Sideways #1 (April, 2018)
“fun and games”
Storytellers – Kenneth Rocafort & Dan DiDio
Dialogue – Dan DiDio & Justin Jordan
Colorist – Daniel Brown
Letterer – Carlos M. Mangual
Associate Editor – Jessica Chen
Editor – Katie Kubert
Cover Price: $2.99
Today, as we prepare for tomorrow’s landmark EIGHT HUNDREDTH DAILY DISCUSSION, we’re going to take it easy with another recent release. Yesterday’s look at Terrifics #1 whet my appetite for this New Age of Heroes! thing… so, I figured why not take a peek at the character who, when we all looked at that New Age poster thought, “Is that supposed to be Spider-Man?”
Well, is it? Let’s find out.
We open on a girl named “Ernie” going through her normal morning “getting ready” routine… our titular hero lurks behind her… and gets one heckuva smack. Our young hero unmasks and proceeds to apologize for “rifting in” on her. Turns out, this Ernestine is our new pal Derek’s good pal, confidant, and costume designer. They chat a bit… she tries socking him to see how strong he is… then he “rifts out” before Ernie’s twin sister Emeline can barge into the bedroom.
We shift scenes over to Derek’s house where his folks are watching the news on what went down in Gotham City during the… Dark Knights: Metal event. We get the distinct impression that Derek was in Gotham when all that stuff happened… and that it affected him in strange ways. Derek’s mom calls up to the lad, and plays that “I’m leaving without you” hokey-pokey that I’d assume many parents have with their teen-age children when they’re dragging their feet.
She drops him off at school… and as he walks through the halls, there’s this murmuring about him being a “mama’s boy”. He mulls it over, but ultimately doesn’t appear to be all that affected by it. He lets his mind wander during Physics class… back to that fateful day in Gotham City.
A mountain erupts from the ground… causing the Earth to split. Derek just happened to be standing in the exact wrong place at the exact wrong time, and wound up falling through it!
In the present, class lets out. Everybody appears to be rather dismissive of our Derek… even his teacher who proclaims him to be “someone else’s problem” once the bell rings. Wow… what an a-hole. Derek heads out… shares a few text with (I’m assuming) Ernie, before rifting to a rooftop to change into his costume.
Now… I know what you’re thinking, this is where he goes off and unsuccessfully tries to “fight crime”… this is going to be his “trial by fire”… a true “hero defining moment”… right? Well, no… this is where he pulls out his smartphone and starts a livestream to show off his powers. Jeez. Sometimes I really hate “current year”.
Well… this goes kinda sideways for, uh… Sideways. Seems he needs his full-focus on his powers in order to make’em work right. Paying more attention to his phone, and doubtless billions of viewers, causes him to “rift” right into the a distant lake. Whoops. Upon arrival whereverthehell he is, he hears a booming voice commanding him to “Stop”… and so, he “rifts away” again.
… Only no matter where he goes, he is unable to escape the booming voice.
And we wrap up with Sideways finally running smack dab into its source… some yellow fellow that the DC Wikia calls “Tempus Fuginaut”.
This was alright.
I guess I’m not really sure what to expect from these New Age books. I always think it’s kind of a bad idea to launch a bunch of new characters all at once. Gives me distinct Bloodlines vibes… and while that wasn’t a complete failure, I think it had far more misses than hits. I’m having a real hard time “caring” about these new characters… I feel like there’s no reason to “invest”. The comic biz nowadays is just so reactionary… that if this sells even a little bit poorly over the next couple of months, it’s going to get “nyoinked” before we have any reason to even want it around. So, as I say more and more these days, “Why bother?”
That all said… this was pretty okay. I think Sideways has a cool costume, and a pretty neat ability. His cast seems likable… and his “origin”… well, I guess it works? Lemme tell ya, in my attempt to “catch up” on contempo-DC books, one of the first things I read was Dark Knights: Metal. Woof. Much ado about nothin’ right there. I feel like the entire “event” was leading to a single line used toward the end of the book. Something like “Because inside, we’re all just a little bit METAL”… which I have a sneaking suspicion Snyder wrote while holding up “the horns”.
The story here feels like… well, most introductions for a “young hero” this side of the new Millennium. Doesn’t feel like it’s breaking any new ground… not that it necessarily needs to. The art… I think you’ll know with Rocafort whether or not you’ll dig his work after looking at the very first page of the issue (posted above). I happen to dig it… while at the same time, can see why folks may not.
I could do without the “social media” stuff… but, I guess that’s just what the “kids these days” are all about. I really miss superpowered young people trying to actually help people than build an online following… but I guess that ship has long left the port by this point. I really shouldn’t even mention it, lest I get memed by that always (read: notsomuch) entertaining “old man yelling at a cloud” picture.
Overall… I’d say this is worth a shot. I doubt it’ll rock your socks, but it ought to be a satisfying read. Also, if you are, like me, a fan of Rocafort… you’re gonna love the way this book looks.
Before we jam, just another reminder… tomorrow we will have our EIGHT HUNDREDTH DAILY DISCUSSION… and for it, we’re going to flip the switch back to the mid-1970’s and chat up a book that eluded me for… well, almost 800 days!