Hank: I like graphic novels as much as any other aware citizen. So I like “The Wake.” Scott Snyder is the cool dude who wrote the hell out of “Batman,” and Sean Murphy is the barbaric dude who drew the hell out of Grant Morrison’s “Joe the Barbarian.” They’d teamed up before on an “American Vampire” miniseries, and they worked together to create this, a ten-issue “Alien”- meets – ”The Abyss”- meets- ”Waterworld”- meets- Scientology epic. Lee Archer (I know, I know, the name is a little tossed off) is a cetologist (whale expert) invited by a shady man from Homeland Security to identify a weird sound that is almost like a whale’s forlorn shout-out, but not quite. Lee accepts, after some arm-twisting, out of professional curiosity. Hidden motivation: she might be familiar with the sound from a previous bad experience. So she gets on a yellow submarine, and what she finds out stuff WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!
Hank: No, not really. They find underwater creatures. But are THEY from another planet? ARE WE?
Cousin Franz: A planet is merely the plane upon which we spend our waking life. “The Wake” is a wet dream of a comic. Literally, of course, not in any puerile sense.
Trent: My mind WAS totally blown by the conclusion. The past was… the future? They were dead? It was all a dream? It was the Planet of the Aquatic Apes? The Creature from the Black Lagoon did it?
Grandpa Felicius: I know a flim-flamming conspiracy theory spreader from leagues away and Scott Snyder is just that sort of a scoundrel! The kind of fella who’ll try to sell you Noah’s steering wheel, authenticated by Jesus himself!” He extrapolates ridiculously from incongruous mythologies, like Joseph Campbell’s most inattentive student. “‘The Little Mermaid’ is TOTALLY based on Jesus- they both walk on water and dig fish, if you think about it!” He also garrulously expounds on trivia: “Did you know that a ‘raindrop’ is what my folklorist friend calls the originating incident behind a legend? Did you know that bears walking in their hinds could have lead to the invention of Yetis?” Is that plausible? Yes! Provable? No! May a flood wash away this quacky hack. If this is “The Wake,” I’m going back to sleep.
Beatricia: As if the dubious science behind these aquamen wasn’t off-putting enough, here’s Scott Snyder’s idea of witty dialogue. Wounded Astor Cruz, after narrowly surviving a killer mermaid attack, offers his input on on the crew’s vote to flee the submarine: “I’d like to raise my hand to object, but you know, seeing as it’s bitten half-off, I suppose I’ll have to abstain. Abandon ship it is.” NO CHERRY! The only witty commentary I want to hear from someone whose hand is “bitten half-off” is: “AAAGGGHHH AAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHH OH GOD HELP HELP!!!” A couple of panels later that same character, still clutching his gored up arm, calmly asks Lee, who is trying to quickly find a escape route: “Lee, what is it? What’s the rush?” WHAT’S THE RUSH? YOUR ARM IS HANGING BY A TENDRIL AND A KILLER MERMAID IS AFTER YOU, THAT’S THE RUSH! I can’t imagine the amount of blood loss that would make any human be so chill about his imminent death.
Tracey: Is Scott Snyder related to Zack Snyder? If so, ugh. I really liked a lot of “The Wake.” Its two parts are centered on two awesome women, Lee and Leeward! But the inconclusive ending feels like Snyder and Murphy threw up their hands to say: “Oh well, there’s something happening here, but we don’t know what it is. Do you, Mrs. Jones?”
Blurbarella: “A Whale’s Forlorn Shout-out– From Another Planet,– A Planet Blown– By the Chinese– After Narrowly Surviving– Zack Snyder.”
3 out of 6 Cherries