From time to time Outright Geekery brings you a slanted and biased opinion on some trivially specific topic of geekery. We call it Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot.
Behind every great super-hero, and even some not-so-great ones, is a supporting character. While the sidekick first gained popularity as a way to have more characters that teenage comic book readers could relate to, the sidekick quickly became a mainstay, supporting its own stable of viable characters, many of which have risen to A-List level. So without further ado, we mention the obvious, give credit where credit is due, and remember when he was just knee high to a grasshopper, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: Comic Book Sidekicks.
Honorable Mention: Robin
Of course, Robin, but he’s easily the most obvious choice, giving him only an Honorable Mention spot. The problem with Robin is, Which Robin do I pick? I’m, of course, a huge fan of Damien Wayne, but Dick and all those others each have their own pros and cons. But really, they weren’t much more than a distraction for Batman, right? Dude wearing black gets an orphaned kid wearing bright red to fight with him. I’m shocked there haven’t been hundreds of Robins.
Lockheed is an alien dragon made popular as the sidekick of one Kitty Pryde, Shadowcat of the X-Men. His relationship with his friend and master was more wizard’s familiar early on but Lockheed’s sentience quickly became evident, making him a true partner in crime. Lockheed had a starring role in the short-lived S.W.O.R.D. comic that no one but me seemed to love, but it was the book that cemented him as one of my favorite sidekicks.
4. Bob, Agent of Hydra
Bob was just an ordinary guy with a nagging wife who pushed him into getting a job with Hydra (hey, it’s steady work) but instead met up with the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool becoming one of the funniest sidekicks ever imagined. Bob was just a guy readers could relate to. He’s the ‘every man’ doing what it take to make it in the world, even if that means putting up with Deadpool.
3. War Machine
James Rupert “Rhodey” Rhodes debuted in Iron Man #118 in 1979 as nothing more than a backup iron suit donned helper. Over the years, however, Rhodey has gone from sidekick, to becoming Iron Man himself, to eclipsing the original Iron Man in more than a few series, and finally appearing in the Marvel films and becoming a New Avengers (probably?) in the next MCU film. You’ve come a long way, baby!
Bucky makes the list for every reason that War Machine makes the list, but Bucky stepped into the shoes of the great Captain America and filled them to the toes. Honestly, I liked Bucky as Cap even more than Steve at the time of this change, and I wish it would have lasted a bit longer. Maybe the films will follow a similar path to seeing Bucky fill those red boots…
Out of all the roads taken by sidekicks to being A-List characters, Falcon has had the roughest journey. He began as a joke, moved through every single racial stereotype of every era he’s been through, and, even when he’s donned the Red, White, and Blue of Captain America himself (a role he deserves), the fanboy outcry in objection is deafening. But the single reason that Falcon makes the Top spot o’ this Lot is because he’s never relented in being himself. Sure, he’s learned from his mentors, but he never allowed himself to be changed.