Ain't That a Kick in the Side: Talking "Paul Jenkins' Sidekick"

In life we all sometimes have to do crazy things to make ends meets. Eddie Edison has embarked on the craziest thing he's ever done; unable to make enough cash as a pizza delivery boy and a superhero sidekick, Eddie has decided to become the sidekick to four different superheroes. Eddie is the star of "Paul Jenkins' Sidekick," a five issue mini-series from Image Comics by writer Paul Jenkins and artist Chris Moreno. CBR News spoke to Jenkins about the satirical superhero series.

Issue #3 of "Sidekick" is in stores now and Jenkins provided new readers looking to get in on the fun with what they need to know. "It's about a sidekick who is trying to make his way in life," Jenkins told CBR News. "He's a sidekick for this really moronic superhero called Mr. Excellent. All he's doing is basically getting ripped off because Mr. Excellent is taking all the money from the merchandizing and stuff. So, Eddie makes one really, really bad decision and decides to be a sidekick to four heroes at the same time and they all take him up on his offer at exactly the same time. So, now he has to juggle four superheroes at the same time."

The four heroes Eddie plays sidekick to all exhibit unnerving eccentricities, which lands Eddie in all sorts of hilarious and humiliating situations. "First there's Mr. Excellent, who is like Superman," Jenkins said. "Next, there's a guy called The Night Judge, who is a complete raving lunatic. He's deep and dark. He's a vigilante in the truest sense of the word except Eddie has to fight off his advances all the time because this guy is really into Eddie. He's sort of like half way between the film Batman and halfway between the Adam West Batman; when he's off duty he's very camp. Then, there's this woman called the Justice Princess. So, poor ole Eddie has to dress up like a girl. Finally, there's this guy called Brother Commando, who is this really militant African American superhero and really doesn't like anybody. He's completely violent. So Eddie has to try and fit in as a Black kid, but doesn't know how to do it. He knows all the Hip-Hop clichés, but doesn't know exactly how to speak, so he buys himself a book called 'Ebonics for Dummies.' He spends his time reading it and decides a good undercover name for this thing would be Bling-Master G-Dog, that's the superhero sidekick name he chooses."

The Night Judge's crusade against crime is motivated by his mental and emotional problems, but the other three heroes Eddie sidekicks for are motivated by something else and it's not altruism. "They basically compete with each other," Jenkins said. "Not particularly to solve crimes or do anything like that, but to make as much money as possible on the backs of their sidekicks."

There is one noble superhero in "Sidekick," but unfortunately cash strapped Eddie is in no shape financially to partner with him. "There is one other hero and he's called the Hobo and he's basically this old tramp," Jenkins explained. "He doesn't have any money, so the Hobomobile is an old shopping cart. He's the only one that's actually worth anything. He's the only one that's actually doing something heroic, but he doesn't have any money. Eddie has got this temptation to work with the Hobo and do the right thing, but he's like, 'I can't take up with the Hobo because he can't pay me.' And Eddie can't pay his rent because all he's doing is delivering pizzas. So poor Ole Eddie, he's got to put up with the four morons instead."

It's unfortunate that Eddie can't be the Hobo's sidekick because the hero will need all the help he can get in his battle with a bizarre and twisted villain. "We've got a villain called Doctor Scurrilous," Jenkins said. "He lost his tongue years ago in a bizarre accident with a character called the Green Grenade. He replaced his tongue with a piece of silver, so he has a silver tongue. The great thing about Dr. Scurrilous is that he's always making really stupid machines out of household objects. In issue #3 you get the first glimpse of the artillery jock strap, the attack telephone, the hydro tuxedo, and the support flamingo. In issue #4 there's a thing called the Tragic 8 Ball. He flies around in a Magic 8 Ball and when he parks it, it says things like, 'All signs point to death.' So he's basically as nuts as anything in it."

It isn't just Eddie's life in Spandex that's nuts in "Sidekick." His love life is just as warped and wacky as his career in costume. "One thing that kind of took people by surprise is that it's kind of sexy as well," Jenkins explained. "Eddie is doing Mr. Excellent's wife on the side. He's the most powerful man on the planet and Eddie is having an affair with his wife behind his back. Her name is based on Lois Lane. It's Beverly Boulevard.

"He's also got this bi-polar stripper girlfriend named Stormy," Jenkins continued. "He and his roommate absolutely hate her. They loathe her, but Eddie puts up with her because she's great in the sack, but more importantly he's afraid of her. She's absolutely revolting. I don't want to reveal too much of the plot, but at one point he gets a really interesting offer in issue #5. Someone makes him a really good offer and says to sweeten the deal, 'I'll kill your girlfriend for you.' And he takes it really seriously."

The only serious problem Jenkins has had with "Paul Jenkins' Sidekick" has been drawing people's attention to the book. "What we've learned is that anyone that sees the book absolutely loves it," Jenkins said. "They laugh out loud and they write in and say how brilliant it is. The most frustrating part for us is that it has to be seen first. Because it has Desperado or Image in the top left hand corner, it's one of those books you have to fight to get people to see. The moment they see it, they go, 'Wow! I want all the issues!'"

There are two things in the works that will help more people see "Sidekick." "One is, these things are always up in the air, but there's a strong possibility that there may be a screen play written for 'Sidekick' in the next six months to a year," Jenkins stated. "That's as much as I can say about it right now."

The other thing in the works is a promotional campaign designed to draw attention to the collected edition of "Paul Jenkins' Sidekick." Jenkins had to keep the details of the campaign under wraps, but said it will give the project a lot more visibility. "It will really bring the fans into it as well," said Jenkins. "Fans will really get a kick out of what we're going to be doing. In a couple of months time you'll see the announcement. When people see that I think they'll understand."

"Sidekick" #4 ships to stores on November 15th, from Image Comics.

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