Comic Book Review: Sideways #11


Just another day gone Sideways for Derek. It was one heck of an opening to this new story arc for Derek to return home, and be met with so much tragedy and emotional turmoil.Some of this he did ask for, but the rest of it was a tough pill to swallow for someone his age. The same could be said for Ernie who accompanied him on this latest adventure. This was my first introduction to a villain like Bolt, so the entrance he made was exciting as the next big obstacle for Derek. I mean, how do you fight someone who pretty much has seen all the tricks for someone who teleports?

This issue’s big draw-in was Sideways versus Bolt. It was cool to have this chance to pit Sideways against someone who shared similar powers to himself. The battle between the two was for the most part appealing, though you already knew that somehow this was going to end with Derek being taken to Professor Portefoy. If we are being fair, then it is the contents of the battle then you would focus on knowing how it would ultimately end. In that case it was enjoyable to see Derek start to use his head more. He’s figured out how to read a situation, he catches you off guard with the idea that he does read up on some villains, and he continues to try to use his powers more creatively.

The lack of transparency from Ms. Dominus in this issue was just what we needed at this stage of the story. I was never too worried that they were taking their time for us to understand her plans, but there was still worry with what was being prioritized considering the side trip we took with the Seven Soldiers during a key period of Derek’s life. With that said, was the reveal of Ms. Dominus’ plans worth the wait? I would say it was. It wasn’t too big or intricate, but it was ambitious for someone like her who wants more than what this world has to offer. I like this development for the fact that I personally haven’t run into this kind of power/money-hungry CEO yet in the DC Universe. Hopefully there are some out there who share in that experience. There’s some Dario Agger vibes from her and it is fitting. What managed to pass her lips as well was a long time coming when her moment came to let everything be known. Great for the pacing, and great for the tone. There was no better time to shift into the next gear.

What little they gave to us of Detective Hopkins in the beginning of the issue was nice since you want to make sure that we aren’t overlooking the ongoing investigation into Derek’s mother’s murder. There was still some vagueness to the progress on that end, but for now it is just enough to know that it isn’t being pushed to the side for anything else. I have a feeling I already know how this story will tangle into everything else going on, but the hope remains that execution will be priority when that time comes.

Ernie’s bit was small as well, but the timing was also on point for getting a glimpse of her living situation. It was one thing for her to pour her heart out about the divorce, it was another thing to see how that gets into her head at home.

Still very glad that we are back to Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown on art for Sideways. Not that any of the other art teams weren’t satisfying, but this was who we started out with. When big moments happen in the series, you want the originals there who can do it like no one else could. Rocafort and Brown dug their claws into the thrill that comes from two teleporters fighting and made it count. You take advantage of the way they teleport, the way they react to the other, how the setting impacts who has the edge over the other. The distinction in color between the two made a big difference as well. They may both teleport, but it’s not exactly the same execution of the power. Bolt’s aura actually came off more appealing for the mix of yellows and blues. Not a combination you see very often. What stood out most for this issue was the character focus. The detail that went into their expressions when faced with big developments and realizations sold the key moments.

Sideways #11 had action, some big revelations, and the right combination of all of these things to kick things up a notch. I think this is the moment that most of us have been waiting for in the series where things are getting good again. I struggled with my faith in this stories direction after the death of Derek’s mother, and now I have regained some of what was lost before. Hopefully this boost in momentum and pacing carries through to the end of this confrontation with Dar Star Sciences.

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