The news that The First Avenger: Captain America had chosen to follow the holy mythology and give Cap a sidekick upset a few people. Screams of Batman, Robin, Chris O'Donnell and Joel Schumacher were subdued, but they were there. I was all set to write about the perils and potential of having a sidekick in movies, but I decided you all might be sick of hearing strictly from me. Plus, the topic of sidekicks seems to beg for ... well, a sidekick. Since I don't have one that can talk, I fired off a quick plea to my friend Justin Gray. The co-writer of DC's Jonah Hex and Power Girl, IDW's The Last Resort, and Image's Random Acts of Violence (hits stores on April 28th!), he is the comic and movie guy I like to bug on a daily basis, and he lets me. He agreed to be the Col. Mortimer to my Manco, put up with my silly early morning questions, and share his thoughts on what makes a sidekick good, bad, and problematic.
I hope you enjoy. If you do, go buy all his and Jimmy Palmiotti's books as payment. Every moment I keep him away from his desk is another that he can't script. So thank him in the comments.
Elisabeth: Hearing Captain America's movie was going to include Bucky immediately provoked a lot of complaints and comparisons to Robin. People fear sidekicks and yet they're an integral part of the hero's arsenal. Why is that, my dear Mr. Gray?
Justin: Back when the majority of the comic book reading audience was made up of children, sidekicks were created to help foster a connection between the reader and the material. Kids were to imagine that they could go along with their heroes on adventures and that they were integral to the hero's success. It didn't take long for the innocence of the teen sidekick to be twisted by "concerned" members of society into something perverse.