Sideways #7 Review
• DC Comics (Publisher)
Sideways #7 picks up with the aftermath of Derek's (Sideways) mother's murder last issue. The melodrama is dialed back a bit and the story initially benefits from the change. There are some solid moments that are relatable. Derek expresses regret that he didn't answer his mothers call and we see that she called him 12 times before she was killed. We also get a nice scene in which Sideways rifts to the morgue to ask her for forgiveness. The Seven soldiers of Victory are added to the mix and everything starts off golden.
The middle portion of the comic drags it completely off of the rails. Derek's father has pulled him out of school to give him time to grieve. After about a week Derek decides he's ready to go back. His best friend Ernie confronts him about not answering the phone after his mother's death. She cared for his mom and wanted to show support while he dealt with the loss. Derek flips out. One of the other student's chimes in about him being an asshole but then goes overboard and says at least it's not your real mother that died. Derek pushes the kid using his super strength and some other kid tells him that no one cares about his mother and then throws an open bottle of water at him.
At this point Derek flips out and opens a rift between the school and the local lake and uses it to flood the hallway and the students with it.
The scene rapidly escalated until Zatanna freezes everyone and teleports him away with the request that he assist the "Seven Soldiers of Victory on a mission". She says she can make everyone forget the events of the past hour if he agrees to help.Derek agrees and the comic ends with him rifting open a portal into the unknown.
I completely checked out of this story in the middle of the comic. No one treats their best friend like Derek treats Ernie. If he really didn't want any attention from the other students why go back at all? I lost both parents in a short period of time. I took a few weeks off and it was still hard for me to return to work. People knew about my loss and asked how I was feeling. I was really emotional but I wasn't freaking out at people that were only interested in my well being. Not saying that no one reacts like Derek does in this issue but it makes no sense that he would blow his secret identity in this manner.
Sideways is not a superhero. He's an Emo kid with superpowers.
Even the bullying is extreme. "It's not like she was your real mother". Wow, just wow.
Derek started out with aspirations to be a YouTube star and created a segment called "Stepping out with Sideways". Clearly, he's an attention seeker. The fact that he's freaking out because people are asking if he's okay is counter-intuitive to what was originally set up for the character.
I don't believe that the writers have any idea where they want to go with Sideways outside of his superhero persona. Ill follow-up for a few more issues but if the writing on this series does not improve I'll have to drop it.