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Superhero sidekicks we want to see on the big screen

Sidekicks have been a staple of superhero media for decades. Comic book creators introduced them as a way to make costumed crimefighters even more popular to children. It might not make that much sense narratively for Batman to have a brightly dressed pre-teen joining him in his desperate battles against criminals, but it made sense to the younger readers. After all, a ten-year-old boy might not be able to easily see himself as a wealthy bachelor who's secretly a superhero, but he'll have an easier time imagining himself as the young masked acrobat that Bruce Wayne counts as his faithful companion.

But as superhero stories have continued and comic book readers have grown older, the sidekicks have proven to have loyal fanbases all their own. We've seen whole teams of sidekicks like the Teen Titans and Young Justice, and younger members of the Bat family — like Batgirl and Robin — have gotten their own solo titles. In rare cases, sidekicks replaced their "wards" for long stretches. But in spite of a wealth of superhero films, there are still plenty of sidekicks we haven't gotten to see in live action movies ... and some we have, but those previous appearances didn't go so well. To fix that, here are some superhero sidekicks we want to see on the big screen. 

Damian Wayne could introduce a tougher version of Robin

Damian Wayne has made plenty of appearances in animated features like 2015's Batman vs. Robin and the following year's Batman: Bad Blood, but so far, there's been no hint of him in any live-action adaptations. But we have met a number of his relatives. 

While Batman acts as at least a father figure to all the boys who've assumed the mantle of Robin over the years, Damian is the only one who is actually Batman's son. Bruce doesn't know his kid exists until Damian's mother — Talia al Ghul, daughter of the would-be conqueror Ra's al Ghul — has already molded the boy to be a warrior and assassin. Unlike earlier Robins, Damian is ruthless, plus he's highly trained long before he starts working as Batman's sidekick. 

While Damian's loyalties to Batman eventually become stronger than those to his mother and grandfather, his background gives him a morally ambiguous streak you don't often find in Robins. For example, in a 2019 Teen Titans comic storyline, Damian's teammates are shocked when they learn he's been secretly maintaining his own prison for supervillains. Considering how often uninitiated fans see Robin as a character too corny for serious live-action adaptations, Damian's heavier dose of badass could make him the perfect cure for the overly presumptuous.

Rick Jones has been a sidekick to everybody

Rick Jones is the sidekick. First appearing in 1962's Incredible Hulk #1, Jones is a big part of the reason Bruce Banner becomes the Hulk. Jones drives onto the gamma bomb test site as part of a darecausing Banner to race out to save him. As a result, he's subsequently belted by the gamma rays that change the scientist's life forever. 

The Hulk is the first popular comic book hero that Jones acts as sidekick to, but he's not the last. It's Rick Jones who puts out the call for help that inspires the formation of the Avengers in Avengers #1, earning him an honorary spot on the team. He later becomes crimefighting partners with Captain America and even a sidekick to ROM — a spaceknight from another world who must stop the ruthless Dire Wraiths. And before Carol Danvers takes the name "Captain Marvel," Rick Jones bears a pair of wrist bands that force him to share space with two of the earlier Captains — the original Kree Mar-Vell and his son, Genis-Vell. Plus, Jones is a pivotal figure in line-wide Marvel events, including 1971-72's The Kree-Skrull War, 1998-99's Avengers Forever, and 2017's Secret Empire.

Also, Jones kind of exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2008's Incredible Hulk, during the origin montage, a "Jones, Richard" is listed as one of Bruce Banner's known associates. But his relationship to Banner on the big screen has yet to be made clear. Considering his importance in the source material, it would be great to eventually see him come to life in the movies.

Krypto the superdog could bring some light-hearted fun

One of the most beloved members of the Superman family is, well, the family dog. First appearing in 1955's Adventure Comics #210, Krypto the superdog is usually portrayed with his own dog-sized cape flowing behind him. He has similar powers to Superman like flight, super strength, invulnerability, and heat vision. On top of all that, he generally understands human speech better than your average canine. 

With its many reboots and retcons, DC Comics has taken different tries at Krypto's origins. In some versions, he's an Earth dog who gains powers. In others, he's a Krypton native like Superman and is actually the El family dog. Krypto appears prominently in DC Universe's Titans, and in that version, it's presumed he's the result of Lex Luthor's science experiments, like the show's version of Superboy. We first meet the pair in a post-credits scene of the season one finale as they're escaping Cadmus Labs. 

Krypto may be a longshot for the big screen, particularly in terms of the live-action films. Selling a super-powered dog in the more adult-oriented movies may seem like a stretch. But on one hand, DC Universe's Titans is way more adult oriented than anything we've see in the DCEU, and Krypto's been nothing but a boon to that show. On the other, the loudest criticisms of DCEU films have been aimed at the overabundance of gloominess. A tail-wagging superdog may be exactly what the doctor ordered for lighter, friendlier DC film adaptations.  

Clea could make an awesome Doctor Strange sidekick

While she sadly doesn't always feature very prominently in Marvel's various media, the powerful sorceress Clea hails from the mid-'60s — the same era that introduced many of Marvel's most popular characters like the X-Men, Hulk, Spider-Man, etc. Clea first appears as a captive to Dormammu who's impressed with Doctor Strange's cunning and power in 1964's Strange Tales #126. Clea eventually becomes Strange's apprentice and — for a time — his wife. She's daughter of the sorceress Umar and niece to Dormammu, and at one point, she actually seizes control of the Dark Dimension from her villainous uncle. 

While we haven't seen a live action Clea on the big screen, Eddie Benton played the character in the 1978 Doctor Strange TV movie. There was speculation Rachel McAdams would play her in the 2016 film, and there are reports she'll make her MCU debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Regardless, Clea should eventually be featured in Marvel Studios' films. She's not only an important love interest to Doctor Strange in the source material, but she's his very first student. 

Barbara Gordon deserves some cinematic love

Now, we actually have seen a live-action Batgirl on the big screen. Alicia Silverstone played her in 1997's Batman & Robin. But, considering the final addition to the Burton/Schumacher Batman films is generally accepted to be one of the worst superhero movies ever made, the less said about that, the better. 

For close to 30 years in the comics, Barbara Gordon appeared as the sometimes Batman sidekick Batgirl. Things changed in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's 1988 original graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke when the Joker paralyzed Gordon by shooting her in the spine. Rather than undoing the energy with magic, technology, or some other easy comic book explanation, DC Comics had Gordon reinvent herself as Oracle, the computer-hacking intelligence arm of the the Bat-family and, in some cases, the Justice League. It was this version of Gordon that Dina Meyer played in the short-lived 2002 TV series Birds of Prey. Gordon's paralysis was undone with DC Comics' 2011 New 52 reboot, and the character recaptured the mantle of Batgirl. 

In spite of Batgirl usually being a core member of the Birds of Prey, the 2020 film about the female supergroup didn't feature the bat-themed hero. But there is hope. Former MCU architect Joss Whedon was originally developing a Batgirl solo film. Shortly after Whedon dropped out, Christina Hodson — writer of 2020's Birds of Prey — picked up the project, and Karen Gillan has shown interest in playing the hero. 

Arthur is an incredibly important sidekick character

Since Ben Edlund first created the lantern-chinned Tick for his independent comic book series, the adventures of the big blue hero have been adapted a couple of times, in both animation and live-action. But so far, the crimefighting parody character hasn't made his way to the big screen, and neither has his more cerebral and gentle sidekick, Arthur. 

In the comics, Arthur is a mild-mannered accountant who gets his superhero moth suit at an auction, but since the antennae look more like bunny years, his costume is usually mistaken as being rabbit-themed rather than moth-themed. Still, in a way, you could argue Arthur is more important than any other sidekick we could mention. Not only are his brains usually needed for the well-intentioned but light-in-the-IQ-department Tick to do his job, and not only does the Tick use Arthur's apartment as his headquarters, but we usually get the story from Arthur's point of view.

When it comes to live-action, we last saw Arthur adapted on Amazon Prime's Tick series by Griffin Newman. We're not sure who would make the best Arthur for the big screen, only that he better be shorter than whoever's playing the Tick and have a lot of patience for his bungling partner.

We need to see D-Man's awful outfit on the big screen

Dennis Dunphy is a wrestler with super strength that he receives by using an addictive drug sold by the Power Broker. After helping Captain America take down the Power Broker, Dunphy becomes the star-spangled Avenger's sidekick, Demolition Man — or as he's better known, D-Man. That's when he designs the costume he's most known for, with a mask like Wolverine's and the rest of the outfit based on Daredevil's original Silver Age red-and-yellow costume.

D-Man has never been a very major player in Marvel Comics. He's so low on the pecking order that he regularly goes through huge narrative changes like dying or going insane, and often by the next time he shows up, no one even bothers to explain how he got better. For example, he's killed in the 2015 Secret Wars tie-in one-shot Secret Wars, Too, only to reappear during the 2018 event Venomized without any effort made to address why he's alive again.

So we're not seeing a lot of possibilities for D-Man as the next big solo film for Marvel studios. But, an appearance or two would be fun, if for no other reason than to see the live-action realization of his horrible costume choice.   

Wonder Girl would make any movie wonderful

There have been a few different versions of Wonder Girl, including Donna Troy, who appeared in DC Universe's Titans as played by Conor Leslie. But the version we're referencing is Cassie Sandsmark who we first meet as she helps Wonder Woman outwit a massive, runaway, stone robot in 1996's Wonder Woman #105. Some months later in Wonder Woman #111, as the titular hero battles a clone of the monstrous Doomsday, Cassie uses magical Greek artifacts to temporarily give herself powers, allowing her to help her idol. Eventually, Zeus grants Cassie powers without the need for her to wear the Sandals of Hermes or the Gauntlet of Atlas.

Since then, Cassie has continued to be a staple of DC's younger heroes as a pivotal member of both Teen Titans and Young Justice, including appearing regularly on the animated Young Justice series where she's voiced by Mae Whitman. And with 2017's Wonder Woman proving to be one of the DCEU's clearest successes, there could be a place for Cassie on the big screen, particularly when you consider what she represents. Diana is a hero from an island so removed from the rest of the world that it may as well be a planet all on its own. But Cassie isn't another export from Themyscira. She's a smart, resourceful American girl spurred to action by Diana's example. Cassie represents what happens when Wonder Woman's inspiration bears fruit.

Lockheed is one of the coolest X-Men sidekick characters

One of the most visibly missing allies of the X-Men in their movies has been the small, purple-skinned, fire-breathing Lockheed — a dragon-like alien who becomes one of Kitty Pryde's closest friends. Pryde first meets Lockheed in 1983's Uncanny X-Men #166, when she and the rest of the team are captured by the alien Brood. Lockheed returns to Earth with Kitty and her teammates and soon becomes one of the more unique inhabitants of Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. While there are times the dragon is absent, for the most part, Lockheed loyally stays by Kitty's side during her time on the X-Men. He follows her across the Atlantic when she joins Excalibur, and years later, he's with her as she leads the Marauders. 

During Joss Whedon and John Cassaday's 2004-08 Astonishing X-Men run, it's revealed Lockheed is much more than he appears. This is when S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) — the interstellar arm of S.H.I.E.L.D. — first shows up, and among other things, we learn Lockheed is a covert S.W.O.R.D. agent, observing and reporting on the X-Men. 

Considering how seriously S.H.I.E.L.D. takes threats from space in the MCU — not to mention the hints in the post-credits scenes of Spider-Man: Far From Home that S.W.O.R.D. may already exist — this could be the perfect way to introduce Lockheed to the Marvel Studios films once mutants enter the narrative.

We need to see Dick Grayson's entire story play out on the big screen

In 1995's Batman Forever and its horrible follow-up Batman & Robin, Chris O'Donnell plays Batman's acrobat sidekick. At the end of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt doesn't play Dick Grayson, but we eventually learn his name is Robin. On DC Universe's Titans, Brenton Thwaites plays a Dick Grayson who's tired of working in Batman's shadow and eventually comes into his own as Nightwing

But what we've yet to see is something approximating Dick Grayson's full journey — his early days as Batman's protégé, his trials and tribulations as Robin, his eventual need to carve his own path, and finally, his evolution into Nightwing. We get bits and pieces of it in different media under the care of different actors, but we've never seen it in a single, unified story. 

There'd been word that a Nightwing film was in development, and in 2018, there were reports that Lewis Tan was in discussions to play the hero. However, the following year, word surfaced that Nightwing was being delayed to make way for Matt Reeves' The Batman. Time will tell if we ever get to finally see Dick Grayson's story unfold on the big screen.

Jim Wilson would make an awesome sidekick to the Hulk

In 1970's Incredible Hulk #131, the Hulk meets Jim Wilson in Los Angeles during a storyline where Hulk and Bruce Banner are physically separated from one another. Even though Wilson is penniless, he shares what little food he has with the green Goliath, earning the friendship of a man-monster who rarely trusts anyone. Wilson remains Hulk's friend and sidekick for years, helping him against villains like the Rhino, Abomination, and Hulk's genius arch-nemesis the Leader. However, we eventually learn that the Hulk isn't Jim's only connection to the world of the "super." Jim's cousin in Sam Wilson, better known as the Falcon and, for a time, as Captain America. 

Long after multiple appearances in the title, Jim resurfaces in 1991's Incredible Hulk #388 when it's revealed he's HIV positive. Four years later, in the controversial and emotionally powerful Incredible Hulk #420, the HIV progresses to full-blown AIDS, and he succumbs to the disease. 

Jim Wilson did make an appearance in the MCU, but it was little more than an Easter egg. When the Hulk fights General Ross' forces on the Culver University campus, two students watch from nearby and record part of the conflict. Later, as Ross watches new coverage of the event, one of those students — played by P.J. Kerr — is identified as Jim Wilson. It's a nice nod to the source material, but considering the character's emotional weight in Marvel's narrative, Jim Wilson deserves more.