Charlton vs Mighty MLJ

Two parallel universes from two silver age comic book publishers examined ad naseum!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sidekicks: Possibilities and Potential

When the Boy Wonder debuted in 1940 as the costumed crusader, Robin, he set a new trend that would be replicated with virtually every comicbook company and many major heroes, from then till today. Although a sidekick was always a component in the mystery men mythos, having one so young and eager to dress up like his mentor was revolutionary. And, in fact, MLJ Comics replicated this success by giving two of its premier protectors... the Shield and Wizard... their own teen titans in Dusty and Roy. Not only did these lads work well with their surrogate papas, but also as partners with one another in a short-lived series of their own during that time period.

They were even given prominent nicknames, with Dusty being the Boy Detective and Roy as the Superboy (Dusty's was evident in his solo adventures as a young sleuth, Roy's affectation was not so much evident, considering he couldn't fly like another Superboy who came later). Decades after these two lads disppeared in the mists of time, only to be brought back in a mid-1960s cameo in the Mighty Crusaders as time-lost teens with no explanation where they have been in the intervening years, another would take up the mantle at Charlton Comics.

With the strong series lead of Judomastser, himself also from the same 1940s era as Robin, Dusty and Roy, working solo versus various villains... there was a need for a partner in his never-ending battle. Enter Tiger, who in his short tenure alongside his mentor showed that he too lived up to the examples of is forebearers. And at least his story as an adult, both as Nightshade's tutor and as supervillains even later, had a sense of completion unlike his MLJ peers.

2 comments:

Rip Jagger said...

I'm trying to think of a boy sidekick who came after Tiger and I cannot think of one. Was Judomaster's companion the last of the breed? Hmm.

Rip Off

earth-two said...

That's a good poInt Rip. Other than derivative sidekicks like Jason Todd I can. It think of others