REVIEW: “Wake” #5

(DC/Vertigo Comics, 2013)

Review by Zakk Saam

Written by Scott Snyder
Artwork by Sean Murphy
Color Artwork by Matt Hollingsworth
Letters by Jared K. Fletcher

The end of one story, and the beginning of another. That’s what you get in The Wake #5, the bimonthly mini-series from Vertigo comics. As always, this issue comes from the creative team of Scott Snyder (Batman, American Vampire) and artist Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus).

If you haven’t read the first four issues of this miniseries, get off your computer and go read them now, because jumping in halfway through is going to do you no good. Snyder directly answers some threads that started back in the first issue, including the identity of the pink punk rock woman who rides dolphins across a flooded city.

Snyder once again shows his prowess of mythology, quickly explaining a legend of floods that almost all cultures share. One character even states that these legends may be true, and that humanity has been at war with these creatures since “the dawn of civilization.” This is interesting in its own right because it’s implied in the book that humans evolved from these monsters, so back in the day perhaps we were at war with ourselves, the end of which pushed one of us either into the sea or onto the land, dividing the two species and separating their evolutionary lines.

This story has way more action than dialogue through the issue. Our would-be heroes decide to take the fight back to the monsters, which leads to a nice conclusion to the first half of this miniseries. Snyder truly understands pacing in storytelling as well as an innate ability to control the emotions of the reader. You will find something in this book that tugs at your heartstrings.

Sean Murphy’s artwork refuses to disappoint. His sketchy, dirty style of art lends itself to this murky, underwater battle for the lives of these characters against our ancestral creatures from the depths. Colors provided by Matt Hollingsworth add another layer to this emotional book. A flash of red in the water symbolizing the fear the characters feel throughout the issue. My favorite part of this book art-wise is a two page spread covering pages three and four where the giant monster begins to tear apart the rig.

Overall, The Wake is another fine work from Snyder and Murphy. My only complaint is that his book is bi-monthly, and not monthly. I recommend rereading the other four to job your memory a bit. If you plan to wait for a trade, it will likely be split into two volumes, and this will be the last part inside of the first volume.

The Wake #6 is scheduled to be released February 26th, 2014.

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Follow Zakk Saam on Twitter:  @ZakkSaam

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