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THE WAKE

The Wake coverWith the tenth issue, a long time in coming, The Wake finally ended. Another disappointment. According to writer Scott Snyder, he and artist Sean Murphy, both highly talented creators, produced this limited series by constantly challenging each other to do the impossible. They have presumably satisfied each other that they achieved this goal, but along the way, they lost me.

The story takes place in some future dystopia where life as we know it has ceased to exist. Instead, whatever is left of the human (sic) sapiens battle giant undersea monsters. In attempting their goals of impossibility, Snyder and Murphy resort much too often to pages depicting monstrous machinery for which I have no sympathy whatsoever. And the human actors in the drama, whom I’m tempted at last to like, don’t show up, if memory serves (the series has taken so long that I can barely remember the early issues), until about a third of the way through. By then, we’ve lost hope that there’ll be any heroes to fight the villains.

And, in fact, the fight ends, finally, in a cop-out: Murphy’s prickly heroine speeds off in a boat, proclaiming that the meaning of life can be found in assuming the attitude that “it’s all an adventure.”

That’s a fine thematic conclusion for an adventure story, but the narrative energy of the tale has long since drained off, leaving us only mildly interested in the outcome.

For more Rants & Raves with its comics news and reviews, gossip and cartooning lore, visit www.RCHarvey.com

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