Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy have proven themselves as more than capable of great storytelling in the medium of comic books. Now, the two have teamed together to bring us The Wake, a new horror mini-series from Vertigo. Major Spoilers dives in deep to find out what lurks below.
Story, premise, characterizations
Some technology unbelievable
Some character faces similar to other work
Previously in Wake: The ocean is a vast, scary place friend and we don’t know everything that lives below…
THE HORROR BENEATH
Scott Snyder is no newcomer to the horror genre. His American Vampire has been critically acclaimed and praised by many. The Wake looks to continue that trend, because this first issue is fantastic. Not only does it take place in the ocean, a setting little used in the horror genre, but also looks to span throughout time. We get brief glimpses 200 years into the future as well as 100,000 years in the past (a disturbing scene involving a prehistoric man, a futuristic mechanical device and eyeballs). The meat of the issue is in the present, with our main character Lee Archer, a woman who specializes in the vocalizations of whales, dolphins etc. A man approaches her from the Department of Homeland Security to join others to investigate a strange sound recorded in the depths of Alaska. We only get a good feel as to who Archer is as a character as the rest are briefly introduced. The character work is great, especially on Archer, and even those shortly seen have a distinct voice. I appreciated not just the fact that the protagonist is a woman but that she clearly has flaws. She’s incredibly committed to her job but at the expense of her relationship with her son. She’s not the best mother, unable to even focus during a phone conversation. It really fleshed her individuality out and was nice to see, as often men are depicted as the absentee parent. She also appears to have a seedy past, having pissed off not just the Department of Homeland Security but NOAA as well. Secrets abound, from what the party’s true objective is, to what is on the sub with them and it’s a trademark of Snyder’s writing style. Some of the tech, while explained well, seems a little unbelievable, but that’s a minor quibble. He sets the tone and gives the reader a great sense of the way the story will play out. By the end, you’ll be clamoring for more. Needless to say, once again Snyder proves why he is one of the industry’s top writers.
WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION ALONE
Sean Murphy’s work is unbelievable and, like Snyder, proves he is a master of his craft. Whenever I see his name on a project, I’m ready to buy it regardless of what it is. Not only is his style distinct but also the amount of detail he is able to illustrate in that style is impressive. One only has to look at the panel of the first glance inside the submarine to see how hard this man works. Some of his character’s faces, Archer in particular, look similar to other books he has drawn but that doesn’t negate the quality of his work. One problem I had with Murphy’s Punk Rock Jesus was that it was black and white. I’m not opposed to colorless books at all, but work like Murphy’s benefits even more from colorization and that’s proven here. It will be interesting to see how he handles the horror genre for, as far as I know, he has yet to work in it.
BOTTOM LINE: BUY IT!
The Wake #1 is the perfect example of the Vertigo style. This is a fitting title for the publisher and a great alternative to your average superhero affair. Snyder and Murphy are at the top of their game, telling a story that’s creepy, intriguing and mysterious. It looks like it will unfold slowly and I can’t wait to see it all come together. Wake #1 gets 5 out of 5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!