DC Comics have turned sidekicks into legends that have garnered millions of fans and become some of the most iconic characters in the entire DC universe. Their sidekicks are dynamic characters who not only have complex stories themselves, but who enhance the complexity of the heroes and villains with whom they are associated.
Some of these sidekicks have even created “mantles” out of their superhero identities. Without these helpful heroes and collaborating criminals, some of our favorite superheroes, supervillains, and those in between would not have lasted as long as they have.
Let’s go through Screen Rant’s 12 Best DC Comic Book Sidekicks!
Once an ordinary cat from earth down on his luck, Dexter becomes Dex-Starr when a Red Lantern ring saves him from certain death. Once the ring grants him the knowledge and abilities associated with it, the newly minted Dex-Starr begins his road to vengeance and galactic badassery. He eventually befriends Red Lantern legend Atrocitus. The two become inseparable and Dex-Starr quickly becomes a deadly sidekick to one of the most vicious beings in the DC galaxy.
Being the loyal cat that he is, Dex-Starr often accompanies Atrocitus on missions and does well to protect and serve his friend. Dex-Starr even takes on Lobo’s dog (aptly named “Dawg”), who gets put down by the feline fury. As powerful and intelligent as Dex-Starr is, his loyalty earns him a spot on this list. Loyalty goes a long way when talking about sidekicks, and Dex-Starr is surely one of the most loyal.
12 Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)
Commissioner James Gordon’s daughter Barbara Gordon is by far the most well-known Batgirl. Her notoriety exists not just for her shocking paralyzation at the hands of the Joker in The Killing Joke, but for her amazing skills as a superhero sidekick. She is one of Batman’s smartest associates and The Dark Knight often turns to Barbara for technical support, despite being a genius himself. As Batgirl, Barbara showed her extraordinary drive to fight crime just like her father. Also like her father, Barbara has always told Bruce what he needed to hear rather than be intimidated by Batman making her sugarcoat the realities they were facing.
Barbara is the most well-known and best Batgirl, but she was not the first nor was she the last, but Barbara secured Batgirl’s spot in the Bat-Family and turned it into a mantle worth carrying on.
11 Speedy (Roy Harper)
Like other sidekicks, Speedy has transcended just one person and become a mantle worthy of successors. However, in this case its original hero who donned the mask is its greatest inhabitant. Roy Harper is known as one of the greatest sidekicks of all comics, let alone DC. What makes Roy such a special second man to the Green Arrow is his complex nature and past. Sometimes, the greatest thing a sidekick can do for his counterpart isn’t just to back him or her up, but to challenge them. When Green Arrow finds out of Roy’s drug addiction in the infamous story arc “Snowbirds Don’t Fly,” it challenges Green Arrow to not only take on the world of drugs, but to be there for Speedy to ensure he has a full recovery. Roy is undoubtedly one of the most skilled marksmen and archers in all of the DCU, but one of his greatest moments of being a sidekick was actually one of his worst.
Beside this story arc, Roy has had plenty of other heart-wrenching moments fighting alongside Green Arrow. Speedy has helped Oliver Queen defeat various enemies, but he also gave him the ability to be a father. Although Oliver would eventually have children, Roy was his first child, despite being his ward. This relationship and ability to rely on each other created one of the greatest sidekick/hero relationships ever seen in comics. Roy and Ollie even rival DC’s dynamic duo Batman and Robin.
Skeets the security robot is a hilarious sidekick to the equally goofy and funny hero Booster Gold. As one of the artifacts used at Booster’s disposal in order to solidify his superhero persona, Skeets quickly becomes Booster’s trusty ally and is seen constantly next to the time-travelling Booster during their adventures. Skeets may seem a tad bit harmless, but he supplies Booster with crucial information. His data banks are jammed packed with vital information of whatever era they are inhabiting, and his input is irreplaceable. Without Skeets, Booster would surely be lost. For being a robot, Skeets has a lot of personality and often times comes off as an annoyed butler to the eccentric Booster. His formal dialogue juxtaposed against Booster’s slang adds just another layer to this man and machine relationship.
Skeets isn’t just all personality though. He has actually saved Booster on several occasions. Also, the information he is constantly relaying to Booster keeps him out of harm’s way. Without Skeets, Booster Gold would definitely be less of a hero, and perhaps would be unable to succeed in his ego-driven quest to become the world’s greatest superhero.
9 Harley Quinn
Comics’ greatest supervillain sidekick, Harley Quinn, has all of the signature qualities of an amazing wingman, but uses her skills and motivation to help comics’ greatest supervillain, The Joker (known to her as “Mistah J”). The Joker may be one of the most feared villains and completely insane, but Harley Quinn does her fair share of helping him on his crusade of chaos.
Unlike other sidekicks, Harley has a romantic relationship with The Joker. This relationship is shown to sometimes get in the way, but other times help her succeed in her evil plots. She may be nearly as crazy as Joker, but she has other attractive qualities that makes her suitable to the Joker. Harley’s competence as a sidekick is definitely a plus.
But like most sidekicks, her loyalty is what makes her so great. The fact that Joker can try to kill her or frame her for a crime, only to see her return, shows how much she loves the Joker. It's sad that she still loves and serves him after years of abuse, but it does show what a great sidekick she is to the Clown Prince of Crime. Like other successful sidekicks, she grew into and molded her own identity and eventually moved on to bigger and better things. However, her “Mad Love” for the Joker has kept her at his side for years and will continue to do so.
8 Wonder Girl (Donna Troy)
Wonder Girl is actually a special case when it comes to sidekicks. She got her start being published as both a sidekick to Wonder Woman, while also being published as an active member of the Teen Titans, a team of young sidekicks who fought crime together. This tandem publication allowed readers to know that she was competent enough to be on her own, while also being a worthy ally of Wonder Woman. We got to see her ride into battle with Wonder Woman while also working on a team with members with various powers.
As one would imagine, Donna Troy is an extremely powerful superhero, much like Wonder Woman. Her skills in battle make her an optimal choice for Wonder Woman’s sidekick. She shares the same fearlessness and divine powers as Wonder Woman, but both have similar worldviews.
7 Kid Flash (Wally West)
Wally West is one of the most successful superhero sidekicks, because he eventually took on the mantle of his mentor. Thanks to the training of Barry Allen and his own drive to become the best speedster in the world, he was able to become The Flash, rather than just Kid Flash. He actually held this position for quite some time as well.
However, when Wally was still just a young boy, he quickly rose above other sidekicks thanks to his amazing speed. He was always a close rival to Barry Allen and had the same desire to be The Flash as Barry did.
Wally always worked well with Barry, and the two became a real force to be reckoned with. As a sidekick to Barry Allen’s Flash, Wally saw first hand what it meant to be a hero, and used these lessons to propel himself into the major leagues. Once Barry Allen sacrifices himself during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally realizes that all of the work he had done with Barry had led to this moment of him now taking on the mantle. There is no greater achievement that a hero can hope for when taking on a young sidekick.
6 Jimmy Olsen
For just an ordinary guy, Jimmy Olsen has played second fiddle to one of the strongest heroes in all of the DC universe. Jimmy has always kept Clark close company and became his best friend. Clark even gave Jimmy a watch that would alert Superman whenever he was in danger. Clark may be Superman, but he doesn’t have very many friends. Luckily, Jimmy always gives him the advice he needs. Jimmy also serves as a great way for Clark to remain attached to human life and activity. For years, Jimmy Olsen has been alongside Clark in all different types of situations. They have seen battle together and spent plenty of time working for the Daily Planet together, doing investigative journalism.
Unknown to some, Jimmy has also had several weird superhero interpretations in which he is granted powers. At various points in his history, he becomes Elastic Lad, Giant Turtle Boy, and even takes up the superhero identity of Mr. Action. Although Jimmy does see action when he is inhabiting these personas, his role has always been best served as just regular ol' Jimmy Olsen. He is a much better use to Clark as a friend and moral guidance than as a battle buddy.
5 Squire (Beryl Hutchinson)
Not many may have ever heard of Knight and Squire, but they are basically European counterparts to Batman and Robin. So, Squire acts as a mantle of sidekick to Knight, and has been brought to life by several people. Beryl Hutchinson is the third person to take on the mantle of Squire and is the only girl. She was also a homeless girl who used her previous experience and natural intelligence to fight crime as Squire. Beryl doesn’t possess some of the other advantages as those before her did, but her natural wit and communication skills set her apart from the previous Squires.
Being the first Squire outside of the Sheldrake family, she brings different characteristics to the table. For instance, she is able to interact and communicate with Knight in a way that we had not previously seen. Also, with her strengths being in communication and knowledge, the duo approaches conflicts a bit differently. She may be just as proficient at swordplay as the previous Squires but she is much less prone to just flying into battle.
4 Aqualad (Kaldur'ahm)
Arguably Aquaman’s strongest sidekick, Kaldur’ahm is the son of villain Black Manta. Kaldur’ahm has the ability to create extremely hard water constructs and even conduct electricity. Despite his villainous heritage and incredible power, he makes an extremely well-suited sidekick for Aquaman. Much like the contemporary version of Aquaman, Kaldur’ahm is a strong-willed and hard-headed leader. With both working together, little can stand in their way. With Aquaman’s newer, darker tone, Kaldur’ahm will work well under his guidance.
Prior to Kaldur’ahm taking on the mantle of Aqualad, there was the long-standing Garth. He had a much more difficult relationship with Aquaman and had been seen at odds with him. Although Garth stood as Aqualad much longer than Kaldur’ahm, he was simply not as useful or well-rounded.
The Hound of Steel is not just any ordinary dog. Considering he can actually work as Superman’s sidekick gives you a hint of his power. He has all of the same powers as Kal-El and an added canine intelligence boost. Krypto has stood at Superman’s side for years, aiding him in a plethora of fights. Like Jimmy Olsen, Krypto has also served as Clark’s friend, even taking up a secret identity as Skip, the Kent family's farm dog.
Considering how popular he has become, it is safe to say that Krypto has earned his place on this list as one of the greatest DC sidekicks. Despite being an animal, albeit an incredibly powerful one, Krypto continues to act as the greatest sidekick to The Man of Steel. With his powers mirroring Clark’s, they are both able to go toe-to-toe with extremely powerful enemies. Krypto also serves as one of the few lasting connections to Krypton and his family. In most incarnations, Krypto served as an intentional experiment to create a companion for young Clark as a gift from Jor-El.
There have been a few different Robins over the course of Batman’s 76 years fighting crime. The first Robin, Dick Grayson, has been by far the most influential and has become the quintessential sidekick. Dick is Bruce Wayne’s most prized student and partner. Even before Dick grew up and took on his own superhero identity, Nightwing, he had always helped Batman through the toughest of times. Not only is Dick one of the most competent hand-to-hand combatants in all of the DCU, he is just as strong-willed as Batman. In order to not just back up one of the most revered and skilled heroes in all of comics, but to also steal the show in some comics demonstrates Dick’s importance not just to Batman but to the DCU at large. No other sidekick has ever been as indispensable as Dick Grayson.
The second Robin who lives in infamy is the doomed Jason Todd. Even though Jason was proficient at handling criminals, he was often far too violent for Batman’s taste. He served Bruce well until his death at the hands of the Joker. His death damaged The Caped Crusader like few other deaths have. Jason has reemerged donning the “Red Hood” persona and still collaborates with Batman, but will never be Robin again.
The third Robin, Tim Drake, is the most dedicated Robin that has ever existed. Dick may very well be the “best” Robin, but he did struggle with the identity and studying under the tutelage of Bruce. Tim, on the other hand, not only thrived under Bruce’s wing but he desired it. He was the the only Robin who deduced Batman and Robin’s (Dick Grayson) secret identities. Once learning this information, he sought out Bruce himself, hoping to prove himself to the Dark Knight. Tim may not be Bruce’s favorite, but he has gone above and beyond as Robin. He even went to the ends of the earth to find Bruce when he was thought dead.
The fourth Robin, Damian Wayne, is Bruce’s son. When he was first introduced, readers saw him as annoying for his arrogance. Although, he became much more personable once his relationship with his father was fleshed out. Damian is by far the most skilled Robin, having been trained by Ra’s al Ghul himself, however he is often the most reckless. As time has gone by, he has earned his stripes as Robin and is deserving of the mantle he now holds. Damian has served his father well and helped him against some of the strongest enemies in recent years.
Hopefully you’ve learned a bit more about your favorite DC sidekicks, and perhaps even discovered a few new heroes you haven’t heard of. Be sure to let us know who your favorite DC sidekick is, and if they are not on this list tell us why they should have been. Thanks for reading!