When I heard about The Wake by Scott Snyder, I got excited. Naturally, this excitement came from reading American Vampire, Severed, and his Batman comics. My excitement only increased after seeing who was doing the art, Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus, Joe the Barbarian). Two people whose works I really like on a horror comic with a very interesting premise, I was pumped. Now that it has come out, is it good?

The Wake #1 (Vertigo Comics)

After a mysterious opening taking place 200 years in the future, our comic focuses on marine biologist Lee Archer, who is approached by Agent Astor Cruz of the Department of Homeland Security. He requests her assistance in studying a mysterious sound that has been heard in an underwater oil rig operation and what it means. While initially uninterested due to her past with the government, she is convinced to join when they make her an offer she can’t refuse. From there, we meet our merry band of other scientists and researchers also in on the action and head to the rig itself, where chaos is already breaking out.

Well at least not yet anyways. This is a horror series after all.

This issue is mostly just setup with the reader getting to meet everyone, gaining some insight in the main character and a bit of her past, introducing the main goal for the comic so far, and introducing plenty of mysteries with the glimpses into the far future and far past at a very good pace. As such, it really is not all that scary with not a lot happening until the end, but the mood and tone are set for the coming issues quite well. It’s really strong and will keep you interested in wanting to see what happens next, even if some of these elements and settings are familiar and have been seen before.

Scott Snyder has been known to overwrite from time to time with long narration bits and drawn out monologues that can slow down the pace of the comic or can really get stuck telling too much instead of letting the art do its job. It’s been seen with his Batman comics and from time to time with American Vampire. Here however, he really tones it down and creates very natural sounding dialogue and exchanges between the characters, while also letting the imagery tell the audience all you need to know. Some of his best I’ve seen so far.

Damn those North Koreans subs and their whale song technology.

Speaking of the art, it’s really good here. The emotions shown in the characters’ faces, the full page (or half full page) spreads that detail the scenery and setting, the use of inking and coloring in the right moments to create the mood, and even the characters themselves with how different each of them look from one another. This is truly amazing and wonderful art that even if the story was bad, which is not, I would still recommend checking this issue out just to see what Sean has drawn.

Though I can’t tell if this guy is either in pain or if he is happy with that expression.


  • All of the setup and writing is really good.
  • The art is utterly fantastic.
  • All of the mystery and dread being built in the past, present, and future.
  • Not much happens.
  • Some story elements are familiar.

Is It Good?

Yes! Snyder and Murphy have really created something here with tons of potential to be incredible and horrifying. While not much really happened for most of the issue, everything presented in the comic makes it up for that. Checking out this issue is highly recommended.



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