In all the acts of superheroics and protecting the Earth from calamity, it’s sometimes easy to forget that X-Men is ostensibly a book about a school. We all know the Xavier Institute secretly houses the X-men and all their crime fighting gear; however, it’s also home to a group of scared and confused young mutants just learning their powers. These young people are the focus of the latest X-title Generation X #1.
In this first issue we meet a ragtag group of new mutants just entering the institute. Headmaster and X-Men team leader Kitty Pryde can’t possibly juggle all the responsibilities of her demanding positions. So, she’s called in everybody’s favorite 90’s mallrat Jubilee to help mold these youngsters into a new team of heroes.
It’s a big thrill for longtime X-Men readers to see Jubilee step into a leadership position. For so long, she’s been the kid sister of the team, and to see her come into her own and become a mentor to young mutants is very satisfying.
Generation X #1 Starts Off Strong
One of the strengths of this first issue is its focus on character, and rather than leaping directly into super villain fighting, we get a sense of the characters and their dynamics. This team has a lot of dysfunction: It’s clear these characters are young and unproven. There’s much infighting and self-doubt, and this will no doubt be the center of conflict for issues to come.
Generation X #1 feels like the right step in the continuation of the Marvel X-Men relaunch. It’s a direct appeal to a younger market who will no doubt relate to this mismatched bunch of characters. A treat for X-readers new and old, Generation X #1 is another success for Marvel’s Resurrxion relaunch.
Sidekicks are an integral part of comic books, serving alongside superheroes as they save the day time and time again. These characters have become icons in their own right. But they often lack the recognition that their hero counterparts get. So, it’s time to give these characters the credit they deserve.
Bob is a fan favorite character. He appears in the Marvel Universe as Deadpool’s sometimes sidekick. Deadpool’s feelings toward Bob vacillate depending on the specific series. Bob’s contribution to Deadpool’s well-being (well, whatever passes for well-being for Deadpool) can’t be ignored. Bob defected from HYDRA when Deadpool broke into the organization’s headquarters in order to save Agent X. Bob supplied the Merc with valuable insight into HYDRA’s inner workings. Since then, HYDRA Bob has been present for many of the antihero’s greatest antics–getting a nod in the 2016 movie.
Dum Dum Dugan
A member of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Howling Commandos, Dum Dum Dugan is best known as Nick Fury’s sidekick. And he has a great deal of page time in his own right. But he got his start helping Fury out after he saved the S.H.I.E.L.D. leader from Nazi’s in World War 2. Fury relies so much on Dugan he had his personality uploaded into an android (a “life model decoy”) to keep him going after the original Dugan was killed in a mission in the 50’s.
Some might argue that Bucky doesn’t really count as a sidekick because he’s now a hero in his own right. But we disagree. Bucky got his start as a member ofCaptain America’s team. He even joined Rogers on his first mission against Red Skull. During World War 2, Bucky was a constant companion of the good Captain. Like many other Marvel sidekicks, Bucky was soon molded into a hero in his own right. He first took a long detour as the villain version of the Winter Soldier. Then eventually took over the Captain America mantel. Currently a hero, the Winter Soldier would never have become the crime fighter he is had it not been for Roger’s tutelage.
We could make a strong argument that all of the X-Men are Charles Xavier’s sidekicks, but we’ll save that for another time. Instead, let’s highlight one of the best hero sidekick relationships in the long history of the X-Men franchise–Wolverine and Jubilee. Jubilee was first inducted into the X-Men after saving Wolverine from Reavers. After that, she joins the man on several missions, illustrating first hand how useful she is by saving Wolverine time and time again. Their relationship immediately takes on a father/daughter dynamic. Jubilee is constantly prodding at the older X-Men member and Wolverine doing everything he can to protect her.
Jim Rhodes has evolved from his sidekick beginning, becoming a superhero in his own right. For decades, Rhodes (Rhodey to Tony Stark) has piloted a version of the Iron Man suit known as War Machine. A former military commander and pilot, he met Tony Stark when his plane was shot down over enemy territory. After they successfully teamed up to escape, Rhodes and Stark forged a lasting friendship that developed into partnership. Stark trusted Rhodes to back him up in any crises. Rhodes even took over the Iron Man mantle when Stark was unable to safely fill the roll, However, the suit hadn’t been properly calibrated to Rhodes’s brain.