The Wake #7 review

Last month the focus of Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's sci-fi thriller shifted from Dr Lee Archer in the present day to Leeward in the far future. Leeward is dealing with the world Lee saw being born, an Earth near-engulfed by water and terrorised by the Mers. The regular creatures, who can kill with teeth or tail, are bad enough, but the super-sized versions are beyond nightmarish, Harryhausen in hi-def.

It's one such monster, and its smaller brethren, whom Leeward has to fight off this time. And it's not as if she was having a good day to start with, being chained up on a prison ship run by government muscle General Marlow.

This chapter - which features another enticing cover from Andrew Robinson - also gives us more on Marlow's boss the Governess, the horrible crone who rules icy Crane City; we see further evidence of her nasty nature, but worryingly, I'm left wanting more.

A flashback introduces us to cute kid Leeward and her doughty parents, as they take a shot at a brighter future
. The scenario demonstrates once more that while the 23rd century is a terrible place, it's wonderful in its own way.

We get a little more on Lee's message from the past, and hear of something that may let Man take the world back from the Mers - all they have to do is survive long enough to find it ...

The Wake #7 is another impressively well-structured issue, as Snyder reveals more of the story and deepens his characters, ensuring we care about their fates. Snyder is confident enough in Murphy's artistic chops to give us rich, long-for-comics conversations - we're nowhere near an all-talking heads scenario, as we see the characters' environments, the telling detail. And when all hell breaks loose, Murphy goes big, using splash pages and multi-panel spreads to pace out the action.

The people Murphy draws reek of character, with the Mike McMahon-esque Marlow being a stand-out. And so far as finned friends go, Dash the dolphin out adorables-Nemo any day. My favourite page this issue shows the maxi-Mer grabbing the slave ship, the vast expanse of black below him hinting at the end of all things he - or perhaps she - represents.

Actually, ignore my words - just look at this gorgeous art, artfully coloured by Matt Hollingsworth and lettered by Jared K Fletcher.

Snyder knows when to let the pictures do the talking, and Murphy rises to the challenge. They're a well-matched team producing a tight, taut series, and I'm glad I'm along for the ride.