Review The Wake #1 “Sea of Darkness”


In Gig Harbor, Washington, Dr. Archer is communicating with her son in preparation for his visit while on her whale watching expedition when Agent Cruz arrives with a proposition. Playing an eerie sound recorded days before near Prudhoe, Alaska that he knows she is familiar with, she is to help N.O.A.A. study and decipher it. In return, he will help secure her son under her custody completely. But it won’t be long before she discovers just what exactly is responsible for the noise. And it is certainly not anything she is expecting.

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Scott Snyder returns to the horror genre with The Wake. This mini-series borrows from a number of known underwater horror stories like Sphere, the book not the movie, The Abyss and others. He even hits on some of the general cliche bits like the protagonist getting talked into the venture because of a personal need like reclaiming custody of her son. But what Snyder does different is present hints as to the direction that will come in the future and what set the stage for it in the past. The book-ending pages add an intriguing element to an otherwise well written first issue. While the personalities of characters still needs to be fleshed out a bit, I am nonetheless interested in getting to know them more as the series progresses.

wake01-pageIllustrating the book is Sean Murphy. There is a unique mix of clean, yet not so clean to his drawings. It’s clean enough so that everything looks very clear, but just slightly rough so that the characters move loosely. Which is a good thing because when the characters move there is a purpose to them. Something as simple as Dr. Archer waiting and then reaching out when a whale emerges is drawn so well that it evokes the kind of truth not really seen in a lot of comic books. The coloring by Matt Hollingsworth is somewhat muted enough to play with the atmosphere, giving a sense that things are definitely not going to be bright going forward. Look at how he colors the darkness. It’s gloomy and yet majestic at the same time.

The Wake is off to a good start. Sure Scott Snyder hits some of the cliches we’ve seen in horror stories of this type before, but it is no less well written. There is enough intrigue taking pace that it leaves one anxious for more. The illustrations by Sean Murphy are fascinating to look at and play well with the genre. The art is further elevated by the coloring Matt Hollingsworth does to really set the mood and atmosphere. I definitely recommend checking out The Wake and it just might end up being a winner.

What is your favorite horror story set beneath the ocean? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.