Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Sean G. Murphy
Colors by Matt Hollingsworth
Published by Vertigo Comics
When The Wake first released it seemed like it was going to be a book much in the vein of horror classics like Alien. After the first volume though, Scott Snyder made an extremely bold move by changing the tone of the book completely. You see, the first volume was merely a set-up for the real story. Volume 2 stars Leeward, a young girl living 200 years after the events of volume one. She hunts the mer-people with her pet dolphin Dash for money, selling their heads to a man named Pub so that he can harvest the hallucinogen from the ducts in their skull and sells it as drugs to the locals. Leeward is not all as she seems though. When she’s not kicking some serious mer-ass she’s always listening; listening to the sounds of the deep sea. Forever a conspiracy theorist, Leeward suspects that all is not what it seems in her world…
I absolutely love what Snyder is doing with this second volume. While I loved the confined horror of the first arc, I love the sense of adventure this issue has to it. I can’t wait to learn more about Leeward because I think her story is going to be an extremely interesting one. While I started reading this because it was another Snyder-horror story, I’m really glad that the tone of this issue had an entirely new tone. There was a real sense of adventure, and dare I say, fun watching Leeward hunt the mer-people. It’s great to see the hunters become the hunted after the righteous ass-kicking they delivered the crew throughout the first arc of the story!
Sean G. Murphy’s art was absolutely PERFECT in this issue. I know it’s early in the year, but this particular issue is filled with my favorite art of the year so far. His art was spectacular in the first arc, but seeing his team’s work on a bigger scale is absolutely stunning. I loved seeing Leeward’s crashed plane/home in the tree, it was a page I just sat and looked at for a few minutes. Murphy really took his time fleshing out every little detail, and it’s a page I’d like to own and put on my wall! I have to make special mention of Matt Hollingsworth’s work on colors is just as important to this book’s beauty as Murphy’s work on the art. The first arc was very dark and dreary as it took place completely underwater, but with this arc Hollingsworth gets to flex his skill by showing us beautiful sunsets and backgrounds. The art team has easily produced the most beautiful book of the year so far!
When I first picked this up at my LCS I thought the cover was Leeward holding a biker helmet for some reason. Much to my surprise when I got home to read it, she’s actually holding a bloody mer-head. It’s not often the cover sets the tone for a book as well as this one did, because this issue is badass from start to finish. Scott Snyder has crafted a tale of horror, adventure, and intrigue that we don’t often see in our medium; it’s something you won’t want to miss because when he finishes the story after its 10 issue run, everyone will be talking about it. I’ve heard grumblings of this story being way too cliché as far as horror stories go, but Snyder has definitely raised the stakes with the start of this second volume!
5 out of 5 nerds