Review: Sidekick #10

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Tom Mandrake
Colors by HiFi
Published by Image Comics Inc.

Honesty, consideration and communication…vital components when it comes to building trust with people. Without trust, the likelihood of a friendship or partnership developing into something constructive becomes remote. Trust is a very delicate thing, and people often have varying standpoints on what they interpret trust to be. The road to confiding in someone really begins with you as an individual. If you don’t believe in yourself wholeheartedly, you will run the risk of inadvertently gravitating towards someone that displays a level of certainty about themselves that you only wish you had. When that happens, trying to believe in yourself becomes extremely difficult, or downright impossible. In other words, you become lost and that can be a very tough hole to climb out of.

The Sidekick series written by J. Michael Straczynski explores the delicate balance of trust between two heroes – the Red Cowl and his loyal companion Flyboy. They live in a world where hero worship reigns supreme for triumphant crime-fighters. Victory after victory was achieved by the Red Cowl and Flyboy team and they were adored for it by the citizens of Sol City. Flyboy, Barry Chase, idolized his mentor, the Red Cowl, a.k.a. Thomas Winchester. He placed all of his confidence in the Red Cowl as did the public.

Despite the fame and recognition, the Red Cowl wasn’t completely satisfied with being a hero, leading him to publically stage his own assassination and right in front of his partner Flyboy. Flyboy was traumatized by what transpired and he would eventually fall into a deep depression and develop suicidal tendencies. Not helping matters, the city he swore to protect viewed Flyboy as a weakling and incapable of defending them in the manner that the Red Cowl could. As a result, Flyboy endured many embarrassing moments and felt worthless.

Life changes for Barry when he meets one of the Red Cowl’s enemies, Julia Moonglow. She suspects that the Red Cowl is alive and well and convinces Flyboy to help her try and locate him. She also tells Barry that her motivation for locating the Red Cowl stems from the former hero killing her sister. Flyboy is stunned by the thought of the Red Cowl still being alive, never mind capable of murder. All of the ordeals he had endured since the Red Cowl’s “death” were just too much for him to handle. Flyboy begins the metamorphosis from hero to villain and dubs himself Sidekick, swearing deadly revenge against his mentor for abandoning him, lying to everyone, especially those closest to him, and for the death of Julia Moonglow’s sister.

Sidekick and Moonglow embark on a killing spree, doing whatever it takes to find the elusive Red Cowl, including teaming up with other villains. With the help of the villain Terrorform, Sidekick and Moonglow locate the Red Cowl’s hideout.

In issue #10 of Sidekick, Barry finally confronts his former mentor and learns what the Red Cowl really felt about him as a person and crimefighter…the hard way…

J. Michael Straczynski does a masterful job of validating insanity with the Sidekick series. Tom Mandrake’s work throughout the run compliments those sentiments perfectly with his hypnotic art. Sidekick #10, much like its previous nine issues, is loaded with mesmerizing drama and great cliffhangers. What makes Sidekick enjoyable is that you can view this series dichotomously. You can root for the villains seeking to apply their version of justice for a former hero that committed heinous acts, or root for the confident hero, who always has a plan and who’s not afraid to tell it like it is.

Sidekick has been a very intriguing book to read – trust me on that!

You trust me, right Barry?

Until next time!

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