The Wake #7 Review: The Retro-Future Beautifully Realised

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We are just a few issues away from the final issue in this run of The Wake.

I say This Run.

Because I hope that Snyder and Murphy are going to continue.

There is just too much still to discover.

I’ve a feeling issue 10 is going to end an an almighty cliff-hanger.

But back to issue seven.

This issue opens with a flashback of Leeward’s childhood.

Reminding us that even the most bad ass characters once wore dolphin socks.

And got scared.

Interestingly, we also get a rather more subtle flashback to Governor Vivienne’s childhood.

Collecting the bodies of dead birds.

Sliding down the enormous piles of their bodies.

Angry at the stupidity of their blind hope that a beacon would save them.

Which makes me think that there might be a real solution to the Mer problem.

But the people in power are concealing it.

After all a terrorised populace are easier to control.

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And that’s the great thing about this series so far.

Subtle storytelling.

Coupled with fantastic action.

Sean Murphy’s art is so dynamic, exciting and intriguing.

From the retro-fitted cruise liners to the design of the Arm uniforms.

Every detail is superbly realised.

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It is also a great example of retro-future in sci-fi storytelling.

Last night I went to the National Museums of Scotland Museum Lates event.

The theme was retro-future.

Which got me thinking about about this whole concept of the past in the sci-fi genre.

It happens a lot.

We imagine what the future is going to be like we turn to the past for inspiration.

Just a few examples:

Firefly – cowboys in space.

Tron Legacy – the 1980s in the future.

Blade Runner – the 1950s in the future.

The trick is to create a retro-future that still feels original.

That has enough to distinguish it.

In Firefly Joss Wheedon added Mandarin Chinese to the dialogue.

Allowing nerds worldwide to swear with impunity.

“Ching-wah TSAO duh liou mahng!”

The Wake stands out from the crowd with the terrifying Mers.

And with some very interesting pirates who we’ll be meeting in issue 8!

 

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