By Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger, & Lee Loughridge
Everything about Southern Cross just seems to work. The creative team knows the conventions of the sub-genre of science fiction the narrative is framed in and implements them well. Alex Braith, a young, brash woman heads to the oil-rigged moon Titan to recover the remains of her deceased sister and find some answers. The ship the Southern Cross may hold the secrets she seeks.
Right from page one, it is evident this title is different. The minimal, yet very specific color scheme being used by Lee Loughrigde is just visually stimulating. Also, the detailed character designs from Andy Belanger make readers interested in what they have to say, specifically, the main character Alex. Deeper into the book, it’s readily apparent how detailed-oriented Belanger is. There are two double full-page spreads that show the incredible size of the Southern Cross and the expanse of space, but upon closer inspection one can make out the all the definition put into the images. It’s absolutely breathtaking.
The page layout designs are very different and serve the story Becky Cloonan is trying to tell. One page shows how to traverse the corridors of the ship, while some exposition is given. Consolidating this information with dynamic panels and conveying the cramp, claustrophobic nature of the ship is just brilliant execution. This type of artwork serves the unnerving mystery that Alex is trying to solve. Southern Cross is tapping into noir, but it also calls to mind Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette’s Le Transperceneige.
Image launches what looks to be another solid sci-fi title. Check this out for at least the next few issues to give it a fair shot, if it doesn’t immediately captivate, which it should.