Decorum #1 Review - Decent Comic but you're gonna work for it.
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
• Jonathan Hickman (Writer) • Mike Huddleston (Artist)
I find Johnathan Hickman's X-Men to be uneven at best and overrated at worst. The fact remains that he's a great writer when he's firing on all cylinders. Hickman is the reason I got back into X-Men comics. I saw the solicits for Hickman's creator-owned project Decorum and got excited because I wanted to see what he could do when he wasn't constrained by 50+ years of Marvel continuity.
Decorum #1 is a good, not great comic but you're gonna have to work for it. I first read the book while semi-drunk and didn't like it at all. I read it again while distracted and a lot of the story went over my head. The next day I read Decorum again and had a eureka moment. Decorum is a decent comic but its definitely a case of Hickman indulging himself.
In the first half of the book, Hickman does his share of worldbuilding in a style that should be familiar to fans of his X-Men titles. There are a ton of infographics as well as panels fleshing out the setting. In this instance, I believe that the info dumps probably should have been placed in the back of the comic or in a different book entirely. I think it's cool that Hickman intentionally broadens the reading experience but he doesn't land the execution this time.
What I did enjoy about Decorum were the actual characters and their interactions. These scenes actually save the comic and should have been the primary focus of the issue.
Neha is a courier and apparently one of the best. She's down on her luck and pressed into taking an extremely complicated and potentially dangerous job. After this segment of the book the scene shifts to Morley a member of a rapidly expanding guild. She has an extended tense encounter with Doman D'vorth IV and his men. This goes on until Neha shows up and all hell breaks loose.
If the infographics were removed entirely from the issue I would have rated the comic a lot higher. Neha and Morley badass characters but they don't show up until the back half of the book and by then I had checked out. I'm not sure if I'm gonna stick with the title. First impressions are everything and although there is some good here. I'm not sure if it's worth the investment.