Murder, Frankenstein’s monster, and secrets revealed as Kenneth Rocafort and Dan DiDio unleash our hero’s first epic adventure in SIDEWAYS #7 with the Seven Soldiers at his side. Let’s step into this issue, shall we?
STORY BY: Kenneth Rocafort and Dan DiDio
COLORS: Ivan Plascencia and Dan Brown
LETTERS: Travis Lanham
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
SIDEWAYS SPOILERS TOO!
Derek’s mom died after she found some files at her work that showed her son as Sideways. The implication is that she got too close to the truth about her son and was murdered. So, Derek started working on a plan to find his mother’s killer but managed to take things a bit too far at school. He got into a little bit of a fight and accidentally showed some of his powers to the student body.
Luckily for Sideways, the Seven Soldiers show up and literally stopped time. For those that don’t know, the Seven Soldiers are Zatanna, Frankenstein’s monster, Klarion the Witch Boy, Shining Knight, Shilo Norman (the other Mister Miracle), and the Bulleteer. And yes, that’s only six of the seven because the Manhattan Guardian was captured by Glorina and the Sheeda Hordes. So, Zatanna offers Derek a deal. If he helps them rescue their friend, Zatanna will remove the memories of the events that happened at his school.
The Hero is Truly Born
Dan DiDio’s take on Derek’s mother dying was emotionally charged, heartfelt, and extremely well written. Watching Derek try to ask his dead mother for forgiveness was such a touching moment for the character and one that will genuinely send this teenager down the hero’s journey he so desperately needs. Currently, Sideways is finding his way as a hero. He’s young and still exploring who he is as a person, let alone a hero. DiDio finally gave this character the boost it needed. I think Sideways may genuinely begin the switch from YouTube Star to Superhero.
DiDio Is Down With “It”
Surprisingly, DiDio also nails the student’s reaction at school. I mean no disrespect with this comment but often, the more removed we become from teenagers, the harder it is to keep up with their actions, trends, attitudes, and pop culture. Working with High School students for over 14 years now, I can tell you first hand that they say some of the most ignorant things at the most inappropriate times. So, hearing the boys say ”no one gives a crap about you or your mother.” is something kids that age would say to be jerks, bullies, and raise their social standings. It’s pathetic but true. DiDio did a great job this issue, as well as every issue to date, depicting the current lifestyle, moods, societal trends, and actions of adolescents in this day and age.
The guest stars help cement this series. This is a perfect example of what these storytellers have been doing with Sideways thus far. DiDio and Rocafort are gradually building this character slowly by putting some small time, but also known, heroes in his path. DiDio and Rocafort are giving Sideways a strong foundation a new character needs to grow.
Sideways is fresh on the scene and shouldn’t be mingling with the likes of the Justice League or Titans yet. If you want to build a character to stick around forever, you need to tiptoe them into existence while making the issues fun an exciting. DiDio and Rocafort are progressing the character and introducing elements and heroes that fit his style and current standings perfectly.
Experience Is The Key
On top of that, the enhancement of Sideways’ abilities takes the character to the next level. As of the last issue, Derek just needs to think of a person and he can get to them. So when Zatanna implants the knowledge of the Manhattan Guardian’s location, it’s a seamless transition as to how and why they need him. DiDio and Rocafort make the issue move fluidly, add enhancements to his abilities nonchalantly, and continue to give reasons for the directions the character is taking without needing to hold the reader’s hand. DiDio and Rocafort’s experience keeps the series fresh and exciting.
Rocafort’s art is clear and easy to follow while Travis Lanham’s lettering easily guides the reader through the story. Ivan Plascencia and Dan Brown’s colors are bold and complement the issue well. The creative team tends to shine on the larger panels or splash pages. This is where readers can see the real capabilities of the art team. For example, the panel where they zoom in on Zatanna’s eyes is gorgeous.
Should you buy this issue?
Yes. SIDEWAYS #7 will be the issue fans look back on and say this is where the character began to choose between being a punk kid or something so more. Sideways’ grief will drive and motivate him to be a better hero; this is the first sign of Derek’s true potential. Buy this issue and hold on to it. I just have a feeling…
Should you add this to your pull list?
Definitely! The creative team is building Sideways up to stick around in the DC Universe for a long time. Hop on board now while you still can. SIDEWAYS has an experienced and the series is starting to heat up. You won’t be disappointed.