Sideways #11 – Dan Didio, Writer; Kenneth Rocafort, Artist; Daniel Brown, Colorist
Ratings Ray – 7/10
Ray: With Derek back on Earth, Sideways comparisons to Spider-Man get more pronounced with every issue. Tropes are far from a bad thing, as they became iconic for a reason, but at a certain point, the homage overtakes the original property. That’s definitely the case in Sideways #11, as Derek continues to struggle to deal with the death of his mother and how his life has fallen apart in his absence. But first, he has the more pressing issue of dealing with the low-rent supervillain Bolt, who is trying to capture him for Black Star Energy and is threatening Ernie to get him to surrender. While the “girl in danger” plot is tiresome, I’m glad Ernie was never a passive participant in the scene. The clever battle also does a good job of showing Derek’s inexperience in the face of a trained foe with a mission. It’s not a bad scene, but it’s also not a very memorable one.
I didn’t think the stories surrounding the main plot were as effective. Detective Hopkins has largely been an adversary for this series, constantly suspicious of Derek, but this issue tries to give him a story of his own involving someone spying on his office. It’s enough to switch him to Ernie’s side when she seeks his help to find the kidnapped Derek. But he remains largely a one-note character.
Ernie’s a good character, but I can’t really say the same for her twin sister, who is largely a one-note mean girl. By the end of the issue, when Derek is captured by Leto Dominus and she proceeds to lay out her entire evil plan in a monologue, things feel way too stock. Derek’s superhero adventure has taken him far and wide and has gone through some crazy twists, but it’s never let him establish himself in the way the best teenage heroes did. That’s probably why it’s ending soon.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.