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‘Sideways Vol. 1: Steppin Out’ (TPB review)

Written by Dan Didio and Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Kenneth Rocafort .
Published by DC Comics


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this trade paperback.

Sideways is a new character that spun out of last year’s Metal crossover

I’ve heard some positive things about the title and was happy to find that they were on point. It’s a light, but fun spin on the typical teenager who becomes a superhero.

At the beginning of the story, we meet a high schooler named Derek James. When the Earth was being invaded by the Dark Multiverse, Derek fell into the other side. He came back, but with these crazy powers that allow him to create riffs through space and teleport himself from one place to another.

So when we first see Derek, he already has his powers. We see him go to high school and go about his day. He daydreams in class. As he daydreams, we see him obtain his powers. It’s a quick, yet simple explanation of how he got them. The writers make it as accessible as possible and easy to pick up and enjoy right from the get-go. They also hint at something darker and foreboding coming down the pipeline. It kept my interest.

At first he doesn’t do it to help people. He starts off by trying to be a superhero just so he can livestream his deeds. It’s a nice and breezy story that Didio and Jordan have concocted. They make these scenes funny and breezy. They are reminiscent of the early Spider-Man comics.

From there, a mysterious being comes to Earth. He appears out the sky and looks like a Kirby character. Derek’s reaction at seeing this being is funny and engaging. Rocafort does a great job as well designing this character, as well as all of the characters in the book.

The writing is decent in this book and it is a spin on the classic superhero archetype. It’s not enough of a spin to make it brilliant, but it’s good basic fun. Didio and Jordan have a good handle on Derek and his exploits as a modern day teenager.

The art by Rocafort though it the selling point of the book. He’s a master artist and here he just cuts loose on design and character design. Every page is a part of a bigger puzzle with his art and I just love it. It’s worth it for the art alone.
Still, there is a lot of redeeming qualities for this book. This trade collects the first six and it’s a decent item. It feels like a nice stocking stuffer rather than a full on present, but I’ll take it.



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