Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sidekicked by Russell Brettholtz

Rating: WORTHY!

It's really hard these days to come up with something original in the way of graphic novels about super heroes, but I think there's still some solid gold to be mined (or even mind!) here, and this creative team proved it with a really great, original, and meaningful story. Set in contemporary Chicago, this novel is about a world of selfish super heroes - and let's face it, is there really any other kind than the self-absorbed, super-powered, suited sentry? In this case, each hero seems to come equipped with a much put-upon sidekick, and the sidekicks are treated like dirt. So they go on strike!

It's not long before the super villains, who have hitherto been getting the worst of the deal, take up the slack and start exploiting this vacuum for their own ends. Teaming up as they never have before, they start taking out the super heroes until only the sidekicks are left. That's when the sidekicks team up and start fighting back. This is also a selfish attitude, but it works for them! Their experience in supporting their heroes proves invaluable in working together - something which the egotistical super heroes were never able to master. But there's more to the story than this. Villains have sidekicks, too....

I really liked this story. Yes, the sidekick shtick has been beaten about the bush before now, but never quite in this way in my reading experience at least, and I liked the way the dynamic played out. The characters seemed realistic and were interesting, with different motivations and personalities. It was a really good, engaging story, and the artwork by Miguel Mendoça was suitably heroic. I recommend it.