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When The Originals Return, Where Do The Sidekicks Go?

They've come into their own, but now there's a dilemma.

Dick Grayson, Wally West, and James “Bucky” Barnes.  They all have one thing in common. They all started out as sidekicks, and they eventually took over the mantle of the men they followed. When Dick Grayson spent years as Robin, then as Nightwing, and when Darkseid shot Bruce Wayne with the Omega Sanction, Dick put on the Batman cowl. Wally West was Kid Flash, and when Barry Allen sacrificed himself in Crisis on Infinite Earths , Wally stepped into his shoes and became the Flash. For years, Bucky was assumed dead after blowing up at the end of World War II, but he resurfaced a few years ago as Winter Soldier. When Steve Rogers was shot dead in the middle of the street, Bucky took it upon himself to wear the mantle of Captain America. They all also have one more thing in common. The men they replaced have either returned or will return soon. Where does this leave these characters?

Barry and Steve have both returned from the dead, and Bruce isn’t far behind. This leaves our sidekicks wearing the sheriff’s badge, as he strolls back into town. It puts these characters in an odd position. You have to respect your predecessor, but should you give it the mantle that you defended? One person who refused to give up that mantle was Jean-Paul Valley, when he took over for Batman, after Bane broke Bruce’s back. When Bruce was ready to return, Jean-Paul put up a fight. Obviously, Bruce won the battle and became the right, once again, to be Batman. What happened to Jean-Paul? He became Azrael, and eventually he died fighting crime. Another character who took over a mantle was Bart Allen. Wally had disappeared into the Speed Force and Bart took over the mantle of the Flash. As the Flash, the Rogues teamed-up and killed Bart. (Who returned later on) So, is the reward of replacing a character your ultimate demise? There are examples of the contrary, such as Jack Walker taking over for Captain America, and then becoming U.S. Agent. He has yet to die though, but recently come close to it. 

These men really came into their own, embraced the mantle, and made it their own. They do not deserve an untimely death. But what will happen to them? At this point, Bucky seems to be keeping the name “Captain America” and there seems to be plans to keep him on a team, even though Steve is still running around. Barry is currently serving as a deputy Blue Lantern, but how long will that last before he is just The Flash again? What happens after Blackest Night and Brightest Day are over? As for Dick, the Return of Bruce Wayne is on the horizon, and when he returns, I’m sure he’ll want to be Batman once again. To quote the Highlander, “There can be only one.” History in comics has taught us this. Either these characters are going to die, or they’ll get new costumes and names. I don’t think they’ll have two Batmen running around Gotham, but who knows? As for Flash, there’s already Jay Garrick, Barry and Wally running around with that name. And as for Bucky, he’ll most likely get a name change. 
 
We'll all just have to wait and see, and hopefully, the creative minds at Marvel and DC don't kill off these characters. They may not be loved by everybody, but they have a strong following.
 
If you were in charge, what would you do with these characters after their originals returned?
 
~Mat Elfring is a comedian, teacher, comic book writer, comic store employee, and worried about the future of these characters.~

77 Comments
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Posted by RiceFox

I kinda like the idea of having more than one Batman, and Captain America, they'd still be different characters, just with the same name, right?
Two heads are better than one? Eh?

Posted by sora_thekey

I like the idea of passing on the mantle.  
Dick should keep the Batman identity just like Bucky and Wally are. 
 
Comics are timeless yes, but you cna't expect for the smae person to be under the mask forever!  
Dick Grayson, Wally West and Bucky have created names for themselves important enought to be considered just as important as the original. Of course if anyone else were to want to take over the mantle, then I would not agree!  
It has to be the sidekick!
Moderator
Posted by johnny_spam

I don't know anything about Cap Bucky, but in the case of Dick he does not even want to be Batman but I do not see him going back to the Nightwing name and I think it can be complicated. As for Wally of course he would use the Flash name there were plans for a co feature alongside the Barry book but  it was dropped, still I always wondered how much there was to Wally being Flash as he became a bit of a copy of Barry.

Posted by Decept-O
@RiceFox said:
"I kinda like the idea of having more than one Batman, and Captain America, they'd still be different characters, just with the same name, right? Two heads are better than one? Eh? "

That IS a possiblity that could occur, and why not?  Not saying I'm all for it, but it would surely confuse the bad guys and the general public at large if there existed more than one character with the same name.   
 
I have a distinct feeling though that there will be a bunch of Captain America VS. Captain America, Batman VS. Batman, etc. stories when the original characters return in their respective comic universes.  What will the fall out be as Inferiorego asks?  Will the sidekicks throw tantrums and become bad guys?  Kind of interesting to think about, not very excited about it, but who knows, maybe it could be fun to read.
Posted by Argentino_18

With Batman could work, to make his myth even bigger making him appear in to places at the same time....

Posted by Gylan Thomas

Was Wally a blue lantern?
I've not read all of Blackest Night yet but I'm pretty sure that was Barry and he was only a temporary deputy because of the emergency situation.
Am I wrong?

Edited by inferiorego
@Gylan Thomas said:

" Was Wally a blue lantern? I've not read all of Blackest Night yet but I'm pretty sure that was Barry and he was only a temporary deputy because of the emergency situation. Am I wrong? "

 
oh man... See?! See how confusing this gets? lol... Wally Barry Wally Barry.... 
consonant,  Letter A, double consonant, letter y
Posted by Mbecks14

Wally can stay Flash. Dick needs to go back to Nightwing. Bucky should stay Captain America.

Posted by Grendel

This is a great topic BTW.
 
"If you were in charge, what would you do with these characters after their originals returned?"
 
You'll quickly see these characters fade into the background or be used as fodder to boost up a villain's cred. They were ready to kill Dick Grayson and you can tell Johns is slowly pushing Wally's mythology backstage to try to do for Barry what he did for Hal (I'm still not embracing it but Manpaul art is gorgeous). Here's my humble suggestions: 
 
Wally: The toughest of them all. Johns is slowly getting rid of his rogues and focusing on Barry's. I liked the new Boomerang but he's toast and it looks like the new Zoom will somehow combine with the old. Waid was able to balance all the speedsters in the 90's but I don't see that happening here.  I can't see them launching a Speed Corps type book unless Flash reigns supreme. Hand off Wally to the JLA or another team or else he'll suffer the same demise his rogues did. It's a shame, too because out of everyone here I really felt Wally's consistently solid stories in the 90's helped him be the one sidekick to fully get the torch passed to him. All this Rebirth stuff feels like nostalgia porn.
 
Bucky: Your name-change idea works. Marvel has no shortage of teams, especially Avengers, and they seem like they want to keep Bucky around. I really believe he'll get the best treatment out of all the sidekicks in your article.
 
Dick Grayson: Out of the three mentioned here, we all knew Dick as Batman wouldn't last but I certainly thought Morrison (And Dini) did some fun stuff with him that should have lasted awhile longer. With the right writer, the two Batmen stuff could work but I don't forsee that happening. He'll be Nightwing again and resume his place in the DC universe pre-R.I.P. I'm more curious to see how they handle Red Robin and Damian.
 

Posted by Gylan Thomas

@inferiorego
 
"Confusing"?
Do your research dude :P
(kiddin' :D)

Posted by lostlantern13

Bucky should stay Cap. Ed Brubaker deserves credit cause I love Bucky-Cap more than I did Steve-Cap. Let Steve go run Avengers Academy or SHIELD.
 
Dick...I want to see more of him in the cowl before I decide.  
 
Wally's the one I've no idea about. Barry's Flash, Bart's Kid Flash, so where does that leave Wally? I'd like to see him be the Flash in JLA or Titans. Barry can have Central City while Bart can go to the Teen Titans.

Posted by GothamBat

I grew up with the Wally West Flash and to me, he should stay The Flash. SInce Barry is back, he should be the Blue Lantern. Dick should stay Batman after Bruce comes back. The same for Bucky. he should stay Cap and have Steve just mentor or whatever.
Posted by inferiorego
@Gylan Thomas said:
" @inferiorego  "Confusing"? Do your research dude :P (kiddin' :D) "
lol. ouch! 
Posted by ninjasquirrel01
@Gylan Thomas: Yeah you're right.
@sora_thekey: Bucky should probably stay as Cap but I like the idea of having two Flashes. As for Dick, well, we kind of already know what's gonna happen. Bruce is returning and becoming Batman once again, because he sort of has to.
Posted by geraldthesloth

I blame Hal Jordan and Barry Allen on Geoff Silver Age Johns.

Posted by danhimself

I want Dick to go back to being Nightwing...I miss Nightwing

Edited by skaarason

-James Barnes is cap  , in one of the latest issues of cap the president said that he has something big planed for steve and steve want james to be cap !!!!! 
 
-wally would be cool as a blue lantern  , but barry is the blue lantern flas right now ?
 -dick = nightwing 

Posted by Gylan Thomas

I sorta think once the Cap movie comes out at the latest that's when we'll have one Steve as the one true Cap. 
Chances of there bein' too Cap's or Batmen are fairly remote.
 
I got a theory Bucky may die in Siege. Allow me to explain.
When the Avengers teasers and Heroic age stuff was being shown every one said Captain America had blue eyes. That'd be Steve. No word on what the secret I.D. are doin' after Seige. Just the costumes. Although Seige: The Fallen seems to be Sentry we've seen him die and survive plenty. What if they kill off Bucky and have Steve take his costume by way of a tribute? Thus a blue eyed cap in Bucky's updated costume? 
Discuss.

Edited by Yung ANcient One

Dick should be BatBOY... but he'll probably be Nightwing again.... and Chris KEnt will change his name to Blue Flame or something
 
Bucky should Get a new name... maybe even a new look.... but i think he might Die.... and Steve will wear his costume as a memory thing....
 
Barry should DIE... no one likes Barry(im joking).... but seriously.... Wallys Flash..... IMO
 
EDIT:
I forgot.... WHy did u post HAwkeye(i kno she was never a Sidekick).... but still.... whats goin to happen to her? Once Clint is HAwkeye again?
 
I think she should get a color change(Purple) should be Blue(Red,Green,White).... etc.... and she should get a new codename like Precise.... or something

Posted by InnerVenom123

Passing the mantle angers me.
Posted by reaper2923

Stupid Bucky should give back the title of Cap to the original Cap. I hate when they kill characters off and then later bring them back, except for Cap he never needed to be killed Bucky should've been killed. Now with Batman coming back after only a year, ha I called it months ago when I first heard that he was going away. To quote myself...."Batman R.I.P. hmmm either he doesn't die and everyone thinks he did or he does and it takes DC a year to realize that they made a mistake." Please keep characters that die dead, but don't kill the ones that have been around since the golden age of comics only to get sales! Except Bucky get rid of him as Cap.

Posted by danhimself

 I actually wouldn't mind seeing Cassandra Cain come back and become Nightwing either
Posted by The_MVPs
@danhimself said:
"
 I actually wouldn't mind seeing Cassandra Cain come back and become Nightwing either
"
Dont make me like you.
Moderator
Posted by danhimself
@Gambler said:
" @danhimself said:
"
 I actually wouldn't mind seeing Cassandra Cain come back and become Nightwing either
"
Dont make me like you. "
but I'm trying so hard
Posted by blade hunter

I like Dick Grayson's Batman more than Bruce's and im a bit upset that he's returning, if DC had any balls they would of left him out of the picture for a good couple of years then gradualy re-introduced him to a new generation of comic book readers.

Posted by War Killer

When it comes to Batman, Bruce is the true Batman, it's who Bruce truely is. Captain America is a symbol of America and the Free World, and Steve explained that he's been through so much as Captain America and after seeing Bucky in action, it hit him that he's been doing this since 1941, and maybe his era was over and Bucky's was just starting. Also, if you read Cap: Reborn #6, Steve thinks if Bucky doesn't stay as Captain America, he WILL die. But Marvel's not dumb, if they ever feel like having Steve back under the mask, he's right there.

Posted by brewski420

Dick will die. Wally will remain as just another Flash.  Bucky will stick to being Cap and Steve will take over as S.H.I.E.L.D director
Posted by ThanosIsMad

Steve will become Colonel America.  Wally will remain Flash but shoved into the background, only to be focused on in a team book, and Dick will become Nightwing again in a Batman inspired costume.  And then Tim will become Redwing and ditch the Red Robin name (god I hate that name) and all will be right in the world.

Posted by nonua4392

Ugh I don't know why they keep bringing people back from the dead!  Just leave them be.  I don't know the full situation with the Captain Americas because I'm not that big of a Marvel fan but I'm pretty up to date with the Flashs and Batmans.  I just don't understand why they keep bringing people back in order to tell stories with them.  The story that was told in Flash: Rebirth could have easily been applied to Wally.  Although I do understand how Barry could have been an important part of that lore, I seem to find myself becoming more and more less likely to buy a comic just because somebody is coming back from the dead.  And I thought that post-Blackest Night DCU would make it harder for people to just resurface years later? The thing that got me excited about Barry coming back was the reinstitution of the Flash corner of the DCU.  I remember the original plan being a Barry Flash book with a Wally Flash second feature and a Kid Flash book as well.  What happened to that?
 
As for the Batman situation, I personally am really digging Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne as the dynamic duo.  Their dynamic is great and I think that it really works.  And if Bruce has really been traveling through time and living different lives, or whatever happened to him, I don't think that he is gonna be too quick to take up the mantle if he has a suitable replacement.  I'm hoping that Bruce comes back and simply is Bruce.  We've already seen him in an advisory post with Batman Beyond.  I don't know but I for one am not excited for the upcoming Return of Bruce Wayne series and won't be buying it.  Keep Dick as Batman.

Posted by goldenkey
@GothamBat said:
"I grew up with the Wally West Flash and to me, he should stay The Flash. SInce Barry is back, he should be the Blue Lantern. Dick should stay Batman after Bruce comes back. The same for Bucky. he should stay Cap and have Steve just mentor or whatever. "

I agree with everything but the Dick remaining Batman, unless they want to make Bruce seem like he got to old.  Put him in an oracle like situation, or make him a mentor type character.  Steve as head of Shield should be interesting for a while.
Posted by MrCipher

Don't they all just go back and take more classes on Hero Support?
Posted by ninjadude853

i thought that it was decided that bucky would remain captain america after who will wear the shield 
 
and that steve is using the identity as one last hurrah for siege

Posted by waruikumo

Isn't Wally Also the flash now? 
 
And with Dick? probably nightwing.  The real question is with Damian and Tim.  I think if Grant Morrison stays on, well prob see Bruce and Damian.  Or Bruce will not fully come back to batman initially. and just be more of a mentor/Good Ra's Al Ghoul. 
 
And isn't Steve Rogers supposed to take over shield? 

Posted by KJPPPimp

I thought at the beginning of Rebirth Johns said he planned on giving Wally a new superhero name and costume, which I supported, but I guess that idea got scrapped.

Posted by DarkSyde79

Bucky should stay Cap and Steve should move on to lead the reformed S.H.I.E.L.D. 
 
Barry and Wally should keep the Flash mantle, if anything seeing two Flash around would add luster to his title as "The Fastest Man Alive" as people would literally think he's in two places at one time.
 
Bruce as Batman, Tim as Robin, Dick as Red Robin (since Chris Kent is running or flyer around as Knightwing), and Damian should create a persona of his own and partner if Dick, if need be.

Edited by Golden Cod

  @ThanosIsMad said:

" Steve will become Colonel America. "

 
But the last time there was a Col. America, all superhumans on Earth became zombies :D
 
 
I'd like to see Bucky continue as Capt. because I think he offers a different perspective on America then Steve and that's been a long running part of the Captain America mythos (Fanatical 50s Cap, USAgent's yes-man Cap, Ultimates' Cap, Bucky Cap, even Protocide).   Marvel's teasers imply that Steve is going to lead SHIELD but I'd kinda like to see him go back to the Nomad identity.
 
We know Bruce is going to be Batman again and I don't mind it as long as they don't have Dick go back to being Nightwing and act as if he never picked up the cowl in the first place.    Perhaps relief at having a burden removed from his shoulders?   Perhaps a longing for the stage presence that Batman's cowl generates?   Just don't give me a Dick that acts as if none of this happened.
 
I've actually never been a big fan of the Flash comics so I couldn't care less about Wally (please don't hurt me).
Posted by knightofhonor100

Steve Rogers is the one true Captain America. NOT BUCKY! Enough said.
Posted by squiresmadnessmachine

wally west- i can see this goin many ways but i really think i see wally getting pushed aside for barry and everyone really being so happy he is back and not thanking wally for his service as flash. due to wally's money problems and lack of acceptance i could see wally west becoming a trader and going bad and almost like zoom wanting it to be that barry never comes back so he could be flash and then making it end up bart and barry allen being flash and kid flash.  
dick grayson- his comtempt for bruce wayne and his love of being batman could delvelop into conflicts, that being said expect dick to embrace bruce and not putting up a fight for the mantle bruce created he is the one true batman and EVERYONE knows that. 
bucky barnes- just like dick he will gladly give the mantle back to steve rodgers his mentor and best friend reclaim the winter soldier identity and look for him do do alot of covert opps type things for nick fury and being a underground hero also if this goes down i would love to see a winter soldier book done by brubaker as like a covert opps detective story that would be freakin epic. 
 
and thats what i think about this whole stiuation
Edited by CATMANEXE

this is where they go IE

Posted by Phantom Patriot

I think for the sake of not insulting the comic buyers, don't bring back the heroes that died. Its really insulting, like saying "yeah we ran out of ideas"
 
plus its a demoting wally, dick and bucky. Geez. maybe its just me but I prefer things staying SOMEWHAT real.

Posted by Rabbit Tots
@ThanosIsMad said:
"Steve will become Colonel America.  Wally will remain Flash but shoved into the background, only to be focused on in a team book, and Dick will become Nightwing again in a Batman inspired costume.  And then Tim will become Redwing and ditch the Red Robin name (god I hate that name) and all will be right in the world."

Is what you are saying true or are you just being sarcastic?
Posted by PazStruke

Hey! What about Kyle Rayner?!  He's not dead, although we've thought he was a couple times. 
I think for the time being, Bucky's keeping the mantle for awhile, at least, and Steve's going to have a fancy new job. 
Dick doesn't even really want to be Batman, I thought.

Posted by E.I.S.A.M.

I wish comic creators would make a choice and stick with it. Bringing Barry and Hal back were stupid decisions handled beautifully. I like a passing of the mantel, especially if they're gonna take the time to age the characters.

Posted by Everything Green Lantern

I have to say it was kinda pointless to kill off Bruce Wayne and have Dick take his place with the hole Battle of the Cowl thing, just to bring him back a year later, but I guess It's just DC's way of doing things and I won't stop reading their comics because of it.    

Posted by Sorrow_symbiote

Well whatever happens it will definitly be interesting.
Edited by ironshadow

Bucky will probably stay Cap for a while and I really want Steve to be in charge of a new SHIELD, as for Barry, he should have stayed dead or at least have Jay retire and keep Wally and Barry.

Posted by Meteorite

I'd like Bucky to get a new identity. Something in between what he was as the Winter Soldier and what he is as Captain America. Maybe.... Nomad?

Posted by Grim

i think were gonna see Dick as Batman for a while. I can completely see Bruce just stepping out of it for a bit. 
and for everyone else, the 'two of the same name" mantle willwork just fine. There have been 2 Flashes for a while, and one more cant hurt. 
 And the Cap's actually look good together (even though almost every last thing thats happened to Cap in these last few years has been a direct rip of batman storylines), so no harm there either.

Posted by ironshadow
@Meteorite: That would be the best option for Bucky 
Posted by FLStyle

Much like Tim has become an alternate version of Robin, Dick should become an alternate version of Batman (just don't call him Red Bat).

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