Comic Book Review: Sideways #6
I gotta say that the last issue of Sideways was almost a dealbreaker for this guy. That was the issue where we needed to see that there is still more that this series has to offer for Derek evolving as a hero, and as a person. Up to that point there was too much which made you cringe because he was falling to the cliche of every teenager out there. Maybe that’s relatable, but its definitely not what you want to read or invest in either. Fortunately Sideways #5 was a solid turning point, and from there things could only get better.
Of course, even as I did say there was some improvement to the writing for Sideways, it only took the next issue for Derek to go back to his irritatingly teenage self. An unfortunately step back for him considering this is that time where he should be able to properly own up to where he has screwed up or wronged people. Especially to justify this so-called feeling he has towards his powers making everything worse. If they were looking for us to feel sympathy towards Derek, then it was the opposite effect this story had when you felt more for the mom than anyone else. She has more at stake than he could realize by ignoring what she could be open to understanding about his exposure to the dark multiverse energies. The only good thing about his experience this issue was that every move he made plagued him and made it impossible to run away from his recent decisions.
When you could ignore the personal drama from Derek, once again you could see the potential in this series when he faces what could be him if he had the proper training in how to use his powers. I feel like if we saw more of that in contrast to what we have been getting currently, his story would be so much more engaging.
So again, I was definitely more interested in where this story was heading from the perspective of Ms. Flynn. She was closer to the truth about Derek and whatever conspiracy was unfolding than she realized. The more questions she began to ask herself, the stronger the feeling set in that she was in danger for just being in the middle of this as the mother and PR. Suspense truly kicked in at this stage because you had to wonder how dispensable they could find her if she were to get in the way. Not being the biological mother or someone with powers does not help her case. Since the first issue of Sideways, her office had always felt like the normal thing for someone of her position. But with each passing issue the atmosphere has changed the deeper she gets, and that is where you could see how out of the loop she has been to what’s going on around her. Where her story was heading felt inevitable, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Maybe if it came a bit later down the road, but for events to have unraveled the way they did makes it hard to switch your investment from her back to Derek.
At the very least you know that the artwork for Sideways is always going to be appealing. I mean things do of course get a bit shaky when it comes to Carmine Di Giandomenico. He doesn’t have the cleanest form to his pencils, though that does not discount the amount of detail he puts into his artwork. Particularly when it comes to scenes creating a spectacle. It was cool to see more of the kind of problems that Tempus deals with in the Inverse, as well as the full extent of what Sideways should be capable of with his potential released. This goes for the color work there too. Scenes like that could open pop or grab your attention the way it did with the right color artist. Dan Brown impressed with his range of colors, the gradient meshes he was able to put together to form the Inverse, the glow and static effects he put into the sources of power. That aside, the panel and page layout continues to find creativity which works for the theme of Sideways. I do hope that no matter what changes, that can at least find consistency to grab our attention.
Sideways #6 made it that much harder to like Derek, and that’s not the direction I feel like this story should be taking. There’s tragedy, and then there’s tragedy that’s the hero’s fault because of their neglect. Particularly when the one who suffers is family.