Comic Book Review: Sideways #13
Here we are at the series finale for Sideways. Unfortunately one of two New Age of Heroes books coming to an end this month. As I said last month, it was pretty hard to see this story through to the end because of what Sideways #12 gave us. It was an issue that left a lot to be desired, and it is said to say that this is how a majority of the series left you feeling. The only hope that could remain after that was at the very least seeing what note they are prepared to leave Derek on. That will say a lot about this young heroes future in the DC Universe.
What we had to look forward in this finale was secrets revealed and new mysteries to emerge as Derek uncovers his mother’s killer and the origins of his powers. Honestly, I didn’t know what to think about this. How do you fit that kind of revelation into one issue? A mystery that was for the most part neglected because of teen angst and misadventures in-between? Too much time trying to stretch this story left very little room to give us hope that they could wrap this up properly. Especially when saying that this is the final chapter of his story for no Clearly that means that they intend to leave some things open-ended, which also means that you would have to brace yourself for one or two things that would without a doubt disappoint you.
Transition from the twist the previous issue gave us, here we are finally with the introduction of Derek’s birth mother. This was a big one that came out of nowhere. The last thing you expected to find out when so focused on figuring out Derek’s adoptive mother’s murderer or the origin to his powers. I can’t say that I was all too shaken by this introduction at the same time. Here you have a moment that would break the heart of any kid, and they muffled this moment by indulging the cliche behavior of a millennial. We’ve been introduced to many young new heroes as of late, but this is the first one who you struggle believing that you want to like as an actual person.
How they jumped into the reveal of who killed Helen was fairly sporadic if you ask me. Particularly when considering how short the reveal actually was. I found it all to be very anti-climatic because I’m sure that we were all bracing ourselves for bigger wheels to be turning through her death, but this this was the most insignificant cog in the wheels who orchestrated the murder. Not to say that it wasn’t well put together or explained, but it doesn’t do much for you at the end of the day. Neither does it help that to get to this point they had to be rushed.
The biggest problem that I had with the previous issue was the way that they abruptly switched the artwork in the issue. The second to last issue was not the time to be jumping between two very different styles. There was some redemption when this last issue they gave us just the interior work of Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown. Nothing too standout, but this kind of visual appeal is what brings the story together. The excellent detail in the characters and settings, the unique lettering, the background behind the panels which fills every page, and not to mention the colors that give this a cosmic glow. This will all be missed.
Sideways #13 brings the story of this young new hero to a close, for now. It honestly could have been better. This was a story that I remember at the very start saying held so much potential for the connection to Dark Nights: Metal and a power you don’t see too often taken advantage of in the DC Universe. Yet here we are with a story that should have gone farther than where it ended, and offer more than it left in question. I stuck through with this to the end because hope was all that you could hold on to. This wasn’t all a bad journey, but it could have become so much more.