The New DC 52 Has Me Concerned About Being A Super Hero Sidekick
Grounded...again. I'm not even sure why this time. I understand that I lied to my parents when I said that Shivaughn, Suzie, Dan and I were going to the mall (when we were really going vampire hunting) and I understand that they are upset because we could have gotten hurt (or killed) but we didn't. We caught the vampire that was killing people in the city (which is something that my parents weren't able to do). We saved lives. So why am I being punished. This is so unfair. I know I'm the sidekick but I've got more powers than either one of my parents. I'm the one who can't be hurt. I shouldn't get treated like this. The life of the sidekick is ridiculous.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto
The Green Hornet and Kato
Captain America and the Falcon
How long do I have to put up with being treated like I'm second class? My parents aren't letting me grow as a hero. I refuse to still be considered the sidekick when I'm an adult like Tonto, the Falcon or Kato. Hmmm...I just noticed that if you are an adult and a person of color than you are automatically relegated to the position of sidekick. Even Mr. Spock from Star Trek. He is probabaly the ultimate "person of color" considering that he was an alien from the planet Vulcan...and he had green blood. Even though it was obvious to everyone on the show that he was the strongest and smartest person on the U.S.S. Enterprise and yet he still took a back seat to Captain Kirk.
At least I never have to worry about my sidekick status being based upon race. After all Dart and Deca-Man are my parents. I'm just concerned that I will never be able to grow out of my parents shadows. History is replete with far more Frank Sinatra Jr.s than Kobe Bryants (Kobe's father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant also was a professional basketball player). Even though the members of the Guild say that they want me and the rest of their kids to be the next and greatest generation of heroes it doesn't feel like they are preparing us for that day. This has all got me to wondering about the position of side-kick. I take a lot of inspiration from comic books and I tried to think of some successful sidekick to main hero transitions to inspire me and I had some trouble.
1. Wally (Kid Flash/the Flash) West:
For years Wally West was the shinning example of a super-hero sidekick making good on the promise and taking over the mantle of their mentor. When Barry Allen died in Crisis on Infinite Earth's Wally took over being the Flash and even accomplished things Barry had never done. Now with DC Comic's New 52 Wally West is nowhere to be seen and possibly retconned out of existence.
2. Dick (Robin/Nightwing/Batman/Nightwing) Grayson:
Batman's first sidekick long ago shed the identity of Robin in the comics to become his own man and became the hero Nightwing. Recently when Bruce Wayne went missing in time he adopted the identity of Batman. He did a pretty good job and sales on the Bat-books were good too. Now Bruce Wayne has returned and Dick Grayson has gone back to being Nightwing. It's as if his character is moving in reverse. Maybe in the future DC comics will make him Robin again.
Wonder Woman's adopted sister and occassional sidekick is just gone from the current continuity.
4. Daniel (Bucky/Winter Soldier/Captain America) Barnes:
Believed to have been dead for decades Bucky was discovered to have been alive but he had lost an arm and had become a Soviet/Russian assassin. Later he became Captain America to replace Steve Rogers. When Steve Rogers returned from the dead it wasn't too long after that until Bucky found himself pushing up daises again.
5. Roy (Speedy/Arsenal/Red Hood) Harper:
Speaking of losing an arm. Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy first became a heroin addict.
Then he had a daughter with a professional assassin. At around the same time that he had his arm cut off by Prometheus and he was being beaten with it, his daughter was killed by another super villain. At least in the new DC continuity Roy Harper seems to have his arm back.
6. Charlie (Golden Eagle) Harper:
A teen who was given a pair of wings by Hawkman and Hawkwoman...dead.
7. Arthur (Aquababy) Curry Jr:
Even though he never made it to sidekick status the fate of Aquababy has always been a concern for me since he was the child of two heroes, Aquaman and Mera. He was Killed by Black Manta, Aquaman's arch-enemy.
Being the sidekick seems to be not only demeaning but dangerous. I don't believe that my parents gave birth to me solely for the purpose of being cannon fodder for their enemies but sidekick history seems to suggest that it might have been a possibility. Dad has these old comedy CD's and I heard him laughing hysterically once. He was listening to Bill Cosby (I remember seeing him a lot on Sesame Street when I was a kid). I asked him If I could listen too and he played it for me. It was a story about how Tonto would get beat up every time the Lone Ranger and Tonto went to a new town. Dad thought it was hilarious.
I thought that it was funny at the time too. Now I'm seeing less humor in it. Why would the Lone Ranger send a Tonto alone into an old west town (that was probably already hostile towards Native Americans) to get them all riled up by asking around for information about recent crimes and/or murders? He had to know that this was dangerous for Tonto. Did he just not care? I've also seen very old episodes of the Green Hornet. The ones co-starring Bruce Lee. In those episodes the Green Hornet would always send Kato in to a room of thugs first, let Kato disable all of the bad guys and then he would walk in to the room.
Being the sidekick stinks. My friends and I did all the work in capturing the vampire and then the Guild swooped in and just took the vampire away. We didn't even get any credit but I bet if one of them had stopped a blood sucking vampire from killing people there would have been a press conference or at least a press release to the media. We got nothing. Maybe we need a union. I should talk to my friends and find out if they are as annoyed by this as I am.