot being referenced is David? We’ve seen him stick his hand through people before. So this could very well be the security guard from issue #5… So why can’t we see the body? Is this, perhaps, something different? Outside of implied shock value, I mean. I guess what I’m saying is – do you think there is a specific reason we don’t get to the see the body?

CO: I think the fact that we don’t see the body, and the identity is held from us, means something. My only thought on why that might be…it’s someone we’ve seen before, and we’ll see how they ended up dead in the future? And maybe we’ll find out how or why their murder was so brutal that there are brains popping out of their eye.

MM: Is this like Ike’s “father”, who we saw “dead” but weren’t allowed to see that it wasn’t actually Ike’s father, or what not?

CO: Perhaps.

MM: Hmm. Ok. Interesting.

CO: What about Abraham? Ike was supposed to kill him, right?

MM: True, and if they’re trying to groom Ike for evil purposes, he could be their “mascot.” We briefly see Ike later, but not to any great extent. So we have no idea how that scene ended. I don’t think Ike went through with it, though.

CO: I don’t really see any reason to believe anything one way or another as to the identity of this body, but I think we have some good guesses here. But we should be clear that we really are just wondering aloud.

MM: Most of the time, we are.

CO: Good point!

MM: I think we have been right about one or two things in the past, but we’re still just playing a massive guessing game!

CO: It’s a fun game.

Editor’s Note: username Upguntha on Twitter has suggested, quite astutely, that the fourth body could be Brandon’s body left over from the first issue – although why the body is still there after all this time is a curiosity in and of itself

MM: So Miss Hodge goes to chat with Miss Daramount!

CO: She interrupts her class, and ruins her lesson in the process, giving the students the answer Daramount is looking for.

MM: Quick easter egg note: there is an apple on Daramount’s desk. Like the poster, that makes frequent appearances, which we’ve discussed in the past.

CO: Good catch.

MM: Daramount calls her the “prodigal daughter”, which I feel is a fairly important remark here. For record, the phrase “prodigal ___ returns” is based on an old Jesus tale. Is there a proper term for that sort of thing?

CO: Bible story?

MM: …Parable! Parable! That’s the word.

CO: Ah, okay.

MM: Haha. Jesus tale.

CO: I like “Jesus tale.” It sounds almost whimsical.

MM: Anyway. It’s basically about a son who is given his inheritance, but wastes his fortune, with the word “prodigal” meaning wastefully extravagant. So after he loses all this money, he comes home to repent, and he learns that life is not about spending money like crazy and that there are more important things in life that he could only learn by being poor and being forced to come home. Granted, I went to Hebrew school because I’m a Jew, so my understanding of these tales isn’t exact. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Continued below

CO: Oh, I don’t know anything about Jesus and his tales, so if that’s what you say, I’ll go with that.

MM: Alright, sure! It’s an interesting story that I learned about in college from a History professor, which seems… odd, thinking about it now. But back to Morning Glories, that nickname – if we aren’t just reading into this like we always do? Well, it does seem to imply something about Hodge’s relation to school (in that she would return “home” to it?), and it also implies that perhaps the reason she is such a wonderful and loved person by the school is that she had the opportunity to leave and come back a wiser and more caring person based on her experiences away from the Academy. So prodigal both in the figurative and literal sense.

CO: I like that.

MM: i have more to say on that, but we’ll wait a bit! Haha. So Daramount is attempting to teach her students about Galileo, and she apparently has a whole routine that she does.

CO: Yes, that’s what Hodge ruins for her.

MM: The thing that she’s talking about is how Galileo did experiments with pendulums, after being inspired by watching chandelier’s swinging in a cathedral.

CO: Yes, the discovery of the speed of light.

MM: He did this by arranging two observers with lanterns and shutters, and the two people had to observe each other’s lanterns at a distance. They had one person open the shutter of the lantern, and the second person would open his shutter as soon as he sees the other light, and the time it takes for that to happen was what they measured as the speed of light. Am I understanding that correctly?

CO: As far as I know, yes.

MM: I do know that this was found to be inconclusive, though, because if I’m not mistaken the “official” “scientifically approved” understanding of the speed of light was in 1983. That’s not really the point of the story, though. The point is the inspiration to want to do science in the first place, which I assume is important to Daramount given that we know she teaches kids science, has a fascination with science (which we’ve seen with her love of Bell’s theorem), and I would assume her own interest in being a teacher – if we are to assume she has a choice in the matter – involves her probably being inspired by Galileo.

CO: That sounds good. I was just thinking that she was interested in people trying to make discoveries in unique and clever ways.

MM: There’s something very interesting about Galileo in specific, though, which I’d like to add if you don’t mind!

CO: Ok!

MM: I don’t know how much you know about Galileo, but this is something I knew without  even googling! Galileo was a big proponent in the idea that the Earth is not the center of the universe, and his beliefs were considered controversial due to his living in a society where Church was not separated from State. Because of this and his pissing off of the Catholic Church, Galileo was put under house arrest until his death. Given Daramount’s love of Galileo – if we are indeed allowed to assume she has a massive love of Galileo based on this page – …well, is it possible that maybe Daramount is under a similar house arrest?

CO: Something we hear later in this issue might help you with that argument.

MM: Ok, we’ll come back to it! Ok, so Daramount and Hodge go out into the hallway to talk (while Casey smirks, by the way).

CO: Yes. And here we find out that the headmaster is not happy with Daramount, at all.

MM: Well there are the bodies of four dead children in the basement. A line that I forgot about, which means that the dead body downstairs isn’t Abraham. ALTHOUGH. In a bit of a tangent and brain inspiration – if we are to believe our whole crazy clone theory, maybe the body is Jade? Like, a clone or … no, that doesn’t make sense. Ignore me.

Continued below

CO: Ignored!

MM: So what we learn here is that Daramount, who had previously never gotten a scratch, can actually be hurt. She has cuts all over her arm. Which is odd, if I do say so.

CO: After everything we’ve seen her survive, it’s very strange.

MM: Why cuts? She has the wrists of a sad goth teenager.

CO: Maybe the headmaster knows her weakness? Her arms? I don’t know, it’s fishy.

MM: It is very fishy. The headmaster is such an odd character. We’ve never seen him (we now for sure know it’s a him, I don’t think a gender was ever officially assigned before?), but we had always assumed that characters like Gribbs and Daramount were doing what he said to do. Now it seems like that’s not the case so much, although that could be because our Glories are rambunctious. I would assume our kids are probably glitches in the Matrix.

CO: Something like that, yes. That’s a good way to put it. I think. Maybe something has gone wrong in their “process” because of the Glories? Daramount mentions “the process.”

MM: Yes! The process! What’s that all about, eh? And the other thing we learn here is that Miss Hodge and Miss Daramount are sisters. And that the Headmaster is their father.

CO: That was the big one. After nothing about him for so long, that was just dropped on us here.

MM: Lots of family stuff in Morning Glories!

CO: All the best cowboys (and MGA faculty) have daddy issues.

MM: So here are some rapid fire addendums to things we talked about earlier: 1. Hodge and Daramount are, rather noticeably, not the same last name. So, it is possible that the photo on the desk is Hodge’s husband? Or Hodge’s family?

CO: Perhaps. If it’s her husband, is that the man we saw on the first page?

MM: No, I don’t think so. I think that is just a dude. I would assume that Hodge is perhaps related to someone else at the school, just like Abraham was Ike’s father. 2. Daramount being Hodge’s sister makes the “prodigal daughter” thing and Galileo thing we discussed a bit more illuminated.

CO: Hmm. The thing she came back to the school for was her sister?

MM: It’s possible. I think there is a love between the two of them, even if it is a begrudging sort of love.

CO: Or her father, since the word “daughter” was used.

MM: Well, if we know that Hodge and Daramount are related, then Hodge being able to leave and Daramount ASSUMEDLY not being able to leave connects to Galileo being an inspiration to Daramount, both in his brilliance and his eventual house arrest (again, assuming MGA is the “house”, as compared in the prodigal daughter comment, and assuming that Daramount can’t leave).

CO: Ah. Okay.

MM: Everything is getting twisty now! “Yes, we said this, which means this, and this this and this, oh and this….”

CO:And the final third of the issue shows Hodge meeting with our Glories for various reasons.

MM: First Hodge meets Zoe, in which we get the zookeeper comment and we finally learn that Hodge is the guidance counselor (which we had already mentioned).

CO: She gives Zoe a gun, because according to her, Zoe’s file says that she’s going to need it at some point. Weird! Then, this great line: “because you’re not a killer, Zoe.”

MM: I love that. Totally adds a bit of creedance to our “Zoe has a split personality/gets possessed” theory. Zoe also threatens to take Hodge hostage, at which point Hodge mentions she’d have more luck pointing the gun on herself.

CO: What do you think she meant by that? If anything.

MM: Well, clearly some of the student body is expendable, but I think that just illustrates how important our particular Glories are. I also think that the Headmaster would be fine with Hodge getting killed, which is sad considering the paternal relation. But it’s the kids that are being groomed “for a better future,” not the adults.

Continued below

CO: True. I think just by giving her the gun, and the fact that she’s only going to the Glories for this segment all of a sudden, shows that they are the most important group out of all the students at the school. Zoe needs to be protected due to some imminent threat, so she gets a gun.

MM: Hodge is definitely playing to an end here, but it’s not very clear whose side she’s on. She’s helping Daramount, she’s helping the Headmaster, and she’s helping the kids.

CO: Yeah, it’ll be interesting to find out which side she’s really on. It can’t be all three.

MM: It’s also interesting to see the Glories focused on so heavily, as if there are no other cliques at the school. I kind of wonder if at any point in time we’ll see the story from other student’s points of view and learn more about the groups and alliances that form.

CO: Maybe!

MM: So Hodge meets with Jun next, and in this scene it is heavily implied that Hodge helped Jun get into the school. Which, given our knowledge of Jun and his twin brother Hisao and the switcheroo they pulled, answers one of the more headache-inducing mysteries – How did the right twin get in after the wrong twin took his place?

CO: Who do you think the “he” is that Jun asks her about? I think it’s his brother.

MM: I thought it was his brother too.

CO: I think that makes a lot of sense. When she refuses to talk about it with him, he wants nothing more to do with her.

MM: That’s because she’s not going to be helping him.  “I said I would help you get here. The rest, you’re on your own.” Jun is the only one who knows who she is and her odd triple-agent status. Or, I guess just double-agent? It seems she is playing for the school, assumedly for Abraham, and for herself. I think she’s only helping Daramount because they’re sisters. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of there love outside of simple family-based love.

CO: I think it’s interesting that the extent of her help to him was getting him in. If she went through all that (which couldn’t have been easy), why stop?

MM: Well, she does note that she is there to talk to him about SOMETHING. We just don’t know what that is because he refuses her. On a side note, I really like that Joe and Nick are giving these interactions a page each. I think it really boils down the whole idea of her interactions with them, but there is still a lot to be gleaned from the pages regardless.

CO: It seemed very simple; one page boom, one page boom, etc., but it’s not at all. Her next chat was with Jade. She gave her some pills to help her sleep and avoid the nightmares.

MM: She also asked, in a joking fashion, “What did you see when your eyes were opened????”, then laughs at Nine for doing “that old school shit.” Old school, huh?

CO: I thought that was funny, and the crazy face Joe drew for her while imitating Nine was just perfect. Old school might be a strange way to put it. Did MGA used to do more of that kind of thing, and now they’re moving past it more?

MM: I think there is probably a “new” way of doing things. Or, I assume. I would assume, the reason people love Hodge is she’s not crazy and scary all the time. That’s the “new” way. Be friends with the kids. Then there is the “old” way, the stuff that Daramount, Gribbs and Nine do, where they scare the shit out of everyone and try to drown them.

CO: That sounds plausible.

MM: Another thing to note about this scene is that Hodge asks Jade if she wants to get rid of the nightmares, and in the panel Jade is looking down.

CO: Yeah, we never get her answer. Is it possible that she doesn’t? Could she be into them?

Continued below

MM: Jade’s nightmares are frightening, but also incredibly illuminating. Is it possible that Jade doesn’t want to dumb down her psyche? I mean, I wouldn’t be into that if my dreams took me on a journey through time and space.

CO: Haha. Maybe even though it’s scary, it’s an escape from reality for her, and a source of excitement?

MM: I mean, I don’t think she likes them much, what with them being nightmares and her waking up screaming. But then again, she knows that she has a link to this other … I don’t even know how to describe it, it’s like a whole different reality without being a different reality. I don’t think she wants to lose the connection, especially after meeting her “future” self.

CO: She could be wanting to connect more with that self. I could see that.

MM: Next Hodge meets with our favorite Hunter!

CO: And makes fun of him for his clock issue!

MM: I love that she says, “You kids get more ridiculous by the year.” Which basically translates to, everyone at MGA that is a student has something about them. It’s not just OUR kids, it’s everyone.

CO: Then we learn that she knows a lot about him from his file, and then we learned that his file is BLANK.

MM: Yes! Now we know why the pages are blank! I’m reminded of the psychic paper from Doctor Who, although that causes the other person looking at it to see something, not the owner. And her psychic pages can also see the future.

CO: Just plain weird.

MM: She notes that it doesn’t say EVERYTHING they’re going to do, though. I assume it says what they’re most likely to do, which means that they still have free will.

CO: “Damn near” everything. Which means there is room for deviation. Free will, exactly.

MM: I like that Hodge also challenges Hunter about the blank pages. Like, Hunter has this weird perception filter that forces him to see a specific time, and that makes him “special.” Hodge sees information about the students on the pages, and that assumedly makes her “special” too. Do you suppose Hodge was probably a student at the school once? That could also be a reason to call her a prodigal daughter of the Academy, outside of the whole “Headmaster is her father” thing.

CO: I think that’s probably the case. Now she’s back in this new role.

MM: Like when alumni students become teachers.

CO: Exactly.

MM: So now Hodge goes to meet Ike, and this meeting is perhaps the most interesting of the bunch – because she says nothing.

CO: She walks around a bit, looks nervous (I think) and then says “not yet.”

MM: So I think this scene signifies that Ike did not kill Abraham, does it not? If he had, he wouldn’t have to gaze outside of the gates longingly.

CO: It seems like he’s waiting for something, and her saying “not yet” means that that thing is not ready to be done yet?

MM: All the other children received some kind of intervention. What do you suppose that “thing that is not ready” might be?

CO: If you think he didn’t kill Abraham, and they want him to kill, the person he needs to kill might not be ready or in place to be killed yet? Like, someone besides Abraham?

MM: I get the feeling Hodge doesn’t want to put him or anyone on a dark pro-Academy path, though.

CO: Could she be preparing to release him, then? He’s waiting at that gate, perhaps freedom is on the other side. We know she got Jun IN, maybe she’ll let him OUT?

MM: So you think he did kill Abraham?

CO:She could be subverting the other faculty by letting him out before that murder (or any murder) takes place.

MM: Hmm. Interesting. Although last issue we had kind of discussed that maybe Ike didn’t want to leave at all.

Continued below

CO: I still lean towards him not wanting to leave, but I’m just throwing ideas out here. The fact that he’s standing at that gate must mean something, or she would have just had him meet her in her office or somewhere inside the school.

MM: Do you think Ike is like Jun? Jun was called over the PA, but he didn’t go to her office. Do you think she might have called Ike and he didn’t come, and when she found him she changed her mind?

CO: Hm…possibly.

MM: From Ike we finally go to Casey, who visits the location of the finale from the first issue where she saw her parents strung up and dead. Lara approaches her and introduces herself, citing her role as a guidance counselor and noting that she is “stuck here, just like (Casey).” That’s an interesting bit, because earlier in the discussion we talked about how she was able to leave.

CO: Right. Do you believe her? We should start with whether or not we think she’s being truthful.

MM: Hmm. I’m not entirely sure. I want to believe her, but I feel like – given the series’ penchant for twists and turns – she would certainly be the most likely to throw a massive curveball and use the kids for her own wants and needs as opposed to being on their side.

CO: I want to believe (like Mulder! Yeah, X-Files reference!) in her as well, but I just don’t think I can.

MM: Especially because we saw her leave. That doesn’t seem like she’s literally trapped. So unless when she says she is trapped there, she doesn’t mean it so literally but rather that even if she wants to go away from the school, she’ll always be forced to come back, then I don’t know. If the Headmaster is her father, then it would make sense that she is probably destined to be stuck at the school for eternity, assumedly due to some kind of destiny?

CO: I can get behind that.

MM: So do you think she’s pro-school, pro-Abraham, or pro-herself?

CO: School / herself.

MM: Interesting. What do you think Hodge’s relation to Abraham is?

CO: Since we’re learning about this family, why not make this guess: her brother.

MM: They do both have red hair.

CO: Nice catch. There’s a bit of evidence, maybe!

MM: Do you think they are in contact at all? We had speculated it earlier when she talked to Jun, and it doesn’t seem like there is much Hodge doesn’t know about in the Academy. But here’s the odd bit: when talking to Casey, she says she wants to help Casey burn the school down. We know (assume) that Abraham is recruiting kids for similar destructive purposes – but do you think, after this, that Hodge is doing it WITH him? Or on her own?

CO: Hmmm. Well, if we’re going with our brother/sister guess, maybe they’re working together? ..Okay, here I go with an idea.

MM: Go!

CO: They’re brother/sister, there’s this somewhat tyrannical rule from their headmaster father, and they’re stuck in this position. They’re making their parent(s?) believe they’re working for the school, for a better future. They’re actually working to circumvent the headmaster and liberate themselves from this school and their father. They’ve tried before and failed, maybe. Another LOST-inspired idea: They come, they fight, they destroy, it always ends the same. Maybe they’re trying to make sure this time is NOT the same. No more repetition.

MM: So Abraham is more directly tied to the school, you mean? Like, he’s a teacher we haven’t seen or something like that?

CO: I’m not sure about that. He could be more on the outside, while she’s more on the inside.

MM: With him being Ike’s father and Ike being in charge of a corporation after “his father’s death”, it’s possible that Abraham is a bankroller for the school? Assuming what you’re saying is true, I mean.

CO: Hm, maybe, maybe.

MM: So… huh. So it’s kind of like a war of a family, with Daramount and the Headmaster versus Hodge and Abraham, and they’re using the kids as pawns in their battle?

Continued below

CO: I think we could be seeing that war shaping up.

MM: As the issue wraps up, Hodge drops one last additional bombshell: if Casey destroys the school, Hodge could bring back her parents. Huh. How about that one, Crit?

CO: Yeah…I got nothin’.

MM: There are probably a couple options we could go with here 1. Hodge can actually bring them back from the dead. 2. Something to do with clones (getting clones of her parents, perhaps?). 3. Something to do with reincarnating souls, like we’ve theorized with Jade and Ike, which would tie into the whole “everything that happens has happened before” idea we’ve discussed. Do you like any of that?

CO: 2 or 3, sure. Not that those don’t sound a bit wacky, but #1 seems too wacky.

MM: How come? Not enough “SCIENCE!” to it?

CO: Haha. Yes.

MM: So what do you think Casey is going to do? So far, with each final issue, we never fully see what happens with the next scene. We are only left to guess. We don’t know if Ike actually killed Abraham, but we can assume he didn’t. We don’t know if Jade actually died or… or WHAT, but we can guess she is ok. Because… uhm, well. Because. So, with other kids like Jun siding with Abraham, does Casey side with Hodge?

CO: Casey seemed irate. I don’t think she’d just settle down and side with her. Then again, the prospect of seeing her parents again could do it.

MM: Her parents are her emotional kryptonite.

CO: Yeah. She just might do anything she can for them.

MM: So we’ve speculated Hodge’s allegiance. How about Casey?

CO: I think Casey has no allegiance. She’s out for herself after what she’s been through.

MM: Is she on the side of the other Glories, or is she only on her own side?

CO: It might just be her side, though if helping herself helps them, I’m sure she would like that.

MM: What do you think now about our previous theory that she is the “future Daramount”?

CO: Hmm. I don’t know that we’ve seen anything that would really change that theory. Depending on how the final scene of this issue plays out, that could change. You?

MM: Yeah, I don’t think Casey is any less likely to have a forced destiny like that, and I think that Hodge, if she is as manipulative as we assume she is because we do not trust anyone, would make sure that happened. If we bring it back to LOST comparisons as we often do, Hodge and Daramount would be Jacob and the Man in Black, and Hodge would be the one trying to find their replacement. Casey would be the new Daramount, and getting a new Daramount would assumedly mean release for both of them?

CO: Yeah, so when one is released, the other is released too, so it’s advantageous for both of them. And they’re both working to that end. But, separately.

MM: I think that it kind of boils down to, as long as the school exists as it currently does, Hodge can not be “free”, whatever that entails. So it’s the destruction of the school that is key to her. Whether it is as simple as Casey and Jade taking over, or even the school just burning down, there needs to be a massive shift to break that chain and let Hodge loose.

CO: I like that. So the school has to go for the cycle to break?

MM: The school is dead. Long live the school.

CO: Indeed!

MM: I think that just about wraps it up for this week. Anything else you’d like to add?

CO: I think we’ve just about wrapped it up. I love that every issue is exciting and intriguing and then leaves you scratching your head at the end. I really like that we have these Study Halls, for the readers but also for myself, because I always have a better understanding of it after sitting down and doing this. A better understanding, also perhaps known as more crazy ideas.

MM: I like how for this whole arc, Spencer and Eisma have been giving us one-shots about the kids, and now with the final issue we have Hodge, who approaches all the Glories here. It’s kind of a nice way to tie up this entire arc, bridge it all together in a very unique way and reminding us of everything we’ve learned about all the kids. It feels like we’ve been with these characters for so long, but it’s only been a year.

Continued below

CO: A great year.

MM: And it’s probably only been a month or two at most in comic time. What do you think has happened to Miss Dagney, by the way? I meant to ask earlier and forgot. We haven’t seen her in a while.

CO: Haven’t thought about her in awhile…I don’t know. You?

MM: I don’t know myself. ….Well then! Until next time. Namaste.

CO: Namaste!

//TAGS | MGA Study Hall

Matthew Meylikhov

Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."


Crit Obara

Crit Obara is a longtime friend of Matthew's. He previously covered LOST for MC, and now co-writes MGA Study Hall. He is the man behind the curtain of and you can follow him on Twitter @crittweets.


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