It’s not a good day to be Sideways. The newest hero on the block, who has the power to create rifts in space and time, has just triumphed as a temporary member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, but he’s been missing from home for a week. His dad, who doesn’t know Derek was made meta by the Metal event, doesn’t run to hug him. Understandably.
Leto Dominus, of Dark Star Sciences, Derek’s mother’s boss until she had her killed, does know his secrets. And she’s hiring someone to grab Sideways, an assassin with more experience of teleportation than him.
Someone else who knows the truth about Sideways is Ernie – his school pal Ernestine – who has troubles of her own, as Derek learns when he rifts them to Paris, via a very Carmine Infantino panel.
As for what else happens, I reckon you should buy the book and find out. It’s teen superhero action in the tradition of Spider-Man, Nova and Firestorm, a very readable, great-looking melding of action and angst. Kenneth Rocafort and Dan DiDio get equal billing – I think artist and Sideways creator Rocafort is co-plotting while DiDio scripts, but Rocafort may be plotting the whole thing – and they make a great combo. DiDio, who recently became a grandfather – congratulations, if you happen to be reading – is likely to be credited with the credible characterisation of Derek’s dad David, while Rocafort, who’s nearer Derek and Ernie’s age, perhaps plugs into them more. I don’t know… what I do know is that this week’s announcement that the series is ending at #12 has me disappointed. Sideways gives me superhero soap, colourful characters, big battles, humour, intrigue and a character who deserves a chance to develop. Maybe Derek could do a post-cancellation Ronnie Raymond and be recruited for the Justice League by Superman – Firestorm’s presence in the team allowed him to build up a fanbase and get his book back.
For now, I’ve a couple more issues of this series which I’m sure to enjoy. DiDio’s dialogue complements Rocafort’s delicate visuals, while the colours of Dan Brown and letters of Dave Sharpe add value – Brown is a whiz at facial modelling while Sharpe’s display lettering treatment for this issue’s story title is delightfully ironic. And look at this issue’s cover, a gorgeous mood piece marred only by the clunky logo.
If you’ve not given Sideways a look, it’s not too late to take more than a sidelong glance