A clever apocalyptic thriller, “The Wake” #6 continues to be a terrifying and visually breathtaking read. Each page keeps the reader’s attention sustained in endless mystery and suspense. The second half of an epic tale, the story unfolds in a vibrant twist.
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ART BY: Sean Murphy
PUBLISHER: Vertigo Comics
RELEASE: February 26, 2014
In 2014, marine biologist Lee Archer was asked by the Department of Homeland Security to advise on a top-secret project. Lee traveled to the murky bottom of the ocean and discovered an ancient evil that has been hidden in the depths of the Arctic Circle. Now 200 years later, the humanoid creatures that Lee first encountered have decimated cities and taken back the seas. Time has forgotten Lee’s discovery and humanity has paid the price. In search of hope in her flooded future, Leeward thinks she has found a way to stop the bloodthirsty reign of the humanoids.
In the first installment, writer Scott Snyder kept most of the narrative centered underwater. Now in the second part, we see what is really going on above the surface in the future timeline. With a different setting and a new batch of characters, Snyder uses his nonlinear storytelling to explore humanity’s rise and downfall. Whatever Lee Archer did in the past has direct consequences in the future. Whatever choice we make in the present day cannot be undone and affects others in the near future. Snyder foreshadows that Leeward and Lee will meet, but not in the way you think.
What really makes the story so engaging is how the protagonists are completely different . Snyder presented Lee as a mousy scientist and a maternal figure, making her decisions based on being a parent. Snyder introduces Leeward with a personal attachment to the dolphin, Dash. In the opening pages, Leeward finds herself surrounded by a swarming army of humanoid creatures. Smart and confident, Leeward isn’t afraid to get her hands bloody as she swings her machete.
Readers will be glued to the pages because of Sean Murphy’s punkish and gritty illustrations. Murphy explores the apocalyptic setting through wide shots and splash pages. Buildings have been abandoned and are seen floating above water. In a splash page, Murphy captures the loneliness and seclusion of Leeward’s hideout. Leeward rests inside a deserted plane that crashed on top of a mountain. In a nice little detail, Murphy illustrates how Leeward has to climb her way to the top and then use a ladder, just to get home.
In a two-pager, Murphy illustrates different aspects of the flooded future through a map. We see how the United States has been divided into sections because of the floods. Because there are no more cities, the Tree People live off the land through vegetation. Murphy marks certain spots on the map with a skull and with sketches of a broken wall.
Leaping forward in time, “The Wake” #6 explores its sci-fi premise and sets up a new tale. An exceptional team-up, Murphy and Snyder continue to be at the top of their game with “The Wake” series.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis