Wake     A clutch of spaceships and alien mind readers search for planets to colonize, and find a jungle-infested one and a savage girl named Navee. She was shipwrecked as a baby and orphaned, just like Tarzan. Wake is the name of the alien convoy that threatens her world and titles this new adventure series from NBN publishing and Frenchmen Phillippe Bucket and Jean-David Morvan. 

     The art in this reprinted European title is magnificent. For the sake of brevity, everything is technically done right, and the artist's style is distinctive and dynamic. Especially impressive are his panoramic jungle scene, and this artist can draw banks of gadgets and gaggles of robots as easily as the banks of rivers and gaggles of geese. That degree of versatility is a rare talent.

     The writing on Wake is no less impressive. For the sake of brevity, everything is technically done right, and the writer's style is distinctive and dynamic. Especially impressive are plot twists that elevate this series beyond "just another homage to Tarzan", characterization that ignores stereotypes, and crisp, believable dialog.

     In the wake of such praise, is there no weakness, no flaw in Wake?

     Navee looks thirteen years old, and jumps and swings across these comics pages naked except for a loincloth. That is considered child pornography under American law and business as usual in France. Therefore, a black strip was added across Navee's chest for the American edition. It may surprise readers who know this reviewer is Christian that he suggests the strap is both silly--and welcomed. This self-censorship is silly because Navee's nudity is no more salacious than a photograph of a naked baby. It is meant to suggest her innocence. That strap, however, is welcomed because all of her readers are not innocent and, necessary or not, it does nothing to detract from the graphic novel. 

     Wake is highly recommended for truly mature readers who can discern between lust and artistic license.

     Wake/48 pgs., #9.95/sold in comics shops, at nbmpublishing.com, and in bookstores.

     Review by Michael Vance 


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