If Michael Crichton’s SPHERE had a baby with SEAQUEST: DSV, WATERWORLD, THE THING, and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, that baby would look a lot like THE WAKE.
This baby would also have a host of paternity issues, but that’s a matter for another time.
All that matters is that I enjoyed this first issue of THE WAKE a great deal. The issue easily accomplishes what it set out to do, which is draw readers into the story it plans to tell. And judging by the first installment, it’s an ambitious story indeed.
Beginning 200 years in a future where skyscrapers are partially submerged underwater and ending with a threatening encounter 100,000 years in the past, THE WAKE will obviously chronicle an event of such significance to have affected multiple points in the future and the past while remaining firmly rooted in our present. When it’s done right, this is my kind of story.
It is here we find our entryway into the story in the form of Dr. Lee Archer. Her recruitment by the mysterious Agent Cruz and introduction to the mysteries concealed under Alaska’s South Slope effectively draw you deeper into the story’s premise, as you’re introduced to new layers of the mystery and have to figure things out along with her. It’s nice to have the main character as blind as you are as you venture into this new world.
Putting the reader into the shoes of the main character quickly and effectively is just one of the ways this introductory issue accomplishes its mission of getting you engrossed in its story. The pace at which it unfolds consistently teases you by providing just enough pieces of a specific thread to entice you before abruptly moving on to another thread that entices just as easily. Before you know it, the issue is over and you’re left wanting to turn to a page that won’t be there until next month.
Giving an overall rating to THE WAKE’s first issue is a lot like trying to rate JURASSIC PARK after only seeing the first twenty minutes or so of the film. While the execution of the story’s set up is enticing enough to hold your interest and intriguing enough to make you want to see what comes next, you can’t truly understand the film enough to give it proper consideration until after you’ve seen it in its entirety.
For that reason alone, I rate issue #1 of THE WAKE a three out of five. I do however, reserve the right to revise this rating after Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy have had the opportunity to complete the rest of their intended story. If it continues in a manner as engaging as this issue was, I’m confident that rating will increase.
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 oilrig where they’ve discovered something miraculous and terrifying…
Writer Scott Snyder (BATMAN, AMERICAN VAMPIRE) and artist Sean Murphy (PUNK ROCK JESUS) bring their acclaimed talents to this sci-fi/horror epic that explores the horrors of the deep, probes the origins of human history, and leaps far beyond to a frightening future.