Writer: Dan DiDio
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Sideways is a book that continues to use the fan favorite trope of ‘teen superhero facing the responsibilities of being a hero while also his constant everyday troubles’ and has only amplified his problems with the saddening death of his mother. Yes, Sideway‘s homage to classic Spider-Man continues further, with the loss of a parental figure and the guilt trip now driving him further. So yes, Sideways now joins the ever-growing list of superheroes who lose a parental figure due to something revolving around their irresponsibility and super-powered lives.
But this issue isn’t completely in the doom and gloom, something that was a bit surprising but I’ll get into that later. We see the reappearance of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, more specifically the fan favorite Grant Morrison team, who appear to be missing their seventh soldier somewhere in the Dark Multiverse, so they need a guide. Now, who could possibly be the one destined to help these 6 lost soldiers in their quest? Looks like it’s time for Sideways to step up. This is a team-up I am thoroughly looking forward to and sounds like a very interesting arc with a bunch of great characters. However, what I was most surprised with was them fitting in this story. The narrative makes sense, Derek does choose to go with the heroes (albeit he is kinda forced) but he does make the decision of moving on and helping especially as he feels responsible for not helping stop his mother’s death. I was just most surprised we’re getting this big of a team-up with some already established heroes right in the middle of an emotional and important arc for Derek. I had said in a previous review that while I do enjoy his supporting cast, I don’t like how we don’t know them too much. I would’ve felt by issue 7 we would have some of them a bit more fleshed out and established, the most being Derek and his mother. Hopefully, with this turn in the status quo, we may get to know the father or Ernie a bit better after Derek has fun in his multiverse shenanigans.
Now a question that has been wrinkling my brain after reading this issue is: “DO TEENAGERS REALLY ACT THIS SCUMMY IN REAL LIFE???” Like seriously, holy sh*t the dialogue used in this comic makes it seem like teenagers are the most soulless things in existence. I honestly sided with Derek when he lashed out, it was a new low for being the scumbag jock. Either they are like that nowadays or Didio is really out of touch.
Art is gorgeously drawn by Rocafort and I’m honestly delighted he’s back on the series again, especially in the arc we’re entering. Seeing the totally weird, bizarre and insane designs of the Dark Multiverse in Rocafort’s style would make even Grant Morrison cry. I even love how the Seven Soldiers look, and the colors by Dan Brown and Ivan Plasciena really compliment and bring out the designs even more.
I’m very excited for this adventure, we can see Sideways flesh out his character more and learn a bit more about heroics with these other heroes, characters in the B-list and below seem to be perfect for Sideways team-ups (as seen by the Hotspot team up earlier this series). I’m also excited to see Derek teaming up with Superbro later on in this series. The Dark Multiverse is an area still left undiscovered with untapped potential. The events of Metal only tipped the iceberg and it really seems like Sideways is going to be the frontman in exploring the weirdness of the Multiverse and how it’s going to affect the DC universe. That being said, as excited as I am for team-ups and multiverse nonsense I do hope Didio doesn’t forget the heart of this story with Derek’s new life being shifted, the character did really shine at the start and it’s always nice to see our hero being human and not just a key into a trippy dimension. Still impressed with this series and just looking forward to more.
Sideways continues to be one of the more enjoyable of the New Age of Heroes, showing heart, fun and now multiversal shenanigans. Worth a read