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Top 10 Superhero Sidekicks
In my opinion there are 3 main elements that shape a superhero: their origin story, villains and supporting characters. No supporting character is as close or tells you as much about a hero as their sidekicks.
If, you take a look at the first couple of decades of comic books, you will find that sidekicks where much more popular then, than they are now. Partially because sidekicks tend to be younger and the big publishers decided that endangering young sidekick wasn’t setting a good example. The relationship between heroes and their sidekicks have also become more complex in recent years.
Be warned there is a spoiler about the second Captain America movie, in the next paragraph.
1. So lets first look at the Winter Soldier AKA Bucky
Bucky is of course Captain America’s sidekick. He is well trained by a few of the world’s Special Forces, but has no super powers. Bucky had a long run with Captain America which comes to an end around the end of the Second World War. What happened is that Baron Zemo tries to destroy an experimental drone plane, by attaching a bomb to it and launching the plane. Bucky tries to defuse the bomb but it goes off. Captain America falls into the North Atlantic and freezes into the ice where the Avengers find him years later. Bucky is presumed dead. However what really happens is that the soviets capture and brainwash Bucky. Bucky is reintroduced much later as a soviet spy and assassin, the Winter Soldier.
The movies have been borrowing from the comics, here but not copying the story completely. The second Captain America movie is called “Captain America : The Winter Soldier”, so I am guessing we will see the Winter Soldier in that.
2. Superman’s sidekick
Some argue that Supergirl, is Superman’s sidekick, others feel that Jimmy Olsen has the right to call himself Superman’s sidekick or perhaps more precisely Clark Kent’s sidekick. I have always liked Krypto as Superman’s sidekick. Krypto isn’t as strong as Superman, but he has better hearing and smell. Krypto also has human level intelligence and is completely loyal to Superman. Loyalty is the reason I prefer dogs to cats.
3. Hit Girl
I love Hit Girl both in the movies and comics. The Hit Girl and Kick-Ass comics are very violent with great use of comedy and an excellent story line. Hit Girl is comfortable with the world of violence, much more so than Kick-Ass. In the comics she starts training Kick-Ass to be a real hero. However Kick-Ass is more emotionally mature, displaying better judgement than Hit Girl. Together they make one kickass hero team.
I do have some concern about recommending that you buy the comic book, because I have a feeling there may be some major spoilers in there for the upcoming Kick-Ass 2 movie.
Speedy is Green Arrow’s red clad sidekick. Personally I don’t get arrow type heroes. But they get enough ink so someone must love them. Perhaps it’s that these heroes are very human and the creators can explore some human adversity. For example Speedy at one point has problems with drug use.
I grew up on the X-men TV series and I always thought of Jubilee as Wolverine’s sidekick. The giveaways are that she is a teen and that her mutant superpower is shooting sparkles out of her hands. Look out it’s a sentinel, shoot some sparkles at it.
In my opinion Robin is a major contributor to Batman’s success. As a team they just appeal to a much wider audience.
There have been a few Robin’s. The first and the best was Dick Grayson. He is from a family of acrobats. His family gets killed by a mobster and Batman adopts him. They grow to be very close.
After his run with Batman, Grayson goes to work with the Teen Titans. There he grows up and changes into Nightwing, eventually going it alone.
The second Robin is Jason Todd. The problem is Jason Todd isn’t nearly as popular as Greyson and the writers know it. So what they do is to put Todd in a dangerous situation. Then they have a telephone poll to see whether he lives or dies. The fans pull the trigger and so the Joker kills Todd. He however later gets resurrected as the second Red Mask.
The third Robin was Tim Drake. With him the creators clearly wanted to avoid the popularity problems Todd had. Tim first convinces Alfred and Drake that he should be Robin before earning Batman’s approval and also ultimately the approval of fans. Tim turns out to be a better detective and more skilled with technology, than the previous Robins. He eventually retires from being Robin.
The forth Robin is Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. Damain was trained by the League of Assassins to take over the world. Batman only finds out about his son when he meets Damian as a teenager. Damian has some skills, but he is also a bit of a punk. If you ask me it’s just a matter of time before he goes evil or gets killed.
7. Kid Flash AKA Wally West
After Robin’s success DC Comics introduced Wonder Girl, Aqua Lad, Speedy and Kid Flash. These sidekicks would later be spun off into their own super team the Teen Titans. When Wally West graduates he decides to retire Kid Flash and have a normal life. Wally is however forced back into being Kid Flash during the Chrisis on Infinite Earth series. During this series the Flash dies and Wally West decides to take up his name and costume.
8. Green Hornet and Kato
Kato knows the martial arts, he makes gadgets and designs cars and he is a great driver. The Green Hornet has money and shoots people with his gas pistol. They form a good team, but I have to say Kato is the cooler character. It is very rare for a sidekick to have greater appeal than their hero.
9. Bob, Agent of Hydra
Bob who played Deadpool’s sidekick, for a while, is one of my favorite marvel characters. Bob join’s Hydra, because he heard they had dental cover. Turns out no dental cover and they pay their minions $40,000 a year. Bob finds he doesn’t like Hydra and starts a blog to vent.
Agent X get’s kidnapped by Hydra and Deadpool goes to rescue him. Deadpool comes across Bob and orders Bob to take him to Agent X. Bob refuses because he doesn’t believe Deadpool will hurt him. Deadpool does in fact hurt Bob, twice because he it was so much fun the first time.
To make a long story short Bob ends up joining Deadpool’s team and they make a hilarious duo.
10. War Machine
War Machine is very different from Iron Man. The Iron Man suit is a clean fast weapon that uses a lot of energy weapons, while the war machine is all about guns and power. There is also major difference in personality between the narcissistic Tony Stark and the career military man James Rhodes. These differences are what makes them so compelling to watch.