Sideways #12 – Dan Didio, Writer; Kenneth Rocafort, Shane Davis, Penciller; Michelle Delecki, Artists; Hi-Fi, Daniel Brown, Colorists
Ray – 5/10
Corrina: Decent Character Moments
Ray: In some ways, Sideways was the most ambitious of the New Age of DC Heroes books, a multiverse-hopping adventure that brought in Grant Morrison on plot. But it was also a very human story about a kid who got spectacular powers that proceeded to wreak havoc on his personal life. But I don’t think those two storylines ever quite jelled, which is why the series ends this week with a whimper. When we last left off, Derek had been captured by the evil Leto Dominus, who was torturing him to gain access to his powers – and wound up setting off a terrible explosion. As the issue kicks off, Derek is found in the wreckage of the building by Detective Hopkins, who quickly figures out his secret identity. Hopkins is probably the most underrated character in this series, a no-nonsense lawman who is determined to follow clues to their truth – and when he clears Derek, he’s the first one to admit it and help him. He also has a fun deadpan snark that I enjoy, adding some light cynicism to the series.
While Kenneth Rocafort draws the main segment, Shane Davis jumps in to draw a flashback segment that shows what happened after the cliffhanger. Essentially, Derek’s power went out of control, summoning monsters that dealt some predictable karma to Dominus and her fat henchman. They were never good villains, and we don’t even get answers here about who killed Derek’s mother. There’s an exciting segment where Derek is saved from the Dark Multiverse by the Fuginaut, but soon enough it’s back to Earth. There, the series ends with a cringe-y segment where Derek’s horrible father – who was last seen telling Derek that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be his father anymore – clumsily attempts to make amends. That includes an incredibly personal move that reveals a big part of Derek’s past he may not have been ready for – and the series ends on a cliffhanger that will likely never be resolved. There were some interesting ideas here, but ultimately this series turned into a mess.
Corrina: Instant teleportation, with all its’ pros and cons, is an excellent power for a teenage hero. Derek showed some possibilities, though I remain convinced that using his power to sneak up on a friend in her bedroom in issue #1 set the wrong tone for series. Still, Derek had a good supporting cast, a promising skillset, and a mystery connection with his powers that could have turned into a good story.
Alas, the issues lurched from one crisis to the next, never establishing a set tone, then Derek’s mom was killed, his father becomes near-irredeemable, and his friends seem to be lost in the shuffle. The emotions for the deaths or tragedies also never quite felt real.
Like Teen Titans, this book seems a waste of a good premise.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.