Writer: Dan Didio
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Sideways #6 continues on with the troubles of Derek James, the new teen snarky portal drifting, dimension-hopping hero who just can’t seem to have any luck. Didio continues to write his Spider-Man pastiche with a load of fun. This issue doesn’t focus entirely on Derek as we pick up from where we left off with Derek’s mother Helen, finding out about Derek’s powers. Trying to confront him about it, she’s brushed off by Derek, who vanishes, causing her to investigate in the offices of Dark Star Sciences, who also seem interested in the young hero.
This issue is a bit of a slower pace than usual but an important one. Derek’s world has gotten weird and it seems like things are about to be up, down and sideways even more. This seems like the first issue of the plot honestly, with the previous issues being a nice world-build and getting to know all these crazy characters. I’m interested to see where Didio takes this character next. Honestly one of the high points the past few issues (and this one) is that Sideways is learning and getting a bit creative with his powers.
This issue has some great character moments, with Sideways and Tempus, a character who has seemed to be more concerned about Sideways misusing his powers (and giving loads of exposition about the Dark Multiverse). This time, however, we see what Tempus’ day job is, and it’s not serving multi-dimensional coffee’s. Finally, we see this nice team dynamic, master & apprentice, mentor & student, as Sideways helps Tempus mid-battle with an evil Cthulu-looking entity from the Dark Multiverse. Tempus is an interesting character and I’m liking the route their going down with them working together, possibly setting up future stories of them protecting our world from the inevitable threats of the Dark Multiverse? One can hope.
Again as I did say earlier, this issue really does feel like the start of the actual story. It’s not a bad issue, some important events happen and it seems like it’s setting the stage for bigger events that are on the horizon. While we have been given a number of Earth-based villains for Derek to face, it seems we may be going further into exploring the mysteries of the multiverse even more, and that just excites me.
Art this week was by Carmine Di Giandomenico, an artist many would be familiar with from his Rebirth Flash run. Carmine’s art is… something. I like his work with Sideways, I think the section with Tempus looked great and the movement and energy of Sideway’s portals came across nicely, and the large spread page with Helen looking at the files on Sideways was gorgeous (nice little Secret Wars pose as well, one of my favourite covers I may add) , but there’s just something off about some pages. I like Carmine’s work, I enjoyed it when I read Spider-Man Noir, but I always found that a lot of his characters have a same-faced look to them. Maybe I’m a little let down with the other artists of this series because of Rocafort’s stunning art was for the first few issues and he is a lot to live up to. Maybe I’ll grow into it, but honestly, I just wished we had a set artist for the series, I don’t mind the different art styles sometimes and I understand that it’s a lot of pressure on one artist for a solo book. Overall it’s not a huge complaint, I probably would get used to Carmine’s style after a few issues.
Folks, as I said in my last review of Sideways, please PLEASE check this series out. The New Age of Heroes seemed like a really fun idea and I’ve enjoyed most of the books. After hearing Challengers has become a mini, the Unexpected being canceled soon, and talks of Damage following suit I am worried this may face the same problem. Maybe not because Didio is writing, this seems like his pet project, but this series is definitely worth a look at, one of my favorites out of the lot. Not much else to say but if you like Spider-Man and what happens in his life, well, check this out because similar events transpire.
Sideways continues to drift about in the DC universe. This issue sets the stage for events to come and stories to unfold, this is definitely something worth checking.