Graphic Novel Review: Decorum by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston
Posted on September 8, 2022 at 6:33 am by Gene Ambaum
Decorum by Jonathan Hickman (words) and Mike Huddleston (art). Image, 2022. 9781534318236. Publisher’s Rating: M / Mature.
The Church of the Singularity, led by AIs with an AI God at its center, is after an egg. The Mothers protect that egg, and hope it will hatch into a messiah. Neha is a courier working to pay for her family’s cryopods until she can afford the treatment for the plague they’re infected with. After making a special delivery to a well-mannered assassin, Imogen Smith-Morley, at what becomes a very violent moment, Neha is offered a place at a special school for contract killers. There she seems outclassed by the violent, murderous alien students, and seems to lack what it takes to kill for money. But when a huge bounty is offered for delivering the egg (or for killing what’s inside it, if it’s already hatched), the reward may be enough to make her do whatever it takes.
Hickman’s plot is intricate and moves the story right along; when it’s confusing it’s confusing in service to the storytelling, to get you to wonder WTF is happening and to get you to move deeper into the book. And it has those wonderful Hickmanesque touches, the white space, the well designed explainy pages and bits of iconography that you expect. But you’ll leave understanding that Huddleston is the shit, arguably the best artist working in comics. He uses a range of art and coloring styles, sometimes several on the same page, to great effect. Flipping through this book will amaze you. Reading it will make you stop several times in wonder. If it doesn’t, seek help.