December 13, 2009

Marvel Snapshot: Sidekicks

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Written by: Billy
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Welcome back, true believers! Last week I started a discussion about how Marvel rules over DC with an iron hand. This week I’ll continue with some more examples of how you cannot see it any other way. The evidence will be presented and you can then weigh in on my thoughts with your comments. OK, so one of the BIG problems I have with DC is that in the past, their creativity with new characters and their development was awful. I’m especially talking about sidekicks. Let’s just look at 5 examples of this monotonous trend readers were dealt years ago.

160px-Detective38How about we start in the beginning. No, I’m not going all biblical here but let’s talk about the one who started it all: Dick Grayson, a.k.a. Robin. This kid came along to help Batman sell more books by grabbing younger readers and getting them hooked. Well, it worked. So guess what the geniuses at DC did next? Well, I’m going to tell you their brilliant scheme. They thought “Hey, if we did it once let’s do it again!” They basically created younger versions of the same person/hero to be a sidekick for all the big names; well, except for Superman that is.

These so called “creators” sat around and the best they could come up with was Kid Flash, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, and Speedy? Yikes, not a lot of creativity there if you ask me. Hopefully these guys were paid by the hour and not by the imaginative characters they thought up. Talk about taking the easy way out. I mean come on, just sit in front of your screen and take 15 minutes to try and think of an original character. I guarantee you if you take a well known superhero and think about a sidekick, something other than the same person, not  just a younger version will probably come to mind. See, that wasn’t so hard. Now I know there is more to get the mind churning theses days with the media attention for movies and other stuff,  but it really isn’t that impossible to come up with new ideas.

I for one think it was fear of failure that prompted this and not really a lack of commitment or imagination. I totally understand the fear of failure or rejection angle. To me though, people that are in the comic book industry are usually the risk takers in life. You know, the guy at the blackjack table that everybody says is crazy? That is what makes them different, sets them apart from just any old writer on the block. The phrase “think outside of the box” comes to mind. I mean look at Marvel’s big heroes of the early days. Spidey didn’t have Spidey Junior, or Bruce Banner a Little Hulk. The only one that comes to mind is Captain America and Bucky. This is an example but I think if you really examine and compare Batman and Robin with Cap and Bucky, you’ll see a lot of similarities and realize they both worked.

Hmmm, wait a minute. Cap is dead and so is Batman (kinda). Both of their former partners have taken up the mantle of their mentors. Both will be back sooner than later. See, I told you they were more alike than people think. Both are currently running zombie stories, and both seem to follow the other’s lead from time to time. Of course I’m talking about Marvel and DC. But you knew that, right? Well I feel it’s time to wrap this discussion up, but I will let you make the decision on who has been the best until now and who’s future looks brighter. Oh, did I forget to mention Streaky the Cat or Krypto? Sorry about that…for DC I mean. Until next time, Make Mine Marvel!

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Ooooooh Billy, Bill, Billy.

    Your Marvel bias amuses me! At least you didn’t hate on Dick- I’d have to virtually slap you for that one!

    : )

    But at least in Kid Flashes case, they’re all a family so that’s why he became “Flash Jr.” so to speak.

  2. billy

    @Andy-I love stirring the pot. lol. To me, Robin is the only guy who wasn’t a complete copycat.

  3. infinite speech

    I’m so glad Marvel didn’t over do it with the whole sidekick thing or the super ANIMAL sidekick either. It just gets annoying after a while, kinda like characters dying and coming back so much that it’s just “meh” now.

    streaky the cat! LMAO!!

  4. Streaky!! LOL!!

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