Scott Snyder. Do I really need to say more? All right, I’ll provide some additional insight. Scott Snyder, known for completely rocking the New 52’s Batman series has teamed up with Sean Murphy to bring us a brand new limited run comic book series, The Wake. The plan is for ten issues, which is even noted on the cover. Luckily for me, I follow Scott Snyder on Twitter (@Ssnyder1835), so I knew this book was coming just in time to add it to my pull list.
The Wake #1 begins in the future, though we don’t stay there long. We are initially introduced to a character that appears to be female but we do not get a name. Our unnamed character is living in some post-apocalyptic city where bad things are still happening but, just as the action heats up, we are thrust back in time.
The issue is broken into different sections, seemingly a different point in time from each other. The first section being called “The Quest”, for example. The issue primarily focuses on Dr. Archer who appears to be a marine biologist of some kind, specializing in whale song. We are quickly given a generic, troubled background, both from a professional and personal sense. Dr. Archer, as well as other characters we are introduced to as the issue progresses, are recruited for a special expedition but each member is convinced to come under different pretenses and expectations. The true meaning of the expedition and what we are to assume the series is truly about, comes into focus at the very end of the issue. This leaves us with a nicely timed cliffhanger. It is hard to determine off the bat exactly what The Wake is looking to be as far as genre is concerned but I am getting strong Sci-Fi and Horror vibes at this point.
The illustrations by Sean Murphy are really quite solid and unique. I would categorize the illustrations as rough and sharp. The setting and character designs definitely leave us with a feeling of a dark intensity, even if it is unexplained at the time. This specific illustration style comes with one big positive but it also creates a negative on the other end. What do I mean? Well, facial features and expressions are truly fantastic close up. In fact, everything looks incredible close up but due to the harsh lines and coloring, objects and faces become almost blanked out from a distance. Faces truly take a big hit but this is common with many comic book series.
Overall, The Wake #1 is a very interesting issue. It has left me very curious about the opening setting and if we will return to it soon. The end of the issue has left me wanting more which is really the most you can ask out of a comic book. The characters piqued my interest and I am concerned we won’t have time to explore them enough in just ten issues. Having The Wake be a limited run series definitely gives off a bittersweet feeling now that I’ve enjoyed the first issue. While it’s exciting to know that a lot should happen in the next nine months following this issue, I also know that we probably won’t get the level of detail I’d like to see, at least from a character perspective. One of the things I’ve really loved about Scott Snyder’s work with Batman is the level of depth and exploration we’ve been shown of the characters, heroes and villains alike. I just hope Snyder is able to show us The Wake‘s world the way he truly pictures it, with the fantastic visual illustrations from Sean Murphy.