With the longstanding comic book history of Marvel Comics, there haven’t been a huge amount of sidekicks. Sidekicks have usually been the domain of DC, where icons like Robin, Speedy and Kid Flash have had a chance to shine.
However, the sidekicks that Marvel has created have been versatile and interesting. They have become larger characters than imagined, while continuing to help their heroes in their quest to fight crime. Each of Marvel’s sidekicks are perfect fits for the superheroes they have matched them with. With Marvel’s focus always remaining more concerned with legacy, their sidekicks have seen long and varied careers doing what they do best.
Here is Screen Rant’s 12 Best Marvel Comic Book Sidekicks!
James “Rhodey” Rhodes is Tony Stark’s longtime friend and confidant. First meeting in Vietnam, the two formed a lasting relationship, which eventually led to Rhodey’s employment from Tony Stark. For a time, Rhodey served as Stark’s personal pilot, but became the second person to take up the mantle of Iron Man when Tony was unable to continue doing it. Having his own “War Machine” armor, Rhodey would often ride into battle with Tony, and has always had his back in a battle. He has formed a brotherhood with Tony after the countless times he’s gone into combat with him, but his most important role as sidekick to Iron Man has nothing to do with his physical capabilities.
Most importantly, Rhodey has been an emotional guide for Tony. Being one of Stark’s closest confidants, Tony often looks to Jim for help, whether it be with alcoholism or the emotional stress of superheroism. With both being regular men, they are often most relatable during these more intimate moments. Rhodey has always had Tony Stark and Iron Man’s back and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Perhaps Marvel’s most versatile sidekick, Rick Jones has served as right-hand man for Hulk, Captain America, Captain Marvel, and even Rom The Space Knight. Jones got his start helping Dr. Bruce Banner. After he accidentally caused Banner to be exposed to the gamma radiation that turned him into The Hulk, Jones vowed never to leave his side. The guilt and responsibility he felt for Banner’s condition is what drove him to serve The Hulk, but his fearlessness and heroic tendencies are what cemented him into the Marvel universe as the ultimate sidekick.
Despite his promise, Rick Jones eventually began touring side by side with Captain America. Jones would eventually adopt the “Bucky” moniker during his elongated stay with Cap. However, Jones eventually leaves to become a wanderer.
Rick Jones finally realizes he is the hero he has always pictured himself becoming when he teams up with Captain Mar-Vell. When they both are captured by the alien race known as the Skrull, an all-out war occurs between the Skrull and Kree. During this war, both men are bonded together, but once separated Rick has the realization that he is a hero even without Mar-Vell’s magnificent powers.
Before returning back to Hulk’s side, he had a brief encounter with Rom, who had come to Rick’s aid when he had gamma poisoning. Even though Rick was dying, he chose to fight next to Rom and a few other companions against the evil Dire Wraiths. Once the battle is won, Rom leaves with his cosmic companions and says his goodbyes to Rick.
Being Marvel’s first and most recognizable sidekick, Bucky Barnes served at Captain America’s side during WWII. He helped Cap and other heroes take on villains like Red Skull and Baron Heinrich Zemo. Those who were in charge of Cap’s missions soon recognized Bucky as one of the most gifted fighters they had ever seen. They paired him up with Cap so that the two could use their incredible abilities to more effectively fight the villains of the war. In order to create more buzz and support for Cap, the press told the story of Bucky as, “Camp kid becomes Cap’s sidekick.” In reality, Bucky was instructed to take on some of the dirtier tasks to get around Cap’s strong sense of morality.
Bucky and Cap got along very well and formed a lasting friendship. Bucky and Steve Rogers became like brothers who went above and beyond to protect one another. This is why it was so devastating when Bucky was seemingly killed and left dead in the comics for decades. He would return as the brainwashed Winter Soldier, who would fight for Soviet interests. Eventually, he would break the bonds of his brainwashing and fight alongside Cap again, even taking over the mantle of Captain America after Steve Rogers.
The most visually striking entry on this list, Old Lace is a living dinosaur that serves Runaways member Gertrude Yorkes. Old Lace is a Deinonychus with the traits one would assume a dinosaur would have: incredibly sharp claws, a mouth full of deadly teeth, a tough hide of protective scales, strength, agility, and stamina. In fact, Old Lace has enough stamina to actually have Gert or other members ride her. She also was genetically engineered to be unable to attack anyone in Gertrude’s immediate family.
What really makes Old Lace special, other than being a freakin’ dinosaur, is her telepathic bond with Gert. This telepathic bond allows each to feel the other’s emotions and empathize with them. The bond that Old Lace has with Gert makes her one of the most loyal sidekicks in all the Marvel universe. Her ability to truly understand and empathize with Gert allows her to understand her hero unlike most sidekicks.
Bob, Agent of HYDRA
Bob, Marvel’s most normal sidekick (meaning he has no superpowers), is an ex-agent of HYDRA. Deadpool takes Bob under his wing and allows Bob to serve him. For being such a normal guy, Bob does well acting alongside Deadpool, one of Marvel’s most powerful heroes. Although Deadpool has changing opinions on his sidekick, Bob has proven himself useful to him. Bob’s association with HYDRA allows them to infiltrate and take on the organization with greater insight.
Despite Bob’s normality, he handles the duties and torture of being Deadpool’s sidekick in stride. He is often satisfied with the work he does and goes out of his way to help Deadpool. In almost every storyline, Bob becomes good friends with Deadpool and even attends his wedding. Although Bob doesn’t always physically challenge the opponents they face, he makes a great diversionary target. With the classes he took while still in HYDRA, he is able to escape with his life. This gives Deadpool enough time to get the jump on their enemy and kill them.
Some will argue that Falcon isn’t Captain America’s sidekick, even if he rides into battle alongside Cap and follows his orders. He is the current holder of the shield and serves as the new Captain America, but for years Falcon served at the side of Cap. Sam Wilson was crafted into a soldier to take out Cap by the Red Skull, but it was Cap who breaks Skull’s control over Sam. Once the bond is broken, Falcon works with Cap to defeat Red Skull, thus giving birth to their long partnership. Cap is the one responsible for Falcon’s introduction into the superhero community and had Falcon fight with him in order to give him experience.
Their friendship and Cap’s work with him makes Falcon a great sidekick. He could handle his own in battle and worked extremely well with Cap. They both bonded and became an extremely strong duo. Although Falcon has gone on to make a name for himself as his own hero, even taking on the Captain America mantle, his days being a sidekick to Cap are what made him as a superhero.
Disregarding Microchip’s betrayal of Frank Castle, The Punisher, he did serve him as a worthy ally for some time. Microchip’s importance in Frank Castle’s war against crime is undeniable. With his large array of skills, he does a lot for Frank that he is not capable of doing. For instance, Microchip is able to hack high level security systems, find information on people and targets, and launder money in order to aid their war. Microchip can also gain access to ammunition that the Punisher needs to have for his more exotic weapons. Most importantly, Microchip really tries to keep Frank from going over the edge.
During their time together, Frank is increasingly unstable. Microchip keeps him grounded in reality and encourages short breaks from their war on crime. In fact, Microchips first betrayal of Frank comes from him locking Frank away in order to keep him safe. Although this ruins their relationship and would cause them to become enemies, this initial betrayal is done strictly out of concern for the hero he serves.
Dum Dum Dugan
One of Nick Fury’s most trusted and useful members of the Howling Commandos, Dugan has served not just his country but Fury with dignity and respect for decades. Dugan has served for several government agencies and done a lot of work separate of Nick Fury, but his allegiance has always been to Fury.
Showing how much Fury respects and needs Dugan, he implants his emotions and personality into a Life Model Decoy after Dugan was killed during a mission back in the 1950s. Both the real-life and android versions of Dum Dum Dugan are impeccable soldiers and share the same sense of loyalty to Fury. Dum Dum Dugan has aided Fury in taking down HYDRA and other evil organizations that not only threaten national security but global security.
Another one of Marvel’s extraordinary regular people, Foggy Nelson is the sidekick to Matt Murdock, more commonly known as Daredevil. These two men met while in college studying law. They became an unlikely duo due to Foggy’s weight and Matt’s blindness. However, Matt’s ability to help Foggy along, protecting him from bullies and tutoring him in law, allowed both of them to eventually graduate law school and become competent lawyers.
Foggy is kept in the dark about Matt’s alternate identity for years, but when he does eventually find out he keeps his friend’s secret. While Foggy is almost never any use to Daredevil, he does help Matt Murdock. Foggy keeps Matt grounded like most good sidekicks do, but also aids Matt in their common crusade to help the little guys in Hell’s Kitchen. Without his trusty partner, Matt wouldn’t have anyone else to keep their firm going and continuing the good work they do for those who need it most.
Groot, an anthropomorphic tree who can only say his own name, has seen his fair share of action while acting alone. However, his greatest moments are during his time with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Here we see him pair up with Rocket Racoon and the two form quite the duo. With Groot’s strength and regeneration, he often sacrifices himself only to later have Rocket regrow him.
Both of these Guardians work with an unparalleled symbiotic relationship. Groot not only sacrifices himself to save the team and Rocket, but he brings humanity to Rocket’s often crass exterior. With the amount of damage that Rocket has endured thanks to the scientists who created him, Groot keeps him balanced between business and friendship. That’s the best kind of friend one could ask for. Groot’s emotional intelligence make him a great cosmic sidekick.
Lucky the Pizza Dog
For a hero who is a non-powered, skilled archer, Hawkeye may have the most normal sidekick in the entire Marvel universe: Lucky the Pizza Dog. During Matt Fraction’s renowned run on Hawkeye, Lucky is first seen as the dog of Ivan Banionis of the “Tracksuit Mafia.” But when Clint Barton fed the little dog a slice of underwhelming pizza, it was enough to sway the dog’s heart. Later, Lucky saved Hawkeye’s life by attacking a mafia member who was shooting at him. After the severe beating, Lucky is found by Hawkeye and taken in. This begins the relationship between the two that would endure multiple hardships.
As we’ve seen throughout this list, loyalty is always a huge part of being a successful sidekick. Honestly, few can be as loyal as a well-treated dog, and that is exactly what Hawkeye has on his hands. Also, earning a sidekick’s trust through “ok” pizza is a pretty amazing way to start a relationship as well.
One of Deadpool’s closest friends and sidekicks, Weasel is Deadpool’s weapon supplier and technology expert. A lot like Punisher’s Microchip, Weasel sees an awful lot of action and has a witty sense of humor about it. While Weasel doesn’t necessarily like being the sidekick to Deadpool, he plays the part out of loyalty and fear.
Deadpool often threatens to kill Weasel if he doesn’t comply with his demands or plans, but they always manage to patch things up. Although this is a very different relationships than most, for an antihero as insane as Deadpool, he needs a friend and accomplice who can withstand the harshness of his personality. Even though we might not like seeing Weasel abused, it’s great to see him stand up to Deadpool on occasion and put him back in his place. What are sidekicks for if not to kick their counterpart’s butt into shape every once in a while?
Even though Marvel has fewer sidekicks than other publishers, the ones they have created are memorable. They embody the most important traits of any sidekick and have paved their ways into the Marvel universe. From a regular guy, to a dog, to a sentient tree, to a guy in a power suit, Marvel’s sidekicks are definitely unique, and will continue to amaze us with their talents and loyalty well into the future!