Tag Archives: Comet the Super-Horse

Harvey Comics vs. Marvel Comics

Introduction

What would happen if the heroes of the Harvey Comics universe meet their equivalents in the Marvel universe?  That is the goal of this article.  The challenge is finding the Harvey Comic equivalent character in the very different Marvel universe.  Also, the Harvey Comic character deserves to meet the most famous equivalent character.  Marvel characters that had their own title are considered more important than characters that did not have their own title.  If more than one character type had their own title then the character that had more impact on the history of the Marvel universe is picked as the “adversary” for the Harvey character.

1) Archibald the Talking Wishing Well vs. Cosmic Cube

As I stated in Harvey Comics vs. DC, I have a soft spot for objects with sentience and even wrote a book on the subject called Household Fables.  Archibald the Talking Wishing Well is a sentient magical object and deserves to fight another sentient magical object.  Hot Stuff’s trident is also sentient and capable of doing magic.

The following Marvel inanimate objects possess sentience: Cosmic Cube, Krimonn the Power Prism, Resurrection Stone, the Bottle Imp, and the Sword in the Star.  The cosmic cube is one of the most important objects in the Marvel universe and far, far, far more important than the other objects listed.  The Cosmic Cube evolves to sentience and becomes Kubik.  Kubik travels to the Harvey universe and is quite amused.  Kubik wanders the enchanted forest and comes upon Archibald the Talking Wishing Well.  The two actually have a lot in common.  Both provide wishes.  Kubik can provide wishes on a global scale and Archibald can only create objects and not even change events.  Kubik decides to grant Archibald a wish!  Archibald asks to be human for a day.

Kubik and Archibald travel to Spooky Town and scare the ghosts.  They wander to Deviland and get a lava bath, courtesy of invulnerability provided by Kubik.   Kubik and Archibald watch the none stop fights between ogres in Ogreville.  Goblin Gulch is more a forest than a town and there isn’t much to see so they leave quickly.  Archibald visits Wendy at Witch Way.  Archibald starts to turn back into a wishing well.  Kubik says goodbye and leaves Archibald where he found him.  Being human makes Archibald reflect on how horrible his existence really is.  A strange carriage made of metal with a cannon attached to the top clanks towards Archibald.

2) Baby Huey vs. Howard the Duck

The anthropomorphic animals of Marvel include Howard the Duck, Spider Ham, Super Rabbit and Top Dog. Spider Ham is a parody of Spider-Man.  I deal with this subject in more detail at:

https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/dc-vs-marvel-funny-animals/

Baby Huey is an anthropomorphic duck.  Howard the Duck is Marvel’s foremost anthropomorphic duck well their only anthropomorphic duck unless you count the inhabitants of Howard’s world who are of the same species.  Thog the Overmaster had previously kidnapped Howard the Duck from his own dimension and brought to the Marvel human dimension.  Thog the Overmaster is not pleased at all the success Howard the Duck has had and is jealous of Howard’s relationship since Thog has never been able to attract hot chicks.  Thog decides the ultimate torture is to dump Howard into a dimension of sentient ducks that are basically idiots.  Howard is dumped in Duckville were he meets Baby Huey.  Howard shares his cynical existential philosophy with the inhabitants of Duckville and one by one they commit suicide until Howard is alone, so very alone….

3) Casper vs. Homer the Happy Ghost

Marvel only has two real ongoing ghostcharacters: Dead Girl, Homer the Happy Ghost.  There is a bad guy named Ghost that can turn himself and objects invisible or intangible but he does this trick with a battle suit and is basically a techy rather than supernatural being.  Homer the Happy Ghost on the other hand was created by Marvel, then Atlas, in direct response to Casper.  Homer actually lasted 22 issues in the fifties and there was an attempt to revive the character in the seventies.  The second run only lasted 4 issues.

Homer is basically Casper with an ectoplasmic cow lick.  Homer even has a ghost buddy with a derby just like Spooky, Casper’s friend, called Dugan.  Zelda was the Homer good little witch version of Wendy.  Homer was happy not friendly like Casper.  The Homer universe did include Melvin the mixed up ghost, a total idiot, and perhaps Melvin was supposed to give Homer the pathos that the Ghostly Trio provided in the Casper stories.  Homer escapes from Marvel comic book limbo and ends up in Harvey comic book limbo.  Casper and Homer become best of friends and have a happy relationship.  Casper remembers his horse Nightmare that disappeared now and then but Homer soon causes him to forget about Nightmare.

4) Hot Stuff the Little Devil vs. Daimon Hellstrom

Hot Stuff is called a devil but does not go around tempting weak mortals but generally causing the primitive chaotic havoc one associates with demons in Dungeons and Dragons. This is important when dealing with the Marvel universe since this universe does differentiate between demons and devils unlike the DC universe but is not as consistent as Dungeons and Dragons.  Actually I think the naming system of Dungeons and Dragons was copied by Marvel minus any of the logic used by Dungeons and Dragons!  Take that Marvel!  The following list includes all devils and demons in the Marvel universe combined: Abraxas (comics), Adversary (comics), Allatou, Amatsu-Mikaboshi (comics), Asmodeus (Marvel Comics), Azazel (Marvel Comics), Baphomet (comics), Belasco (comics), Blackheart, Blackout (comics), Crimson King, Dagoth, Daimon Hellstrom, Damballah (comics), Demogoblin, Dragon of the Moon, Dragoom, Dreamqueen, Gargoyle (comics), Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch)      , Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze), Glob (comics), Golem (comics), Haazareth Three, Helleyes, Hood (comics), Ikthalon, Inferno (demon), Kazann, KhLΘG, Kirigi, Lilith (Marvel Comics), Ludi (comics), Magik (comics), Marduk Kurios, Mephisto (comics), Nameless One (Marvel Comics), N’astirh, N’Garai, Ningal (comics), Null (comics), Olivier (comics), Randall Flagg, Roxanne Simpson, Satana (Marvel Comics), Satannish, Saturnine (comics), Seth (Marvel Comics), Shuma-Gorath, Six-Fingered Hand (comics), Skinner (comics), Sligguth, Spider-X, Stone (Marvel Comics), Suma-ket, Surtur (Marvel Comics), S’ym, Thog, Trauma (comics), Undying Ones, Vengeance (comics), Visimajoris, Y’Garon, Zarathos, and Zom

Only two demons/devils have graduated to their own title in the Marvel universe: Ghost Rider and Daimon Hellstrom.  The problem is that Ghost Rider doesn’t look very devil like and looks like, well, Ghost Rider.  Daimon Hellstrom even has a trident like Hot Stuff!  Hot Stuff has run away from Etrigan the Demon in the DC universe and gotten lost.  Hot Stuff meets Daimon Hellstrom in the Marvel section of hell which is actually a lot nicer than the DC section of hell.  Daimon is the son of Satannish and should be pretty evil due to his heritage but actually is a softy that is always helping the good guys.  Hot Stuff is crying and his asbestos diaper is soiled.Hellstrom teleports the poor child back to Deviland.

5) Nightmare the Galloping Ghost (Casper’s horse) vs. Dreamstalker

There are quite a few flying horses in the Marvel universe that can fly into the skies and battle Nightmare including: Aragorn, Brightwind, Dreamstalker, Sleipnir, Strider, Valinor.  However, only one horse has a “dream” theme and that is Dreamstalker the steed of Nightmare who in the Marvel universe is the ruler of the dimension of nightmares.   Nightmare has a terrible dream, which is kind or ironic if you think about it, in this nightmare, Nightmare runs into Dreamstalker.  Dreamstalker turns into what Nightmare wants more than anything else and that’s Comet the Super-Horse.  When Nightmare awakes, she is in the mood to wake up Comet who is sleeping next to her.

6) Richie Rich vs. Tony Stark

Royal Roy was a blatant rip off of Richie Rich published by Marvel under their Star Comics imprint and was sued by Harvey Comics for copyright infringement.  Royal Roy and later the entire Star imprint failed in the market place and were cancelled and the lawsuit was cancelled.  Royal Roy passes the type test but is a very obscure Marvel character.  Tony Stark is the alter ego of Iron Man and is a billionaire industrialist in his own right.  Tony Stark pays the bills of the Avengers including their mansion.  Tony Stark is also an alcoholic who has struggled with the demon in the bottle on and off during his career.  Tony Stark is just a lot more interesting than Royal Roy.

Tony is attending a party at the mansion of Richie Rich.  Tony is on his 20th martini.  Tony sees Richie and gives him a long lecture about how with great power comes great responsibility and ditto for great wealth.  Richie doesn’t really understand what Tony is going on about but is upset and Richie starts to cry for the first time in his life.  Tony is escorted of the grounds of the mansion.  The next morning, Tony feels about as guilty as he ever has.

7) Sad Sack vs. Sgt. Fury

I have written about comic book war heroes before at:

https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/

Marvel war heroes include Sgt. Fury and the Howling Commandos, Captain Savage and his Leathernecks, the characters in the The ‘Nam series, and the Phantom Eagle.  Sgt. Fury is by far the alpha male of the Marvel war heroes.  Sad Sack did not actually get killed by a sniper when part of Sgt. Rock’s Easy Company but just played possum.  Sad Sack is unlike a Marvel toon and is kind of made out of some sort of indestructible rubber and even that description doesn’t really work.  If anything Sad Sack is tougher than any sort of rubber and kind of invulnerable.

Sad Sack has never been in combat before and is in the midst of a total nervous breakdown when he runs into Sgt. Fury.  Sgt. Fury has a sense of humor, unlike Sgt. Rock and just finds Sad Sack hilarious!  Sad Sack finds himself the butt of any number of pranks by the Howling Commandos but it’s all good natured fun, well until someone gets hurt but luckily Sad Sack is the sort of toon who can recover from just about any injury.

8) Stumbo the Giant vs. Henry Pym (Giant-Man)

Giants of myth are a big part of the Marvel landscape compared with the DC universe and include: Frost Giants of Jotunheim (Fafner II, Fasolt, Laufey, Utgard-Loki), Ice Giants of Jotunheim (Ymir), Mountain Giants of Jotunheim (Knorda), Rime Giants of Jotunheim (Bergelmir , Glump , Kai-Ra), Storm Giants of Jotunheim (Brimer, Ghan , Grondar, Hrungnir, Kagger, Nedra, Ogre, Skagg, Skoll), and Giants of Olympus (Agrius , Alcyoneus , Callias, Enceladus, Eurymedon, Eurytus, Gration, Mimas, Pallas, Polybotes, Porphyrion, Zeno).  However, none of these mythic giants has ever gotten his/her own title and on the whole are pretty interchangeable!  Mostly the giants of myth in Marvel provide hammer and mace fodder for Thor and Hercules and have zero characterization.  Ymir is probably most important of these giants.  Loki is technically a half-giant but is of normal size and would not be a good match against Stumbo is a real giant.

Henry Pym as Giant-Man on the other hand has been on the front cover of over a dozen issues of Tales to Astonish and shared the comic book with the Hulk.  Giant-Man was also a regular on the cover of the Avengers.  When you think giants in Marvel, you think Giant-Man!  Heck his name has giant in it!  Giant-Man stumbles into Tiny Town while searching for Ultron across the multiverse.  Giant-Man realizes that Stumbo has some sort of mental deficiency and talks to him in a very slow, steady voice that calms Stumbo greatly.  Giant-Man’s Ultron detector finds the dimension Ultron is hiding in.  Giant-Man teleports to that dimension.  Giant-Man and Stumbo part on good terms.

9) Wendy the Good Little Witch vs. Scarlet Witch

Marvel has many witches including:  Amanda Sefton, Agatha Harkness, Arcanna, Black Widow (Claire Voyant), Calypso (comics), Clea, Crimson Curse, Jaine Cutter, Enchantress (Marvel Comics), Jennifer Kale,Karnilla, Morgan le Fay (Marvel Comics), Lilith (Marvel Comics), Lorelei (Asgardian), Magik (comics), Nico Minoru, Pixie (X-Men), Satana (Marvel Comics), Scarlet Witch, Selene (comics), Spiral (comics), Margali Szardos, Talisman (comics), Topaz (Marvel Comics), Umar (Marvel Comics), and Witchfire (Marvel Comics).

However, only the Scarlet Witch has had her own series.  The Scarlet Witch was also ranked 97th in Wizard‘s “200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time” list.  Wendy has left Zatanna with her make over (Harvey Comics vs. DC Comics).  Wendy loves how she looks but wonders if she can get more make up tips from other sexy witches in other dimensions.  Wendy spies the Scarlet Witch with her crystal ball and decides she loves what she has done with red, Wendy’s favorite color. Wendy arrives in front of the Scarlett Witch.  The Scarlet Witch begins combing Wendy’s hair.  Wendy doesn’t mind having her hair combed and has Casper do that all the time well until Homer started hanging around.  Homer doesn’t make Wendy happy at all.  Then the Scarlet Witch starts calling her “daughter”.  Ok, Wendy can even accept the daughter stuff.  However, the Scarlett Witch goes through her gigantic closet and tosses out outfits left and right like so much garbage.

Finally, the Scarlett Witch yells, “No more wooden hangers ever!”

Wendy decides the Scarlett With is nuts or as they say in Witchland, one straw short of flying broom, and quickly teleports out of the Marvel universe.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

More comic book articles on this blog at:

https://foxhugh.com/?s=comic

 

Hugh Fox III - Carved (2)

Advertisements

Harvey Comics vs. DC Comics

Introduction

What would happen if the heroes of the Harvey Comics universe meet their equivalents in the DC universe?  That is the goal of this article.  The challenge is finding the Harvey Comic equivalent character in the very different DC universe.  Also, the Harvey Comic character deserves to meet the most famous equivalent character.  DC characters that had their own title are considered more important than characters that did not have their own title.  If more than one character type had their own title then the character that had more impact on the history of the DC universe is picked as the “adversary” for the Harvey character.

1) Archibald the Talking Wishing Well vs. Haunted Tank

Archibald the Talking Wishing Wellis a very, very minor character in the Harvey universe but I have a soft spot for sentient objects.  I even wrote a book on the subject called Household Fables.  Archibald the Talking Wishing Well is a supporting character in the Casper universe.  Hot Stuff’s trident is also sentient and capable of doing magic.  Unfortunately while the Casper universe is overrun with, one-shot, sentient objects this is really not something that is done in the DC universe.  However, there is the Haunted Tank which is a tank haunted by the ghost of Robert E. Lee and this is pretty much the foremost sentient object in the DC Universe and actually almost the only sentient object in the DC universe that is not a one-shot.

The Haunted Tank gets lost in a back story of Tales of the Unexpected, just before Lee’s fight with the other ghost Captain Fear, and finds himself in the Casper universe.  Archibald asks the Haunted Tank if he wants a wish.  Robert E. Lee wants his body back!  One can assume that Archibald can see and hear ghosts since Archibald communicates with Casper.  Archibald gives the transformation a try but just doesn’t have the juice for such a giant magical spell.  Lee starts to wheel himself back home but Archibald yells “stop”.

Archibald has been a sentient magical well for thousands of years and is sick of his existence.  Archibald gives and gives and sometimes doesn’t even get a thank you.  Archibald realizes that the Haunted Tank is the only being he has ever met in the Casper universe that has the guts to do what has to be down.  Archibald tells the Haunted Tank in piteous voice, “Please kill me!”  Lee understands the pain of the wishing well since he has been trapped in a similar manner.  Lee realizes that Archibald’s plight is far worse since it’s been his lot for thousands of years not just a little over a hundred.  At least the Haunted Tank has mobility and adventures.  Lee slowly lowers the turret of the Haunted Tank and blows the well to bits.

2) Baby Huey vs. Rubberduck

I have written about anthropomorphic animals before at:

https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/06/10/dc-vs-marvel-funny-animals/

The anthropomorphic animals of DC include Alley-Kat-Abra, American Eagle, Bulldog Drumhead , Captain Carrot , Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew, Dodo and the Frog, Doodles Duck, Fastback, Flippity & Flop, J. Rufus Lion, Little Cheese, McSnurtle the Turtle, Nutsy Squirrel, Peter Panda, Peter Porkchops, Pig-Iron, Racoon Kids, Rubberduck, Tito and his Burrito , Three Mouseketeers, and Yankee Poodle

Baby Huey deserves to fight another anthropomorphic duck.  The foremost and actually only anthropomorphic duck of the DC universe is Rubberduck.  Rubberduck is a supporting character of a second tier title, Captain Carrot and the Amazing Zoo Crew.  Rubberduck was trying to visit Superman with his interdimensional vehicle but ended up in the Harvey universe instead.

Baby Huey thinks Rubberduck is so cute and tries to give him a big sloppy kiss.  Rubberduck mistakes this attempt at affection for an attack.  Baby Huey effectively has super strength and has been known to toss cars around.  Rubberduck can stretch his body like Mr. Fantastic or the Elongated Man.  Rubberduck wraps his body around Baby Huey and starts the big squeeze.  Baby Huey almost passes out but with one gigantic push of his arms manages to snap out of Rubberduck’s grip.  Baby Huey then whirls Rubberduck around and around by his legs and finally lets him go.  Rubberduck falls into a convenient lake unconscious.  Baby Huey jumps into the lake but remembers that he can’t swim.  Rubberduck drowns.  Baby Huey cries and cries until Papa Duck calms him down.

3) Casper vs. Spectre

DC doesn’t have that many ongoing ghost characters.  Ghosts in DC include: Dark Angel, Dead Boy Detectives, Deadman, Gentleman  Ghost, Haunted Tank, and the Spectre .  The Dead Boy Detectives, Deadman, Haunted Tank and the Spectre have all had their own title.  However, the Spectre has been around since the Golden Age and is generally considered the archetype of the ghostly superhero that abounded in the Golden Age.

Casper hears the meowing of the Phantom Zone Cats and follows the meowing to the Phantom Zone.  Casper is surrounded by evil Kryptonians that have been sentenced to the Phantom Zone.  The Kryptonians are mean and scary, far scarier than the Ghostly Trio, and Casper begins to cry.  The Spectre hears the crying of the ghost child and takes him by the hand and leads Casper back to his own universe.

4) Hot Stuff the Little Devil vs. Etrigan the Demon

The following is a list of demons in the DC universe:  Anton Arcane, Asmodel, Azazel (DC Comics), Belyllioth, Blaze and Satanus, Blue Devil, Chantinelle, Demons Three, Dreamslayer,Etrigan the Demon, First of the Fallen, Great Evil Beast, Heggra, Jeannette (comics), Lucifer (DC Comics), Mazikeen (comics), Mnemoth, Nebiros, Nekron, Neron, Onimar Synn, Raven (comics), Sabbac, Trigon (comics) and Yuga Khan.  Hot Stuff is technically a devil not a demon but these terms are interchangeable in the DC and Harvey universes unlike the Marvel and more especially the Dungeon and Dragon universe.  Hot Stuff should meet DC’s foremost demon since DC appears to avoid the appellation of devil, probably for religious reasons.

Only the Blue Devil, Etrigan the Demon and Lucifer had their own titles at one time or another.  The Blue Devil is an odd little second or even third tier character that is currently in comic book limbo.  Lucifer is one of the most powerful characters in the DC universe and could probably wipe out the entire Harvey universe without much trouble.  Poor Hot Stuff would be hopelessly over matched in a contest against Lucifer.  Therefore, Etrigan the Demon emerges as the champion of the DC universe.

Hot Stuff wanders away from Deviltown and encounters a section of hell he has never seen before.  Etrigan is considered one of the more powerful demons even in the much darker recesses of hell.  Etrigan is probably stronger than any demon in Deviltown.  Hot Stuff is a baby that wears asbestos diapers.  Hot Stuff takes one look at Etrigran and runs back to Deviltown.

5) Nightmare the Galloping Ghost (Casper’s horse) vs. Comet the Super-Horse

There are not a lot of important horses in the DC universe.  Bat Lash has a horse named DaisyVictory and Vanguard are flying horses used by the Shining Knight.  Comet the Super-Horse is Supergirl’s horse and the most famous DC horse and just about the only DC horse even hard core DC fans can name.  Comet was once a human but was turned into a horse and then a super-horse by Circe.  Circe is generally a bad witch but will do good deeds if a good looking blonde hunk is involved.  Comet has all the super powers of Superman and Supergirl but none of their weaknesses.  Comet is immune to Kryptonite and does not lose his powers under a red sun due to the magical rather than Kryptonian origin of his super powers.  A horse is stronger than a man and a super horse is stronger than Superman.  Superman alone can defeat Supergirl but Supergirl astride Comet can defeat Superman.  Super-Girl with Comet beating on Superman is more or less a story line in more than one Silver Age Superman family issue.  Krypto managed to survive the destruction of the Silver Age continuity by DC during the Crisis on Infinite Earthsbut Comet and all the other super pets  that included Streaky the Supercat and Beppo the Supermonkey did not so this adventure takes place in the Silver Age exclusively.  When is HeroClix going to create a Supergirl plus Comet miniature using their Brave and Bold combined hero system?

Casper has disappeared and Nightmare follows his astral trail to the Phantom Zone.  The Phantom Zone Cats telepathically tell that Casper was in the Phantom Zone but was led back home by the Spectre.  You can see the DC Earth easily from the Phantom Zone and Nightmare sees Comet.  Nightmare’s heart beats like her heart has never beat before.

Nightmare thinks, “That’s one fine stud!”

Nightmare descends from the Phantom Zone to the DC Earth and offers her haunches to Comet.  The two can communicate telepathically.  Comet once was a human but has been a horse for a very, very long time.  Normal horses are not as intelligent as Nightmare and break easily.  Nightmare’s fluffy mane is like nothing Comet has ever seen before.  Nightmare’s Disney style eyes give her an exotic look that Comet finds irresistible.

Nightmare and Comet begin a torrid love affair.  Will Nightmare ever return to Casper?  Will Casper care?  Will Supergirl become jealous of Nightmare?  Will Superman become jealous of Nightmare?  What will Lois Lane do?  What convoluted plan will Lex Luthor come up with in order to use Nightmare to destroy Superman?  How will the editors at DC transform Jimmy Olsen into a male version of Nightmare?  Will there be a Nightmare/Ace the Bat-Hound team up against a Comet/Krypto team up?  Stay tuned for another day in the lives of the Silver Age, Super Family.

6) Richie Rich vs. The Green Team: Boy Millionaires

The Green Team is a team of rich kid adventurers.  The entry fee for the club is a million dollars.  The Green Team hates Richie Rich!  They are millionaires while Richie Rich uses millions of dollars to make common place objects.  Richie Rich has slept on a sleeping bag of hundred dollar bills (Richie Rich Dollars and Cents #11).  Richie Rich exercises with a jumping rope made out of precious jewels (Richie Rich Dollars and Cents #23).  Richie Rich made a bridge of dollar bills (Richie Rich Dollars and Cents #30).  The list goes on and on.  The Green Team is in DC comic book limbo and in this state have metafictional awareness.  The Green Team is aware that they are a poor copy of Richie Rich.  They tried to bribe Animal Man (Animal Man #25) into getting them out of comic book limbo but failed.  If the Green Team ever escapes comic book limbo then Green Team plans to buy DC Comics and get Richie Rich to join their team as a butler that works for them!  Of course if they get out then their metafictional awareness will disappear.  The Green Team is aware of this and have tattooed directions on their bodies as to what to do in case they ever escape DC comic book limbo.  Where Harvey comic book characters go when their title and even their comic book company is gone is unknown.  Oh they end up on my blog!

7) Sad Sack vs. Sgt. Rock

I have written about comic book war heroes before at:

https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/dc-vs-marvel-war-heroes/

The DC heroes include Blackhawk, Boy Commandos, Captain Storm, Creature Commandos, Enemy Ace, G.I. Robot, Gunner & Sarge, Haunted Tank, Hunter’s Hellcats, Johnny Cloud, the Losers, Mademoiselle Marie, Red, White and Blue and Sgt. Rock of Easy Company. Sad Sack is sadly assigned to Easy Company and has Sgt. Rock has his NCO.  Sgt. Rock takes one look at Sad Sack and knows what he has to do.  Sad Sack is put on point and taken out by a German sniper shortly afterwards.  Even two days later, no one in Easy Company even remembers Sad Sack.

8) Stumbo the Giant vs. Colossal Boy

Stumbo is a giant and logically should fight the foremost giant of the DC universe which is Colossal Boy.  Colossal Boy wanders through a dimensional rift and finds himself in Tiny Town, the home of Stumbo.  Stumbo has once against accidentally destroyed a house in Tiny Town.  Colossal Boy surveys the destruction and decided Stumbo is some sort of evil giant that likes to destroy houses of those smaller for fun.  Colossal Boy grows to the size of Stumbo and loses some self control because at that size his intellectual capacity is diminished.  Diminished capacity or not, Colossal Boy has had extensive Legion martial arts training plus years of fighting experience.  Stumbo almost never fights enemies and mostly has accidents in Tiny Town.  Colossal Boy starts the fight with quick Karate chop to the jugular followed by a Judo throw.  Once down, Colossal Boy get Stumbo in a neck choke and chokes him out.  The small natives start throwing rocks at Colossal Boy and he is confused.  Fortunately, Braniac 5 has found Colossal Boy and uses an interdimensional transporter ray to bring Colossal Boy back to the DC universe.

9) Wendy the Good Little Witch vs. Zatanna

Wendy deserves to fight the foremost witch of the DC universe.  There are a ton of witch choices in the DC Universe including: Alley-Kat-Abra, Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, Circe (comics) , Dark Angel (DC Comics), La Encantadora, Enchantress (DC Comics), Glorith, Jinx (DC Comics), The Mad Mod Witch, Madame Xanadu, Madame Zodiac, Manitou Dawn, Lyta Milton, Morgaine le Fey (DC Comics), Queen of Fables, Raven (comics), Satan Girl, Silver Sorceress,Tala (comics), Titania (DC Comics), Traci Thirteen, Warlock’s Daughter, White Witch (comics), Witchfire (DC Comics), Yellow Peri, Zatanna, and Zealot (Wildstorm).

Only Madame Xanadu and Zatanna have had their own series.  Zatanna has been an important member of the Justice League of America.  Zatanna even appeared in the Superboy TV show Smallville!  Zatanna is also famous for her costume and especially her fish net stockings.  Zatanna wins the DC witch wars.

Wendy accidentally creates an interdimensional portal that takes her to the DC universe.  Wendy is flying around Gotham City with her broom and literally runs into Zatanna.  Wendy is used to ugly adult witches with green skin warts and ugly purple robes.  Wendy can magically sense that Zatanna is a witch like she is but the sort of witch she wants to be when she grows up.

Wendy, “You are beautiful”.

Zatanna responds in a maternal voice, “You are pretty cute yourself kid but do you mind if I give you some fashion advice?”

Wendy, “Please, please, please!”

Zatanna uses her magic to give Wendy a makeover.

Wendy is overjoyed.  Zatanna helps Wendy get home and promises to visit her someday.  Casper meets the new Wendy and feels a strange sickly sweet nausea that disturbs him to his astral core.  Suddenly Casper doesn’t feel so friendly towards anyone that looks at Wendy.  Casper has been lonely ever since Nightmare disappeared but this new Wendy more than makes up for the disappearance of Nightmare.

More comic book articles on this blog at:

https://foxhugh.com/?s=comic

 

Hugh Fox III - Carved

DC vs. Marvel: Sidekicks

This post will compare sidekicks of the DC and Marvel universes. Which universe has the best sidekicks?  First of all, what is a sidekick?  Wikipedia provides the following definition “A sidekick is a close companion who is generally regarded as subordinate to the one he accompanies”.  Wikipedia in the same article expands on the functions of a sidekick “Sidekicks can provide one or multiple functions, such as a counterpoint to the hero, an alternate point of view, or knowledge, skills, or anything else the hero doesn’t have. They often function as comic relief, and/or the straight man to the hero’s comedic actions. A sidekick can also act as someone more relatable to the audience than the hero, or whom the audience can imagine themselves as being (such as teen sidekicks). And by asking questions of the hero, or giving the hero someone to talk to, the sidekick provides an opportunity for the author to provide exposition, thereby filling the same role as a Greek chorus”.  A sidekick is not a villain’s henchmen or the romantic interest of a hero which is generally referred to as a companion.

The picture above got me thinking about sidekicks.  The picture is from page 199 of the graphic novel Bizzaro Comics (2001).  Bizzaro Comics is a hilarious collection of indie writers and artist’s parodies of DC comic titles.  This picture is from the story titled Without You I’m Nothing and follows the travails of obscure discarded sidekicks.  I am a comic book historian and do get a kick out of stories that use obscure characters like this story does.  I was not able to identify all the side kicks in the picture but have a partial answer key at the end of this post.  This post also attempts to provide definitive lists of sidekicks in the DC and Marvel universes and the Wikipedia definition was strictly adhered to.  Many obscure characters that have not been included in prior lists of this nature have been included in this post.  Below is a definitive list of DC sidekicks that will be discussed later.

List of DC Sidekicks

Superhero Sidekick First Appearance
Aquaman Aquagirl 1 (Lisa Morel) Adventure Comics #266 (November, 1959)
Aquaman Aquagirl 2 (Tula) Aquaman (vol. 1) #33 (May-June 1967)
Aquaman Aqualad  (Garth) Adventure Comics #269 (February 1960)
Aquaman Topo (Octopus) Adventure Comics #229 (October 1956)
Aquaman Qwsp Aquaman (vol. 1) #1 (January-February 1962)
Batman Ace the Bat Hound Batman #92, June 1955
Batman Alfred Pennyworth (Butler) Batman #16 (April-May 1943
Batman Bat-Girl (Bette Kane) Batman #139 (April 1961)
Batman Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) Detective Comics #359 (January 1967)
Batman Batgirl (Cassandra Cain) Legends of the Dark Knight # 120 (August 1999)
Batman Robin 1 (Dick Grayson) Detective Comics #38 (April 1940)
Batman Robin 2 (Jason Todd) Batman #357 (March 1983)
Batman Robin 3 (Tim Drake) Batman #436 (August 1989)
Batman Robin 4, Spoiler, Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) Detective Comics #647 (August 1992)
Batman Robin 5 (Damian Wayne) Batman #655 (September 2006)
Batman Robin Earth II (Richard Grayson) Detective Comics #38 (April, 1940)
Blackhawk Lady Blackhawk (Zinda) Blackhawk # 133 (February 1959)
Blue Devil Kid Devil Blue Devil #14 (July 1985)
Booster Gold Goldstar Lobo #5 (May ’94)
Booster Gold Skeets Booster Gold (vol. 1) #1 (1986)
Captain Marvel Captain Marvel Jr. Whiz Comics #25 (December 1941)
Captain Marvel Lieutenant Marvels Whiz Comics #21 (1941)
Captain Marvel Mr. Tawky Tawny (Anthropomorphic Tiger) Captain Marvel Adventures #79
Captain Marvel Uncle Marvel Wow Comics #18 (October 1943)
Captain Mid-Nite Hooty the Owl All-American Comics #25 (April, 1941)
Chameleon Boy Proty I Adventure Comics #308 (May 1963)
Chameleon Boy Proty II Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #72 (October 1963)
Crimson Avenger Wing How Detective Comics #20 (October 1938)
Flash Impulse (Bart Allen) Flash (vol. 2) #92 (June 1994)
Flash Kid Flash I (Wally West) The Flash  (vol. 1) #110 (December 1959)
Flash Kid Flash II (Iris West) Kingdom Come #3 (July 1996)
Flash Kid Flash III (Bart Allen) Teen Titans (vol. 3) #4 (December 2003)
Flash S’kidd Flash Flash vol 2 #235 (February, 2008)
General Glory Ernie the Battling Boy Justice League America # 46 (January 1991)
Green Arrow Amber Archer (Connor Hawke) Green Arrow vol 2 #0 (October, 1994)
Green Arrow Arrowette World’s Finest Comics #113 (November 1960)
Green Arrow Speedy  I (Roy Harper) More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
Green Arrow Speedy II (Mia Dearden) Green Arrow (vol. 3) #44 (January 2005)
Green Lantern Gen’ma Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #6
Green Lantern Doiby Dickles All-American Comics #27 (June 1941)
Green Lantern Terry Berg Green Lantern (vol. 3) #129 (October 2000)
Green Lantern Thomas Kalmaku (Pieface) Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #2 (September-October 1960)
Icon Rocket Icon #1 (May 1993)
Johnny Thunder Black Lightning the Horse Flash Comics #1 (January 1940)
Joker Harley Quinn The Batman Adventures #12 (September 1993)
Justice League of America Snapper Carr The Brave and the Bold #28 (February-March 1960)
Justice League International G’nort (Green Lantern, Humanoid Dog) Justice League International #10 (February, 1988)
Knight Squire (Cyril) Batman #62,(December 1950)
Little Boy Blue Tubby, Toughy Sensation Comics #1 (January, 1942)
Martian Manhunter Zook Detective Comics #311 (January, 1963).
Mr. Scarlet Pinky the Whiz Kid Wow Comics #4 (1940)
Owlman Talon Teen Titans vol. 3 #38 (September 2006)
Plastic Man Woozy Winks Police Comics #13 (November 1942)
Robin Flamebird (Mary Elizabeth Kane) Teen Titans #50 (October, 1977)
Tomahawk Dan Hunter Star-Spangled Comics #69 (June 1947)
Sandman Brute The Sandman #1 (May 1974)
Sandman Glob The Sandman #1 (May 1974)
Sandman Sandy the Golden Boy (Sandy Hawkins) Adventure Comics # 69 (December 1941)
Space Ranger Cyrll Showcase #15, (July 1958)
Star Hawkins Ilda (Robot) Strange Adventures #114 (March 1960)
Star-Spangled Kid Stripsey (Pat Dugan) Action Comics #40 (September, 1941).
Superboy Pete Ross Superboy #86 (January 1961)
Super-Girl Comet the Super-Horse (Biron) Action Comics #292 (1962)
Super-Girl Streaky the Super-Cat Action Comics #292 (1962)
Superman Bo “Bibbo” Bibbowski Adventures of Superman #428 (May 1987)
Superman Jimmy Olsen Action Comics #6 (November 1938)
Superman Krypto Adventure Comics #210 (March 1955)
Superman Super-Girl Superman #123 (August 1958)
TNT Dan the Dyna-Mite (Daniel Dunbar) World’s Finest Comics #5 (Spring 1942)
Vigilante Stuff the Chinatown Kid Action Comics #45 (February 1942)
Wonder Woman Etta Candy Sensation Comics #2 (Feb. 1942)
Wonder Woman Wonder Girl 1 (Wonder Woman as a teenager) All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941),
Wonder Woman Wonder Girl 2 (Donna Troy) The Brave and the Bold vol. 1 #60 (July 1965)
Wonder Woman Wonder Tot Wonder Woman #105 (April, 1959)

Robin wins the best DC sidekick prize easily.  Robin is the first teenage super hero sidekick and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then Robin has been flattered to death.  DC went ahead and created an army of teenage sidekicks.  Eventually the teenage sidekicks of the major superheroes founded a teenage sidekick version of the Justice League called the Teen Titans.  The original Teen Titans included Aqualad, Kid Flash, Robin and Wondergirl.  Later still, Young Justice is created.  The Teen Titans and Young Justice meet in a giant sidekick crossover between their two groups.

The obvious absurdity of Robin is that crime fighting is dangerous work even for an adult like Batman and introducing a minor to crime fighting makes no sense whatsoever except as a plot device.  Batman’s villains were obviously very aware that Robin was the weak link and Two-Face even referred to Robin as the boy hostage.  The psychologist Fredric Wertham decided there was a homosexual subtext in the Batman and Robin relationship and wrote about this in Seduction of the Innocent.  Batman goes through a whole slew of Robins and eventually one gets killed brutally by the Joker with a crow bar in a Death in the Family.  Jason Todd is the lucky Robin to suffer death and the best part is that readers entered a poll to decide if he lived or died.  Truly a low point in comic book history but a lot of Batman issues were sold so all in all the project was a success.  Later Robin 4 (Stephanie Brown) in the identity of the Spoiler is even more brutally killed by the Black Mask with a power drill.

Of course no one really dies in comic books so Jason Todd return as the Red Hood and wants some payback from Batman for letting him die and secondly, and probably more importantly letting the Joker live.  The five Robins all get starring roles after Batman “dies”.  The ex-Robins have all become heroes in their own right.  I would argue that the Red Hood is an antihero not a villain.  Robin 1, Dick Grayson, has become Nightwing.  Robin 3, Tim Drake, becomes Red Robin.  Stephanie brown is resurrected from her power drill death and becomes Batgirl.  The male Robins are all potential impersonators of the dead Batman. The Red Hood gets in the act and kind of forces Dick Grayson to become the new Batman because if he doesn’t then the Red Hood will assume the role.  The potential heirs to Batman agree that the death of Batman should be hidden and one of them should pretend to be the original Batman.  This is similar to the Phantom, the ghost who walks that has the son of the prior Phantom assume the role of the Phantom so as to give the illusion that the Phantom never dies.  The Robins are basically sons of Batman but unfortunately there is more than one son i.e. more than one Robin and succession is not clear.  This jockeying between the Robins is largely covered in the Batman miniseries Battle for the Cowl but this power struggle affected all Batman related titles of the last year.  Dick Grayson does a good job impersonating Batman but doesn’t fool Commissioner Gordon.  The new Batman of course needs a new Robin and gets a psychopath kid, due to being trained by the League of Assassins since childhood.   This new Robin is the long lost son of Bruce Wayne and called Damian Wayne.  Confused?  Everyone is confused so don’t feel bad.  I am sure the writers of the Batman lines have cheat cards on their desks.  Will the barnacles of Batman history eventually sink the line?  Maybe!

Robin and his teenage copies at DC and even Marvel have so dominated the sidekick market in comic books that readers tend not to look at the broader literary concept of a sidekick when looking at comic books.  Another Batman sidekick is Alfred Pennyworth.  Alfred provides an alternate point of view to the audience as well as the ability to aid Batman when he is hurt.  Alfred has surgical skills gained when Alfred was an army medic.  Alfred was also in the theater and can pretend to be Batman when needed.  This is a rarely used skill of Alfred that is nevertheless crucial when someone is too close to discovering Batman’s identity.  Robin is presumably too small to provide a similar function and anyway Robin needs to be by Batman’s side so people don’t think Robin is pretending to be Batman.  Alfred Pennyworth can be extremely critical and sarcastic with Batman unlike the army of Robins.  Alfred provides an “adult” perspective about Batman to the reader.  Alfred has known Batman since he was a child. Alfred is aware of the how the killing of Batman’s parents made Batman a great crime fighter at the expense of a normal life.  The Red Hood has argued with Batman that most of his hard core rogues gallery only fear death and the fact that Batman does not kill and the fact that the villains know this limits the effectiveness of Batman as a crime fighter.  Batman may be able to instill fear in common criminals but provides more challenge than fear to the likes of the Joker.  In Batman #647, Alfred actually agrees with the Red Hood mentally but does not express his views to Batman verbally.

Batman is a serial teenage sidekick mentor and there is something very creepy about this.  Any “normal” person would not expose even one minor to extreme violence and certainly would not continue this behavior after the death of Jason Todd much less the subsequent death of Stephanie Brown.  Alfred has expressed dismay about the use of teenage sidekicks many times to Batman.  However, Alfred in the end is the dutiful butler who does what his master wishes despite any misgivings about such a course of action.  Alfred’s subordination to Batman’s wishes despite sarcastic remarks is what makes Alfred a sidekick rather than an equal partner.  Batman is not the only member of the Batman story line with a sidekick.

The Joker, Batman’s archenemy, has a sidekick!  Villains generally do not have sidekicks but henchmen, minions or lackeys.  Villains are generally egomaniacs and incapable of having long lasting meaningful relationships or so the theory goes. Villains see their henchmen as disposable cannon fodder.  The Joker generally treats those around him in precisely this manner but there is one exception and that is Harley Quinn.  Harley Quinn was a female psychiatrist that treated the Joker at Arkham Asylum and turned to the dark side rather than curing the Joker.  Harley Quinn is in love with the Joker but the relationship has clearly never been consummated.  The Joker obviously sees Harley Quinn as a capable sidekick even if Harley Quinn wants more.  Harley Quinn is a near superhuman gymnast who uses her skill with great combat effectiveness.  Harley Quinn wears a Jester outfit and became friends with Poison Ivy at Arkham were she ironically resided after her break down.  Harley Quinn provides comic relief to Joker stories that despite the name of the Joker were not very funny before Harley Quinn showed up.

The Joker had been jealous of Batman having Robin as a sidekick in the silver age and got his own one-shot sidekick in Batman #186 called Gaggy.  The main function of Gaggy was to provide comic relief to then Joker since such comic relief led to the Joker having great crime ideas.  Gaggy rather simplistically hated Robin and managed to knock Robin out with a head butt to the stomach.  Gaggy was never heard of after that one issue.  I think an issue in which Gaggy, embittered by being discarded by the Joker, targets Harley Quinn for assassination might be interesting.  Harley Quinn turns to Batman to figure out who is trying to kill her and clues are left that the culprit is a dwarf with a penchant for practical joke paraphernalia.  Since not an awful lot of characters fit that description, Batman deduces that the culprit is Gaggy!  Did I mention I like obscure comic book characters?  Batman’s sidekicks on the whole do not provide comic relief.  This is not the case of Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel also has an army of sidekicks but largely for comic relief.  Mr. Tawky Tawny is an anthropomorphic tiger i.e. a funny animal that gets into all sorts of silly trouble Captain Marvel can save the tiger from.  Uncle Marvel is an older bumbling version of Captain Marvel.  Captain Marvel was always a sillier line than his doppelganger Superman.

Flash is another serial sidekick character that has gone through three Kid Flash characters.  Kid Flash was clearly inspired by Robin.  Super speed is a major power that is very much underestimated in comic books.  Basically you can hit the bad guy a hundred times and dodge whatever the bad guy tosses at you.  “Realistically” the foes of the Flash should stand no chance against the Flash.  Captain Cold has a freeze gun.  The Flash should be able to dodge anything the cold gun can come up with.  A teenager with super speed is still incredibly powerful despite being a teenager unlike Robin who has no super powers and even the inferior strength of someone who is younger.  Maybe a Kid Flash can only punch with half the power of an adult but a hundred punches later and even the toughest boxer is going down.

Green Arrow has had two teenage sidekicks named Speedy.  The first Speedy grows up to become a heroin addict, but recovers, and there is some suggestion that maybe crime fighting as a teenager might not be all that healthy psychologically and contributed to the heroin addiction.

Superman only has one teenage sidekick and that is Jimmy Olsen.  In the silver age, Jimmy Olsen was officially Superman’s best pal and again very creepy if you think about it.  Superman is perennially in his early thirties and if I saw some thirty year old hanging around a teen rather than a guy his own age then I would wonder exactly what function this teenager serves.  Jimmy even has a watch with an ultrasonic signal that allows him to call Superman when he is in danger.  Lois Lane does not have such a watch!  Teenage guy gets the watch but not the gal?  Maybe the silver age Superman had reasons for not marrying Lois Lane that had more to do with subconscious gender preference than any other reason.

Superman has a dog called Krypto.  In the silver age, Batman got a dog called Ace but there is no comparison with Krypto and Ace in terms of importance.  Superman in the silver age was Superboy and Krypto and Superboy were constant companions.  This is one of the healthier sidekick relationships in comic books.  Krypto cannot talk but can communicate to the reader via thought balloons that show what Krypto is thinking.  Krypto’s attempts to understand Superboy’s behavior using canine logic were pretty cute and comical and one of the few things that made the otherwise lame Superboy title work.

The current Supergirl has no hyphen between “Super” and “Girl” in her name.  The current Supergirl is a hot babe in a half shirt who has fled to the 31st century to avoid being a sidekick!  The silver age Super-Girl, on the other hand, was very much a sidekick.  She was teenager attending high school and was kept as a secret weapon for much of her silver age career.  Super-Girl was Superman’s cousin so no fear of hanky-panky that would make her a companion.  However, Super-Girl does try to match Superman up with an adult version of her on another planet!

Super-Girl has sidekicks in her own right!  Super-Girl has a super cat named Streaky and a super horse named Comet.  Somewhere in the Superman family there is a super monkey named Beppo but I am not really sure who he belongs to.  All the super animals unite with Proty to create the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st century.  Years later Marvel will make its own group of superhero animal sidekicks.  Proty is the sidekick of Chameleon Boy who is a member of the Legion of Super Heroes of the 31st century.  Proty I sacrificed himself to revive the dead Lighting Lad but a Proty II soon shows up.  Proty I and II are aliens that look like blobs and can mimic just about any form.

That leaves us with Wonder Women’s sidekicks.  The silver age Woman had several sidekicks.  Etta Candy was a fat rather stupid college student who was supposed to be used for comic relief but was more obnoxious than funny.  The silver age Wonder Woman went through a rather silly phase in which she had adventures with herself as a Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot!  Wonder Woman used Amazonian technology to create films of herself that showed “what if” adventures with her younger versions.  I have to tell you I was maybe seven when a lot of these adventures came out originally and I was totally confused.  I assumed Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot were sisters of Wonder Woman and didn’t find out the “truth” until I was in my thirties.  Wonder Woman is probably one of those silver age titles that is really hard for modern readers to digest but the title had a fantasy quality that was very different from the more sci-fi quality of most silver age stuff and appealed to my young imagination.  Wonder Woman may go down in literary history as the only character that had two versions of herself as her own sidekicks. The graphic novel Bizzaro Comics (2001) does have a story with Wonder Tot and Wonder Girl racing to sit next to Wonder Woman during lunch and destroying half the Amazon city in the process.  Later, a more Robin like Wonder Girl was created as a sidekick.

Below is a list of Marvel sidekicks that will be discussed at the end of this list:

List of Marvel Sidekicks

Superhero Sidekick First Appearance
Avengers, Iron Man Edwin Jarvis (Butler) Tales of Suspense #59 (Nov 1964)
Captain America Bucky I Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941)
Captain America Bucky II (Rick Jones)  
Captain America Free Spirit Captain America vol. 1 #431 (September 1994)
Captain America Jack Flag (Jack Harrison) Captain America #434, (December 1994)
Captain Britain Jackdaw The Incredible Hulk Weekly #57 (April 1980)
Captain Marvel Falcon (Sam “Snap” Wilson) Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969)
Daredevil Foggy Nelson Daredevil v1 #1 (April 1964)
Deadpool Weasel Deadpool: The Circle Chase #1 (August 1993)
Deadpool Blind Al Deadpool #1 (Jan. 1997)
Deadpool Bob, Agent of HYDRA Cable & Deadpool #38 (May 2007)
Doc Samson Geiger Captain America vol. 1 #431 (September 1994)
Doctor Strange Wong Strange Tales #110 (Jul 1963)
Falcon Redwing (Hawk) Captain America #117 (Sept. 1969)
Franklin Richards H.E.R.B.I.E. (Robot) Fantastic Four #209 (August 1979)
Hulk Jim Wilson Incredible Hulk  v1 #131 (September, 1970)
Hulk Teen Brigade Incredible Hulk v1 #6 (March 1963)
Hulk, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Avengers Rick Jones Incredible Hulk v1 #1 (May 1962)
Human Torch Toro Human Torch Comics #2 (Fall 1940)
Inhumans Lockjaw (Dog) Fantastic Four #45, (December 1965)
Ka-Zar Zabu (Sabertooth Tiger) X-Men #10 (Mar 1965)
Fantastic Four Franklin Richards (Son of Reed Richards & Susan Storm) Fantastic Four Annual #6 (November 1968)
Fantastic Four, Franklin Richards Valeria Richards (Daughter of Reed Richards & Susan Storm) Fantastic Four vol. 3 #54 (June 2002)
Fantastic Four Lockjaw Puppy (Dog) Fantastic Four vol.3 #9.
Nick Fury Dum Dum Dugan Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos #1 (May 1963)
Shadowcat Lockheed (Small Dragon) Uncanny X-Men #166 (Feb 1983)
Speedball Niels, Hairball (Cat) Speedball #1
Spider-Man Jackpot Free Comic Book Day Spider-Man: Swing Shift (May 2007)
Spider-Man Ms. Lion (Dog) Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends #1
Spider Girl Scarlet Spider 3 (Felicity Hardy) Spider-Girl # 46
Taskmaster, Agent X Sandi Brandenberg Taskmaster Mini-Series (2002)
Thing, Captain America Demolition Man aka D-Man Captain America #328 (April 1987)
Wolverine Jubilee Uncanny X-Men #244 (May, 1989)
Young Allies Whitewash Jones Young Allies Comics 1941

The first sidekick on the list is Edwin Jarvis who is a butler at Avengers Mansion that in turn is owned and operated by Tony Stark.  Tony Stark is of course Iron Man.  Jarvis is an obvious clone of Alfred, Batman’s butler, but is much more one dimensional and provides comic relief rather than insight into the super heroes he deals with unlike Alfred.  Alfred was a medic during a time of war and may be old but is obviously tough and handles sensitive Batman impersonation missions.  Alfred would beat the crap out of Jarvis in any altercation.

Bucky is probably the most famous sidekick in the Marvel universe.  Bucky is Captain America’s sidekick from the golden age that was killed in the golden age.  In 2010, Bucky was resurrected after more than forty years just to make sure whatever faith readers had in comic book continuity was crushed once and for all so that suspension of disbelief via continuity would be rendered impossible once and for all.  Comic sales are down way down.  The recession and competition with other media are to blame but decisions like the Bucky resurrection don’t help.  Anyway, Captain America is put into suspended animation minutes after Bucky is “blown up” and the guilt Captain America feels upon reawakening in the silver age is a major part of the Captain America story line.  Captain America over the last forty years continually demonstrated how the trauma for the death of Bucky affected him mostly in the form of nightmares.  Batman has never shown this level of trauma about the deaths of his Robins.

In the first silver age appearance of Captain America (Avengers vol. 1, #1) Captain America runs into a teenager he mistakes for Bucky, Rick Jones.  Rick Jones is the side kick of the Hulk but this doesn’t stop him from later becoming Bucky II.  The Hulk is not too pleased with this and this leads to altercations between Captain America and the Hulk.  The Hulk has a point.  Bruce Banner was exposed to gamma ray radiation while saving Rick Jones and became the monster called the Hulk because of Rick Jones.  Yeah, Rick Jones owes his life to the Hulk’s alter ego but heck Captain America has wavy blonde hair and also is not a monster, literally, so Rick Jones decides to become Bucky II.  Rick Jones is not a very loyal sidekick and becomes Captain Marvel’s sidekick later on.  I guess Captain Marvel’s wavy silver hair beat Captain America’s wavy blonde hair.  Rick Jones is currently a Hulk type called A-Bomb and is really digging not being a sidekick anymore despite having Hulk monster type problems.  Captain America has had other sidekicks beside Bucky I and II including Jack Flag and Jackdraw.  Heroes in both the DC and Marvel universe seem to either have slews of sidekicks or no sidekicks. Are sidekicks addictive?  For the records there have been several Captain Americas with their Bucky sidekicks but I am only dealing with the Steve Rogers Captain America.

Foggy Nelson is a sidekick of Daredevil.  Foggy Nelson is the law partner of Matt Murdock the alter ego of Daredevil.  Foggy provided a great deal of comic belief in the beginning but has matured into a more competent brilliant lawyer that is an asset to Matt Murdock.  Foggy has an incredible case law memory and might even superior to Matt Murdock as a lawyer but does not have the confidence of Matt and is therefore generally not the lead lawyer.  Without Foggy, the law practice of Matt Murdock would have gone down the toilet during his many, Daredevil caused, MIA stints.  Foggy Nelson has a paunch and food related jokes are his comic relief contribution.

Deadpool is a hilarious anti-hero that has had several equally hilarious sidekicks including Weasel, Blind Al and Bob, Agent of Hydra.  My favorite is Bob, Agent of Hydra.  Bob is a parody of henchmen and the number one lesson he learned from Hydra was “hiding behind each other”.  Under pressure, Bob tends to shout “Hail Hydra”.

Doctor Strange has and adult Asian manservant from Tibet named Wong.  Wong may not know much magic but he is a master martial artist.  Wong is fairly subservient compared to other comic book sidekicks.  If you do visit Doctor Strange at his Sanctum Santorum in New York then you have to get past Wong first.  His role as a literal gatekeeper gives him some power that a lesser servant would not have.

Marvel decided to transform the son Reed Richards and Susan Storm from a typical omega level angst driven mutant to a Calvin type character, as in Calvin and Hobbes, character with great success.  Franklin is a side kick to the Fantastic Four that provides a child’s perspective of the Fantastic Four as well as comic relief.  Franklin is also a scientific genius who can modify his dad’s super science gadgets but generally his attempts to improve dad’s gadgets lead to disaster.  Franklin has his own sidekick, H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot. H.E.R.B.I.E. provides a logical to the point of absurdity perspective to the childish antics of Franklin. H.E.R.B.I.E.  constantly tries to convince Franklin H.E.R.B.I.E. to leave his dad’s lab alone but he is ultimately a subordinate that is then forced to try to clean up the mess created by Franklin.

The Hulk got over the loss of Rick Jones and adopted Jim Wilson.  Jim Wilson was an inner city, Black teenager that very poignantly died of cancer later.  Doctor Strange has an Asian sidekick.  The Hulk has an African-American sidekick.  The Lone Ranger has a Native American sidekick, Tonto.  Does anyone see a pattern here?  My next post will be titled DC vs. Marvel: Multicultural Heroes and I will examine the issue of race in the DC and Marvel universes in detail.

In 2009, Marvel untied all the animal sidekicks into a team called the Pet Avengers.  The Pet Avengers are a rip off of the Legion of Super Animals over at DC.  The Legion of Super Pets was played straight and this was probably a bad decision given the absurdity of the concept.  The Pet Avengers is a silly title with lots of comic relief and one of my favorite current titles.  I am not sure how far you can go with this concept but so far so good.  The members of the Pet Avengers include Redwing a hawk of Falcon, Lockjaw a giant dog that can teleport of the Inhumans,  Zabu a saber tooth tiger of Ka-Zar, Lockheed a small dragon that is a sidekick of Shadowcat, Hairball a cat belonging to Speedball and Ms. Lion a dog belonging to Spider-Man.  The team includes Throg is a frog with lesser versions of Thor’s powers and is not a sidekick of Thor but a hero among his frog tribe in his own right.  The interplay between the animals is what really makes the team work.  Krypto and Streaky were a dog and a cat in the same legion but the fact that dogs and cats don’t get along was never really explored.  Hairball the cat thinks Ms. Lion is an absolute idiot and worse, a dog!  Ms. Lion is the only one on the team that doesn’t have super powers is very much the pampered house dog of Spiderman’s Aunt May.  Ms. Lion claims the right to membership based on her sidekick status alone.

The sidekick status of the members is highlighted in one story of Tails of the Pet Avengers: The Dogs of Summer #1.  In the story titled“Garbage Grief”, Franklin Richards teams up with the Pet Avengers flanked with his own sidekicks H.E.R.B.I.E. and Puppy.  Puppy is a miniature version of Lockjaw complete with his powers of teleportation.   In this story Puppy does manage to teleport the Pet Avengers to deal with a giant humanoid garbage creature that Franklin created more or less accidentally. So this is a sidekick crossover albeit on a much smaller scale than the DC Teen Titans/Young Justice crossover.  Another treat of this particular issue, is that the origin of Puppy is finally dealt with.  Puppy has been a fixture of the Fantastic Four for a while but his origin has not been dealt with until this issue.  Turns out Puppy is the grand pup of Lockjaw and is a present of Franklin’s future self to himself in the past.  In another issue, Tails of the Pet Avengers #1 has an adventure with Redwing the hawk titled “Birds of a Different Feather”.  Redwing the sidekick of Falcon is chased by a pigeon that wants to be a sidekick of Redwing.  Redwing refuses this offer at first but the pigeon pulls a masterful guilt trip to change the mind of Redwing.

I also have to mention the Incredible Hercules that ran from 2008 to 2010.  Hercules is teamed up with Amadeus Cho.  Amadeus Cho is really smart, mutant level smart but Hercules is Hercules!  Normally Amadeus Cho, the brainy, sixteen year old, nerdy teenager, would be the sidekick but an argument can be made that Hercules is the sidekick even if Hercules would smash anyone who suggested as much.  In one issue Hercules is up against his old enemies the Amazons.  Amadeus Cho is captured by the Amazonians.  Amadeus Cho is referred to as the eromenos of Hercules (Incredible Hercules #121, 2008) by the Amazons during his captivity.  Amadeus Cho is not happy with this appellation at all.  This is one of the few issues that points out the obvious, when older men have sixteen year old guys as buddies then there is usually one sort of relationship at work going back to Greek times.  This is an intelligent comic book line that turns the sidekick conventions upside down in an extremely funny manner.

The most famous teenage sidekick of Marvel is Bucky but Bucky is not nearly as important to comic book history as Robin.  Probably getting killed in the golden age for plus forty years didn’t help the career of Bucky at all.  Marvel has other teenage sidekicks like the golden age Toro but all and all Marvel does not have the rooster of well known teenage sidekicks that DC has. DC also wins in terms of teenage sidekick teams.  DC has the aforementioned Teen Titans and Young Justice.  Marvel has teenage teams including the Young Avengers and the Runaways but they are not sidekick teams but teams of teenage heroes.  In many ways Marvel sidestepped the need for teenage sidekicks by making more teenage heroes than DC.  Spiderman began his career in high school.  The X-Men operate out of Xavier’s Academy which trains teenagers.  The New Mutants are teenagers that go to Xavier’s Academy and are not sidekicks.  I think overall Marvel may have been smart to make teenage heroes to fulfill many of the teen identification functions of teenage sidekicks.

DC just has a lot more sidekicks than Marvel period.  DC has 71 sidekicks on their list.  Marvel has 34 sidekicks on their list.  Beyond numbers, DC has a rooster of more famous sidekicks especially in the teenage sidekick category.  DC and Marvel have pursued different strategic approaches to the use of teenage sidekicks in their respective universes.  Marvel, however, is doing great things with animal sidekicks with the Pet Avengers and funny sidekicks like Franklin Richards and H.E.R.B.I.E.  Unfortunately, a two year trend does not negate the fact that DC has historically had the most and best sidekicks.

DC wins the sidekick wars!

Answer to DC Sidekick Quiz

1. Stripsey

2. Proty

3. Doiby Dickles

4. ?

5. Streaky?

6. Brute

7. Qwsp

8. Glob

9. Cyrll

10. Mr. Twaky Tawny

11. Zook

12. Ace the Bat Hound

13. Wing

14. ?

15. ?

16. Ilda

17. Skeets

18. ?

19. ?

20. ?

I do wonder if some of the sidekicks I can’t figure out are actual sidekicks in DC comics.  Number 5 might be Streaky the Super Cat but looks more like a mouse than a cat.

My other website at:

Fox Superpower List

Other DC vs. Marvel Posts

Big Monsters

Fourth Wall Heroes

Funny Animals

Horror Hosts

Kids

Robots

Sidekicks

Spacemen

Super pets

Teenagers

Transportation

War Heroes

Weapons

WesternHeroes

Women in Refrigerators

WorkingWomen