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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Top Ten Sidekicks

I put up a post on Make Mine Mystery about the function of sidekicks in fiction. You can read it here. Here now is my top ten list of favorite sidekicks. Let me know who your favorites are:

Main character: Sherlock Holmes, sidekick Dr. John Watson. Watson was portayed as something of a buffoon in the movies, but that does a great injustice to him. He is every bit the equal of Holmes in some respects. He is a scientist and a surgeon, a former military man who distinguished himself in Afghanistan. He is athletic and good with a gun. He might be a step behind Holmes in solving the mysteries, but it is a small step and he is always way ahead of everybody else.

Main character: Han Solo, sidekick: Chewbacca. Chewy is the reincarnation of Hanuman, the monkey god from the Ramayana. Who wouldn't want a Wookie for a sidekick? He doesn't speak English so you don't have to listen to him complain and with those bandaleros, he's never out of ammo.

Main character: Encyclopedia Brown, sidekick: Sally Kimball. Sally, the prettiest, toughest girl in fifth grade, is an intelligent character, though she doesn't have Encyclopedia's storehouse of facts. She's also tough. When Encyclopedia needs a bully punched out, Sally does it. I imagine Sally grows up to be a lot like my main character, Ava Rome.

Main character: Spenser, sidekick: Hawk. Hawk is sometimes called a sociopath. He doesn’t have Spenser's moral center, but he does have one. He's a former mob enforcer, though his criminal activities are never shown. The difference in ethnicity is the source of banter between them.

Main character, Modesty Blaise, sidekick: Willie Garvin. Willie was sprung from jail by Modesty and became her right hand man, first in her criminal organization and later in her spy adventures. His sense of right and wrong is governed by morality rather than laws. There is no sexual tension between Modesty and Willie. Although Willie is a lady's man and Modesty is attractive, Willie feels he owes her too much to consider a physical relationship.

Main character: Elvis Cole, sidekick: Joe Pike. Sometimes I wonder why these two are friends. Elvis is a smart mouth and Joe seems to barely tolerate his jokes. If you're in a fight, however, Joe is the guy you want on your side.

Main character: Rick Hunter, sidekick: Dee Dee McCall. Dee Dee was a police detective with the rank of sergeant. She was one of the first truly professional women police detectives on television. She knew what she was doing and she could take care of herself. She was more likely to do things by the book than Hunter, but she wasn't afraid to do what was necessary to stop the bad guys. There was always some smirking sexual tension between them, but their relationship didn't get physical until the end of the series. And look at that hair. Who's her stylist? A Wookie?

Main character: Xena, sidekick: Gabrielle. Gabrielle started out as a chronicler of Xena's exploits but developed into a warrior in her own right. She had to rescue Xena on several occasions. Did their relationship go beyond trust and loyalty to something romantic? Most people think so. This is a family blog or I'd show you a picture of "the kiss."

Main character: Hap Collins, sidekick: Leonard Pine. How did these two get together? Leonard and Hap are opposites in many ways. Leonard is black, Hap is white. Leonard is a hard-headed conservative, Hap is a bleeding-heart liberal. Leonard is gay, Hap is straight. What they both like to do is fight. They banter constantly about sex and race. Somehow, it all works together.

Main character: The Cisco Kid, sidekick Pancho. Cisco liked women and Pancho liked food. Both were likely to get them into trouble. Pancho was no slouch when it cam to action. His weapon of choice was the bullwhip. At the end of every adventure, Cisco would say, "Eh, Pancho," and Pancho replied, "Eh, Cisco," and they would ride off laughing into the sunset.

Who are your favorites?


  1. Jerry House said...

    Pancho is the man; he has a better sense of humor than Tonto and -- unlike Cheetah -- won't rip your face off if you don't give him a banana.

  2. Helen Ginger said...

    Probably Han Solo and Chewbaca. Chewbaca spoke his mind.

    Straight From Hel

  3. theodoreclancy said...

    Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes.

  4. Arthur B. Burnett said...

    Of all the Dr. Watson's I think I liked the one from the 1950's TV series best. He did not play the fool, far from it. This actor (can't recall the name) played Watson as his own man, and not one to be messed with.
    I would add Stephanie Plum and Lula. They accidently solve more crime than most detectives solve on purpose. No matter what happens Lula is there for Stephanie, unless she is in the police station.
    I havn't seen them in years, but I loved the Man From Uncle as a kid. In reality I would be hard pressed to say who was the sidekick in this one.

  5. Anonymous said...

    I'm in a love/hate relationship with digital memory because of how prices are always,and I mean always dropping. I absolutely hate buying SD Cards for my R4 / R4i at (seemingly) a crazy bargain price only to see it become a whole lot more cheaper a few weeks later.

    (Submitted using SKu2 for R4i Nintendo DS.)