The surreal and trippy thrill ride continues in Southern Cross #5 as the scares and suspense mounts up. As questions start to be answered, the involving murder mystery has become a genuinely entertaining reading experience. As a cerebral and existentialist mystery, “Southern Cross” demonstrates what can actually happen when story and art work seamlessly side by side.
WRITTEN BY: Becky Cloonan
ART BY: Andy Belanger
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: Sept. 16, 2015
In the vastness of outer-space, the Southern Cross has unexpectedly become a sinking ship, With time and air running out, Alex has to put the clues together and pick out the culprit who murdered her sister. As the Southern Cross crew start to turn on each other, will Alex finally find the answer she’s been looking for. Does she even want to meet the person on board the ship who actually wants to kill her?
I love how writer Becky Cloonan pushes Alex’s strong personality and her punkish attitude to the forefront. There was a difference before when Alex demonstrated her tough outlook in previous installments. Alex felt her vulnerability was somehow a hinderance, but now she controls that characteristic. Alex’s character growth happens to be an appealing aspect of the cleverly written story.
When artist Andy Belanger lets loose, there is such a playfulness to his panel layouts. In one particular scene, we find Alex using an elevator and walking around the dimly-lit hallways. All of this motion seems to be happening in one-long take as the eyes follow along. As Alex sinks deeper to the lower levels, this is all a visual metaphor that she’s heading straight to Hell.
When the imagery turns surreal, colorist Lee Loughridge heightens the dark purplish and bluish tones. When an entire scene becomes awash in a yellow scheme, the illustrations are punched up and become even more vibrant.
“Southern Cross” #5 closes on a gripping cliffhanger. There is only one issue left before the first story arc closes.
Rating: 4.5/5 skulls
Reviewed by Jorge Solis