Written by Becky Cloonan, Art by Andy Belanger, Published by Image Comics
There’s an advantage in being forced by circumstance to read something. Southern Cross started a little slow and stilted, but it was read this or chew my way through some more Midas Flesh, which isn’t bad but I had no real idea what was going on and it’s 116 pages long.
But! Southern Cross is very good, despite Images constant peccadillo of missing a recap page at the front.
The story follows Braith, a young lady embroiled in a mystery (I’d know more about if there was recap page Image!) on a space ship that feels like a 1940’s merchant ship. There’s a saboteur, fertive meetings and drug trips that would make Grant Morrison flush his stash. Braith appears to be on some kind of mission that comes with migraine inducing visions that culminate in some beautiful full page panels.
Andy Belanger’s art is a blend of Mignola’s and Aldred’s with a splash of Pope but never feels derivative, especially in the trippy scenes. Each character is well defined, Belenger never seems short of a design to make them distinctive. There’s some inventive use of shadows and shots to really put you in Braith’s shoes when she’s sneaking about in the bowls of the ship and those trippy scenes…I’ve never been so fascinated by the symbolism of triangles before.
Becky Cloonan has actually made me interested in a DC book off the back of this. I’ve heard good things about Gotham Academy and this proves she’s a solid writer. Braith is an interesting character with more issues than the financial times and at no point does the script dip so far into typical sci-fi territory that you feel like you’re reading a script for Star Trek the Next Generation. In Southern Cross could well be set on a 1940’s merchant ship and I almost wish it was but then it’s possible the setting would have swamped the story with the level of research needed.
Despite not reading the first issue it did a bang up job of presenting an interesting read were the story and characters take first place over setting and genre.
Again, another I will be picking up in the trade. I have to start reviewing shit comics, this is going to cost me a fortune.