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Sideways #1

by Michael D on February 14, 2018

Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Writers: Dan Didio, Justin Jordan
Colorist: Daniel Brown
Publisher: DC Comics

            DC’c New Age of Heroes initiative continues with the most breathtaking debut yet. Kenneth Rocafort knocks it out of the park with a characters whose abilities perfectly complements his style and unique panel work. The story from Dan Didio, with dialogue from Justin Jordan, is a fun introduction to a younger superhero in the vein of Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man.

            The book spins out of the events of DC’s Metal event but you don’t really need to know what’s going on in that book to get it as it gives a quick recap. The events of Metal have given Derek some new powers in the form of teleportation and enhanced strength. Despite these new powers, he has to struggle with keeping this secret while also juggling a school and social life. It’s a common template but it’s one that I don’t mind seeing more often these days. There are also a few tweaks that the creative team has done to this formula to help differentiate it a bit. Derek having both parents alive is definitely something that we don’t see enough of. There is also the interesting fact that he’s adopted. The events that gave him his powers have sort of ostracized him from his peers and family. While his powers are a secret from most people, the events that gave him his powers aren’t. He gets treated with kiddie gloves or is seen as a weirdo for having survived through the attack on Gotham.

           While we get plenty of ground work being set, it’s still hard to pinpoint exactly what kind of person Derek is. He still feels a bit flat as a character. One particularly enjoyable page was when he finally gets to test out his new suit and, in typical millennial fashion, decides to start a YouTube channel. We get a hint of his personality here; he’s someone who likes to have fun and is genuinely excited by his new powers. I full expected him to be a character that wallowed in teenage angst, especially considering there are so many aspects that would lend themselves perfectly to that. I am pleasantly surprised that that is not the case so far.

            The story is over quick but it ends with an exciting development, immediately going to interesting inter-dimensional adventures. His powers lend themselves to some visually interesting work and Rocafort takes full advantage of that whenever Derek puts the suit on. His panel work is fluid and tells the story effortlessly. Although, the costume design really is uninteresting but at least the colors make it pop. A brand new character is really hard to pull off but the creative team has managed to make a book with a lot of potential.
 

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside