The latest debut for DC Comics’ New Age of Heroes features a teenager who can open a dimensional rift to anywhere he wants. Sideways may be the best of the new comics this line has debuted so far!
Written by Dan Didio, Justin Jordan and Kenneth Rocafort
Pencils and Inks by Kenneth Rocafort
Colors by Dan Brown
Of the eight books announced in the NEW AGE OF HEROES coming out of Dark Nights: Metal, this was one of the new series I was looking forward to, because I love Kenneth Rocafort’s art and the concept has more potential than a lot of the others. A high school kid visiting Gotham City with his mom during the events of the first issue of METAL gets new abilities when he falls through a dimensional rift.
The first issue introduces us to the high school kid, Derek James. He’s a regular high school kid with regular problems – an overprotective mom, trying to fit in at school and relate to his geek girlfriend, who has a preppy twin sister. The only real difference? James can open dimensional rifts anywhere he wants to travel instantly.
The world-building here happens pretty quick, establishing a number of supporting characters for our new hero. And Rocafort’s art is great, giving us a world that’s clearly set mainly in a high school.
What we’re shown of Sideways world felt a little reminiscent of Blue Beetle Jamie Reyes, another young hero who had new powers thrust upon him. The difference, as far as Rebirth goes, is that Beetle has a mentor in Ted Kord, while Sideways is finding his way on his own, hiding his powers from his mother, who has become overprotective since the incident in Gotham.
The end of the issue sets up what will surely be some complications, though we really didn’t see enough of the “threat” to get a feel for how bad it will be for James. And that, there, leads to my biggest complaint about SIDEWAYS. Much like DAMAGE and THE SILENCER – the two other books that have been released so far – the first issue left me feeling unfulfilled. Yes, I clearly want to read more about the character, so wanting to see where the story goes is understandable. But this issue, again, felt more like a Zero issue – a primer issue that sets up the rest of the series. As much as I’ve been saying this lately, I’m starting to feel like the old man yelling at the cloud, but all this decompression gets frustrating.
Even with the someone abrupt ending, SIDEWAYS was the most fun entry into the NEW AGE OF HEROES so far, and I’m hoping this series sticks around for a while.