Review: Sideways #3

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writers: Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio, Justin Jordan

Artists: Daniel Brown

 

Summary

Derek has to face off against Killspeed in the hospital without revealing his identity to his mom.  How could things have gone sideways this quickly?

Positives

This series doesn’t seem to be slowing down on the humor aspect anytime soon, and for the most part, the jokes land.  In other comics, issues can often get weighed down by the seriousness of it all.  It doesn’t seem like Sideways will ever have that problem.

The biggest strength of the issue is that we finally get a sense of Derek’s heart.  We haven’t yet seen much of Derek’s motivations for being a hero, but his genuine desire to help Killspeed and not just defeat her.  Killspeed’s backstory comes from a dark place, and it is nice to see Derek recognize that.

This issue established Derek’s first “hero moment” while also creating areas that Derek will need to improve upon in the future.  In addition to the battle with Killspeed, we start to learn the limits of Derek’s breaches.  He starts to open multiple breaches at once, turn parts of his breaches solid, and open breaches big enough for a bus to fit through.  I am glad the series is finally getting around to providing more information about the limits of Derek’s powers.

The art is only getting better as it continues to use an interesting style with a lot of sharp edges and polygons.  The background work has a lot of detail, and most of the action sequences are done quite well.

Negatives

In a lot of ways, this comic is one giant mood swing.  It is possible that the writers wanted to show Derek’s inexperience in talking to criminals, but the constant shifts in tone can be fairly irritating.  Just when Derek seems to be getting through to Killspeed, she gets angry and starts a rampage again.  Then Derek says one thing and she calms down.  This back and forth diminishes the value of Killspeed’s character which stemmed from a promising backstory.

It was also a very strange decision to include an editor’s note explaining that they couldn’t decide on a sound effect for a bus going through a rift, so the reader should imagine it.  It seems very unprofessional, and I feel it lessens the value of the comic.

Verdict

The comics is making improvements in some areas and taking steps back in others.  Sideways #3 showed some good action sequences, but the series really needs to manage its tone better.  I am not giving up on this series, but I am hoping things settle down soon.

 

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Ari Bard

I am currently a Sophomore at Case Western Reserve University studying mechanical engineering. I have been in love with DC since I saw the animated series and movies in the early 2000s. I started reading comics regularly at the start of Rebirth. My favorite character is Martian Manhunter.