Even superheroes need help sometimes, and that's where sidekicks come in. Comics publishers in the 40s and 50s introduced kid sidekicks for the most popular superheroes because comic books were predominantly geared towards children. So, it made sense to have characters that children could relate to. It wasn't until the 1960s when Spider-Man was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee that the idea of having a kid be an actual superhero was considered. Before that, kids were just sidekicks.
After the huge success of Spider-Man, sidekicks didn't have to be children. After that many sidekicks were the same age or even older than the superheroes they fought alongside. Some sidekicks, such as Jimmy Olsen and Rick Jones, aren't even superheroes, while others are as powerful as the superhero they fight crime alongside. Who is your favorite superhero sidekick? Here's a look at the 15 best sidekicks in comic book history.
15 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen
Superman is always there to save his pal Jimmy Olsen, except of course in Batman v Superman where Jimmy Olsen was killed mere moments after being introduced. In the comics, Olsen has a deep respect and admiration for Superman.
She is violent, brutal and has a mouth like a sailor. She strikes fear in the hearts of criminals and she is only twelve years old. Hit-Girl is one of the most interesting and unique comic book characters from the last decade.
13 Krypto the Superdog
Man’s best friend is also one of Superman’s greatest sidekicks. Krypto the Superdog is loyal and brave just like most dogs, but this pup has all the powers that Superman does. Krypto’s origin is similar to that of Superman’s.
12 Robin (Jason Todd)
Jason Todd was so disliked by comic book fans that fans voted to have him killed, and that’s exactly what happened in the famous comic book Death in the Family. Jason Todd was eventually brought back to life by being submerged in the Lazurus Pit by Ra’s al Ghul. He was then transformed to the anti-hero vigilante known as the Red Hood.
The original Superboy was Superman himself, and the comic series Legion of Superheroes saw a young Clark Kent travel far into the future and join a strange group of futuristic heroes. However, the current version of Superboy is completely different and very fascinating superhero.
10 Robin (Tim Drake)
Tim Drake was the third ward of Bruce Wayne. He became the Boy Wonder after deducing that Bruce Wayne was Batman. In Batman: The Animated Series, The Dark Knight trained Tim Drake as Robin, but eventually Joker kidnapped Tim and brainwashed him into becoming Joker Jr.
9 War Machine
James Rhodes is Iron Man with tons of firepower. As a longtime friend and ally of Tony Stark, Stark gifted one of his Iron Man armors to Rhodes. This armor was the War Machine armor and a new hero was born. War Machine has even been a member of The Avengers.
Aqualad is one of only a few comic book characters that was created in a medium other than print. Aqualad, aka Kaldur'ahm, first appeared in the cartoon series Young Justice. The popularity of the show and the character allowed Aqualad to be introduced into the DC comic book universe.
With a name like Speedy you would expect this sidekick to work alongside The Flash, but Speedy is actually the sidekick of Green Arrow. Speedy has gone by many aliases including Red Arrow and Arsenal. The first Speedy was Roy Harper, and this Green Arrow sidekick famously dealt with issues much more serious than fighting supervillains. Legendary comic writer Denny O’Neil, along with superb artist Neal Adams, had Roy Harper deal with substance abuse.
6 Kid Flash
Eventually Wally West would take over the mantle of Flash from Barry Allen, but before that he was just a sidekick called Kid Flash. Also know as Impulse, Kid Flash is a welcome addition to the DC Comics universe. He has a wit that’s as quick as his super speed.
He may not be the original sidekick to Captain America, but the Falcon is one of the coolest. Played by Anthony Mackie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Falcon, aka Sam Wilson, is a former military paratrooper who has the ability of flight thanks to his weaponized flight suit. Falcon was one of the first African American heroes in Marvel Comics and he even has a sidekick of his own – Falcon has an actual falcon called Redwing.
4 Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes
The Winter Soldier (aka Bucky Barnes) is a lifelong friend and ally of Captain America, but the two have had their rough patches. Bucky was the childhood friend of Steve Rogers and always protected him. However, when Steve was transformed into Captain America, Bucky became the one that was being saved by Steve more often than not.
Barbara Gordon has always been one of Batman’s most trusted allies, and the fact that she is the daughter of Commissioner Gordon makes her a natural born upholder of justice. However, she wasn’t able to be Batgirl forever. In the famous 1988 batman graphic novel The Killing Joke, the Joker shot and paralyzed Barbara Gordon in an effort to make Commissioner Gordon go insane.
2 Robin (Damian Wayne)
This version of Robin is the only member of the Bat family that is actually related to Bruce Wayne by blood. He was born in a laboratory and created using Batman’s stolen DNA. Ra’s al Ghul, Talia, and the League of Shadows raised Damian until the age of 10, and that’s why he has a real mean streak.
1 Robin (Dick Grayson)
Dick Grayson will always be known as Robin even though he eventually gave up the mantle and left Batman behind. As Nightwing, Grayson patrols the streets of Bludhaven. He has his own set of rogues to defat, such as the powerhouse called Blockbuster.
However, he is always ready to lend a hand if Batman is in need. When Batman vanished and was believed to have been killed, Dick even became the Batman himself so the villains of Gotham City wouldn’t take over the city. Every live action version of Robin so far has been Dick Grayson - from the 1960s version played by Burt Ward to the version in Batman Forever played by Chris O’Donnell.
Sources: DC.Wikia, Batman.Wikia, Marvel.Wikia
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