The Wake #4 (of 10)

I review The Wake #4 by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, the fourth out of a ten-issue mini-series published by Vertigo Comics.

 The Wake #4

Story: Scott Snyder | Art: Sean G. Murphy | Publisher: Vertigo Comics | Price: $2.99

Trapped…drowning…dying…could things get worse for Doctor Lee Archer and her team? Yes, they could. Much worse, in fact. Turns out the shocking discovery of the creature was only the beginning. Vertigo’s hit new series continues!

And now we come to my most anticipated comic of the week. Over the past three issues, The Wake has risen to be one of my favourite series of the year and that is no surprise given the incredible talent of Scott Snyder and Sean G. Murphy and the uniqueness of the setting that is really unfolding strongly to tell what I’m sure will go down as one of the most awesome horror series of comics in a while, especially as this issue really excels once again, making it four out of four for arguably Vertigo Comics’ best current series.

It’s been a while since #3 was released and I couldn’t remember all the details for the previous three issues, but as a whole, The Wake’s fourth issue was immensely enjoyable. It’s certainly something that I think will read better as a collection, but like Greg Rucka’s Lazarus and FBP by Simon Oliver, two other awesome creator-owned series, the issues of this series are simply just too good to spend months waiting for trade paperbacks.

Whilst this book may deal with several horror tropes, that would be clichéd and weak in the hands of a less capable writer, Scott Snyder – mastermind of the current Batman series and Superman Unchained, has delivered a strong fourth issue that continues to make them feel fresh, rather than worn out – and exciting rather than giving the impression that the writer has run out of ideas. When you add to the fact that Snyder has given us an excellent original story that allows for one of the most unique comic series that I’ve read all year, The Wake proves that it’s certainly a book to watch out for as both Snyder and Murphy really deliver when it comes to this particular series. Of course, Snyder has been delivering elsewhere with the two aforementioned series, but I think that The Wake remains his highest quality work, and that’s saying something considering that his Batman series contains some of my favourite stories in comics.

Opening with a prologue 100,000 years in the past, we see the confrontation of two tribes in a brutal and violent conflict, and we discover that one of the tribes has access to modern weaponry. This is another one of the many questions that we are thrown at us in the pages of The Wake, and we’ve got to the point now where we’ve had more questions than answers, with each of the issues having us wondering how long it will take before we actually get these answers. The prologue is something that whilst blatantly anachronistic, really helps build upon the series’ mythology, and comes across really well as a whole.

Murphy’s art is fantastic. Over the four issues that we’ve had so far, he’s rapidly making my way to become one of my favourite artists, to the point where now I’m really looking forward to reading Punk Rock Jesus and regretting not requesting it for review when its collected volume was on NetGalley a while back. However, one thing’s for sure, anything that has Scott Snyder and/or Sean Murphy’s name on it in the future, including this issue – remains a must buy for me, and The Wake #4 has gone a very long way to make certain that this could well end up being one of the best comics come year’s end. Top notch quality work here, and if you’re not reading this series already, you certainly should be.

The Wake #4 therefore gains my Pick of the Week. You really should believe the hype about how incredibly awesome this series is if you’re not already following it.

VERDICT: 5/5

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