Decorum #4 Words by Jonathan Hickman. Art by Mike Huddleston.
Last issue, we saw Imogen enroll her protege Neha Nori Sood in a slightly less dangerous, slightly more stabby version of Hogwarts, known as "The Sisterhood of Man" (TERRIBLE name). From the swirling mass of confusion and pretty artwork, it seemed like some semblance of continuity and plot was beginning to emerge.
So, naturally, this issue leaves all of that behind, and we dive back once more into the madness.
This issue follows the enigmatic "Sisters," a collection of beings whose job it is to do...something. There was a lot of talk about a cure. And an egg. And some enemies who wanted really badly to stop the Sisters from accomplishing their goal.
I'm still not 100% sure exactly what happened. I've read the book through a few times now, and I've yet to make sense of it all.
One thing I DO know. A plan is afoot. A plan that could potentially spell salvation or damnation for the Sisters and their mission.
But can it really succeed? And more importantly, do we actually want it to? Are the Sisters trying to save us all? Or are they planning to destroy the whole universe? Do they actually plan to use this magic egg to open the world's best okonomiyaki stall?
Honestly, I have NO FREAKIN IDEA.
But I just can't stop myself loving it. It's odd, and at points off-putting, and constantly confusing. But it's also endlessly compelling, wonderfully rich, and almost impossible to ignore.
I'd love to understand what was going on right now, but even without that, I'm still enjoying the ride. And Hickman has earned enough prior credit with me that I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, that sooner or later all of this will tie up, and something akin to sense may begin to coalesce.
Overall, Decorum #4 is a confusing, wonderful, bizarre, but infinitely enjoyable ride through the twisted mind of one of comics most reliable creatives. Hickman has shown us time and time again that when you let him loose in his own sandbox, he'll create wonders unlike anything else we can see in comics today.
The writing is sharp, at times very funny, and even though there's not even the slightest scrap of a plot thread to grasp onto, you still find yourself flowing gently along, enjoying the strange journey.
We've reached the half way point of Decorum's run, with this issue. Which means he now has four more issues in which to tie up this, and Neha's arc. For most other writers out there, I'd have called that a nigh on impossible task, but after seeing what he did with his previous works, I have faith that he'll bring this all together into a satisfying conclusion.
Of course, I can't leave it there. One of the most unique and engaging parts of Decorum is Huddleston's art, and this issue was some of his best work yet. The majority of the panels have what has now become his trademark limited colour palette (black, white, and red, this issue). Which just makes it stand out all the more, when he hits you with a full page of mind-blowing, full colour beauty. I can't wait to see what this amazing team has in store for us, next issue!
Decorum #4, from Image Comics, releases August 19, 2020.