The Wake is a new 10 part comic series by American Vampire writer Scott Snyder and Hellblazer: City of demons artist Sean Murphy.
I really loved this comic because of its ambition and scope. Snyder has woven a story out of sea myths, folklore and fable that comes crashing into reality with a terrifying discovery on the bottom of the ocean.
It’s epic in scale, part one takes us from 200 years in the future to Mars 3.8 billion years ago, takes a pit stop on the Great Plains at the turning point of human evolution 100,000 years ago before bringing us back to the present. Despite these broad strokes the story arc of the main character Dr Lee Archer is perfectly plotted so you get to know and care about her in a pretty short time.
Believe me when I say this comic is best read with little or no knowledge of the story.
which makes it a little tough to review.
I really don’t want to spoil it for you.
So let me just give you a few basics that will let you know if this is for you or not.
Do you love the sound of an amazing sea-based sci-fi story that cleverly ties in real things like the inscription on a Sumerian tablet telling of the flood of Babylon with the Loneliest Whale in the World and the Aquatic Ape Theory?
Then this is for you.
I will also say that after reading this through for the first time I immediately re-read it. This almost never happens but it really is that well written and full of detail that it’s easy to miss first time round.
One last thing to say about The Wake is that the whole thing would fall flat without Sean Murphy’s amazing artistic treatment of water throughout. In an interview with ComicVine last year he said:
“It sounds kind of funny but water is like another character in this book. I looked at a lot of other comics and noticed a lot of people don’t draw water. They’ll just draw lines and the colourist just makes it blue. I really tried to figure out a new way to handle water, to draw an actual wave crashing, a tidal wave surging through a city, there’s all different ways that water works. I’m trying to learn about that.”
I’d say it’s working pretty amazingly well so far.