Writers: Dan DiDio, Justin Jordan, Kenneth Rocafort
Pencils/ Inks: Kenneth Rocafort
Colors: Dan Brown
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover: Dan Brown, Kenneth Rocafort
Publisher: DC Comics
Rating: 12+ Only
What if Peter Parker had Nightcrawler’s power? Sideways – another entry in DC’s “New Age of Heroes” line – is just that; all the hallmarks of a classic, or rather Ultimate Spiderman, save for our teenage superhero getting his powers through a dimensional rift, rather than a bad reaction to a bite from a genetically engineers super-spider. But to its credit Sideways does not rehash the typical origin tropes, and plops you right at the beginning, more-or-less like Spider-man Homecoming, where our hero is still in his “infancy”, but after he gets his powers. We get succinct snippets of his family, relevant backstory information, as well as his social and high school relationships to catch readers up fast in a very effective and efficient way – a feat few writers are able to pull off without a hitch.
Kenneth’s art is always phenomenal to look at. His superb attention to detail in his drawings, from smaller panels to full-page canvases, are near flawless, with its distinct jagged design. Everything is accentuated by the rich palette of colors which also are gorgeous. If you’re a fan of his work, it’s worth the price of admission, even if the premise may be “iffy” at this point.
Derek James comes off like your typical spastic teen, who uses his port-a-powers to build up a social media following, rather than fight crime or protect the innocent. Not that there is anything wrong with his “abuse of powers” – Peter Parker himself originally intended to be a successful pro-wrestler. But as “fate” would have it, with great power…you know the rest.
In an overly saturated genre like superhero comics, you have to draw readers to brand-new titles with a fresh, fast hook. Sideways has potential. Despite the superficial familiarities, it does not promise your stereotypical hero’s tale, but rather something fresh and a bit new. It does enough in the first issue, and enough differently, to entice further exploration. For better or worse, Sideways so far may be the strongest title to come out of DC’s “New Age of Heroes” to date. If it keeps up this lean momentum and maverick sensibility, Sideways may very well be a worthy addition to keep coming back to.
Hailing from the eastern-most Caribbean island of Barbados, Fabian Wood has long since been fascinated by the power of storytelling to inspire and invoke emotions – whether in film, comics or video games. No longer content to be just an avid comic book reader and video gamer, he’s eager to exercise his literary acumen as an aspiring writer and reviewer.