Southern Cross #3 – Comic Review

Alex Braith wants to bring her sister home. Lost on a Mining Station in Saturn’s orbit, Braith needs to solve the mystery of what happened to her sister, and elude the attention of the unnerving Zemi mining corporation. Southern Cross #3 offers:

  • Artwork that builds a strong science fiction setting and shows off excellent scene transitions.
  • An investigator in the main character, Alex Braith, who takes up agency, and unravels the mystery around her.
  • A tense science fiction mystery with themes of gravity.

Artwork of the ship’s dimly lit interior strikes a heavy tone, while a flashback to Briath’s childhood is a short reverie, which fades quickly, but marks an excellent scene transition.

Supernatural apparitions rise against the hard and heavy science fiction setting. The corridors of the spaceship are lit sparingly. Light emanates from one source behind the characters in the foreground. Lit from the front, the characters faces are clear, but they cast long shadows. Stars fly past the wide window into space.

Artwork on one page flashes back to Braith’s childhood. She runs after her sister through a field of grass. The image resembles a similar scene from the Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly, where one sister chases another over the introductory cut scene. The colour of this artwork is a pale peach. Transitioning to the next scene, two pale orange tablets dissolve into a glass. Braith’s vision of the past dissolves quickly. The reverie fades. Instead, the harsh, industrial yellow light of the Doctor’s office marks the tone of the next scene.

Braith is an investigator, but experiences a sense of being haunted, along with startling apparitions. The Captain of the Southern Cross, and the ship’s cook, offer support, but the atmosphere remains uneasy and grave.

Braith unravels a mystery onboard the space freighter The Souther Cross as it travels on it’s way from Earth’s orbit to Saturn’s moon. Erin was her bunkmate in cabin 17. She disappeared the same night an apparition of a man – a phantom – arrives in the cabin. Later she learns that a man died in that cabin. Haunted throughout the comic, a crew member always seems to be following her. At one point, someone seems to be behind her, but nothing is there.

Inside the doctor’s office, Braith takes steps to find out what happened in cabin 17. She finds a tape, and a list of passengers the doctor saved from a past voyage. The name “Flask” appears on the list, and on a tape. a small black dot marks the man’s name. Similar to a scene from the Alien universe, she watches the damaged tape, gaining some insights into how deep and dark the freighter’s past becomes.

The Captain of the ship and the ship’s cook both offer Briathe support. The Captain is a mystery. He matches Braith’s intense gaze with one of his own. He dresses in a long coat and hat, cutting a dashing figure.

A theme of gravity covers this comic. Gravity controls the ships power, and each character is burdened with some kind of weight, mission, or secret, adding to the tense science fiction mystery.

Gravity themes complete this science fiction comic book. Gravity control technology powers the space freighter Southern Cross. Themes of gravity run through the comic itself. Braith’s room becomes more and more grave-like, with Flask’s death and her bunkmate’s disappearance. Some characters literally struggle with weight, while others are burdened with secrets.

The sense of unease compounds with the grave atmosphere. Braith tries to elude corporate spies from the Zemi mining corporation and unwanted help from other crew members. It’s a tense science fiction mystery that strikes a tone similar to not just Alien, but games like Nintendo’s Metroid series. Braith’s trials are not over – another apparition emerges, this time from the gravity core of the Southern Cross – as the issue ends on a cliffhanger.

Southern Cross #3 is published by Image Comics ($2.99 USD). Becky Cloonan (W.) Andy Belanger (A.) Serge LaPointe (L.) Cover artwork by Becky Cloonan.

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