An epic tale in the making, “The Wake” #2 is a satisfying blending of fear and drama. Within each page, this sci-fi thriller delivers a genuine sense of terror, while finding ways to keep the reader’s attention sustained in suspense and intrigue. I can’t wait to see how this underwater mystery unfolds.
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ART BY: Sean Murphy
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
RELEASE: June 26th, 2013
Lee Archer, a marine biologist, has been asked for help by the Department of Homeland Security on a shadowy project. With her son away from her side, Lee will travel to the murky bottom of the ocean. Lee and her underwater team will discover an ancient evil that has been hidden in the depths of the Arctic Circle. Is Lee’s discovery the scientific breakthrough, the miracle she has been waiting for? Or, has she just unleashed an unstoppable killing machine and brought about the end of mankind?
What I really liked about the narrative is how Scott Snyder plays around with nonlinear storytelling. Breaking the story down into chapters, Snyder jumps around between the past and present, providing glimpses of “The Raindrop.” To make his point, Snyder uses themes from classic literature, specifically from “The Odyssey” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The mystery is about what lies beneath in the water and the secrets that are buried there. Has Lee and scientific team found something that deserves to remain hidden and kept far away from modern society?
What really keeps the suspenseful pace going is the protagonist, Lee Archer. Snyder presents Lee as a scientist and a maternal figure, with both sides clashing at times. As a scientist, she has discovered something that will make history. But, Lee has something to lose in the process, her own son. Notice when Lee is surrounded by members of her team, she makes her decisions based on being a parent.
Sean Murphy is able to evoke a claustrophobic vide with his gritty illustrations. Through close-ups and medium shots, Murphy builds a suspenseful pace with his eerie atmosphere. By taking a minimalist approach to backgrounds, Murphy focuses more on the tension from the facial expressions. Though the creature is contained, Lee and her team are always in a state of panic. Are Lee and her team really the ones studying the monster? Or is the monster actually watching them?
Murphy creates an interesting character design for Lee. Because she is not a fighter, Lee looks more like a librarian because of her neatly combed hairstyle. Because of her slim figure, Lee might have been studying her research through books, rather than being out in the field. To show her thought process working, Murphy keeps Lee by herself, staring off into an object, like a computer.
Suspenseful, mysterious, and creepy are the perfect words to describe the “The Wake”. A ambitious team-up, Murphy and Snyder are at the top of their game with “The Wake” series. Fans of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” or any Lovecraftian tales will definitely get a kick out of this title.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis
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