While the first issue of Sideways, one of DC’s New Age of Superheroes titles, had hit the ground running, dropping the reader immediately into Sideways’ world, the second takes more time to flesh out the world and add more layers to the cast of characters. Kenneth Rocafort, Dan DiDio, Justin Jordan and Daniel Brown collectively develop the story and relationships between those characters, continuing to add a higher sense of care for this series.
Sideways finds himself face-to-face with the “Monitor” of dimensional boundaries, Tempus Fuginaut, who threatens to end the titular hero's existence. Opting to run away, albeit injured in the process, he travels to the aid of his friend Ernie. Taken to the hospital and awaited by his mother, Sideways must attempt to keep his hero identity a secret.
It goes without saying, the level of artistry from Kenneth Rocafort elevates the title and creates its own very specific look. Starting with the cover and into the interiors, no amount of detail is spared with Rocafort on pencils, even down to the negative space behind the panels. Whether he's drawing Tempus Fuginaut or simply a duck in the lake, Rocafort's masterclass pencils makes even the most mundane panel into a work of art. Daniel Brown on colors accents Rocafort's pencils exceptionally well, with his use of such a vibrant color palette adding to the very specific look of the series. Sideways is hard to imagine without these two together on the title.
While the series could be sold completely based off of the art alone, the writing continues to prove it's worth adding more depth to this new corner of the DC Universe. From displaying added insight into the relationship with Sideways’ adoptive mother, to another aspect of DC cosmology appearing, and even introducing a new villain this series yet again, it leaves readers wanting more. DiDio, Rocafort and Jordan work so well together on story and dialogue, creating the illusion of one voice without ever feeling unfocused or inconsistent.
Sideways is a light-hearted and beautiful work of art, never taking itself too seriously and even being slightly self-referential at times, making for a wholesome read. DC's New Age of Superheroes imprint is perpetually getting better as the weeks carry on with titles still yet to be released. Regardless of imprint, Sideways stands head and shoulders above the average comic book on sale. As this title pushes forward, readers can only expect more depth and development towards the larger aspects of the title in the months to come.