Sideways #13 – Dan Didio, Writer; Kenneth Rocafort, Artist; Dan Brown, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Ray: Sideways is ending with Sideways #13, an odd number that gives it one issue more than the typical twelve. It needed much more to make sense of the hash that this series has become. It juggles countless plots and tries to rush them to a conclusion, but few of them land.
The issue opens with Tempus in the space between worlds, meeting with a mysterious cloaked figure – the woman apparently responsible for giving Derek his powers. The dialogue makes it painfully clear that this is an alternate version of Derek’s mother, and I would have liked to see more of that rather than what came next – the incredibly cringe-worthy segment involving Derek and Rocio, his birth mother. The last issue saw Derek’s father drop her on his doorstep as a way to pawn off some of the parenting, and this issue doesn’t do that plot much better. Rocio is mainly characterized as a cliched “Hot-blooded Latina” who curses in Spanish repeatedly and scolds Derek for not knowing how to speak it.
The issue has no time to delve into how Derek really feels about this huge development because he’s also trying to solve his mother’s murder. He gets a call from Detective Hopkins (the best character in this book, complete with his constant cynical disbelief at the nonsense going on around him) who gives him a tip as to the culprit.
It turns out to be Derek’s mother’s assistant, who killed her out of resentment at her job. Derek tracks her down, intimidates her into telling him the truth, and then seemingly throws her into the rift never to be seen again. It’s a weirdly dark turn that also renders most of the suspense about the previous villains moot. The issue sort of peters out, with a fun segment involving Ernie that reminds of what this series was like at its best – followed by a bizarre cliffhanger involving Derek’s mother being alive. It’s not quite on the level of the final issue of Dominique Laveau, Voodoo Child, which recapped a planned fifty-issue series in the fifth issue, but it’s an overstuffed mess.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.