Here at Screen Rant, we love our Sidekicks. Although often seen as subordinates to the main hero, sidekicks are sometimes more powerful and can go on to become just as legendary heroes as their former mentors. Everyone knows Robin or Bucky Barnes or War Machine. Heck, even lesser sidekicks like Kid Flash and Speedy (Green Arrow’s ward) have become more prominent with their inclusion in the short lived yet popular Young Justice TV show. Heroes like Batman have had an ungodly amount of sidekicks, while others haven’t had any at all – or so you think. Here are 15 Heroes You Didn’t Know Had Sidekicks.
For this list, “sidekick” is used to describe any secondary character who appears in the main hero’s book or show multiple times and aids them in their adventures. The perfect example of this would be someone like Sam Wilson; although he now holds the mantle of Captain America in his own book, he played second fiddle to Steve Rogers in the Captain America comics for years. Someone like Black Canary, who was Oliver Queen’s love interest and wife, would not count because she already had her own book before becoming a regular in Green Arrow. Members of teams who have never had a book of their own are fair game.
15. Deadpool (Bob, Agent of Hydra)
The recently released Deadpool film was a smash hit with critics and fans alike, and has created a rejuvenated interest in Wade Wilson. Deadpool has been around since the early 90s and over time has morphed from deadly mercenary to deadly mercenary with a sarcastic and wacky attitude. Nowadays, everybody knows the Merc with the Mouth. But, did you know that Deadpool has a sidekick? He even had a cameo in the movie!
Hydra Bob (or just “Bob,” for legal reasons) was first introduced in Cable and Deadpool #38 as one of the random Hydra henchmen encountered by the anti-hero duo. Bob joined Hydra at the behest of his wife, who constantly badgered him about not being able to hold a full-time job. Although Bob was employed by the evil agency, he was pretty awful at his job – he constantly ran away from danger and gave in to Deadpool’s comical torture mechanisms without much hesitation. After being forced to help Deadpool and Cable escape from his employer’s hideout, Bob begins to act as Wilson’s sidekick.
Hydra Bob doesn’t have any superpowers or special skills at all. In fact, he is one of the most useless sidekicks ever created. His incompetence and clumsiness is often used by the writers to create hilarious situations for the Merc with the Mouth. And hilarious they are! He may be awful, but Bob is easily one of the funniest sidekicks to ever grace the pages of comics.
14. Judge Dredd (Judge Giant)
Most people know Judge Dredd from 1995’s Sylvester Stallone film Judge Dredd and the 2012 film Dredd. The character of Dredd himself has a much longer history, debuting all the way back in 1977 in the comic 2000 AD. Judge Dredd has always been portrayed as a solitary, stoic character who refuses to make attachments or budge on his stance on justice. It may come as a surprise to find out that Dredd actually had a sidekick for a brief period of time.
Judge Giant appeared in the same issue that Dredd himself first appeared. Presented as a rookie just out of the academy, Giant served as a sidekick to Judge Dredd for almost four years. During his time as an understudy he was able to save his mentor from an execution plot as well as aided him in a war against rampaging mutants. Judge Giant met his tragic end when he was shot in the back while searching for the villain Orlok. Although his son has carried on his legacy, the original Judge Giant was one of the few characters in 2000 AD to actually become close to Dredd.
13. Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)
Put your pitchforks away. We know that Kate Bishop, the third Hawkeye, doesn’t start off as a sidekick and that she and Clint Barton are usually portrayed as equals. Starting out as a member of the Young Avengers, Bishop is a skilled archer, swordsman, and hand-to-hand fighter who took up the mantle of the famed Avenger after donning his bow and arrow in her first appearance. She eventually met up with the original Hawkeye during the Civil War comic arc.
The main reason for Bishop’s inclusion on this list comes from Matt Fraction’s run in the Hawkeye series and her role in Hawkeye vs. Deadpool. In these stories, she teams up with Clint Barton as they focus on street-level crime, with some hilarious results. This run is often considered one of the best in the entire history of Hawkeye, and the presence of the stubborn and independent Kate Bishop is a big reason why.
12. The Hulk (Rick Jones)
The character of Rick Jones has been around since The Incredible Hulk #1, and is responsible for that same character’s origin. Jones accepts a dare to drive onto a nuclear test site out in the middle of the desert right as Dr. Bruce Banner is about to detonate a bomb. Upon noticing the foolish man, Banner rushes to push him out of the blast zone; Jones is saved, but Banner absorbs the bomb’s gamma radiation and is transformed into the Hulk.
Later on Rick Jones forms the Teen Brigade, a group of teenagers that was partly responsible for the formation of the Avengers. Not long after the resurrection of Captain America, Steve Rogers asks Jones to take the place of the deceased Bucky Barnes. However, Cap is riddled with guilt and eventually tells Rick that he needs to move on from his fallen ally. After being bounced around as the sidekick of multiple other heroes, Jones reunites with Bruce Banner and swears that he will bring an end to the Hulk’s rampage once and for all. Instead of becoming a gamma-infused monster, the radiation he subjects himself to causes Rick to develop blood cancer. Jones would get his wish much later, when he was taken hostage and turned into the A-Bomb, a Hulk-like creature with superhuman strength and abilities. He was later cured, and was last seen being offered a role in S.H.I.E.L.D.
11. Captain Marvel (L.T. Marvels)
This one gets a little weird. In true Golden Age style, the Lieutenant Marvels are formed when three children all named Billy Batson seek out “our” Billy Batson (aka DC’s Captain Marvel, now known as Shazam). In order to tell themselves apart, the three visitors code name themselves Fat Billy, Hill Billy, and Tall Billy. One of Captain Marvel’s villains takes the four children hostage, and only their cry of “Shazam!” in unison is enough to save them. This cry not only transforms Billy Batson into Captain Marvel, but it turns Fat Billy, Hill Billy, and Tall Billy into Fat Marvel, Hill Marvel, and Tall Marvel.
Dubbing themselves the “Lieutenant Marvels,” each of the three new characters possess only one-third the power of Shazam himself. After their initial appearance in the ’40s the team disappeared for a long period of time, resurfacing briefly in 1970s. The three Billys still exist within the DC Universe alongside Shazam!, but they no longer possess the powers they held in previous interpretations.
10. Aquaman (Aqualad)
This one may not be as obscure as it used to be. Aquaman’s sidekick Aqualad was featured as a main member of the all-sidekick team in Young Justice. However, the character featured in the TV show was a new character; the original Aqualad, Garth, came onto the scene in 1960. Prince Garth was abandoned as a baby, kicked out of his colony due to Atlantean superstition and paranoia. Aqualad, being of the same race as his mentor, had the exact same power set; he could communicate with marine life, navigate the seas at superfast speeds, and could lift weights up to a ton.
When Aquaman decided to settle down with his wife and son, Aqualad was pushed to the side. In an effort to continue his fight for justice, he paired with Robin, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl to create the original Teen Titans. Garth then changed his superhero name to Tempest, and continued to fight alongside the heroes of the DC Universe until his death in the Blackest Night storyline. When DC rebooted their universe with the New 52, Garth was nowhere to be found.
9. The Fantastic Four (H.E.R.B.I.E.)
The Fantastic Four comics have always had more of a science fiction vibe than the other Marvel titles. Mr. Fantastic, The Invisible Girl, The Thing, and The Human Torch spent most of their adventures traveling the cosmos or other dimensions battling villains like Annihilus and meeting larger than life characters like the Watcher or Galactus. Science fiction as a genre has a fascination with robots. When Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were looking to add a kid-friendly character to replace The Human Torch in their short-lived ‘70s series (they couldn’t use Torch for legal reasons), they created Humanoid Experimental Robot B-Type Integrated Electronics, or H.E.R.B.I.E. for short. When the series ended, H.E.R.B.I.E. was added to the comics as a sidekick to Marvel’s First Family.
Much like the ‘70s series, H.E.R.B.I.E.’s time as a lovable sidekick didn’t last long. During his creation at the hands of Mr. Fantastic and the alien Master Xar, an evil scientist uploaded his consciousness into the robot. The villain used H.E.R.B.I.E. as something of a sleeper agent, gaining the group’s trust before attempting to kill them. At the climax of the story the mad scientist has his consciousness jump into the Baxter Building’s mainframe, which leaves H.E.R.B.I.E. back as his original self. In a moment of heroic sacrifice, the little guy throws himself into the building’s computer, killing himself and destroying it in the process. Although the original bot is gone, The Fantastic Four have built several others in his image through the years.
8. Power Girl (Terra)
Power Girl herself is one of the lesser-known heroes in the eyes of the general public. She started off as Supergirl’s counterpart in one of DC’s many alternate universes before transitioning into the main DC canon in 1976. Sharing powers and an origin with Superman, Power Girl is one of the strongest heroes in DC comics. In the late 2000s, the heroine gained a sidekick in fellow superhero Terra.
Terra (the 3rd of her name), real name Atlee, is a young girl who comes from a subterranean race called the Stratans. Blessed with a genetic mutation, the girl can manipulate the earth (rocks and dirt) to her advantage. Hailing from a foreign society, Atlee had a fascination with pop culture and naturally gravitated towards Power Girl as a source of inspiration. During the 2009 Power Girl series Terra served as a sidekick to the Kryptonian; the two embarked on several humorous exploits as Power Girl tried to teach the ins and outs of Earth culture to the young woman. Terra remained as a sidekick until the reboot of the DC Universe in 2011.
7. Blue Beetle (Sparky)
Blue Beetle is one of the most underrated heroes in the DC Universe. He is practically on the same intellectual level as Batman, has one of the coolest costumes in all of comics, has an original backstory, and has super strength and agility rivaling Captain America. Blue Beetle started off as hero of Fox Comics before bouncing to their competitor, Charlton, and then finally to DC. The original Beetle, Dan Garret, was a rookie cop who gained his powers through a secret formula and wore a special bullet-proof vest as he fought crime. He was often joined in his ventures by his trusty sidekick, Sparky.
Sparkington J. Northrup was an American who grew up under the wings of an English Lord up until the outbreak of World War II. His adopted father then sent the young ward back to the United States to serve as Blue Beetle’s sidekick. Sparky served in this role as second fiddle until he inexplicably vanished from the series in 1942. A year later Northrup returned to Europe with the new moniker of “Spunky” and joined Beetle on the Western Front. After the war ended Sparky retired from the superhero business, continuing to help his mentor from the role of a civilian.
8. Spawn (Nyx)
Spawn is probably the last character you would ever expect to have a sidekick. Spawn was one of the most mature and violent comic book heroes of the 1990s; what else would you expect from a character whose name is literally a derivative of “hell spawn?” In Spawn #122, the mythical character Nyx appears and becomes a reccurring sidekick and love interest to the antihero.
At first, Carrie Ann was just a witch who took an interest in Spawn. A spell caster since the age of four, she dubbed herself “Nyx” after a powerful Greek Goddess of the same name. Nyx has had various powers throughout her time in Spawn; while usually portrayed as having voodoo powers, she at times has donned the Spawn costume herself (which gave her the powers of the hellspawn). Nyx journeyed through the pits of hell, was possessed by a demon, and has been depowered by mystical forces during her tenure as Al Simmons’ sidekick. In the end, she leaves him, succumbing to the guilt she felt from a time that she betrayed the man she loved.
5. Green Lantern (Doiby Dickles)
Many fans do not realize that Hal Jordan was not the first Green Lantern. Back in the Golden Age of comics, the mantle of the hero was held by Alan Scott. Unlike the characters we know today, the original Green Lantern’s power ring allowed him to teleport via the fourth dimension, fly, and have powers similar to telekinesis. He was a founding member of the Justice Society of America.
Alan Scott’s sidekick is even lesser known. Charles “Doiby” Dickles aided the Green Lantern on his adventures for almost eight years (1941-1949) after saving the hero from a group of gangsters in his initial appearance. Dickles has made several cameo appearances since his original run ended, mostly as a comedic relief character in the early 2000s. His most famous modern appearance happened when he joined a group of other forgotten Golden Age sidekicks in order to form the hilariously inept group “Old Justice.” Doiby has no powers whatsoever, but is skilled in hand-to-hand combat and was able to drive Green Lantern around at lightning-fast speeds in his taxi.
4. Wonder Woman (Wonder Girl)
Wonder Woman’s little-known sidekick Wonder Girl definitely has one of the odder origins on this list. Back in the Silver Age of comics, Wonder Girl and Wonder Woman were one and the same; Wonder Girl was simply a younger version of Dianna Prince, but was able to appear alongside both her older and younger selves (yes, younger) through the magic of Queen Hippolyta. When DC created the Teen Titans and added the character in 1965, they decided that Wonder Girl would no longer share the same identity as Wonder Woman. This idea that the two were the same person was officially retconned in Wonder Woman #158.
After the character’s odd start, the Wonder Girl identity was picked up by Donna Troy, an orphan who had been rescued from a burning building by the Amazonian Heroine. With nowhere else to go, Wonder Woman took Troy back to her home on Paradise Island, where the young girl was given the powers of the Amazons. But, even this Wonder Girl’s beginnings are murky; throughout the years since her creation, there have been multiple different conflicting stories about her true origins. Although Donna Troy still appears regularly in the comics, the mantle has been taken up by at least two other characters since the 1970s.
3. Dr. Strange (Wong)
The Sorcerer Supreme is set to make his big-screen debut later this year with the highly anticipated Dr. Strange. Steven Strange has been prominently featured as a member of several Marvel teams like the Avengers and the Defenders, but his solo outings always leave something to be desired. Perhaps because of his older series’ lack of popularity, people aren’t aware that Strange had a loyal sidekick for years.
Wong was a servant of the mystical Ancient One ever since he was a small child. Early on, he was sent away to an ancient monastery to learn the art of Kamar-Taj, which gave him magic powers and the abilities of a skilled martial artist. Once he was grown up, Wong was sent over to the United States to become the servant of the future Sorcerer Supreme. As typical of a Silver Age sidekick, Wong got himself into many situations that called for his mentor to bail him out; he’s been turned into a vampire, as well as abducted by aliens. He also was one of the few minor characters to play a role in the famous Infinity Gauntlet arc. Wong is set to be played by Benedict Wong in the upcoming MCU film.
2. Martian Manhunter (Zook)
Martian Manhunter is a character that makes Batman look like a bucket of sunshine. J’onn J’onzz (in his modern incarnation, at least) is an alien who is always stoic and nearly emotionless. So it makes it hard to believe that THIS thing would ever be his sidekick. The inter-dimensional being called Zook first appeared on the scene back in 1963 in Detective Comics #311, when he arrived with a group of three others – another good, and two bad. Zook met up with Martian Manhunter as he is trying to apprehend the two evil aliens, and instantly takes a liking to the hero. However, Zook was left stranded on Earth when the dimensional rift back to his home was closed prematurely.
J’onn, perhaps feeling sorry for the little guy, took him under his wing as his sidekick where he appeared for the next fifteen issues. Zook has a variety of abilities; he can change his body temperature to be extremely hot or extremely cold and has the skill to see through disguises no matter how complex. The little alien can also flatten or expand his body as defense mechanism or to make himself fit into tight spaces. After Infinite Crisis, Zook disappeared from the DC universe completely until making a cameo appearance in the Batman/Superman series.
1. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Zach the Fifth Turtle)
Zach was a character created exclusively for the 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. He was introduced in season 3, episode 26 of the show, entitled “The Fifth Turtle” as the self-proclaimed biggest fan of the TMNT. Zach was so enamored with the Turtles that he took up arms, tossed on a bandana, and attempted to aid them in their fight against crime. The Turtles wanted absolutely nothing to do with the young crime fighter at first, but when Zach is able to secretly follow them back to their lair they decide that he is skilled enough to be a part of the team.
Zach was a major character in seven different episodes of the TV Show across four seasons, helping the turtles as they squared off against villains like the Rat King and the vile Shredder. Although armed with nothing but a hockey stick, a detective kit, and a turtlecom, Zach is a bright young child who has a knack for solving mysteries and tracking down the bad guys. Of all the sidekicks on this list, Zach and the TMNT definitely fits the bill for most bizarre pairing.
Were you surprised by any of the entries on this list? Are there any more obscure sidekicks that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments!