If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

This week we're taking a look at the third leg of the sidekick trope trifecta: the adult companion, who, rather than pixie boots and a domino mask, usually wore a tweed jacket and a bowtie, straw hat, or both, and played the role of foil, comic relief, decoy, or hostage for the more serious hero. While the frequency of this trope has decreased significantly in more modern times, the classic eras of comics gave us a treasure trove of these lovable bunglers.

Show notes:

  • This is a list about sidekicks who are old enough to buy cigarettes or attend college or hold down a steady job at a major metropolitan newspaper. If you're looking for younger ones in masks, you want this list of Best Kid Sidekicks
  • If you are looking for sidekicks who are only adults if you're counting in dog years, you want this list of Best DC Animal Pals
  • If you have some disagreements about my criteria for the dividing line between kid and adult sidekicks, you should shout them into a boot, and then throw that boot into a river
  • If you've never read the classic Popeye comics by EC Segar, you should do yourself a solid
  • You can read Jimmy Olsen's adventures in Showcase Presents Superman Family 
  • Woozy Winks can be found in the Plastic Man Archives 
  • Read about Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls in Wonder Woman Chronicles

Check Out Some of Our Other Episodes of Fantastic Five