Reviewed By: Emma Coverdale
Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Sean Murphy
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Inker: Sean Murphy
Genre: Comic Book
MSRP: $2.99 USA
Rating: M (Mature)
Release Date: Available Now
I’m a real sucker for the Discover Channel and, most especially, the specials they have on the mysteries that both space and the depths of the ocean might hold. One special in specific caught my interest since it blended fantasy with possibility in a way that one might believe in the existence of mermaids because – let’s face it – what do we really know what lurks in the deep?
With the first issue of a ten-part mini-series, talented scribe Scott Snyder and the equally gifted Sean Murphy spins a yarn that plays to the mysteries of the ocean. We are introduced to an agile young woman who hang glides into a city nearly submerged in water to meet up with a rather curious dolphin when she realizes that a giant wave is headed her way.
Fast-forward 200 years earlier in a Washington harbor as we meet a very different woman by the name of Doctor Lee Archer who is not only tracking a whale but also chatting with her son via Skype. It isn’t until a chopper lands nearby that Dr. Archer finds – to her disappointment – Agent Astor Cruz of the Department of Homeland Security. It is clear from her reaction that the two had met before and that it wasn’t a very favorable meeting as far as Archer is concerned.
No matter what words had been exchanged in the past, Agent Cruz comes with a mystery that Archer just cannot ignore and it comes in the form of a recording of a most unusual sound that would intrigue any cetologist. It’s clear to her that the sound didn’t come from a whale or any other inhabitant of the sea she has heard before but the sound is somewhat familiar to her nonetheless and Agent Cruz knows it.
Archer accepts Cruz’ offer to come with him to a base where she will help the Department of Homeland Security in deciphering the sound but only because he promises her to remedy to problems in her life. She quickly discovers that she was not the only one dragged into this mystery as we also meet Doctor Marin who is professor of folklore and mythology at Brown University as well as the author of a book on mysteries of the ocean. There’s also an unusual man named Meeks and Bob Wainwright from the very organization that fired her a while back.
It also becomes clear that each member of this team has been convinced to accept this job under different circumstances. Not given a chance to protest because they board a new kind of submarine able to make a quick descent into the deep, the team of specialists find themselves on an underwater oil rig just in time to witness an attack on a crew worker. Archer also comes face-to-face with something she did not expect whatsoever.
Scott Snyder opens up a mystery that is already shaping out to be intriguing enough that you will find yourself wanting more by the end of this issue. While the idea doesn’t seem completely original, Snyder has yet to disappoint when it comes to telling a story that is both deep and filled with rich characters you actually care about.
Then there’s the artwork from Sean Murphy who continues to bring us his own eye-catching style that has made his work on American Vampire or his own book, Punk Rock Jesus, such a visually appealing body of work. We just can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in this series.
The Wake #1 is the type of book that will grab a hold of you immediately and keep your attention until the very last panel. While the premise, from what we can see from this first issue, isn’t completely original, as a fan of both Snyder and Murphy, I can only imagine that these two creative forces have plenty of surprises up their sleeve. Guess what, folks? The Wake is one series you will not want to miss and neither will we.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN
While out in the ocean tracking a whale, a brilliant cetologist named Doctor Lee Archer is approached by an agent straight from the Department of Homeland Security who requires her skills to identify a most unusual sound that came from the depths of the sea. Reluctantly accepting the offer, Dr. Archer finds herself in a submarine heading towards an underwater base and an ancient mystery.
Sean Murphy’s body of work has been an impressive one that makes every graphic novel or comic book really stand out and if this sounds like too high a praise to give an artist then you really haven’t been acquainted with his work. The Wake will be one good-looking series.
Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy offer an intriguing beginning to a story that is slowly unraveling before our eyes and, so far, it does not disappoint in the very least. The credit, of course, goes to Snyder who is a master storyteller and Murphy whose visuals manage to say more with one panel than a word balloon filled with text. Where the story will take us is a mystery but one we would happily follow.
Review copy provided by DC Comics