CSA: Confederate States of America Southern Cross: Annuit Coeptis is the first volume of an alternate history graphic novel series from Sekwana Comics. CSA is a seven-volume historical fiction series created by French author Dorvall and illustrated by Philip Renne. This alternative history of the American Civil War follows both the Confederacy after gaining its independence and the Union after suffering defeat. The narrative depicts the experiences of four fictional characters of different ethnicity, gender, and background as they are confronted by the harsh realities of living in a divided country.
This first volume is very much about the set up of this alternate history. While I awaited for it to dive in and comment on slavery or the causes of the war, those greater issues or only slightly touched upon.
Instead this volume introduces us to the many characters involved in the greater story, both historical and not, and the key events that have set off this alternate world. Battles are laid out and the ramifications of different results ripple throughout like a rock in a pond. Defeats for the Northern forces lead to a series events that threaten to undo the Union. Success by the South begin to show cracks in their governmental philosophy. Slavery itself is slightly touched upon, and the true brutality of the treatment by the South to the slaves in reality is glossed over for entertainment’s sake. What is nice is that acknowledgement that though the North fought to preserve the Union, it wasn’t exactly a unified force, voice, or philosophy and racism and pro-slavery opinions did exist. I have to wonder how Dorvall’s being French might have impacted the point of view of the story.
Renne’s art is pretty good. There’s a painted style to it that reminds me of Stjepan Sejic a bit. And like Sejic’s art, this style does have issues showing some emotion on some folks’ faces. Overall though, the art is good with each character looking unique like what you might see in a historical painting. Particularly nice is the details around the edges of each page, that enhances the book.
It’s hard to judge the series by just this one book as it’s just the start and very much is just the beginning of the seven volume story. It’s an interesting beginning, one I want to see where it goes. For folks of history or alternate history it’s worth the “buy,” for other folks, definitely worth at least giving it a perusal.
Story: Dorvall Art: Philip Renne
Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read
Sekwana Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review