Binge This: SIDEWAYS Is DC’s Underrated Teen Hero

Kat Calamia

Kat Calamia

April 24, 2020

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There may not be new DC comics in comic book stores this week, but there are plenty of comics to read on DC Universe’s expansive library, including a title of high school superheroics that may have flown under many people’s radars – Sideways.  It's a self-contained story that follows a teenager who learns how to be a hero and it's available to binge here on DCU in its entirety.  




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Sideways was created by Dan Didio, Justin Jordan, and Kenneth Rocafort, and launched as part of DC’s “The New Age of DC Heroes,” a group of new books that spun out of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Metal crossover event. The other titles in the line-up included: Damage, The Silencer, The Terrifics, The Curse of Brimstone, The Immortal Men, New Challengers, and The Unexpected.




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Derek James is your average high school student – until he falls into a dark matter dimensional rift that gives him the powers of teleportation and trans-dimensional travel. With the help of his cosplay-loving best friend Ernie, Derek takes on the superhero identity Sideways. Throughout the series, Sideways becomes a popular superhero, especially on social media, which leads a group of evil scientists to his doorstep.




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* Derek’s friendship with his best friend Ernie brings a lot of levity to the book, and her background in cosplay becomes very helpful as Derek takes on his new superhero identity.


* We’ve seen father/son relationships and mother/daughter dynamics, but we rarely get to explore a mother/son bond to this extent. Derek’s relationship with his mother is the heart of the book, providing the series’ twist and turns with emotional resonance.


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* Speaking of twist and turns, this book has a few doozies. The title consistently keeps readers on their toes as the creative team digs deeper into Derek’s surprising connection to the book’s villains.


* Frequently compared to another company’s wall crawler, Derek is an extremely relatable character as he tries to navigate high school life, family drama, and even a bit of romance. If high school was tough for you, imagine throwing super powers and super-villains into the mix!


* Even though the comic has officially wrapped with 14 issues under its belt, you can find Derek as a special guest in Brian Michael Bendis’ Young Justice, where his superhero journey continues.   




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Derek is a completely new character not only trying to navigate what it means to be a superhero, but also exploring DC’s new concept of dark matter and the dark multiverse. Sidewayscreative team grounds these complicated concepts with familiar superhero tropes and likable characters to create a unique, easily bingeable tale for readers new and old.



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