SIDEWAYS #4 by Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio, Justin Jordan, and Daniel Brown is a great stand-alone issue for the series.  The series really starts to pick up steam while continuing to develop great characterization for all the characters within.

SIDEWAYS #4
SIDEWAYS #4, Page 1. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Stepping Out in SIDEWAYS #4

The plot is pretty simple for this issue. Derek James (Sideways) sees a fight between Replicant (bad guy) and Hot Spot (retired good guy) and decides to join the fight in order to get some face time. Despite warnings from his best friend, he jumps into action. Meanwhile, his mother has arranged for Derek to interview at her company for an internship and is waiting with her boss. Derek doesn’t realize he’s missing the interview as he’s facing off against Replicant and has lost track of time.

SIDEWAYS #4
SIDEWAYS #4, Page 2. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

In a Hot Spot

SIDEWAYS #4 feels like the creative team is coming together to really make this book click. Derek gets some much-needed characterization and attention this issue. He shows a lot of different emotions during the story. He’s impatient, eager, and impetuous. He wants to go out and really show off Sideways to the world for his YouTube channel. He’s not a bad kid, however, as he feels remorse for what happened to his previous encounter with a villain: Killstreak getting her arm accidentally severed the last issue. He states this as much when talking with his best friend, Ernie.

By the end of the SIDEWAYS #4, his actions caused him to miss the meeting and because of that he’s contemplating quitting this all together. It’s nice to see how simple actions can reflect on a character, in this case Sideways deciding to blow off his mother in order to try and become a celebrity. I hope the writers can keep this up and not have a pattern where a character will learn from a mistake only to do it again and again.

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Sideways’ rifting powers come out in a surprising way as Replicant manages to steal them. However, since he doesn’t have a good knowledge of them, the powers backfire on him in pretty spectacular fashion.

Character Building

We continue to get some better insight into Helen, Derek’s mother, as she meets with her employer to talk about Derek and his possible internship. During this exchange, we also meet Leto Dominus: Helen’s boss, but also someone who has an ulterior motive for trying to get Derek to work for her company. She appears to be trying to find people with “Dark Energy” for some unseen reason.

The last page is a humorous one, featuring a character who was previously introduced coming back to Derek’s life to train him with his powers. I won’t spoil the fun, but it’s a nice surprise. Speaking of surprises, it seems that the creative team is really trying to make a new catchphrase stick: “Stepping out with Sideways.” It’s been a while since I’ve seen a catchphrase introduced. There’s something almost magical that calls back to the ’60s and the Golden Age of comics. I appreciate they are trying to create a new one.

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Rifting into Great Art and Colors

SIDEWAYS #4 features Kenneth Rocafort’s fantastic art. As always, the art really helps push this issue to the top. It features both extraordinary action scenes and more quiet scenes of just two people talking. That being said, regardless of what’s happening the art is clean and crisp. I want to add that Daniel Brown’s color really pushes everything to the next level. Standout examples are the cover and whenever Replicant is using his energy blasts. The intense mixture of orange, purple, and blue really shine in those power shots and makes it look fantastic.

Until Next Time

SIDEWAYS #4 is the best issue of the series to date. We get more characterization for the cast plus some amazing art and colors. The issue has a quick pace but doesn’t skimp on the characters as we get to know them better and get a few new characters tossed into the mix as well. The series continues to get better and is one of the better “New Age of Heroes” series coming from that line. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Stepping Out with Sideways!
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
SIDEWAYS #4 is the best issue of the series so far. Excellent characterization ith stellar art and coloring!
95 %
Best Issue Yet!

One Comment

  1. Asshat Apocalytica

    May 12, 2018 at 10:11 am

    One of my favorite things coming out of DC right now, hope it doesn’t get cancelled.

    Reply

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