We’re big super hero fans around here, and we’re guessing that if you’re reading this, you are as well. In fact, we’ll go so far as to say that you’re probably a pretty faithful DC Comics reader. Well, we’re always going to bring you the latest news and excitement surrounding Superman, Batman and the rest of your favorite heroes here on DCComics.com, but we thought it might be fun to occasionally highlight a comic or graphic novel being published through our Vertigo line that we think might interest fans like you in a new feature that we’re calling “Vertigo for the DC Fan.”
Do you remember the first time you read Scott Snyder’s “The Black Mirror” or “The Court of Owls” and suddenly it felt like you were discovering Batman for the first time? You were reading a comic featuring characters who have been around for generations, but they were being presented in a way that felt completely fresh and with a narrative skill that grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go until the ride was over.
Reading The Wake for the first time is a similar experience, only instead of reinvigorating classic characters, the comic reinvigorates two beloved sci-fi genres. Written by Snyder and drawn by Sean Murphy, The Wake is a 10-issue Vertigo miniseries that’s now available in a hardcover collected edition. Part deep sea horror, part post-apocalyptic sci-fi, The Wake is unlike anything you’ve ever read before. A white-knuckle action adventure that thrives on surprising its readers from the first page to the last, to reveal too much about the plot would ruin the fun of discovery, but it’s smart, exciting stuff.
The Wake takes place over the entirety of human history, from the days of primitive mankind, to the far future. It tells the story of mankind’s development and near ruin, and the key role that’s played by a newly discovered—and very deadly—species of underwater humanoid. (They’re similar to mermaids, but far more carnivorous.) Snyder’s tale begins on an underwater rig and ends far in the future, but how it gets there is downright shocking, taking a twist midway through the series that is downright Hitchcockian. In the process, we’re treated to edge-of-your-seat suspense, wide-scale action told through breathtaking splash panels, and a shocking amount of heart for an underwater monster series.
On both Batman and Superman Unchained, Snyder has elevated some of the most iconic characters in comics to new creative heights, but it’s always fascinating to see what he does when he’s free to build his own world and characters and let his very vivid imagination run wild. The Wake also benefits greatly from its 10-issue length. It’s an ambitious tale that’s told without any padding whatsoever, resulting in probably the quickest paced comic Snyder’s ever written. Every page and panel propels the story forward, and the ones that don’t make sense upon first arrival (and there are many) will make sense by the end.
If you’re a Scott Snyder fan who’s only familiar with his DC Universe work, The Wake is the perfect starter comic for his creator-owned work. It’s limited and it’s complete in one satisfying volume. If you enjoy it, you can and should move on to his much larger and still-in-progress American Vampire, but start with The Wake. It’s action packed, it’s frightening in places, it’s smart and imaginative…
The Wake is available this week both as a print hardcover and digital collection. Note that while “Vertigo for the DC Fan” is intended for DCComics.com readers, we’re publishing it on VertigoComics.com as well so that our loyal Vertigo readers can discover some of Scott Snyder’s DC Universe work!