Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Image Comics
Age Rating: M
Original Release Date: Jun 10th, 2020
Issue #2 of Decorum, subtitled “And The Machinic Love of Religion” by superstar writer Jonathan Hickman and long time indie comic artist Mike Huddleston continues to intrigue while unveiling more of Decorum’s story and the world Decorum takes place in. A lot was thrown at us in issue #1. A sort of A story / B story pattern is forming, continuing two arcs from the first issue. We learn more about the MacGuffin introduced in episode 1 as characters and factions introduced from issue 1 are further developed. Neha the courier and Imogen Smith-Morely the assassin become further entangled while we learn a bit about Imogen’s family and background.
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The two stories we seem to be following are that of the MacGuffiny pyramidal spaceship we were introduced to last issue and the burgeoning relationship of Neha and Imogen. The pyramid is revealed to be the Ship of the Celestial Mothers. The Celestial Mothers are lost and adrift in space, nurturing a cosmic superbeing developing in a giant egg. They’ve evidently done this over 6,000 times over 100,000 years. This time the Celestial Mothers are in danger of being captured and are considering inducing birth prematurely, but it’s too soon. The egg is unstable, it gets compromised and The Celestial Mothers struggle to seal it.
The momentary rupture of the egg reveals the pyramid to the Church of the Singularity. It’s clear now the Church of the Singularity are the mysterious AI aggressors attacking the aboriginal denizens of an unknown planet back in issue #1. And it is the Church who the Celestial Mothers flee from.
Elsewhere in the galaxy we follow Imogen Smith-Morely to her ostentatious family home, complete with robot butlers. We’re introduced to Mr. Morely who is feeble and ailing. Imogen and Mr. Morely call each other Mrs. Morely and Mr. Morely. It’s insufferable. I expect that Mr. Morely will be revealed to be Imogen’s twin brother, but right now it’s pretty vague.
At the pharmaceutical megacorp holding what I presume to be Neha’s family for ransom Neha and Imogen’s relationship deepens. Imogen uses her considerable power and wealth to negotiate Neha’s family’s cryo chambers be maintained for the foreseeable future. Imogen does this in exchange for Neha’s agreement to attend Imogen’s alma mater and apparently become an assassin.
I am once again blown away by Mike Huddleston’s Art. Always expressive. Always bold. He uses a variety of styles to give each scene a distinct and unique feel. It’s crazy just how wide the spectrum of style is. I’m always excited to turn the page just to see what’s going on, artistically, on the next.
The scope of Decorum continues to be huge. The Celestial Mothers have been doing whatever it is they do for 100 millennia and the Church of the Singularity is getting close to capturing the Celestial Mothers and the egg they care for. I can’t fathom how this will factor into Neha and Imogen’s storyline or how long it will take to get there.
I can’t tell if Imogen is a predator pretending to be a sympathetic stranger or the other way around. We’ve learned that she comes from a privileged background. Is she using her power and influence to give Neha a hand up or to take advantage of Neha’s desperate situation? What will assassin school consist of for Neha?
Considering that I’m reviewing these books almost a year after publication at least some of these questions probably have answers. But I won’t spoil it for myself. I’d rather let the story unfold the way it’s creators intended. All indications are pointing to a rewarding read. I look forward to Decorum #3.