Sideways #7 // Review
Kenneth Rocafort finally makes his return to Sideways after months of absence, in what seems to be the most promising story of the series thus far. This issue kicks off the arc that will reintroduce Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory back into DC continuity after not having been seen since Final Crisis. DC’s ‘New Age of Superheroes’ imprint continues to push forward while Sideways and The Terrifics stand as arguably the best titles from this line of books. With the titular hero learning of his greater overall importance, his life will change even more than he had ever dreamt.
Rocafort’s artwork highlights the juxtaposition of this issue, between the everyday life of Derek James at home dealing with his mother’s death, and the superhero Sideways, traveling back to the Dark Multiverse. The Seven Soldiers must set out for the aid of Sideways and his unique gifts, making Rocafort the perfect artist for the job with his highly detailed pencils. Having not been around for nearly a decade, Rocafort picks up the pieces of the Seven Soldiers right up from their last appearance as if nothing had ever changed. The color work of Ivan Plascencia and Dan Brown together add to the aforementioned juxtaposition between the two dramatically different settings, but it’s the work within the Dark Multiverse and the vibrant color palette that truly captures this tormented dimension’s elegant horror.
Using old continuity, especially a Grant Morrison classic, to bolster up this new character feels like a natural progression for the titular hero, giving him a greater purpose, as well as the DC universe altogether in the Rebirth era. The other issues have done a great job of helping readers get to know and love the character and his world, but this issue takes it to a far more important place and it is the best decision this series could have made.
The amount of detail Rocafort puts into each project he takes on sets him far above his peers, and Sideways is no different. Kenneth Rocafort’s signature art style is undoubtedly the selling point of the series, but this issue truly adds an importance and meaning that the series had been missing previously. From a dopey kid with a YouTube channel to tragic hero traveling throughout the multiverse and beyond, displaying the true potential of his staying power as he proves to the Seven Soldiers and readers alike what makes him so great.
The fun, light-hearted tone of Sideways has been met with tragedy and importance from these last few issues, overall positioning the series above its contemporaries within the imprint. With the upcoming first Annual for the title solicited to have legendary writer Grant Morrison helming the scripts, this series is about to get a whole lot more interesting.