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Like a Good Kick in the Side: Sidekicks and Superheroes – a Childish Combination?

Let’s be honest, a lot of the early superhero movie adaptations – from Richard Donner’s Superman to Tim Burton’s Batman – played fast and loose with the source material that they were drawn from. There wasn’t really the same sense of fidelity that one sense at work in modern comic adaptations, the sense that modern audiences are geeky enough to accept concepts like superhero nostalgia or deconstructions of comic book heroism without having to “sanitise” them for mass consumption. There’s a sense that there’s relatively little that can be deemed “too geeky” or “too corny” for a mainstream audience, at least not if done in the proper manner. However, there is one concept which still seems a little too “out there” for popular audiences: that of the kid sidekick. Captain America: The First Avenger cast its sidekick as 27-year-old Sebastian Stan, rather than the teenager of the comics. Why are we so embarrassed by this one element of superhero lore?

Compare and contrast...

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