Published on May 13th, 2015 | by Dapper Dan0
Southern Cross #3 – Comic Review
Southern Cross 3 continues the eponymous ship’s journey from Earth to Titan, and the weirdness grows. Becky Cloonan & Andy Belanger are producing a thrilling, chilling and suspense packed series
Picking up straight from last issue’s unpleasant cliffhanger; lead character Alex Braith runs through the ship to tell Captain Tetsuya about the latest weird developments in the cursed cabin 17.
If you’ve watched the recent TV show Fortitude you might see some parallels with this issue. Alex’s investigation into her room’s previous occupant hearkens back to the sordid tale of Pettigrew in Fortitude. This includes senior members of the cast being involved in a conspiracy to cover up the death. Given the lead time involved in creating the book, this must be nothing more than a simple coincidence but an interesting one nonetheless.
One of the highlights of Southern Cross for me is the way it straddles the line between hard sci-fi and unnatural horror. If they’d stayed strictly in the realm of Alien or Blade Runner style sci-fi the book would still be great, but the addition (or at least suggestion) of supernatural elements takes the readers’ expectations and puts a new spin on them.
Becky Cloonan’s dialogue flows very well. As well know as she is for her art, her writing is just as impressive. The cast clearly have their own voices and personalities that come across in every exchange. Alex’s street-smart confidence masks the turmoil at the mysterious nature of her sister’s death, Captain Tetsuya has more than one skeleton in his closet (What gave him those scars?) and Kyril might well turn out to be more than just the mess hall letch.
Belanger’s art is exceptionally strong throughout. He reinforces the visual designs of the ship’s interior and crew uniforms established already. Everything is practical, well-used and while Belanger has planned the aesthetic, the impression in the book is that nothing is extraneous. Clothes are worn for work, equipment is there to do a job. There are no frills in this setting, just purity of purpose and enough form to fulfill function. It’s an inspired choice and makes for quite a “real” setting. Southern Cross is starting to feel like it may owe a little to the film Event Horizon too. Something is definitely awry with that engine core….
Anyone who thinks man’s forays into space will be as shiny as JJ Abrams’ Star Trek will be sadly disappointed; grimy and gritty will be the order of the day. Cloonan & Belanger are giving readers a perfect mix of suspense and thrills as the Southern Cross continues its anything-but-routine voyage.