Written by Dan DiDio and Justin Jordan
Art by Kenneth Rocafort
Colors by Daniel Brown
The New Age of Heroes continues with a new hero making his debut in the pages of DC Comics. This is another new character linked to the aftermath of Dark Nights Metal and his powers might be a bigger threat than a blessing. Derek James is a sophomore in high school with a huge secret. If he concentrates hard enough, he can rip holes in space/time. Holes that allow him to travel from one place to another in a matter of seconds.
The only other person who seems to know his secret is his friend Ernestine, who has her own unique style and also designed his costume. As Sideways, he pushes the limits of his powers as he tries to learn how to use them and navigate being a kid. There are call backs to a trip to Gotham he took with his mother during the events of Metal and it looks like those events caused his metahuman abilities to emerge.
Like most teens of his time, Derek has decided that the best way to test the limits of his powers is to livestream himself using them and asking the audience to decide where he should port to. Also, like a teen, he gives too much information during his stream. His actions also have the unfortunate consequence of attracting the attention of someone who is warning him to stop what he is doing. When those warnings go unheeded, the consequence just might be deadly for Derek James.
I am going to address the elephant in the room. There are some aspects of this first issue that are reminiscent of another hero from another company. There are some tropes that call to that character’s origin story and the fact that he had to learn about responsibility. All of that aside, this was an enjoyable and pretty fun first issue. There is a lot to like in both the tone of the narrative and the art especially. I loved the character designs and the details in the panels. It was fun to looks at the backgrounds and find things that enhance the visual appeal of the issue.
The story is well done and all of the characters have some interesting arcs that could be interesting to explore. I especially like the dynamic between Derek and Ernie and want to see how it progresses as well as how much the events of Metal will factor into the story itself.