The aquatic dystopian epic from the minds of Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy continues, as Dr. Archer and a team of professionals are assembled to study a new marine life form—a possible merman. The team may have gotten more than they bargained though a this merman goes on a murderous rampage. Will this title float or flounder? More after the jump!


Engrossing and well paced writing
Art works well with the story’s spooky feel

Plot does have moments where it’s too familiar
The art is definitely not for everyone

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

TheWakeCoverTHE WAKE #3
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Sean Murphy
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Mark Doyle
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in THE WAKE: A potential aquatic “missing link” has been discovered in the ocean deep and trapped within a submarine carrying several members of an assembled marine team. With its siren’s song, the creature unsuccessfully tries to trick Dr. Lee Archer into letting it free. However, it’s song proves much more successful on another team member to free the literal sea monkey from it’s prison.


All hell breaks loose when the merman escapes his prison, causing the submarine to slowly fill with water. Now fully in his own element and free to take vengeance upon those that captured him, he proceeds to take out members of the submarine team one by one. With their only hope lying outside of the underwater habitat, the team attempts to escape only to realize to late that the merman has an army of surprises up his scaly sleeves. Also, Dr. Archer gives an impromptu lecture on whale calls.

If there’s one thing about Scott Snyder, it’s that the man can write an intriguing and engrossing story. His writing flows seamlessly from page to page, each line and bit of plot relevant and interesting to the overall story at hand. With each part of the book set up in chapters of a sort, even the “sciencey” bits remain fascinating and relevant to the plot. Snyder seems to have done his research in regards to marine biology and the mysteries of the deep.

If there’s any complaint, it is that the story is a bit familiar. Ranging from the Sphere—with it’s delving into the dark sides of the human psyche—to Alien—making what’s essentially a haunted house story out of a monster tale—the plot itself isn’t exactly new. The twist lies in its specific subject manner, exploring a more earthly horror… or is it?


Sean Murphy has an interesting artistic style. Not typical—except maybe in the early works of Frank Miller—this book has a spooky feel to it, which is very fitting in a series about a killer merman wreaking havoc on a team of ocean experts. Every panel has a sense of movement to it and each page flows smoothly from one into the next. This works extremely well for a title that has as much down time as it does action. What’s most striking is that Murphy manages to accomplish this with what looks like heavily sketched lining and little clean-up. Matt Hollingsworth’s pastels definitely enhance the deep-sea feel and only serve to add to the overall feel of the comic.

The only problem with this book is that it is very visually dark. There is a lot of heavy shadowing that can be a bit distracting if that’s not one’s cup of tea.


With Snyder and Murphy at the helm, this is shaping up to be a very engrossing story if one has been following it so far. While this particular book may hold up on it’s own, it’s not advisable, as having the previous two books enhance the overall story. Snyder definitely knows what he’s doing as a writer and partners up well with Murphy who seems to really understand the mood and ambiance Snyder is going for. This is a great series to follow. Overall, the Wake #3 earns three and a half stars out of five.

Rating: ★★★½☆

The Author

Danielle Luaulu

Danielle Luaulu

Danielle Luaulu lives in San Francisco where she constantly toes the line between nerd and lady. As a teenager, she fell in love with Sandman’s Morpheus and started wearing lots of black. Now, she's a graduate of SFSU where she studied creative writing and lives vicariously through her level 10 drow bard. She has a love and fascination for all things super and natural, as well as supernatural. Comics are her life, as well as playing games in which she gets to be the hero or villain or a combination of both. Depends on her mood.

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