Reviewed By Jorge Solis. Eerily suspenseful with breathtaking imagery, ‘Southern Cross’ #1 is an entertaining first entry to the sci-fi thriller. This is a well-crafted exercise in pulling at the strings of anticipation. With the groundwork set in the first issue, “Southern Cross” hooks readers in with its cerebral and existentialist mystery.
WRITTEN BY: Becky Cloonan
ART BY: Andy Belanger
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: March 11th, 2015
In the vastness of outer-space, no one could hear what happened to Amber Braith. Mourning for her deceased sister, Alex has to travel in-between planets and stars to collect her remains. Surrounded by spaceships and 3D screens, Alex is a long way from home, from any outside help as she reaches close to her destination.There is something lurking in the darkness of space waiting to reach out and claim another victim.
I love how writer Becky Cloonan blends aspects of horror, sci-fi, and mystery seamlessly into the narrative. Each page feels fresh with clever ideas as Cloonan introduces readers to our main character, Alex. Realizing she is just an ant inside a bigger world, Alex has to be tough and feisty as she exudes a punkish personality.
Keeping readers inside Alex’s perspective, Cloonan locks in every page with a sense of awe and dread. Though we’re in a big world, Cloonan finds ways to condense size and elbow room. The eerie atmosphere is always thick with danger as Alex finds herself in tight, claustrophobic situations. The well-written story moves along at a fast pace as characters bounce off each other with their snappy dialogue.
One of my favorite comics from 2014 was “Kill Shakespeare: The Mask of Night,” and I knew that artist Andy Belanger was going to do wonders visually here in “Southern Cross.” What’s amazing here is how Belanger kicks his talents up a notch. The camera always seems to be moving as Alex makes her way from one panel to the next. Like a tracking shot, your eyes will follow from top to bottom of the page as Alex makes the trip to her quarters.
From the spaceships to the tablets, I enjoyed how Belanger uses the little details to make the sci-fi aspects feel grounded. Notice the facial expressions Alex makes as she lugs her heavy bag around. In an impressive two-pager, Lee Loughridge’s vivid colors enhance Belanger’s illustrations by capturing a future that is breathtaking with its technological advancements and frightening in its wide openness.
Arriving in stores on March 11, “Southern Cross” #1 is a fantastic read from start to finish. I cannot wait to get my hands on the second issue.