Sideways: Steppin’ Out by Dan DiDio

details
Title: Sideways.
Story-Arc: Steppin’ Out.
Volume: 1.
Writer(s): Dan DiDioJustin Jordan.
Illustrator(s): Kenneth RocafortRobert GillCarmine di Giandomenico.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Paperback.
Release Date: October 23rd 2018.
Pages: 144.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401283377.
My Overall Rating: ★★☆☆☆.

thoughts

Following the events in Dark Nights: Metal, new and old heroes are given the opportunity to make a memorable impression within the DC Universe and on fans. This New Age of Heroes attempts to fill in a gap in DC’s repertoire by offering readers new story arcs to dive in and enjoy. This colossal task was oddly approached with the launch of so many different series almost simultaneously, but also with so many different creative teams working on each project, looking to hit the jackpot among fans. To top it off, the artists were given much more credit in these new line-ups, even though all the series so far features multiple artists working on the same project; nothing like a rocky experience, right? However, so far, the new heroes introduced have failed to leave a good impression with them all showing significant resemblances to Marvel’s superheroes. With Damage being the Hulk, the Silencer being the Punisher and the Terrifics being the Fantastic Four, things weren’t looking too good for these comic book series. Is it any different with Sideways?

Unfortunately for us, Sideways is the latest rip-off by DC Comics and this time—if the costume alone doesn’t give it away—it takes our friendly neighbourhood superhero, Spider-Man, and merges his character with Doctor Strange’s ability to open portals to create our new dimension-jumping Puerto Rican teenage hero. This is the story of high school junior Derek James as he wakes up one morning after falling into a rift to another dimension during the Metal DC Comics cosmic event and returning with the power to open rifts to wherever he thinks of. Known around school as the kid who needs his adopted mom for absolutely anything, he secretly wishes to gain fame and popularity through Youtube videos where he does live-commentaries as his superhero-self known as Sideways. What he doesn’t know is that there are larger powers at work who doesn’t appreciate the manipulation of dimension that he carelessly indulges himself in.

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I’m not going to lie, the ideas put together here, while disgraceful after having read the past three series in this New Age of Heroes line-up, still convey some potential. A teenage kid with the ability to open rifts that can ultimately have great repercussions if not used properly really brings into play a nice setup for stories that can build the character’s personality and help develop him from innocent and careless to mature and wise. However, there’s far too little reward in this first story arc as it fails to sell Derek James as a worthwhile character. His attitude is despicable and his mentality is beyond childish. There’s also no hooks thrown our way to connect with him as he continuously makes horrible decisions that lead him to realize too late all of his mistakes. And to make matters worse, the writing blatantly ignores these faults and skims over them, to lead the stories in directions that should never have even been possible. In fact, the role of the time and dimension guardian known as Tempus Fuginaut is a fine example of the many inconsistencies in this story. His motives dramatically change from his first to second appearance, and the explanation is quickly skipped over. All that came to mind was… Thank you, next. 

The other issue that arises from this volume is the rough and ragged pencilling. The artwork is actually quite fine throughout the volume, but there’s something about the style, in addition to the colouring, that makes everything feel faded and old. The worse thing about this artwork has to be the facial expressions as every person seem like they have the flu or are high on some kind of psychoactive substance. However, the suit design remains intriguing, but its resemblances to Spider-Man takes away any originality from it. And then there’s the villains in this story arc. None of them truly stand out, and some of them are actually quite bad and unmemorable with dialogues so basic that you’d think it was a joke at first. In fact, the only times this story actually started being interesting is when it revolved around the Tempus Fuginaut character and his dimension. Besides that, the world in which Derek James lives is as plain as it can ever be.

With Sideways being the latest rip-off of Marvel’s property, it makes you wonder why DC Comics would believe that these new characters would honestly help complete their arsenal when anyone could and would be better off checking out the original classic heroes over at Marvel or simply stick to the canonical series within DC’s collections. If anything, I doubt any of these new line-ups will survive the long run for now.

P.S. In a recent episode of Arrow on the CW Network (season 7), the Silencer makes her debut as a villain. Quite interesting to see the character actually find itself as a Z-list character before even finding its own footing in the comic book world. Oh, and yes, you read that right: Z-list. I mean… They actually even changed her character, where her powers were just the result of a gadget.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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14 comments

  • Man, can it get any worse? Hope not, for our and DC’s sake… 😉 I appreciate your honesty about these, though – won’t be coming anywhere near those, thank you vey much! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • Lol….a Z-list character, I have never heard of that term before: I like it! 😂😂 Man, we talked about it recently, but this new series of DC really seems to be dropping the ball doesn’t it. I do have to admit that I like the sound of this character’s powers though. All in all, especially as I am more of a Marvel fan anyway, all these new characters don’t really interest me to go check these books out 😂😂 As always though, your review was very enjoyable to read ! 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeh man. It was already a tricky character with barely any story with it so far, yet they still decided to tweak the character so much! Oh well, it was nice to see the character there already being adapted on the small screen hahaha

      And yes! The powers are pretty cool, and surely can give us so much to enjoy with the right stories (or maybe the right writers too).

      Thanks for reading nonetheless! 🙂 There are definitely better stories out there to check out. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  • Lashaan, your reviews always make me so happy. Thank you for your honest interpretation of all the New Age of Heroes stories. You’ve convinced me by now that these comics just aren’t going to be for me. I WANT to love that DC is stepping out into new territory. I WANT to see a new generation of heroes and storylines and villains and universes and gadgets and problems to solve. But it’s obviously DC is falling short. It’s like the MCU has just made the entire DC comic empire fall in upon itself. I’m so sad.

    Will you keep reading the New Age of Heroes? Do you ever stop reading comics? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha thank YOU for taking the time to read them, Jackie! 😉 And yep, honesty is the best policy. I am after all a huge DC fan, and an even bigger Batman fan, so if it’s come down to me bashing on some of these comic book series/series/stories, then there has to be something wrong somewhere! These series are totally unnecessary so far and the writers/illustrators on it should be working on something else completely.

      And yes, I’ll be giving each series a shot, just the first volume. So far, none of them have made me want to continue, but hopefully one of the later stories will be much more promising…

      Nop. Never going to stop reading comics. 😀 Why quit on something you love? That applies pretty much on anything/anyone in life. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • How many more first volumes exist in this series? I feel like every time I come over to Bookidote, you are reading another one! Don’t get me wrong, I love hearing your thoughts– I just hope that they don’t all end up a disappointment. Hopefully the promise you are looking for will appear in an upcoming volume.

        Exactly. Why stop reading something you love? 😉 I mostly meant stop reading this run, but I understand. If you love something so much, you’re often willing to take more of the bad to find the good. Your quest is honorable! And it’s helping cull my own TBR XD

        I wish you all the best!

        Liked by 1 person

        • As part of the of New Age of Heroes? There are a total of 8 new comic book series that have launched. So far I’ve read 4 out of 8, and I plan on checking out the first volume of the 4 others too once they come out as trade paperbacks (the individual comic book issues are already out and coming out bi-weekly or something). I honestly have zero expectations for them, and wouldn’t be surprised anymore if they also followed the trend. And I’m happy to help others realize before it’s too late if they’re bad or good! 😛 Thanks for reading as always, Jackie! 😀

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