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The Wake #4

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By Scott Snyder, Sean Murphy, & Matt Hollingsworth

Scott Snyder and team are back to send chills down our spines. We pick up right where last issue’s cliffhanger left off. The surviving members of the study are faced with escaping from a school of the “Raindrop” creatures. As they do this, a possible solution is devised to allow them to escape the underwater facility. Things go smoothly, until a larger problem arises…

Snyder, who is predominantly associated with Batman and American Vampire, is treading fascinating ground in this book. In this series, he is writing events in three different time periods. Scott gives little tidbits throughout the issues of happenings occurring in the past and/or future, while most of the story takes place in the present timeline. In this issue, he gives us another mind-boggling glimpse into the past and once again leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Prehistoric man with technology, that’s all I’m going to say. The nice thing is that these flashbacks/flashforwards add depth and give the story a rich mythology, which makes this book stand out. Scott knows how to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, he has well-placed horror beats and has ended the two recent issues with fantastic cliffhangers. It would really be interesting to see him write a screenplay for a horror/thriller film…perhaps, a film adaptation of The Wake?

The artistic team definitely deserves attention on this issue. Sean Murphy has an edge and grit to his sketches that already adds character to anything he touches, but on this book it totally suits the dark, scary tone that Snyder is writing. Murphy is able to capture the frightful imagery perfectly and leave a mark in the reader’s mind. A panel in issue #4 has one of the Raindrop creatures about to get through a door as the research team tries to close it and the beast’s face is shown against a shadowed background. The creature is already scary enough, but one of its eyes is dangling from socket. Enough said. Matt Hollingsworth’s coloring also compliments the series. His use of black and blue creates a sense of unease and bleakness as the reader goes through the issue. A perfect example is an oversized panel depicting the surviving team members catching their breath after they have sealed off a chamber in the rig and it’s totally shaded in darkness. The entire creative team is clearly on the same eerie page.

I was already a fan of Scott Snyder’s work and The Wake has made me become one of Murphy and Hollingsworth. This mini-series reminds me of Ridley Scott’s film Alien (1979). The rig seems reminiscent of the ship, The Nostromo, and the story appears to have a heroine akin to Ellen Ripley. If Ridley’s film is an inspiration, that’s totally fine considering it’s one the greatest horror films ever made and this book is on the way to making its own mark.

thewake4-cover

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