Sideways #6 – Dan Didio, Writer; Carmine Di Giandomenico, Artist; Dan Brown, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: Since this series began, the one thing I’ve been spotlighting is just how much it feels like Spider-Man. This is generally a positive – it features a lot of great elements that made the iconic Marvel hero a success, including a likable but flawed lead, an adoptive family that provides some much-needed support for the young hero, and a supporting cast including a snarky female best friend who’s in on his secret. However, with Sideways #6 (which has Dan Didio take over on writing in anticipation for a crossover with Grant Morrison and one of his properties in the coming months), the comparisons start feeling less like a homage and more like an uncomfortable clone. In many ways, this is a very good issue, but it also makes a key decision for the future of the series that feels both inevitable and ill-advised. The issue opens with another fight between Derek and his overprotective mother. Derek is in the wrong, sure, but in a way that many teenagers won’t get. So he decides he needs some distance, and heads off to spend the day with his friends while ignoring her.
He tries to find Ernie, but finds her twin sister instead. He’s then pulled into an adventure with Tempus, who started the series trying to kill Derek but has since become a sort of reluctant mentor to him. They spend some time beating up a creature from the Dark Multiverse, and do a little bonding in the process. I like this dynamic a lot and want to see more of these two teaming up, but it’s hard to enjoy with just how much the events at the end of the issue are telegraphed. Derek’s mother, after trying to contact him, decides to head into work at the shady corporation where she’s employed, and try to find more information about her son in the files. She gets past the creepy weekend manager, digs through the files and finds out just how much they have to do with what Derek has become. Before she can escape with the files, though, she’s ambushed – and is later found dead in Crime Alley, just as Derek tries to call her. So, just like Spider-Man, Derek now has a major guilt complex over the death of a parent figure. This all felt preordained almost from the first issue, and not only is it a disappointing fridging of an interesting parental figure, but it feels like it’ll cast a long pall over the fun vibe that made this one of this line’s best series.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes