The Situation: Not everyone works well as a loner. Humans are, biologically and anthropologically speaking, social animals. That being said, it should come as no surprise that some of the best heroes in fiction, TV, and film have had some pretty sweet sidekicks to back them up. Sidekicks can provide comic relief, emotional support, back-up in a fight, provide a skill set that the hero doesn’t possess, or just be around so the hero isn’t talking to themselves all of the time.
The Criteria: Sidekicks come in a number of sizes, shapes, and colors. This is the one category that I came at with a fairly open mind. The four names that follow are not, by any means, the only sidekicks worthy of being on this list (for example, I didn’t even go near the four Robins and two Kid Flashes), but they are the ones that I felt like celebrating in blog form.
1. Dr. John H. Watson
If he wasn’t the first sidekick, he certainly became the model against which all future sidekicks are compared. I’m talking about the original Watson, not the bumbling oaf who appeared in nearly every filmed version of Sherlock Holmes stories until the glorious Jeremy Brett series. The “real” Watson is no dope, he’s a doctor for fuck’s sake and a soldier. He knows the score, and he’s pretty good with a revolver, too.
2. Bob the Skull
What’s a wizard to do when every piece of technology built after 1950 explodes in his presence? If you’re Harry Dresden, you get a “spirit of the air” that lives in a human skull. Bob is Harry’s lab assistant and his laptop, with access to more arcane and occult information than a 14-year-old Goth’s gym locker. Plus, all it really takes to make Bob happy are a few trashy romance novels and the occasional jaunt outside in the body of Harry’s cat, Mister.
3. The Scoobies
She might be the Chosen One, imbued with super-human strength and fighting skills, but Buffy would have joined her predecessors in the Big Dirt Nap long ago without the aid and support of her friends. The roster may have changed over the years, but the core group–Xander Harris, Willow Rosenberg, and Buffy’s Watcher, Rupert Giles–has always been there to offer support, research the latest Big Bad, or pick up a sword and join the fight against some kind of oozing hell-beast. Like Spike said, Buffy’s different from the other Slayers he’d faced (and killed), she had friends.
Seven feet tall, covered in fur, 100% loyal, hell with a crossbow, and a whiz with a socket wrench. What more could you want in a sidekick and best friend? Sure, Chewie had no problem calling Han out when he was being an ass, but when the chips were down, he’d rip the arms out of the sockets of anyone who tried to mess with his pal.