Top Five Sidekicks

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

What is a hero without a sidekick? A way for the average reader, listener, or viewer to get into the world of the hero, the sidekick is an all important aspect of any adventure duo. Indiana Jones had Shortround, Sherlock had Watson, but who are our Top Five Sidekicks?

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. 5. Bill Maxwell – Greatest American Hero Hilarious, good intel, gave great nickname
    4. Tim Drake – Agree with Stephen, best Robin
    3. Al Calavicci – Quantum Leap – Everyone’s favorite randy hologram, provided the exposition and comic relief. Great heartbreaking backstory.
    2.Dr. John Watson – Elementary! The modern standard for sidekickery. Provided a revolver for Holmes and an audience surrogate for Arthur Conan Doyle
    1. Sancho Panza – The Ur Sidekick, without him this conversation is impossible. Cervantes literally created the archetype (or was the first to write it down, anyway)

  2. I will take a page out of Matthew’s book and limit my Superhero sidekicks in this list.

    5. Krypto the Super Dog. This is mainly because this is the sidekick I always wanted, and he has so many of the qualities of a sidekick, loyalty, strength, and he fills in parts of the Hero. He even had a major part in Hush!

    4. Inigo Montoya – I was completely swayed by the arguments you guys presented, I’ll admit. I really agree with how he is heroic and has the skills, but lacks the direction.

    3. Garrus (Mass Effect) – I was torn between him and Joker, I really cared about the side characters in the whole Mass Effect series, but I wanted to choose one that was in all three and survived until the end. All of the Mass Effect characters really played off of Shepherd’s personality and skills, and the fact that Garrus was a BAMF in his own right, ex-police, ex-vigilante, and still took the secondary role was great.

    2. Arthur, from the Tick. Not only is he a true comics everyman, a chubby accountant who wanted to be a superhero, but he really serves as a foil to the entire Tick World. He asks the questions that we would if we were thrust into that world, and he even survives the Sidekick Club. Plus, I loved his entrance, and the fact that you could look back in previous issues and see him shadowing the Tick in the background of panels.

    1. R2-D2. Paragon of sidekicks. Has skills that no-one else does, puts his life on the line for all of the heroes, and basically everybody would be dead 10 times over if he hadn’t saved their asses. Nonetheless, treated as completely disposable by the heroes: Shot to hell by Vader, Luke says “He’ll be fine” (flounces off with Leia and Han to get hammered, probably).

  3. Agree with many of your picks, but five more to consider:

    #5: The first book starts in a mental asylum,where The Badger is incarcerated for stomping the carp out of a bunch of guys who were throwing rocks at ducks. There he is befriended by another inmate, the 900 year old weather druid Ham. When the ancient Brits found they could not kill Ham, they tried to throw him off the edge of the world, but only got as far as Wisconsin. Ham breaks out with the Badger, uses his Magic to win the McDonalds Monopoly jackpot and goes into finance. Then it gets weird. Ham, the number two character from Butler and Baron’s great Badger comic.

    #4: A sidekick should be able to answer questions, provide comic relief and have a laser in his nose. K9 from Dr. Who fills the bill. Besides, I like dogs.

    #3 I also like sidekicks who are in all ways more competent than their boss, except for getting the ladies. Good sidekicks should also have the ability to think logically, raise an eyebrow, and to drop anyone with just a hand on the shoulder. Like Spock, from the original Star Trek. And RIP Leonard Nimoy.

    #2 James Bond meets Paladin, then meets a Shakespearean actor with an infinite selection of characters and gizmo. I’m talking about Artemis Gordon from the 1960s Wild, Wild, Wild West TV show.

    #2 redo – wait, almost missed one. James Bond gets a serious style upgrade, and a partner who looks great in a catsuit. Mrs. Peel, we’re needed. Look for any of the Avengers episodes with Diana Rigg if you have any doubts at all.

    #1 The best sidekicks have to be able to step in when the hero can’t. For example, when hero has cornered and disarmed a major slimeball of a villain, the sidekick points out that the hero has to kill him. The guy will shoot the hero in the back sometime if he doesn’t. When the hero can’t shoot the villain down in cold blood, Hawk says “I can,” and does. Robert B. Parke’s Spenser books are some of the best detective fiction written in the later half of the 20th century, and Hawk is a fascinating character. Great dialogue.

    And could be in the running, if you broaden the concept of sidekick a bit: Yukon King from Sgt. Preston, Kitt from Knightrider, Cat from Red Dwarf, Roger Rabbit (although the detective may be the sidekick), and Gromit of Wallace and Gromit.

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