Review: Snyder And Murphy’s The Wake #1
When Marine Biologist Lee Archer is approached by the Department of Homeland Security for help with a new threat, she declines, but quickly realizes they won’t take no for an answer. Soon she is plunging to the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oilrig where they’ve discovered something miraculous and terrifying…
Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s highly anticipated new Vertigo series kicked off today with the release of The Wake #1. The story was created by Snyder and Murphy, but Snyder provides the script and Murphy handles the art. Matt Hollingsworth provides colors and Jared K. Fletcher tackles lettering. So does The Wake sink or swim?
The wake opens up 200 years in the future. A young girl and her pet dolphin Dash are working on a mission we aren’t let in on just yet, but a massive wave comes and makes the duo swim and fly for their lives. We then jump back to the present with Lee Archer, marine biologist with a specialty in Cetological Vocalizations (whale songs etc), who is doing a little bit of work as she tries to balance her family life. She is talking to her son and planning what the two will do when he comes over for his visitation. Lee and the kid’s father have split, and we’re lead to believe it wasn’t pleasant. She is interrupted by Agent Astor Cruz from the Department of Homeland Security who comes in on a helicopter to try to get Dr. Archer to assist in identifying what made the unearthly noise on a recording they made on an oil drilling rig in Alaska. Dr. Archer is reluctant to help, but Agent Cruz promises he can help fix the problems in Archer’s life and even get her back in the good graces of her former employer, NOAA. When Dr. Archer arrives in Alaska, things start getting stranger and stranger. Has Archer bit off more than she can chew? What deep, dark secret is being house in the base?
Snyder writes an incredibly intriguing script. He uses some familiar ideas and themes and gives them a twist. Bookending the story with a scene 200 years in the future and 100,000 years in the past deepens the mystery we’re seeing teased in between. The characters are developed pretty well in the introductory issue and we’re thrown a few puzzle pieces to start to put together. You can definitely feel a John Carpenter and Ridley Scott vibe. Murphy’s art is fantastic. Murphy’s attention to details and his fluidity of movement really help make the story “move.” Hollingsworth goes with an almost pastel pallet which really compliments Murphy’s art.
Bottom Line: The Wake hooks you in and pulls you under to the deepest depths of the sea. Snyder and Murphy have laid out the skeleton for a great mystery that seems to have epic implications. Snyder is truly a master of the spooky and mysterious. 4.5/5