Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

The Wake #5The Wake #5 of 10
Vertigo Comics (DC)
Snyder & Murphy

When you have a reputation for being a fantastic comic book talent and a superstar creative team the bar gets raised to unrealistic levels. Books that are ordinary generally speaking are viewed as subpar or even as bad. This is the case here. Snyder and Murphy have built such high expectations that this issue becomes a tremendous disappointment in their impressive list of credits. I was expected a much more gripping effort for this comic book.

This issue marks the end of the first part of this mini-series. It appears, based on the cliffhanger, that the book will be following a different set of characters in the second half. If this is the case, then this issue marks the end of this character set and unfortunately the issue doesn't send them off in any meaningful way. In fact, it doesn't resolve a whole lot at all. While Snyder calls attention to that in his letter in the back of book it doesn't solve the problem that this single issue suffers greatly as a result.

The book is peppered with odd plot devices to push this book forward. A secret submarine that the character didn't want to mention until now was revealed. Special bombs are included that are only used to produce a suicide-like ending. A giant sea monster is injured by the bombings but those in the sub appear to retain their seal from the ocean in the process. Characters draw conclusion that just doesn't seem possible based on the information at hand. The book just reads very sloppily and too many panels left me shaking my head at how forced this all came across.

Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle ReviewsMurphy's artwork is stunning in most places. He draws a scary looking book and some of his pages are nothing sort of magnificent. However, the book is far from perfect. There is one particular page where a character is sitting on the ground with one leg up, bent at the knee, and it is one of the worst renditions of human anatomy that I've ever seen Murphy draw. I can't believe this panel wasn't touched up more during inking or coloring. The book was running late and perhaps this what happens when it is rushed. With the second part not shipping until February I would think they had more time to finish this book.

One of the more thrilling and frightening books out there turns out an extremely forgettable and subpar book. The comic forced an ending that just doesn't seem natural for the story told in the previous four issues. The artwork provides visual treats that help the book along but fall short of the complete package when it comes to the quiet moments. This is not the strongest effort from this pair. I hope the second part of this story makes this issue seem like a blip on the radar.

2 out of 5 Geek Goggles