Comic Review – Southern Cross #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I picked up Southern Cross, a new sci-fi mystery title from Image Comics, written by Becky Cloonan with art from Andy Belanger, colours by Lee Loughridge and letters from Serge LaPointe.

Southern Cross stars Alex Braith, a slightly rough around the edges and misanthropic woman, as she boards the space tanker ‘Southern Cross’ to the moon of Titan. Her sister Amber had worked for the Zemi Corporation rig on Titan, but had recently died. Working for the rig is a dangerous job, but Amber worked in administration, which shouldn’t be dangerous at all. Alex is travelling to Titan ostensibly to collect her sister’s remains and belongings, but also to investigate what happened to her sister, and who might be responsible. In this first issue she meets her room mate aboard the Southern Cross for the 6 day journey, an irritating girl who may still prove useful, and Captain Mori who shows her the gravity drive powering the ship. Alex will need to keep her wits about her if she’s to figure out what is going on and who may have killed her sister.

I am much more familiar with Becky Cloonan’s art work, most recently on Killjoys, but have been introduced to her writing in the very enjoyable Gotham Academy (co-writing I guess in that instance). Regardless, here she does a solid job of setting up a compelling sci-fi mystery in Alex’s quest to find answers. The characters so far are all vaguely enigmatic but compelling, and the giant grimy looking tanker, a little reminiscent of the Red Dwarf mining ship, should be a great setting for the story.

Belanger’s art does a good job of capturing the scale of the ship and how small our cast is in it as it whizzes through hyperspace. This is best seen in the pages where Alex is led down corridors, elevators and stairs to her room, as the dialogue follows the characters around the page depending on where they are on the deck. There are a few times when faces are a little inconsistent, and emotions tend to vary between anger and disinterest, but the situation does seem grim so maybe there isn’t much cause for smiling. Loughridge’s colours sell the dank looking environs and the ship’s inhabitants, but bring out the brightness of the ship’s core and hyperspace.

This was an interesting first issue of what looks to be a compelling sci-fi mystery. Pick it up at your LCS or digital platform now!

Score: 7.5 Gravity Drives out of 10

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