Graphic Novel Review: The Wake by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy

Author(s): Sean Murphy, Scott Snyder
Genre: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Publisher: Vertigo
Expected Publication: November 11, 2014

New York Times bestselling author, Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Batman, Swamp Thing) and artist Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, Joe The Barbarian), the incredible team behind the miniseries American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest, are reuniting for the powerful miniseries: THE WAKE. When Marine Biologist Lee Archer is approached by the Department of Homeland Security for help with a new threat, she declines, but quickly realizes they won't take no for an answer. Soon she is plunging to the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oil rig filled with roughnecks and scientists on the brink of an incredible discovery. But when things go horribly wrong, this scientific safe haven will turn into a house of horrors at the bottom of the ocean!
Collects THE WAKE #1-10.

When I came across The Wake to review, I knew that it was something I had to read. I love stories that take place at the bottom of the ocean because a. it's a terrifying place to be stuck and b. the reality is, we just don't know what secrets still exist below and that makes stories like this perfect because they could theoretically be real. I mean if Giant Octopuses can exist why not alien mermaids bent on taking over the world? 

One of the things I really enjoyed about this Graphic novel was the artwork, everything was superbly drawn. Sometimes when viewing Graphic Novels or Comics on a laptop you lose that attention to detail in the process of it having been converted to a digital file but I could make out all the little features to the creatures and see tons of detailing in the background so that was appreciated for sure.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the writing. The first 5 issues were action packed and the back story development to the characters despite really only seeing them a short while was a nice touch. You usually need more issues to see that much attention to character development but I think the Author pulled it off nicely in The Wake without it just being an info dump at the beginning and then coasting on what we learned the rest of the way. 

Now even though I enjoyed The Wake I did have one pretty big issue with the story and that's the back end. 

The first half was wonderful, I really have no complaints but come the second half I noticed myself losing focus and although the second half of the story served a purpose, it did feel a bit disjointed from the first section.  Had we been shown a few years in between instead of just going from past to present I feel the story arc would've flowed better. The few brief glimpses we do get just weren't enough to satisfy all my wants and desires with the story. Plus I think the confusion caused by the time jump and having to invest in a completely new set of characters killed the momentum the first half brought to the table.

Final Thoughts
Overall, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. Sure the story had a few bumps along the way but in the end I'm happy to have read it and ultimately that's what matters. 

With that being said, I'll be rating The Wake by Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy  ★★★★.

 *Copy reviewed provided by netgalley.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way  for providing them.

About the Author(s)
Scott Snyder is the Eisner and Harvey Award winning writer on DC Comics Batman, Swamp Thing, and his original series for Vertigo, American Vampire. and is the author of the story collection Voodoo Heart (The Dial Press). He teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College, NYC and Columbia University. He lives on Long Island with his wife Jeanie, and his sons Jack and Emmett. He is a dedicated and un-ironic fan of Elvis Presley.

You can Follow Scott: Twitter / Goodreads / DC Comics

SEAN MURPHY'S debut novel, The Hope Valley Hubcap King, (Bantam/Dell, 2002/2004), won the Hemingway Award for a First Novel and was a 2003 Book Sense pick. See info on his latest, The Time of New Weather, below. He is also the author of the Pulitzer-nominated The Finished Man (Bantam/Dell 2004), as well as One Bird, One Stone (Renaissance/St. Martins 2002), a nonfiction chronicle of Zen practice in America. He has been a Zen meditation practitioner for 20 years, and teaches meditation, creative writing and literature for UNM-Taos, as well as leading writing workshops for a variety of organizations and his own Big Sky Writing Workshops.

You can Follow Sean: Goodreads / Website / Facebook


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