Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Miscellaneous Thoughts:

I was rereading the Winter Soldier one shot and I got to thinking again that I want to see Sandy get some props as the first DCU child sidekick.*

Well, Dick was probably the first, but since Crisis bounced him forward in time, he doesn't count anymore. All the other child sidekicks like Roy or Garth got moved forward too.

Heck, the only other child sidekick I can think of that's still in continuity as being active in the 1940s is Dan the freakin' Dyna-Mite.

Which means that all of the DCU's long running traditions of child-endangerment comes from one cute little kid in golden pajamas that gets rock-monsterized via silicoid gun.

Which really makes me wonder how anyone subsequently thought child-sidekickdom was a good idea. :-P

It occurs to me that I've never seen Sandy and Tim Drake interact at all. Tim is like the DCU's pet fanboy/stalker. Dick Grayson, Ted Kord... It seems like his reaction to the First Child Sidekick Ever (Post-Crisis) would be kind of funny.

(Especially when you consider how often in Golden Age comics, Wes was a total doof and leaving Sandy to be the actual competent one. Unlike Robin, whose competence seemed to come from being taught by Batman, it actually tended to seem like Sandy learned his competence in SPITE of the Sandman.)

Mostly I just want Sand to interact with more characters. Because he's neat and I'm biased. :-)

(*This is not to say that I would mind seeing Pat, Wing, Doiby and others get love too, but they were professionals and adults, not children. :-))


  • At April 05, 2007 8:14 AM, Blogger Rich said…

    What about Stripesy? Pat needs some exposure too!

  • At April 05, 2007 11:22 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Yeah, Wesley was kind of an idiot sometimes. It's a good thing that he had Dian and Sandy to take care of him.

    Its funny, I've been organizing and moving all my books, so I just re-read the BoP episode where Tim gets to meet Ted Kord, when he comes over to visit Barbara, and it is a hoot.

  • At April 05, 2007 11:49 AM, Blogger Simon (formerly Johnny Sorrow) said…

    I always thought it would be fun to do a "Year One" sort of story with Sand, following him in the time between when he regained his humanity and when he appears in JSA #1. I think it would be interesting to see him meeting all those folks, and coming to terms with his very strange relationship with the now-retired Wes, and conducting himself as a detective-adventurer without his geomorph powers.

  • At April 05, 2007 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the crimson avenger's sidekick wing was before robin, even, in 1938. (robin, you may recall, was the sensational character find of 1940.) he may have just been a kato ripoff, but he was earlier. sandy came along in 1941.

    i'm not saying wing was the first such sidekick at DC, but he may have been, because the crimson avenger was pretty darned early in their golden age of superheroes. and frankly, if the first kid sidekick was asian american, that's way more awesome than sandy the golden boy.

    the only trouble is, wing wasn't played up as a teenager so much as a younger man. and of course, the avenger's chauffeur and valet.

  • At April 05, 2007 3:34 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Wing was very notable but he wasn't a CHILD sidekick, which is kind of my point here.

    Stripsey, Wing, Doiby and the like were notable as adult (if young adults in Pat and Wing's case), but it's different when you have an adult partner to when your partner is a child. Wes basically was, in the post-crisis universe, the first child-endangerer. To acknowledge that doesn't take anything away from Wing.

  • At April 06, 2007 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it's funny, there's something about the idea of giving sandy props for being the first child sidekick now that robin and speedy have been retconned away that's kind of troubling. it's like awarding an olympic gold medal to the erstwhile bronze medalist because the person who actually won the gold had forged his citizenship papers, and the silver winner had some outstanding traffic tickets.

    it wouldn't be quite so weird if sandy hadn't been such an overt robin ripoff when he was introduced, during a particularly low period in sandman's career when he'd been retooled from a fascinating early mysteryman to a standard-issue long underwear type complete with kid sidekick. i mean, it's great that 60 years later sandy has finally become an interesting character, but back in '41 he was the exact opposite of a pioneer.

    anyway, amusingly enough, ma hunkel inadvertantly got into the child-endangering business a good nine months before wesley dodds did. hunkel became the red tornado in 1940, but the cyclone kids started tagging along in march 1941. (sandy debuted in december 1941, along with captain marvel jr., and pearl harbor.)

    so as far as i know, we'll have to give the honors to sisty hunkel and dinky jibbet, which is actually sort of awesome.

    the star-spangled kid was introduced also a couple months earlier in '41, although he was the exact opposite -- a kid with an adult sidekick.

    at least it wasn't until '42 that you get the kids coming in by the truckload, with the guardian & the newsboy legion and little boy blue & the blue boys.

    we can count our blessings that mr. scarlet didn't acquire pinky the whiz kid until '42, too, because if he'd been the earliest non-retconned kid sidekick, that would have just been sad.

    still, i'd be all for giving pinky a glass case in the batcave, just to be on the safe side.

  • At April 06, 2007 1:51 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    it's like awarding an olympic gold medal to the erstwhile bronze medalist because the person who actually won the gold had forged his citizenship papers, and the silver winner had some outstanding traffic tickets.

    That's not a valid comparison, honestly. I'm arguing something in continuity, in a storyline sense. Sandy was NOT the first, chronologically but as far as the CHARACTERS remember he was. That's something that should be addressed.

    Besides, when the Gold and Silver medalists are disqualified, the Gold medal WOULD go to the Bronze winner.


    Sandy wasn't any more of a Robin ripoff than you can say any subsequent superhero was a Superman ripoff. He was a child sidekick, yes. But his character design actually borrows a lot more from Bucky than it does from Robin, and his relationship with the Sandman differed completely as well. (Also, the stories were very different in tone and style.)

    And there's also a difference between having a gaggle of kids follow you around and having one specific ward/partner. The Cyclone Kids were not equal-if-subordinate partners in the way that Bucky or Robin or Sandy are.

    But still, I'm not talking about giving the character any sort of accolades in the real world. I'm talking about examining a part of Post-Crisis DCU history.

    Heck, the Crimson Avenger is outright given props for being the first DCU masked hero by the JSA when Superman predated his appearance by four months. The JSA themselves get props for a legendary status originally occupied by Superman and Batman. It's a storyline role and valuable for a sense of the history of Superheroes.

    Robin and Speedy, like Superman and Batman, can't serve the storyline role. That's okay, they've got their own roles now. But someone has to take that place because there are interesting stories to tell.

  • At April 06, 2007 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it was robin's popularity that made kid sidekicks de rigueur, but you're certainly right about sandy's costume design.

    it's not entirely a coincidence that simon & kirby took over the sandman stories around the time that sandy showed up.

  • At April 06, 2007 2:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    as a side note, it's interesting that zatara debuted in the very same issue as superman, and dr. occult a good three years(!) earlier, but of course they weren't masked, and DC only occasionally counts them as superheroes when it's convenient. so the green horn. . . er, crimson avenger winds up geting all the glory.

  • At April 07, 2007 8:51 PM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Wouldn't the Black Pirate be the earliest DC 'verse masked hero? I know that I can't think of any of DC's Western era heros who went masked (unlike Marvel)...


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