Comic Book Review: Sideways #3
To say that the life is moving pretty fast for Derek James is an understatement. Escaping the judgement of a cosmic entity, dodging discovery from his mom, and only to spring into the next fight with little time to recover? Derek is getting one heck of a new hero experience that not many would trade for, despite the cool powers. He’s either going to make trouble for himself, or the universe will throw it at him. Now is the time to enjoy one of the moments when the trouble comes to Derek.
An issue like this was exactly what we needed for those who might still be on the fence for how they feel about Derek. Truthfully I was still on the fence about how I felt about him before picking up this issue. He hasn’t had too much going for him aside from cool powers or his connection to the events of Dark Nights: Metal. To see that could be more than your narrow-minded teen was a big step forward. His response to understanding that his powers could cause harm to the fabric of space didn’t help him too much, but trying to help someone whose powers are killing her was redeemable. Getting more of the upper limitations of Derek’s powers was exciting. This was that time to show that he isn’t like every other teleporter and they made each opportunity count throughout this fight. How his encounter with Killspeed ended is up to the reader to decide, but we all came to learn that there are more dangers to fear from not knowing what it means to open/close a rift at the wrong time.
The story of Killspeed more than made up for her brash entrance in the second issue. I wasn’t all too impressed by the character because everything about her was uncertain. The nature of her powers, her motivations, and her hate of where she was in that moment. I do feel that the visual representation of her powers could be better, but just knowing what she can actually do and the source of her powers were enough for now. It’s crazy to think that such a major story from The Flash (Rebirth) could linger into another book, but I’m glad that somewhere else in the world it can be acknowledged. Compared to some of the other speedsters we have come across, her situation was definitely unique, and for that you could understand the storm running through her head. Everything at the end of their encounter was left up in the air, and that mystery both works and doesn’t. One one end something definite would have made Killspeed more memorable. On the other hand you can now expect the unexpected from a speedster who may have just gotten a new reason to keep ticking.
This backup story hosted by Sideways himself was an unexpected treat. Another thing you didn’t think that this book would treat us to, and makes good use of the pages needed to further flesh out these characters and this story. It summed up nicely all the bits and details that they were holding back up to this point. Wit that said, there is still much more to discover, though it was smarter to leave some room to come back to his origins down the road. having that strong of a connection to the Dark Multiverse is not something to overlook.
Problems aside artistically with Killspeed’s powers, I enjoyed everything else about her. Particularly when getting the chance to see a “speedster” who has been able to master a lot of the things the others can do without having a strong presence around them. She was the perfect obstacle to throw at Derek since he had to open his mind emotionally and be able to think outside of the box to take her on. The use of the rifts in full effect look much better when seen used in ways outside of simply porting from one place to another. How they can be seen as a looking-glass with the setting seen through it, or made to give the impression that they are a solid made a big difference. The bus scene was a big one since it could have been hit or miss, sound effect aside. That editor’s note was well placed to save the day there. That said, it was humorous in general that this encounter was all done with the humor that Derek could neither keep himself covered up or keep his mask on. You could see that no matter what he was feeling embarrassed for the way he was trying to have some decency..
Sideways #3 puts us in a place where a reader could find more reason to invest in this story. Currently Sideways best represents the superhero side of the New Age of DC Heroes line. His origin, interactions, costume, and encounters so far prove that he is making the most progress to something legitimate. That is if Derek can grow up fast enough to survive the rough patches that comes with this lifestyle.