REVIEW: ‘Green Wake’ Issue #5

Image’s Green Wake series perfectly balances moments of grievous depression and undying love, and this supposed-to-be-conclusion is no exception. In fact, it’s the best issue yet. From the moment you open issue #5, you will be blown away by how deeply into Morley’s mind it dives, how mysterious the town remains, and how beautifully dark the conclusion is. Green Wake was only supposed to be a mini-series, thank god Image decided to make it an ongoing starting in October, because this is hands down the best new horror comic I’ve read all year. Read on for the skinny…

gwc WRITTEN BY: Kurtis Wiebe
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Riley Rossmo
PRICE: $3.50

Many critics have chastised Green Wake for being too cluttered in terms of artwork and too confusing when it comes to writing. The plot does tend to jump around a lot from dialogue to journal, from real world to Green Wake, and from past to present. But, Green Wake is much, much more than a clutter of ideas thrown into a melting pot. This “final” book messes with your head so much, and really makes you feel the despair of the characters, proving that Green Wake is like no other book currently in publication.

Issue #5 concludes the drama between Carl and Ariel, and alike the rest of the series, it’s tragic and as weird as can get. The main plot is largely resolved in the first few pages, with the rest of the book dealing with Morley’s mysterious past. Morley finally discovers what brings people to Green Wake, and perhaps a way out, but I won’t spoil it for you.

Before I lose my cool and tear my shirt off (Hulkamania style), I need to talk about Rossmo’s art. The artwork in Green Wake is exactly what the book needs; no better artist could have been chosen for the series. It’s dark as hell, sketchy, lines going everywhere, faces blurred, and an eerie, dreamlike green (or purple) that pervades almost every panel. The full page spread about a third of the way through issue #5 is ominously breathtaking, fully taking advantage of the mix between reality and surreality. I understand that the illustrations can be confusing because sometimes it becomes difficult recognize the minor characters, but this is not a book you should be whipping through in five minutes anyway. If you take your time and really look at the artwork, you’ll see how amazing it is.

The same can be said for the writing. The plot sways back and forth between time frames and sometimes you don’t really have any f*cking idea where you are. But, this perplexity mirrors what the characters in the book feel after awaking in the strange town of Green Wake. The only bad thing I can say about Green Wake is that we now have to wait three months for the ongoing series.

Green Wake offers a tense, dreary horror comic book that the writer obviously has extremely personal ties with. If you’re able to sit down, read this one slowly and fully immerse yourself in the town of Green Wake, then by the time you reach the last page, you’ll be begging for more. The final page is a flawless ambiguous ending to the arc, leaving lots of room for Wiebe and Rossmo to spread their wings come October. If you haven’t been following the series, I suggest you put the trade at the top of your list when it comes out. This is one series you need to read.

5 out of 5 skulls