Sidekicks make the freaking world go around. They come to the rescue, figure stuff out before anybody else, and provide much-needed perspective on all the random bullshit that the universe is throwing at you. Even the coolest adventurer is nothing without a sidekick or two.
So here are the 10 coolest sidekicks in science fiction and fantasy, ever. According to us.
Top image: Paul Scheer.
In order to find out who the coolest sidekicks in SF and fantasy really are, we asked the followers of our Facebook page — and we got around 150 responses. Here are the coolest and most popular suggestions you came up with over on Facebook!
We considered including Robin on this list — but Hit-Girl is like a much cooler, more demented Robin to Big Daddy's Batman. She's profane and insane, and she knows how to appreciate a good weapon or twelve. The main reason we're still hoping for Kick-Ass 2 is to see Chloe Moretz step up and play Hit-Girl as Kick-Ass' new best friend and partner in crime-fighting.
Just forget the Seth Rogen movie — or try to imagine the earlier versions that never happened, in which Jet Li or Stephen Chow played Kato. When you go back and watch the 1960s TV show, Bruce Lee is so hypnotic and fascinating as the uber-competent partner to Britt Reid's fedora-wearing crime-fighter, you pretty much sit through any plot to get to the part where Kato gets to clobber everybody. Like Hit-Girl, he's the Platonic ideal of superheroic sidekick.
8) The Filthy Assistants
Transmetropolitan is a dystopian classic for many reasons — and one of them is Spider Jerusalem's two sidekicks, Channon and Yelena. They're basically the perfect ass-kicking helpers for a journalist trying to clean out the sewer of future politics — especially Channon, his "stripper-turned-student-turned-nun-turned-bodyguard" who turns out to be able to kick some major booty. And Yelena, the niece of his editor. "Filthy assistants! To me!" Image by Annie Wu.
How many times would Harry Potter have snuffed it without Hermione to pull his ass out of the goblet of fire? Hermione is the driving force behind Dumbledore's Army, she believes Harry about Voldemort being back when everyone else doubts him, and she's also the only one who sticks with the caps-locking, angsty-screaming Harry throughout the entire endless "camping out in the woods" portion of their lives. And she's the only one who gives a crap about the poor house elves. Most of all, she's usually the only one who actually figures out what's going on and brews up a potion or spell to get out of it.
6) Brock Samson!
The half-Swedish "murder machine" is the bodyguard to the Venture family and a positive influence on Dean and especially Hank. Rusty Venture's former college roommate, Brock is like the strip club-visiting, mullet-sporting, knife-wielding badass who cuts down everybody who gets in his way. If only Molotov Cocktease knew what she was letting slip away.
5) Willow Rosenberg
I know a lot of people said Xander — but Xander is like the Zeppo, as the show proved over and over. Willow is the one who always has Buffy's back. And like all the best sidekicks, she's just as powerful and capable as the main hero, in a tight corner. Willow totally gets what Buffy's dealing with, and unlike Xander she never goes and misrepresents a crucial message about Angel. Sure, Willow occasionally curses everybody with demons and blindness, or turns evil and almost destroys the world — but one test of a great sidekick is whether they have an awesome dark side. Willow is the magic-user you'd most want in your corner.
4) Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart
I know, everybody was like "River Song." But River Song has sort of crossed over to "love interest" territory of late, what with the declarations of love and the marriage and the romantic getaways to see Stevie Wonder. And it's no accident that the most powerful emotional moment in the recent season finale comes when the Doctor hears his best friend is dead. The Brigadier is the Doctor's constant. It's as simple as that. Through most of the original series, the "Brig" is the one person the Doctor keeps coming back to. And when there's a killer gargoyle or an energy-sucking meatball monster or an evil Time Lord fucking shit up, the Brigadier knows what to do. Shoot at it.
The most steadfast of Frodo's companions, and basically the true hero of the saga — Samwise is the one who gets the freaking job done. Like a lot of the other sidekicks on this list, he's pretty much the main reason the good guys win. Samwise seems like a simple gardener, but he has more heart and spirit — and more ingenuity — than most other Hobbits put together.
It sometimes seems like the 1960s were the era for cool sidekicks. And Spock is the coolest cat of the mod era. You know how in like every other Star Trek episode, Kirk is stuck down on the planet by himself, getting deeper and deeper in shit — he's been mind-daggered, he's been android-duplicated, he's been wink-of-an-eye'd — and then in the last 10 minutes, Spock finally arrives. The moment you see Spock turn up and greet Kirk, you know things are going to be fine, because the team is back together and they're going to blow up the computer together. Spock is going to help Kirk sort out all the wrong shit, with logic and one raised eyebrow. Because the many need to get their asses kicked by the one.
The Wookiee clearly wins this one — Chewy got more votes on our Facebook page than anybody else, by a Kessel Run. The thing that's cool is the fact that Chewbacca could easily go off and kick some ass without Han Solo, but Chewy and Han are loyal and they stick together. Han always understands what Chewbacca is saying and thinking, practically even before Chewbacca makes one of his trademark growls. When Han gets himself carbonited, Chewbacca is there to come pull his ass out, even at the risk of going blind.
Thanks to everybody who made suggestions on io9's Facebook page!