Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
Warning I couldn’t Write this without some spoilers.
Women in Comics Who Are More than Skin Deep #4: Casey Blevins.
Creator: Nick Spencer.
Appearances: Morning Glories
Occupation: Student/Time Traveler.
Quote: “Let’s see how much leverage you have when I burn this damn place to the grown.”
Why aren’t you reading Morning Glories? Well someone is reading it. The comic book continually sells out its first printing runs, but very few people I know read it. Someone obviously is, but I’m not sure where they are. The story by Nick Spencer resolves around a mysterious boarding school whose, facility has been known to kill just to teach their students a lesson. It has been referred to as Lost meets the Runaways. And it is easy to see why, with all it interstices and plot twist. It is the only comic book that I have literally dropped because I was so shocked by a plot twist.
After thirty plus issues what exactly the Mooning Glory Academy is and what their true goal are, is still unknown. Despite creator Nick Spencer’s insistence he given us all the clues to understand what is going on, and all we need to do is put the pieces together. So we (or at least) I am still trying to figure out the school’s end game. Are they raising future superheroes or super powered villains, the next generation of the new world order, high tech assassins, or they really out to save the world just doing it in a high handed manner?
The book is an ensemble piece, originally focusing on the six main ‘morning glories”. All though a previous class, ”the Truants” have gotten their fair share of page space. The morning Glories are, Hisao/Jun a determined fighter from Japan, who infiltrated the academy to rescue his twin brother. Jade, a emo goth, who grows up to be a scientist, we this know because her future self occasionally pops back in time and gives the kids a helping hand. Ike, a spoiled rich kid, who killed his father, only to have his dad walked through the door and help him dispose of the body. Zoe, an Indian orphan with memories from the past and a compulsion to kill. Hunter, a Canadian geek who power seems to every clock he looks at he see the time as 8:13. And Casey Blevins, whom the promotional material claims “Is most likely to save the world.”
When you think of the group dynamics in teenage comic book churches the perky blonde girl is supposed to be the spoiled brat or the airhead. Casey is neither of these. She places her life in jeopardy to save her friends. She is smart, uncannily smart, with a forte for physics. She also has an incredible innate understanding of human nature and game theory, allowing her to realize that she would be betrayed by one of the morning glories and used this knowledge to devise a plan to help rescue her friend Jade.
Casey also has a long list of seemingly random and bizarre skills, taught to her by her father an ex-solider turned artist. These skills like how to make a poor man’s tear gas out of household supplies, become very handy in her dealing with the school. The reason that he imparted this esoteric knowledge on his only daughter is that, she went back and time and arranged that she would have the skills she would need to save her parents in the future.
On the first day of class, the facility killed hers parents, to prevent them from interfering with the Academy. Laura Hodge the school’s mysterious guidance chancellor, gave her a chance to change events by going back in time. Traveling in time she became an agent of change manipulating events in her life and the lives of her friends. Casey even becoming her own favorite teacher. The one who pushed her into going to the Morning Glory Academy. We are still seeing the repercussions from her temporal meddling.
When she was traveling in time, she was acting as Hodge’s agent and Hodge was acting on what she thought was the schools best interest, so Casey did some very questionable things to save her parents. These included killing and betraying possible allies. But she did this for the purest of reasons to save her family.
Recently though some fans are begging to question Casey’s actions from the beginning. There is implications that she cheated to get her academic status, that maybe she had been manipulating everyone form the beginning. She certainly is good at manipulating the faculty when she feels she needs to. Only time will see what version of Casey is the real one.
For being a star in an ensemble story, and holding her own against much more experienced antagonist Casey Blevins is defiantly a woman in comic books that is more than skin deep.