It’s the second of our nearly monthly questions that we pose to the GRCT crew. We’d love to hear what you think, or your thoughts on what we think too!
Question: Sidekicks form an important part of the comic world. Who is your favourite sidekick and why?
Dee: I had a really hard time with this one. My two favourite sidekicks — one an old favourite and one new — are both amazing. So, because I’m a bit frustrating that way, I’m going to cover them both.
Lockheed, sidekick of Kitty Pryde
I don’t know how much more dedicated a companion can get than following them back from space. Lockheed does just this, and the relationship he develops with Kitty is a deep and complex one. He’s more than a pet, his empathic nature meaning they understand each other. His ability to speak and knowledge of languages is something that was debated for a long time, and while he can speak he rarely does. More importantly, he’s a friend to Kitty. Even when it’s shown that he’s been working for SWORD, it’s Kitty that’s the most important thing to him, and her loss changes him completely. He regrets his mistakes, and shows remorse, working with Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers.
Lockheed is powerful, extremely so. His fire breathing is very powerful, he’s unable to be read by telepaths, and his knowledge of languages and empathy means he can communicate with nearly any species should he want to. But, with all of that power, he chose to stay with Kitty. He stayed with his friend, and when she’s gone, regrets her loss.
Atlee, the third Terra, friend of Power Girl
A teenaged girl with the power to control the earth, and yet no experience in dealing with those that live on the surface of it. At first it seems a strange person to team with Power Girl who’s experienced so much. But Terra’s naivete doesn’t mean she’s an idealist, and she’s worked hard to get the whole superhero thing down. If anything, she reminds Power Girl just what is great about being on earth as she discovers it herself, and her optimism is infectious. The two make a great team, and whilst neither of them truly needs a partner power-wise, they both need a friend.
Emma: These days I’m not really much of a fan of the idea of “sidekicks” because it implies that their narrative is secondary to someone else’s and so it suggests a denial of their agency (although that is not always the case). With that said, I feel like there is only one honest answer I could give; Robin. Conceived of as a viewpoint character for young readers, the role has gone on to do just that for several generations of readers who not only got to imagine themselves alongside Batman, but watched as their particular Robin grew up to take on their own independent identity and become stars in their own right.
Dick Grayson went on to become Nightwing and eventually Batman only to have to babysit for Bruce. Jason Todd shoots people and wears layered masks or a bucket on his head, typically doing flips and shit as the Red Hood when he isn’t sleeping with Bruce’s baby mama. Tim Drake became the third Dr. Midnite, did not get an owl as part of the deal, and continues to be a popular target for bricks and severed heads (with grenades stuffed in their mouths). Stephanie Brown went on to not be dead, became Batgirl, continues to rep the eggplant and use Tim’s head for target practice. She is currently inexplicably estranged from her significant other- Blackbat- and may be seeing Supergirl on the side. Damian Wayne is just Robin so far, but whatever he goes on to do will probably have something to do with kittens.
Lina: So I am theoretically meant to follow Emma, who might’ve just given the best answer to the question. Oh well, I’ll try my hardest to follow that up and we can see where it goes. I have the hardest time discerning what exactly a “sidekick” is. I blame this thoroughly on my overactive imagination and my tendency to gravitate towards characters who (at least at the start) are tertiary. Does not being the title character or the main villain make them a sidekick? I have no idea, but I’ll say who I think best fits into this mould.
After a lot of thought I’m going to have to say that one of my favourite sidekicks would be Lockjaw of the Inhumans. He’s more than just a pet, he’s royalty and managed to head-up one of my favourite (if not utterly absurd) short-run series of the past year (re: Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers). He’s a psychic dog and is totally amazing, even if he sometimes bumbles into things that he shouldn’t. Like when he told the rest of the world about Attilan. Probably not the best PR move, but it happened. He tracked down Black Bolt, he saves the day and is every bit a character in his own right (the dog has super-strength AND psychic powers).