“The Wake” by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Vertigo, 2014)

The Wake
starstarstarstar

Scott Snyder of American Vampire, Batman and Swamp Thing teams up with Sean Murphy of Punk Rock Jesus and Joe the Barbarian to create a standalone complete story about a doomed future in a cool world. The Wake embodies every possible meaning of the word and with some spectacular artwork and great storytelling, it’s a full graphic novel story that will suck you in and keep you going to the last inked page.

Lee Archer is a marine biologist who is contacted and brought in by the Department of Homeland Security to participate in a top secret project. She is taken to distant Alaska, beneath the waves in a hidden underwater laboratory where she meets an assembled science team, some members she knows, and one in particular she hates. After everything is in place, they are eventually shown the reason for all the secrecy: a new creature has been discovered from the vast ocean depths. The creature is not friendly and is deadly. Then things go horribly wrong when the team realizes this creature is one of a huge army and the rest have now been summoned.

We then cut to a future time where the creatures have overrun the Earth and people are doing their best to survive. We meet a host of new and interesting characters and one in particular who believes there is still hope for humanity, and when she hears a distant radio message from a scientist from the past, she knows she is on to something.

The Wake has a great pacing, setting up the start of the story and guiding you along to the doomed future, but still instilling you with hope and possibility. The artwork is impressive and colorful, though at times can be a little complicated and hard to understand what’s going on. The ending feels a little rushed, but overall the graphic novel is a fun riveting tale that shows you what great things can happen when you put a writer and an artist together to create something new.

Originally written on January 13, 2015 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Wake from Bookshop Santa Cruz, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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