Super Sidekicks

Sidekicks Who Turned into Heroes

The sidekick has been a part of the superhero genre since it first started. However these days’ sidekicks don’t seem to be as popular as they once were, from acting as the smaller half of an award winning superhero double act most have all but disappeared since they began to become unpopular. Despite this some have endured, not only that but they have grown up and become independent of their superhero partners to become bad-ass crime fighters in their own right. Here is a rundown of how some of our favorite superheroes came to be.

Nightwing Batman's sidekick
Nightwing formerly known as Robin
‘Robin’ was initially introduced to the Batman series as a means to provide some light relief from the dark brooding tone that the comic had adopted. Although not all fans of the Dark Knight appreciated Robin’s brightly colored costume, cheesy catch phrases and general irritating qualities. Thankfully the executives at DC cottoned on and revamped Robin’s image. Not only did he grow into an adult and buy himself a much cooler costume, he moved town and started dispensing street justice under his new darker name ‘Nightwing’.

‘Aqualad’ had perhaps the worst start to his career that any sidekick could possibly have. Not only was Aquaman one of the poorest superheroes that has ever been put into print, but his trusty boy companion has been stuck with his same lame costume ever since whilst the big guy has had repeated make overs. Also Aquaman’s super power is his ability to talk to sea creatures, meaning he is pretty much useless on dry land and there is always the question of “But what if the whale just decides not to listen to him?” Luckily for Aqualad he got supercharged with power and changed his name to ‘Tempest’ before ditching his dolphin whispering counterpart to battle and army of the undead.

Jim Rhodes started out as Tony Stark’s best friend. After being shot down and captured during the Vietnam War, Rhodes helped Stark to escape using the first Iron Man suit and was promptly rewarded by Stark by being made his skivvy. Stark also made him his personal pilot, even though he has a suit that lets him fly. Luckily for Rhodes though, Stark became an alcoholic mess and whist looking for the answers to life in the bottom of a bottle Rhodes filled the boots of the Iron Man. His reward was a suit of his own and new name, ‘War Machine’. Not only did he manage to claw back his dignity but as an Iron Man clone he is perhaps even cooler than the original. 

Who knows why the sidekick genre has died out; one logical reason might be that superheroes are superheroes because their powers allow then to achieve what mere humans can’t on their own. Having a sidekick to help them totally defeats the point of being a superhero in the first place. Although they may not be as popular as long established icons of comic books such as Superman and Batman these newly found heroes have already begun developing franchises of their own. With toys, posters, costumes, comics and model figurines already dedicated to them I’m sure it is only a matter of time before we will be treated to the first ‘Nightwing movie’.


I am an enthusiastic blooger and lover of all things Superhero. For related articles follow me on twitter.
photo credit: Castles, Capes & Clones via photopin cc

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