Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Sideways #5 Review

Pour the Pinot 

Storytellers: Robert Gill and Justin Jordan
Art by: Robert Gill, John Rauch, and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 13, 2018

This book has had an interrupted run by Kenneth Rocafort on art, but he's a no-show here save for the cover. Does guest artist Robert Gill make his own mark? Or does he fall flat? Read on, friend. 

The book opens directly after last issue's cliffhanger, where we saw Tempus Fuginaut appear in Derek's room. I guessed he was going to offer to train him, but it turns out that Tempus is asking for Derek's help in keeping the very fabric of reality safe. A connection to the Batman Who Laughs is made, but that's about it and Tempus dumps Derek off at Earth without explaining much else, which is something I really wanted to see the team spend some more time on since the concept is so goofy. 

Upon arriving home, Ernie informs Derek that a character called the Showman has been streaming himself insulting Sideways, and for some reason, this is treated as a very tense situation that Derek had to address very quickly. Not sure why. And Derek runs past his mom to get to school, so why isn't he using his powers to get there? At least appear in a bathroom stall so nobody won't notice him. It makes no sense.

Derek gets to school and notices that everybody is a lot sourer and rough than usual. At this moment, the Showman himself appears outside the school, demanding to speak to Sideways... 

This is a pretty fun issue, although there were some pacing problems that bothered me. I refer to the speed at which the Tempus scene flew by. It seems that Justin Jordan really doesn't want to spend time with this character since he's barely appeared in the series and continues to play a small role despite how weird he is. The fight between Sideways and the Showman also goes on for a bit too long for my taste.

As for Robert Gill's art, I found it to be a massive improvement on Rocafort's artwork. It feels more appropriate to the characters, and I like Gill's version of Derek and Ernie much more than Rocafort's. I would much rather have Gill to be the series artist, but that probably won't happen. 

I really liked how Justin Jordan integrated Derek's personal and superhero life into this issue. It was so fun seeing Ernie play a part in Derek's confrontation with the Showman, and these are the kinds of scenes I've been picturing in my head when this series first started. 

Bits and Pieces:

This may be the best issue of the series yet. The art is fantastic and the story does exactly what I've been wanting to see since the beginning. Some beats don't work and need to be explored further, but on the whole, I was satisfied with this. 


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