Sideways: Annual (#1) – Dan Didio, Grant Morrison

3 out of 5

Sideways was announced by DC, to be co-written by Grant Morrison, and I was intrigued.  Not everything Grant touches turns to gold, but he’s a writer I won’t hesitate to pick up a book under his oversight to at least give it a chance, and to hear he was fiddling with a new Big Two character suggested we might see him playing around in the kooky Multiversity sandbox he’d masterminded.  (Which would be a plus.)

Sideways #1 came without a Morrison co-writer tag, as did #2 and so on… and so I passed.  Now here’s an annual, and here’s his name as a “special guest,” and I have zero idea what’s going on here, but Sideways can apparently portal through other dimensions, and there are the Seven Soldiers, and there’s Morrison’s Superman, and there’s some very Grant-y exposition, so while I’m not left with a desire to go back and fill in the big blank of what got us here, I’m not upset to have spent time with this issue.

…In which Sideways teams up with Supes to crush some spiders and rescue the Seven Soldiers, and then in a short backup tale, some alternate (and visually twisted) Supermen and Lois Lanes take up residence in “our” world, presumably for future hijinks under the Sideways banner, should sales allow.  And if that latter portion is setup, the former portion is clearly a big ol’ wrap-up, very hastily resolving some conflict with a Big Bad and whatever caused them spiders to run amok.  It’s nonsense, but it has an appreciably hokey sense of humor about itself – I liked that a couple of the threats were resolved in via quick, humdrum methods – and is arted up well by Will Conrad and Cliff Richards, combining to define the various realms and boogie men and plethora of characters succinctly.  The backup is more blah (and we’ll note is solely scripted by Didio), but it’s functional, and it’s short.