COMIC REVIEW: The Wake

wake4658

By Nick Durham

It's not every day you read something like The Wake. I'm dead fucking serious: this comic is fucking nuts. Published by DC Comics' mature-readers imprint Vertigo (home of classic horror comic titles like Sandman, Preacher, and Hellblazer) over the course of ten issues, The Wake is written by Scott Snyder (known for his current prolific run on Batman) and drawn by Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus). If you're familiar with either Snyder or Murphy's work, you already know you're going to be in for something special.

The story of The Wake fuses science fiction and horror through the course of three time periods. The main element of the story involves a team being assembled and sent to investigate something very mysterious (and monstrous) and strange that has ben discovered at the bottom of the ocean. In terms of the comic's story, that's all I really want to spill. Believe me when I say that you have to read this to believe it. All I will say is that by the time you get halfway through this series, it catapults into an unforeseen direction of manic madness that you will not see coming...and yet somehow, it still manages to work as a glorious amalgamation of the best elements of sci-fi and horror.

Scott Snyder's twist script is only accentuated by the artwork of industry vet Sean Murphy. Murphy's line-work ranges from quiet and stark to wonderfully over the top and nigh-cinematic. When the The Wake presents big action set-pieces, it's Murphy who brings them to life, and they are a sight to behold. Throughout his work over the years, Murphy's work has usually always been dynamic, and here he goes above and beyond.

If there's any drawbacks to The Wake, it's that it feels too short. Snyder tells an epic horror story and turns it into something else entirely, but it often feels like there's bits missing that shouldn't be. It's nothing major in the least though, and it doesn't detract from the overall product thankfully.

So yeah, if you're into horror/sci-fi comics, you have to read The Wake. It's unlikely you'll read anything like it in modern, mainstream comics today, and this is without a doubt the best thing I've read from Vertigo in the past few years. There's a reason this book won an Eisner Award (basically the Oscar's of comic books) and has become revered within the comic community. Do yourself a favor and go pick up the trade paperback. You'll be glad that you did.

Rating: 5/5

 

Posted by Nick Durham

We want to hear your thoughts!