[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writers: Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio, Justin Jordan
Artists: Daniel Brown
A new villain, Replicant, is attacking Metropolis and no one is around to stop him! Can Derek save the day and get back in time to meet his mom for the internship interview? Looks like things have really gone Sideways this time!
The art in this series only gets better with each issue. I am continually amazed by how much detail is shown in some of the backgrounds of each panel. It really shows that each panel has an intended purpose. All of the characters in this series are also expertly designed. With so many heroes and villains out there in the comic book universe, it must be hard to think of original costume ideas, but both Replicant and Sideways have very cool costumes.
This issue also has the most balanced tone of any issue so far. Sideway’s carefree, rush-into-battle attitude is balanced nicely by the conversation between Derek’s mother and Ms. Dominus. This issue did not contain as much humor as the previous ones, but it still found a way to be light-hearted and stick to its identity. Many people have already dismissed this comic as a knockoff Spider-Man, but I think the ability to balance seriousness and light-hearted fun, along with a focus on Derek’s homelife, will help set this series apart.
The issue also featured more character development than any other issues so far. When Replicant copies Sideways’s powers, he gets a true glimpse of what the stakes are really like. For the first time, Derek got to see what it means to be a hero, and the fact that he is doubting himself at the end of the issue only promises more character development moving forward. We also see Ms. Dominus continue to develop into a more threatening Luthor-type villain that wants to exploit Sideways for monetary gain. I am excited to see how these things progress in future issues.
I have very few negatives in this one because this issue was a big improvement in the areas I identified in previous reviews such as tone and professionalism. One concern I have moving forward, is that it seems as though between Derek’s self-doubt, his mother’s worry, Ms. Dominus’s evil scheme, and Derek’s new training, there may be too much being set up at once. Hopefully the series only focuses on one or two at a time and can pace itself accordingly moving forward.
This issue shows why readers should get behind the New Age of Heroes initiative. The series has improved with each issue and Sideways #4 shows how great an original hero like Sideways can really be. I hope the humor and character development continue to be captivating.