Sideways #10 Review/Rumination
• Daniel Brown (Colorist) • Kenneth Rocafort (Cover Artists)
Sideways #10 is easily the best issue in the series to date (Yes I know it's canceled). I'm not sure what has happened but the series has done a complete 180. Derek (Sideways), has managed to settle on a personality and finally seems interesting outside of the costume. He no longer feels like a reskin of Peter Parker. In fact, all of the characters seem interesting and behave in a realistic and rational manner. My chief problem with the series to this point is that everyone seemed all over the place an the motivations seemed off.
The main crux of the issue is transitioning from the Seven Soldiers of Victory crossover and into the next story arc and status quo.
Derek travels back to his home from the Dark Multiverse. It's revealed that he's been gone about a week and has missed his Mother's funeral. The authorities are also there and question him about his whereabouts. He tells them that he was a friends house in Metropolis. Which is technically true if you've been following the series. The lie buys Derek some time but the detective tells him that he will need a second interview to clear him as a suspect in his mother's murder.
The cops leave and Derek talks to his adopted father, David. He is understandably frustrated with his son and the loss of his wife. They have a brief yet poignant exchange that ends with David telling Derek that he doesn't really know how to be his father anymore now that his wife is gone.
Later, Derek rifts and checks in with his best friend Ernie. They teleport to Paris and have lunch on the Eiffel Tower. They catch up on current events and as the conversation goes on it seems that their relationship may be developing beyond friendship.
From here the comic transitions into typical superheroic content with Sideways and Ernie being interrupted by an explosion in the distance and Sideways rifting off to stop it. The comic ends on a cliffhanger as a new villain, Bolt shows up to ruin their day.
Review - Rumination
I absolutely loved this comic. This issue is almost perfect and is a great jumping on point for the series. It's really sad it took 9 issues for the series to find its way but I'm glad it did regardless. The art for the comic is fantastic. The last few issues for the series have been muted, kind of bland and its nice to get the change in the color palette as it works to the characters strengths as a light-hearted character.
I also think it's really important to prop out Daniel Brown in this issue. The colors are amazing. Derek is a person of color. It normally comes across but it has not really been as pronounced as it is in this issue. The contrast and skin tones between our leads is great. I love that these characters feel real and the diversity is there without the drum beating us over the head with it.
As of this writing the series has been canceled. It's unfortunate because I really feel that the comic found its footing in the last arc and the fruits are paying off here. All of the characters and plots are beginning to gel. The scenes between Derek, David, and Ernie feel real. The scenes with David were especially poignant for me as a married man with stepchildren. I love my kids to death but I couldn't imagine raising them without her.
It took a long time to get me here but it appears that Didio has finally found a voice for this character and I look forward to seeing how this series wraps up.