The Wake

What begins as a claustrophobic sea monster tale at the bottom of the ocean ends with (in a spoiler-free spirit) a legend much more grand. In this collection of Vertigo's 10-issue series, author Scott Snyder (currently doing amazing things with DC's The New 52 Batman) bounces between tense, restrictive moments among individuals and wide-open, monumental landscapes and events affecting the human race. The storytelling mirrors and questions how legends from the past and the present intermingle to form a history that begets more legends and realities in an endless cycle. At times confusing as the mystery unfolds, The Wake is nonetheless a gripping page-turner with Punk Rock Jesus-creator Sean Murphy's art capturing the broad scope or isolation inherent in each panel. Murphy's sea creatures, formed with jagged lines and sharp edges, manage to seem fluid on the page, combining slippery agility with razor-sharp danger—an underwater nightmare that'd have the Creature from the Black Lagoon swimming for shore. The Wake is a deluge of ambitious ideas that occasionally drowns the human element as it forms its own legend, but in the wake of time, it's the legends and monsters we remember.