[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Storytellers: Max Raynor, Trevor Scott, and Dan DiDio
Colors: Daniel Brown
Letters: Travis Lanham
Derek and the Seven Soldiers (six for now) are stranded in the Dark Multiverse, and Derek’s powers don’t work! Everything seems all fine and dandy as they journey through the dark unknown in search for their missing member the Manhattan Guardian. Then the Sheeda attack! Will Derek survive without his power or have things truly gone Sideways for him this time?
A very important part of a comic for me is whether or not the story feels like it matters. Whether its by connecting to something bigger than itself, revealing something new about an important character, or uncovering a deeper, human truth in a new way, a story needs to matter for me to feel invested. Admittedly, the first few issues of this series did not look like they were going to matter. Derek could have been any teenager, the villains were fairy textbook, and teleportation powers are teleportation powers, but lately, this book has become so much more.
By throwing Derek off the deep end with some large and tragic events, Didio has revealed a new story that can be told. Derek is dealing with events and decisions that few teenagers have ever had to. Through the Dark Multiverse, Sideways has been transformed into a book with real stakes, real consequences, and real character. Derek has already learned a lot by seeing some of the worst things the universe could become, and I am excited to see how he internalizes that.
The art has never looked better. Derek’s facial expressions, in this book in particular, come to life in a way they haven’t before and really add a new layer to Derek James. There are also some great color tones shown off as Derek and the Seven Soldiers travel through different parts of the Dark Multiverse. The new characters from the Dark Multiverse also look great, and I am excited to see if any of them stick around.
The dialogue gets a little bland in this issue. Its not bad, but individual voices don’t come through with any power or uniqueness for me. It all feels like one writer’s voice instead of different characters. Derek’s internal thoughts feel a lot more real and stand out as such in this issue.
The dialogue could use some work, but in general, Sideways continues to amaze me.