Sideways #2 Review – Better Than You’d Think
It’s always the ones you least expect… I decided to read the first issue of Sideways on a whim and surprisingly liked it a lot. So, I pick up issue 2 and… it’s still good. I know. I was shocked too.
So you remember the time guy (his real name is Tempus Fuginaut) from the end of last issue? Well, he appears for three pages. He screws with Derek’s teleportation ability which causes him to dislocate his shoulder and end up in a hospital. His mother ends up finding out he’s there (although she doesn’t know about his double identity) and another villain appears at the hospital. That’s all that happened.
If there’s one thing I hate are comics who advertise something on the cover that blatantly doesn’t happen. I can deal with interpretations of events (like those “Hero Fights Hero?!” style covers which take things wildly out of context) but outright lies just grind my gears. The cover promises us Derek against Tempus in a continuation of the previous issue’s story. We see him for three pages and then he disappears from the book. They don’t even fight. I feel tricked.
Excluding that, the rest of the issue is good. The characters are still likeable, we get a possibly developing romance between Derek and Ernestine (granted, it’s literally just a look but it’s a good look) and we get to see Derek’s mother get a bit more development on why she is so overprotective. In terms of character stuff, this book is quite successful, but a comic has to be a bit more than that.
My biggest complaint for this series is that, in two issues, not much has happened. I understand trying to go a bit slower with the first issue, where you have to establish these new characters and everything that’s going on, but by issue two things should be going a bit faster and we should already have a clearer picture of where the story is heading. We still haven’t seen Sideways take on a villain properly, we still haven’t seen how his daily school routine works. I don’t know if these things are going to get addressed in future issues and I wonder how this will read in trade but for now I’m still hopeful.
The art is still really good. One of the most surprising things about this book is how it uses Rocafort’s art in a different way. From my experience, Kenneth Rocafort’s art has generally been used for bigger images: Action Scenes (let’s say, his work on Red Hood) and Cosmic, Space Shenanigans (his work in The Ultimates). What’s notable in this book is the use of smaller panels or close ups on specific body parts such as hands or eyes and the effectiveness of those details. I mean, as previously mentioned, a lot of things are inferred from just a look.
That’s an interesting move for Rocafort to make, to try to focus on character expression instead of action, and he’s good at it. Granted, there is still a lot of room for improvement, particularly with Ernestine’s expression which seems to be a bit stuck on “I swear I’m not high right now”.
It’s good art but it could use just a bit of improvement.
So… Yeah. Still a good book. It certainly needs to pick up the pace a bit to really get going, but the characters are still likeable and the art is still good. If the next issue still has a lot of these flaws, I don’t quite know if I’d still recommend it but, so far, I’d say get it. It’s fun, the art is strong and there are worse books you could be buying. So go right ahead and buy this one instead.
It certainly needs to pick up the pace a bit to really get going, but the characters are still likeable and the art is still good.