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The Wake #1 Makes its Bid for Series of the Year

The Wake #1 Makes its Bid for Series of the Year


The Wake #1 (of 10)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Sean Murphy
Cover(s): Sean Murphy & Adam Kubert
Publisher: Vertigo Comics

The Wake is a curious creature to review. It’s a book that revels in the mystery that surrounds it, and rightfully so. To even describe the plot would do Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy a great disservice. In this day of spoilers and marketing ploys, The Wake has managed to avoid anything that even resembles the plot, hell, even the preview pages leave much to be desired.

To truly enjoy The Wake you must pick it up and read it, free of any prior knowledge save for the title. If you have been on the fence about picking this one up, don’t be, just go. Bookmark this review, buy the book, read it, then come back.

So, pretty good eh? But if you’re still hemming and hawing, the rest of this review is spoiler free, so feel free to proceed.

The Wake is a new sci-fi horror epic from two of the most creative minds in the industry. While certainly a far-cry from anything they previously have done, Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake #1 lays the groundwork for what will undoubtedly be a terrifying and mesmerising epic. The story revolves around a young Marine Biologist named Lee Archer. She has been approached by Homeland Security to help discover the source of a noise that has been emitted from the bottom of the Arctic Circle. That’s all you need to know.

When Scott Snyder does horror, the results are terrifying. Snyder’s brand of horror works by taking what we know, what makes us feel safe, and twisting it into something we could never fathom in our wildest dreams. His work on Severed has all but ruined the mid-west for some; even Batman has become one of the scariest titles on the stands.

Wake_PrevWhile the first issue of The Wake isn’t drop-your-jaw-startling, Snyder does manage to keep a creepy undercurrent that lingers behind the panels. The sense of doom and foreboding almost drips from the pages as the circumstances our characters find themselves in go from bad to worse. What’s even more outstanding is how Synder manages to take his influences, throw them in a blender, and serve them up in an unsettling cocktail the reader can’t help but gulp down.

Sean Murphy, working a victory lap of sorts after Punk Rock Jesus, seems like a perfect fit for Snyder’s tale of claustrophobic terror. His line work appears to stem from a hurried, stream of consciousness, which makes the book feel organic. He’s even incorporated pulp-style panelling’s which give the book a vintage and homey feel, almost as if you’ve been here before, lulling you into a false sense of security.

The Wake #1 is off to a great start, with two creative geniuses at the top of their game. It lays out the groundwork for the series nicely and offers the start of what will be this year’s most terrifying book. It’s almost criminal that Vertigo decided to release each issue individually and not as a graphic novel. The wait for issue #2 is going to be killer, so in the meantime click here to spook yourself in preparation.