After last issue's explosive cliffhanger, it's all hands on deck at Dark Star Laboratories! Detective Hopkins is the first on the scene, which is one of utter devastation.
Sideways is the only survivor Hopkins can find. He helps him escape, and incidentally discovers his secret identity, despite Sideways' half-hearted deflections.
Once outside, Sideways recounts the events that led to the massive explosion. While Dark Star's captive, they attempted to access the multiverse using his rift powers, and got considerably more than they bargained for!
Sideways comes up with an ingenious - yet risky - way to close the rift, but the damage is done. Dark Star is destroyed, everyone is dead, and the mastermind behind it all, Ms. Dominus, has vanished. Derek himself barely escaped with his life, and just wants everything to go back to normal, but his adoptive father has one heck of a surprise for him...
Nearing the end of its run, Sideways continues to prove why it’s the little New Age of Heroes comic that could. Despite a fairly rudimentary plot, Dan Didio finds creative ways to deploy it. Hopkins’ “eh, whatever” shrug of a response to finding out that Sideways’ secret identity is a good turn of a typical comics trope; Derek’s imaginative solution to the interdimensional assault in Dark Stars Lab is another. And through it all, Didio never loses sight of the fact that Derek is just a kid wrapped up in these huge goings-on. Then there’s that cliffhanger, which suggests that Didio had quite a bit more story to tell before the curtain call.
Artistically, Kenneth Rocafort and Shane Davis actually make a pretty congruous pairing. Their styles mesh well, and although Davis seems to be putting a bit less detail into his pencils than in years past, he’s still a solid talent. Having one inker for both pencillers was a wise editorial decision.
Near the end of its run, Sideways continues to do what it does best: put a average, likeable and relateable kid in the craziest of situations. It isn't the most original concept around, but it's fun, and you could do a heck of a lot worse.
Sideways #12: Graduation Day
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 6.5/106.5/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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