I started writing this article several times, and came to realize two things.
First, that The Wake is simply too stuffed full of interesting things to talk about that I couldn’t possibly cover them all in the few hundred words I have, and second, that all I really wanted to talk about was the colouring.
Colourists get so little attention in the comic book world, yet their contribution is staggering and undeniable. What Matt Hollingsworth brings to The Wake (written and pencilled by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy respectively) draws out many of the themes of the book and lays them right on the page, hidden in plain sight. What’s more, The Wake is a book that illustrates the different effects colour can have excellently by neatly dividing itself into two parts - the first horror-inflected and the second full of high-stakes adventure.
At this point I’d like to say that The Wake is a book that really benefits from being read cold and with little knowledge of the twists and surprises that are waiting.
Unfortunately that makes it pretty hard to talk about without giving it all away. So I urge you, if you don’t want the surprises ruined for you, stop reading now and go read the book - you have been warned.