Written by Magdalene Visaggio, Illustrated, Colored, and Cover Art by Claudia Aguirre, Lettered by Zakk Saam, Designed by Dylan Todd, Edited by Ari Yarwood
Thanks to Oni Press for providing review copies of Morning in America #2-5. If you missed my review of #1, you can read it here.
It’s 1983, and when mysterious monsters start overtaking a small town in Ohio, it’s up to a teenage girl gang to save the day in this new story for fans of Paper Girls and Stranger Things.
Created by powerhouse team Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl) and Claudia Aguirre (Kim & Kim), Morning in America follows the Sick Sisters, a group of friends and small-time delinquents who may be the only people standing between their suffocatingly small town and complete apocalyptic destruction. The Sisters know there’s something wrong in Tucker, Ohio—and they also know that the authorities aren’t doing anything about it. When the girls take the investigation into their own hands, they run into wild conspiracy theories, abandoned homes… and something that screeches in the night. At the end of the world, four girls with bikes and baseball bats are there to stand in the way.
With Halloween quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start adding some monster books to your Fall reading list. Morning in America brings a lot to the table for anyone who enjoys Stranger Things, or 80s monster movies.
After the events of issue #1, things just go from bad to worse. The pacing of this story arc is very fast, and I did feel like some plot points didn’t get enough attention before I was rushed off to the next piece of information. The crew of girls are never really developed as individuals either. As a result the story feels a bit more plot heavy than character focused. I wasn’t really put off by that in this case, and it was fun to see how a character would respond given the lack of exposition.
I really enjoyed the artwork in this series. The character designs are so individualistic and well defined. I never had a question about who I was looking at. I really enjoyed the fact that several female characters are depicted with traditionally male features or clothing. The androgyny inherent in those designs is well done, and I would love to see it more often. to The monster designs were terrifying and fit into the world very well.
Minor Spoilers Ahead!
The girls are primarily motivated by the disappearance of their friends and neighbors in this series. Though they are scared of disappearing themselves, they still fight to discover what’s going on in their small town. Each individual issue almost reads like a slightly different genre. Initially, it’s a political conspiracy/thriller. Quickly things escalate and it turns toward Science Fiction. Ever issue carries the story further and further toward Sci Fi. I really enjoyed that progression, and it helped keep me invested throughout the arc.
It does seem as though there will be future stories in this series, and I am very interested to see where the story goes from here. The amount of diversity in this book, coupled with the artful inclusion of elements of Sci Fi certainly captured my interest.
If you need more stories in the vein of Stranger Things or Paper Girls, I highly recommend Morning in America.
Now that the full first arc is available, I want to hear from you! If you’ve read the series, talk to me on Twitter or Instagram. The first 5 issues will be available as a trade paperback in October.