The Greatest Sidekicks in Comic Book History
Regarding superhero comics, sidekicks have always been one of the genre’s most endearing and compelling tropes. The idea of a young hero teaming up with the main one, both fighting against evil and learning from one another, is a perfect storytelling trope, not to mention that it builds a connection with the young readers as they have someone they can relate on.
There have been a lot of great sidekicks in comics, and, in no particular order, many of the best will be featured on this list.
Speedy (Roy Harper)
Roy Harper started as a child copy of Green Arrow when the character was first introduced in the 1940s. Still, future decades saw him grow and evolve into a more complete and complex character without losing what made him Oliver’s right-hand man.
Speedy had to deal with drug addiction, losing his relationship with Oliver for quite some time, family drama, and many other things. Still, he overcame all that and became one of the most compelling sidekicks in modern comic book history.
Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
The origins of Donna Troy are somewhat complicated. Sometimes she is an Amazon like Wonder Woman; sometimes, she is a regular human rescued by Diana and adopted. Regardless, her connection with comics’ most important female character has always been a constant in the medium.
Donna is reliable, robust, and charismatic and has had a lot of ups and downs throughout her history in the comics. She has also been a sister to Diana, one of the pillars of the Teen Titans, often acting as an older sister for many of them.
There is much to like about Donna, and it is a shame that DC doesn’t use her more often than Wonder Woman in the comics.
Many people forget that, long before his “death” and return as the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes was Captain America’s sidekick, and they were one heck of a duo!
The relationship between these two characters is more than obvious: they have been friends for quite some time, and while Bucky didn’t have Cap’s super soldier abilities, he was more than capable of holding his own, which often proved helpful in battle. It is also fairly obvious that the inspiration for this character was Robin, but that was par for the course at the time.
While his time as the Winter Soldier has much more depth and layers to dissect from a writing perspective, there is that Silver Age about his days as Cap’s sidekick that cannot be ignored.
Rick Jones is a character that has been forgotten in recent times in the comics, but there was a period when he was everywhere. He was even the man Bruce Banner saved during his origin story, leading to him becoming the Incredible Hulk. To mend for his mistake, Rick joined Bruce and helped for many years during his struggles as the Green Goliath.
However, the exciting part about Jones is that only that he was an ordinary man in a world of superheroes but also the fact that he was a sidekick to a lot of different heroes. He was a sidekick to Captain America after Bucky’s demise, and he was a sidekick to two versions of Captain Marvel and even to the Avengers.
During the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Rick Jones was everywhere, and he was a significant character during some of the best periods of the Avengers and the Incredible Hulk.
Kid Flash (Wally West)
Wally West was not only the sidekick to the Flash but there is an argument to be made that he was the perfect representation of someone fighting crime with his hero.
This kid grew up idolizing the Flash and wanted to be like him. Like Barry Allen many years ago, he eventually got struck by lightning and gained super speed, becoming Kid Flash and helping the Scarlet Speedster fight crime.
It is also worth pointing out that Barry eventually married Wally’s sister, thus becoming family. And when the man himself decided to sacrifice his life to save the multiverse during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally took over the mantle and became arguably the best Flash of all time, thus cementing the connection between the two of them.
Robin (Tim Drake and Dick Grayson)
Robin is one of the most critical sidekicks in comic book history, reaching across the media and being one of the most characters in Western fiction. Still, two characters took this mantle to the highest level: the first Robin, Dick Grayson, and the third one, Tim Drake.
With Dick, it is fairly obvious to see why he is on this list: he is the first Robin, he is the one that started it all in more than one way, he has been with Bruce almost from day one, and he has continued his crusade through thick and thin. Readers have also seen Dick grow throughout the years, becoming his own man, becoming Nightwing, leading the Titans, and even becoming Batman during two different points in the post-Crisis continuity.
Tim, on the other hand, is a much more interesting story. He is the third Robin who revived the mantle, adding many layers of storytelling and variety to his character. Writer Chuck Dixon created several miniseries and a long-running one that gave Tim the kind of exposure and development that previous Robins like Dick Grayson and Jason Todd didn’t enjoy while wearing the mantle.
It is hard to pick one of them because they are both essential to understand the mantle of Robin, and they were both brilliant in their own unique ways. Dick is probably the best all-around character, and Tim is the best at being Robin.
It is always fascinating when our young hero teams up with the main one, fighting against evil or a familiar foe. This is our list of the greatest sidekicks in comic book history. How does it compare to yours? Leave your comments below.