This week I am going to talk about an Image book. I know it’s getting to be a weekly occurrence but I can’t help it that Image is putting out amazing books constantly! This week I am going to talk about Southern Cross #1, written by Becky Cloonan with art by Andy Belanger.
Southern Cross is a science fiction tale, set in the future, about a woman going to Titan to claim her sister’s body. Titan has a mining colony of some sort that sends energy to Earth… I think. To be honest I wasn’t paying attention to the minute details of the story as I more swept up in the character and the scenery. The main character is a girl named Alex Braith and she is going to Zem Rig to get her sisters body and belongings. She also is to going to look into how her sister died and to, presumably, take revenge on whoever killed her. The book gets its name from the ship she is on, the Southern Cross which is a transport vessel between Earth and Titan. On it we meet the Captain and the usual oil rig type males who hit on her, as well as a doctor and the first mate. All of these characters are secondary to me as she meets Erin McKenna, her bunk mate. She avoids Erin as much as she can but soon finds out Erin is being sent by the company that owns Zem Rig to investigate the death of Alex’s sister. Alex wants to trade notes with her bunk mate but on the way back to her bunk from the cafeteria she gets lost and runs into the captain, who gives her a tour of the engine room. The last panel of the issue is of the hyper drive and its energy source, where a ghastly image of a bleeding, screaming, girl appears.
That final panel made me realize how this entire book made me feel, and that was like I was reading Alien. When I say this I don’t mean I feel like I was reading a book set in Alien‘s universe, I mean it made me feel the same as I did the first time I watched Alien. There is a slight sense of foreboding that permeates the book. The world feels dark and terrifying and gritty. There is a lot going on that we don’t know, this is just a glimpse into this world for a single event. The story is well written, the characters we meet are crisp and clean and Alex Braith is a character I immediately was intrigued by. Alex really feels like a younger Ripley. She comes across as a tough woman who is a survivor.
The art sold this story just as much as the writing for me. The art makes this story feel darker and grittier. It sets the tone as much as the writing and every time I see part of the ship I see part of the ship Alien. There is a flatness to the color that, while sounding harsh, makes the art stand out from other space stories and makes this book feel as much a horror book as a science fiction tale. Not knowing much about where the story is going I can only guess what kind of story this will be but I really hope it turns into a horror or thriller book.
This book is a 5/5 and I can’t wait to read more of it. I have to say that if this book turns into a horror/thriller I will be down for the whole story. If it turns into a run of the mill space tale then I will probably bail on it. I have high hopes though.