The Wake #1 – Arthur’s Pick of the Week

No need to “fish” for compliments – I’m already “hooked.” (I’m so sorry…)

With impressive runs on Detective Comics, the current Batman series and American Vampire, Scott Snyder’s name on the cover is a good enough reason to pick a book up and pay attention. And it remains true of The Wake, a new 10 part mini series from Vertigo.

This first issue has a very cinematic feel, and reaches from the far future to the distant past. Everything about this book’s visuals feels like it belongs on the big screen, from wide shots of helicopters flying over Alaska to futuristic cityscapes being engulfed by tidal waves. Sean Murphy does an amazing job of bringing the book to life, making the fantastic and bizarre feel as real as the everyday human interactions.

The focus of the issue though is squarely set on Dr Lee Archer, a cetologist* with hints of a murky past and a troubled family life. With the promise of a chance to get her life back on track and get taken seriously as a scientist again, she’s persuaded to join an expedition to investigate an unidentifiable vocal recording from deep below the surface of the ocean.

Joining a team with intriguing and diverse specialities (and in one case some shared history with Archer) the expedition begins. The submarine setting is perfect – claustrophobic and tense from the moment we climb inside – and becomes more unsettling when we learn of an attack and mutilation and a strange creature on board…

The set-up is solid and questions are raised from page one (just what is that giant figure inside the tidal wave in the opening scene?), and The Wake looks set to be as deep and mysterious as the ocean it’s set in.

*Cetology is the study of marine mammals – and yes I looked it up.

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