Vs. Puny Superhero Sidekicks

Posted: May 4, 2011 in Reader's Suggestion
Tags: , , ,

Here’s the deal.  Many thanks to Heather, who has been an active reader of this blog from day one, and who suggested this topic – the second in my 176 week series, Makya McBee vs. Reader’s Suggestions. 

Character co-created by Will Eisner. Image fro...

Image via Wikipedia

 To be a true superhero sidekick you must possess no discernible skills (or, at the minimum, no skills that the superhero you follow around does not already possess) and you must be resigned to the second fiddle position throughout your many adventures.  But, more importantly, your first and last name must begin with the same letter.  Wally West, Bucky Barnes, Doiby Dickles and Woozy Winks are just a few actual comic book superhero sidekicks.

There are two types of superhero sidekicks.  First, there are the carbon copies.  These are younger (or, occasionally, animal) versions of the superhero.  The Flash had Kid Flash.  Wonder Woman had a younger sister named Wonder Girl.  And Aquaman had Aqualad.

(I’m not entirely sure why Aquaman needed a sidekick, last time I checked approximately zero percent of all major crimes are committed underwater.  The only more useless superhero was Volcanoman, who diligently patrolled magma pools everywhere.  “Don’t you dare come into this volcano and commit a crime,” he would warn from the crater, “I am Volcanoman!”  But I suppose, to their credit, they did keep the ocean depths and the earth’s core relatively crime free.)

Actually, I’m not sure why having a smaller, identical version of yourself is particularly helpful to any superhero.  “As the Flash, I can run really, really fast…and my sidekick, Kid Flash, can also run really fast…only he’s shorter, less experienced, weaker…”  Great.  Way to compliment your skill set with the very same skill set. 


Image via Wikipedia

 The second type of sidekick is the rest of the sidekicks.  Captain America had Bucky Barnes (pictured to the right), whose only abilities were the fact that he was a skilled acrobat and had the power to wear an excessive number of buttons.

The Green Lantern had Doiby Dickles.  Doiby had no powers, he was a cab driver with a wrench.  So, you know, if the Green Lantern ever needed an over-priced ride across town – he was all set.

Of course, the most famous superhero sidekick of all is Robin, Boy Wonder (as in, boy, I wonder why Batman is hanging out with Robin).  He’s the only sidekick that get’s to share the comic book title at times – Batman and Robin.  Not too shabby.  Then again, he has the same problem as the others, he’s essentially a much less effective version of Batman.  And there’s not a lot of job security.  Comic book Batman has already gone through five Robins.  (Wanted: teenage acrobat to follow me around as I battle crime.  Must have strong fighting skills, bring your own brightly-colored tights and be MS Office and PowerPoint proficient.)

Why would someone want to be a sidekick?  Many have abandonment issues and are looking for a father figure.  Some aspire to be a hero themselves and look at the sidekick position as a super internship.  A few are simply content being the comic relief.

So, how am I going to do it?   How will I rid the world of puny superhero sidekicks?  I’m glad you asked.  Because I am proud to announce the opening of the Makya McBee School for Superhero Sidekicks.  This will be the first and only institution dedicated to producing the world’s finest crime-battling partners.  Our classes will include fashion-forward cape design, creation and upkeep of a believable secret identity and catch phrase development.  No more goofy sidekick names.  No more repetitive powers.  No longer will sidekicks be wayward teens who see their apprenticeship as a handout.  With a diploma from the McBee Institute for Sidekickery, they’ll know they’ve earned their position.  And then, at long last, our city streets will be safe.  (Until then, I suggest hanging out at sea or in a volcano).

  1. Abbie says:

    Funny- the very next email I read after this post was the Colombia House DVD “respond to your Director’s Selection”… and the Director’s selection for the month? The Green Hornet… HA!

    • Makya McBee says:

      Yes, there’s no escaping superheroes in our modern society. I wonder what would happen if the Green Hornet and the Green Lantern fought? Maybe they could have a gardening battle…get it?…cuz of their green thumbs…oh, baby, I’m on today.

  2. heathersnyder1 says:

    Hahahaha! Awesome Makya. This is my favorite one. Not because I suggested it, or that you mentioned my name (yayyy 🙂 ) but it is truly hilarious. Way to go!

    By the way I am signing up for the McBee Institute for Sidekickery. I’m a Surveyor’s Sidekick and I have halfway decent Ninja skillz, wear an orange vest, but I could be better. I could also go for a really cool Sidekick name, too.

    Thank you Makya McBee. You have given hope to Puny Superhero Sidekicks everywhere.

    • Makya McBee says:

      We’ll get you some spandex, turn that vest into a bright, orange cape and call you The Cartographer…or, perhaps The Civil Engineeress…

      • heathersnyder1 says:

        Yes! That’s the spirit. I will be one fearless, orange cape wearing, spandex sporting…”The Cartographer”. I like the sound of that! Able to make maps in a single bound. I will survey like it’s nobodies business. How about “The Surveyor of Doom” or maybe just “Survey Girl”?

  3. purplechimp says:

    What? Volcanoman totally dropped the ball when Eyjafjallajökull erupted. I for one hate him!

    • Makya McBee says:

      To be fair, he can’t stop volcanoes, merely fight crime from within them. Also, who didn’t drop the ball when it came to Eyjafjallajökull? I never saw Eyjafjallajökull coming. The scientists never saw Eyjafjallajökull coming. I think Eyjafjallajökull took us all by surprise. As my dad used to say, “For every Eyjafjallajökull that erupts there are five more Eyjafjallajökulls that don’t.” I don’t know what he was talking about, but I sure like typing the word Eyjafjallajökull.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I don’t know if anyone has noticed the similarities to Superhero/Sidekick and Employer/Employee. If you think about it:

    Superheros have fancy cars, nice costumes, money, the babes, the power. Sidekicks get Sidecars on motorcycles, wimpy looking costumes, no babes, no power. But, they do all the work & get none of the glory.

    Employers have fancy cars, nice suits, money, the babes, the power. Employees get a broken down, beat up car, Casual Fridays, no babes, no power. But, they do all the work & get none of the glory.

    Coincidence, I think not.

    • Makya McBee says:

      You need a better job.

      • Jennifer says:

        I keep telling myself that. One of these days I’m going to walk up to my boss and tell him off, or at least imagine myself doing that. Because he’s a pretty big guy and he frightens me. If I could find a job where my boss doesn’t frighten me, then I wouldn’t have to cry myself to sleep at night, dreaming about his disappearance.

  5. Kestrel Blue says:

    I am so glad to hear that there will be fashion forward capes, i hope also that there is a wing if this school dedicated to fashion b/c the fact that underwear is worn on the outside of the costume is atrocious so from a fashion loving person and for the fashion community I thank you!!!!

    • Makya McBee says:

      My pleasure. Clearly superheroes spend far too much time on the little things, like fighting crime, and not nearly enough time on cutting-edge fashion.

  6. Suz says:

    I have an issue with this vs. Ive always known Id never be a super hero, mainly because my only super power is the ability to string together a very large variety of curse words. I assume super heros dont curse. I have, however, wanted to participate in saving the world and my one hope had been to be a sidekick. Being puny and lacking any real ability I thought I had a shot and now I find out that there is a movement to rid the world of puny superhero sidekicks. Foiled again. @$%*%^%$#

    • Makya McBee says:

      Fear not, for here at the McBee Institute of Sidekickery we can help you de-punify yourself. (Plus, we have super etiquette classes for that potty mouth).

  7. I want to see Puny Sidekicks grow a pair and go into battle with the Superhero. The Superheros would never see it coming. Then we can really see some “POW!”, “BAAAM!”, “KABLOOOEY”, “SHAZAAAAM!” done to those Superheros. They deserve it making their Sidekicks second banana. Making them wear awful costumes.

  8. roxyhart1973 says:

    This is so funny! It’s my favorite one yet. If I was a Superhero Sidekick, I would start doing pilates and strength training, throw in some kickboxing and learn the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

    Then, I would get the designers from Project Runway to make me a fierce Superhero costume. Similar to Wonder Woman. She’s my hero.

  9. Robin the Boy Wonder says:

    To be a good Sidekick you must enjoy the role. Good sidekicks aspire to be LIKE their Hero, but never to replace him or her! Being smaller and subordinate has several advantages as well! Think about it: The subordinate does not bear the same responsibility as the one who makes all the decisions. The Sidekick is expected to play his or her support role, not to single-handedly conquer the bad guys. Who gets blamed for failure? The Hero, not the Sidekick. Being a Sidekick means that I am protected and cherished, yet not on the sidelines just watching my Hero do all the cool stuff. I get to share in my Hero’s work, all the good and bad, and learn to be more like him!

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