Help Wanted: Heroes treating sidekicks and proteges badly?

Discussion in 'DC Comics' started by Lorendiac, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Lorendiac

    Lorendiac Registered

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    I've got an idea for another Superhero Panel Discussion parody in which various "respected" heroes really let their hair down and talk frankly about some of their own peculiar behavior from stories that are actually "in continuity" (or used to be!). I'm not interested in way-out-of-continuity stuff that only happened in a "Worst-Case Scenario Elseworlds tale" or the like.

    Right now, I want people to help me think of examples of bad behavior -- negligent, abusive, clueless, wildly hypocritical, whatever -- that various superheroes have shown toward the costumed kids (teenagers or younger, let's say) who have been their "sidekicks," "proteges," "apprentices," "junior partners," "hand-picked successors," or whatever you want to call the relationship in each case.

    Example: As I understand it (without bothering to read the Robin series during and after the OYL issues), when Bruce Wayne went off for a year-long round-the-world tour with Dick Grayson and Tim Drake, he apparently completely blanked out on the idea that perhaps he also had some degree of responsibility toward Cassandra Cain, the latest Batgirl, who had worked so hard to follow his lead ever since she met him? If he ever made the slightest effort to find out where that poor girl had gotten to during his own year-long vacation away from Gotham, then I sure haven't heard about it! (And how much concern has he shown more recently, ever since he and Tim came back home and found out she had evidently "gone bad" in the interim, for that matter?)

    Anybody got other examples of adult mentors, who really ought to know better, ignoring their responsibilities to the younger generation, or "handling" those responsibilities in an incredibly bad fashion? Feel free to use examples from DC, Marvel, Image, or any other brand of superhero continuity that's included "adult mentors" and "juvenile sidekicks" at some point.

    Wait! Come to think of it, you needn't bother reminding me of the horrible behavior of the putatively (or do I mean "putridly"?) heroic mentors in Rick Veitch's "Brat Pack." The Midnight Mink and Judge Jury and the rest were never supposed to be viewed sympathetically by the reader in the first place, so my expectations for them were much lower than they are for Superman or Batman in "regular continuity." I don't want to hear about stories that featured characters who were deliberately created to be merciless parodies of the superheroic "ideals" -- I want stories where the hero is actually supposed to be generally liked and respected by sane readers such as you and I, despite the hero's supposedly minor character flaws! All clear? Okay!

    Now tell me about the times when the adult mentors really should have known better than to treat those long-suffering sidekicks so badly!

    P.S. For anyone who's interested: I've previously perpetrated two other efforts to show heroes "really telling it like it is." Those panel discussions are archived at:

    Superhero Panel: "When to tell your sweetheart your secret identity"

    Superhero Panel: "When should we overthrow governments?"
     
  2. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox of Ages

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  3. GoldenAgeHero

    GoldenAgeHero Registered

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  4. jaydawg

    jaydawg Registered

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    Arrow kicked Roy out on the streets when he found out about the heroine. Thats a pretty dick move.
     
  5. Kitsune

    Kitsune Fox of Ages

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  6. Lorendiac

    Lorendiac Registered

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    I'm having trouble seeing this as bad behavior on Bruce's part. What else did Dick expect when he evidently refused to share information about a notorious villain on the loose?
     
  7. BrianWilly

    BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    The most infamous of this, at least in terms of net infamy, might be that of Batman not giving Stephanie Brown a memorial case despite the fact that he did so for Jason Todd, whose case is still there even though he's not even dead anymore.

    One that comes to mind immediately is Wonder Woman immediately and without warning ditching Cassandra Sandsmark for the entire year of 52 right after Cassie was kicked out of school, lost her entire Amazon family and their godly support system, and had her boyfriend murdered. Throughout this entire year that Cassie resorted to joining a cult out of desperation, Wonder Woman contacted her a total of once, and did so anonymously. Her reasoning? She didn't want Cassie to have to suffer for her mistake of killing Max Lord. Yeah, okay Diana[​IMG].

    In current continuity Superboy (Kon-El/Conner Kent) is often referred-to as one of Superman's "family" and his protoge if not sidekick...but actual canon tells us pretty much the exact opposite. When Superboy first came onto the scene, the reaction we get from Superman is that he wants virtually nothing to do with this boy who was cloned from him, has been "alive" for less than a month, and has nowhere else to go. Superboy gets dumped with a..."foster family" of sorts in Hawaii consisting of slimy TV agent Rex Leech, his sex kitten daughter Roxy Leech, and a J'onn J'onnz knockoff of a Cadmus-engineered race called Dubbilex. Superboy does make the best of his situation, to Superboy's credit and not Superman's, because Superman himself has basically nothing whatsoever to do with Superboy for at least the entirety of Karl Kesel's first run on the Superboy solo series.

    Eventually the two slowly -- very slowly -- began to interact more and more, if only because crossovers demanded it. After Superboy's stay with the Leeches ended for whatever reasonthat I can't really remember right now, he ended up living at Cadmus as one of their agents...once again, Superman was out of the picture unless absolutely necessary. Also keep in mind that Superman never -- ever -- tells Superboy about his secret identity, and that Superboy had to find out that he even had one through Hypertime of all things. He eventually forgave Superman for this -- note, Superboy forgave him -- because he understood the need for a "Fortress of Solitude." At the very end of the Superboy solo series, Superman does finally invite him to stay at his parents' farm, because by this point Kon had basically burned all his bridges -- sometimes literally -- and is at a very bad place in his life. After this begins Geoff Johns' Teen Titans run, during which Superman finally does take an active interest in Conner's life as if he had always done so, with fans who haven't read any of the prior events none the wiser.

    (Compare this to Superman's treatment of the post-Crisis Kara Zor-El, who he took personally under his wing, gave her her Supergirl costume with the requisite "S"-shield that every other member of his "family" has had to earn for themselves, told her his secret identity without a single moment's hesitation, coddled with protection and attention at every turn...and all this in the span of a single six-issue arc, during which no one had any idea if this Kara was actually the real thing or an enemy out to hurt them. All of this without her asking for it, all of this sometimes at everyone's objections including her own. It's true, Superboy himself never asked outright for Superman to coddle him...but the point is that Supergirl never even needed to.)

    The fansite Tempest's Purple Reign FAQ has an interesting perspective on Aquaman and Tempest's relationship that's not often readily apparent in the comics.
     
  8. BrianWilly

    BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    Wait, oh yeah:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. storyteller

    storyteller Registered

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    Well he did only last 13 issues...............

    But yet superman acted like an ass to Conner. I mean hell he never even once had a "this is my fault" issue for superboy. But i guess superboy was always just some guy with a costume.
     
  10. Lorendiac

    Lorendiac Registered

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    Someone on another site has told me a bit about what's evidently the same case of Aquaman attacking and stabbing Aqualad -- apparently in "Adventure Comics #452" Black Manta was threatening to kill Aquaman's son, Aquababy, unless Aquaman and Aqualad fought to the death, right then and there, for Black Manta's personal entertainment. It appears that initially Aquaman's attitude was, "Well, shucks, if I have to kill Garth, then I guess I just have to kill him!" -- which is presumably what led to the stabbing mentioned in that quote from the "Tempest's Purple Reign" FAQ -- although, in the end, he didn't quite go through with killing his longtime sidekick. And Aquababy died as Black Manta had threatened.

    I had never known that until today. Of course, I never paid much attention to Pre-COIE Aquaman continuity in general, beyond whatever I could glean from his appearances in the original JLA title . . .

    I can tell I'm going to have a real fun time with this material in my panel discussion parody! I may even save Aquaman's rationalizations on the subject for my Grand Finale after every other hero has gotten to run off at the mouth about all the things he's done to sidekicks "for good reasons" over the years! :whatever:
     
  11. yenaled

    yenaled 3X2(9YZ)4A

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    Orin is such a badass.
     
  12. fifthfiend

    fifthfiend M4J3ST1C L3G1SL4C3R4TOR

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    I guess you could throw in the Allfather trading his infant son to Darkseid as sort of an act of Ur-dickishness.

    I mean I know he had reasons at all but come on, it's ****ing Darkseid.

    Marvel's a stretch on this subject if only because so few Marvel superheroes have sidekick characters in the first place.
     
  13. BrianWilly

    BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    Well, Professor Xavier is a freakin' goldmine of dickery, especially pertaining to his students. They're not really...sidekick characters per se, though.
     
  14. Assassin

    Assassin Detroit's Reckoning

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    You mean Highfather? :huh:
     
  15. Damiean Dark

    Damiean Dark Registered

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    The idea of a sidekick is soooooooooooo dated DC seems sometimes to be stuck in a 1940/1950 timewarp the worst part is none of these sidekicks are in the least bit interesting most have the same power as their senior partner but at a lower level the most interesting of all the sidekicks is dick grayson as robin he learned his trade and became his own man as nightwing he has character. The lkes of Aqualad, kid flash etc is so ergggggggggggg!.
     
  16. shin_en

    shin_en Registered

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    how about this...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    superdickery is the best :woot:
     
  17. Aristotle

    Aristotle Registered

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    Really, so it's cool to have sidekicks who branch out and become their own man, but sidekicks who stay the exact same over the years, like Aqualad who never became Tempest, and two different Kid Flashes who never became Flash, and a Robin who never became the Red Hood, those guys suck.

    I'd rather be stuck in a 1940/1950 timewarp (especially when all that means is having sidekicks and heroes who remember to smile once in awhile) than be stuck in a disgusting, unheroic, post-modern mire of bull**** melodrama and forced, overwrought emotion creating a world where no one is good, everyone's a varying shade of evil, and God forbid anyone enjoy themselves for more than a panel. Go back to Marvel if you can't handle superHEROES.
     
  18. Aristotle

    Aristotle Registered

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    Most of those World's Finest covers aren't that bad. Those are just fun jokes, I think, especially the last one.
     
  19. Pink Ranger

    Pink Ranger The North Remembers

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    I would have at least demanded Dick put on some regular pants before spanking him.
     
  20. chamber-music

    chamber-music Infinity Ammo

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    Not really treating his own protege badly but scaring the Hell out of anothers :batman:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Anubis

    Anubis Sup?

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    I loved that scene.
     
  22. Hush

    Hush Wee Little Puppet Man

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    What is that from?
     
  23. Anubis

    Anubis Sup?

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    I think it was Outsiders, or John's Flash run. I may be wrong, it's been such a long time since i've read it.
     
  24. BrianWilly

    BrianWilly Disciple of Whedon

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    Johns' Flash. Right after Wally lets Dick and the other Titans remember his secret ID after they, uh, forgot it. 'Cause of Hal.

    Stupid Hal.
     
  25. fifthfiend

    fifthfiend M4J3ST1C L3G1SL4C3R4TOR

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    But I thought you liked DC Comics.
     

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