I review The Wake #3 by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, the third issue in the epic ten-part horror series from Vertigo.
THE WAKE #3 (of #10)
Story: Scott Snyder | Art: Sean Murphy | Colours: Matt Hollingsworth | Cover: Sean Murphy | Publisher: Vertigo Comics | Price: $2.99
A new species has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean, and as a result people are dying. Is it the missing link? Or a link to something even bigger? Marine biologist Lee Archer and her crew have to find out before things get much, much worse…
With just three issues, Scott Snyder has created something epic. He’s ramped up the atmospheric narrative to create a really solid horror story that’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. With the tension already this high in #3, one can only wonder what greater horrors Snyder can throw at us with still a large chunk of the series left to go. This would easily have been my pick of the week this time out if not for the fact that Mark Waid’s Daredevil #29 was incredibly awesome, but The Wake #3 claims second place by a long shot, and makes up for the fact that Collider #1, another Vertigo title that I wanted to check out this week – was out of stock at my local store.
Sean Murphy’s artwork is just as awesome as Snyder’s storytelling. He brings a great atmospheric level to the book, and I’ve mentioned this before – I believe in my review of The Black Mirror on The Founding Fields – but the writer always seems to end up with the best artistic talents to suit the job. Whether it’s Capullo over in Batman, Jock and Francavilla in the aforementioned The Black Mirror, and Murphy in The Wake, it seems like you always know that whatever title Snyder ends up with, he’ll have an awesome artist working with him – and Murphy is no different. I loved the art that he’s provided us with, and this issue continues to prove the awesomeness of this series as the pace ramps up a notch and the action continues to be awesome.
Last issue ended with a killer mermaid breaking free from its imprisonment – made much scarier in the actual issue than how I’m describing it here – and in this one we see the underwater rig on high alert, as the tables are turned on Lee Archer and the other characters, and we continue to establish that nobody is safe – this horror story really knows no bounds.
Like #2, Snyder handles info-dumping in such a way to help it flesh out the storytelling – but at no point does it come across as slowing down the pace, that’s lightning fast throughout this issue – you can tell that the writer’s put a lot of thought into this series, structuring it, and guiding us on its course. The dark tone of Snyder’s storyline is gripping and compelling, with enough world building to help us understand what’s going on – so we don’t feel lost whilst we’re reading this.
On a final note, The Wake is a superb title, that’s certainly not for people who are easily scared. It’s dark, atmospheric – easily one of the best things to come out of the horror genre, especially in the comics medium – and I can’t wait to see where Snyder takes the reader with future issues. Superb.