The Problem with the Sidekicks of the Arrowverse

The Arrowverse has been going strong since Arrow premiered on October 10, 2012. Audiences met the sidekicks of these heroes as the Arrowverse grew. However, as these shows continued, the sidekicks became less relevant over time. Each section of the Arrowverse shows a main hero teaming up with at least one other character. These other characters usually fight the henchmen leaving the villain of the week to the main hero. While it is nice to see more heroes on the small screen, giving them minor roles will only take away from the enjoyment of the show. 

Looking at Sidekicks

Arrow John Diggle as Spartan - The Problem with the Sidekicks of the Arrowverse
Spartan, the First Arrowverse Sidekick

The first question that pops into people’s minds is why even have sidekicks? Shows like Supergirl, Arrow, and The Flash mainly focus on those heroes exactly. Of course, a variety of heroes have appeared on all three shows, but they haven’t left enough of an impact to keep audiences interested. One of the many tropes that these Arrowverse shows share is the main hero working with a team of people. The main hero will usually be the leader of the team while the other characters play second fiddle. 

The other heroes allow these shows to have a diverse cast. The CW is known for having diverse casts for their TV shows, so why would the Arrowverse be different? Just because they have a diverse cast, that doesn’t mean they should still only focus on the main character. 

Underdeveloped Sidekicks

The Flash Wally West as Kid Flash - The Problem with the Sidekicks of the Arrowverse
Wally West as Kid Flash

Throughout it’s run, the Arrowverse introduced many sidekicks and side characters such as Guardian, Kid Flash, Spartan, etc. However, many of these characters seem to be underdeveloped or underused.

Kid Flash is a great example of this recurring tragedy. Once Wally West got his powers, the show immediately started to make him faster than Barry Allen. Wally West was barely being trained and yet he was able to surpass Barry when it came to super speed. For a while, it seemed as if Wally West would defeat Savitar and save Iris instead of Barry. Before that could happen, the Speed Force told Barry that he would have to stop Savitar. So all that training for Wally West went to waste.

Season four of The Flash had the opportunity to have Wally take on the mantle of The Flash for a while. However, Barry just came back in the first episode even faster than before. Eventually everyone on the team forgot that Wally was available to help against super villains. Wally was never utilized in any of the crossovers even though he would be more of a help than heroes like Citizen Steel. 

How to Fix the Problem

Unfortunately, the Arrowverse doesn’t seem to realize that adding more characters is only hurting them in the long run instead of helping them. They continue to bring characters into their shows like Elongated Man, Wild Dog, and Mister Terrific, just to name a few. They bring these characters in, but they fail to make them compelling or interesting characters. There may be an episode in which we learn more about the character, but they never matter to the overall plot of the season. 

Obviously, not everyone of these heroes can get their own show or animated mini-series. But if these characters are going to stay on the air, the showrunners need to have them do stuff essential like defeating the big bad of the season. Have them take down a supervillain on their own so that they can prove their worth as heroes! Don’t just have them stand next to the main hero to show diversity. 

What are your thoughts on the sidekicks of the Arrowverse? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments!

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About the author

Renji Kuriakose

Renji Kuriakose is a big comic book fan. His favorite character has been Batman since he could remember.

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