Legion of Stupid Heroes? Jenkins talks "Sidekick" Changes

So what do superhero sidekicks do on their summer vacation? If they're Eddie Edison they try to find a way to get out from under the thumb of the four moronic superheroes that are robbing him blind. Eddie is the star of Paul Jenkins Sidekick, written by Jenkins and drawn by artist Chris Moreno, which returns this June with the two- issue Super Summer Sidekick Spectacular and a trade paperback collection of the original series published by 12 Gauge Comics and Image Comics. CBR News spoke with Jenkins about the satirical superhero series.

Before the trade paperback and Super Summer Sidekick Spectacular hits stores, the fifth and final issue of the first Sidekick series will hit stores. Readers can expect Sidekick #5 to arrive in stores in about three to four weeks. This issue contains the first glimpse of the Council of American Superheroes, a non-profit organization where all checks are payable to C.A.S.H., Jenkins told CBR News. We'll have an arbitrary role call of the Council of American Superheroes; so you get to meet them. There's a big triangular, pyramid shaped Arab guy and he's called the Sunni Triangle. One of my favorites is Undercover Quarterback. He's a quarterback by day and he doesn't take his uniform off. He just puts a fedora on and no one can recognize him. So by night he's an undercover detective. We've also got characters like The Living Sherbet, The Gerbil Whisperer, and the Blanket Master. There's like sixty of them on one page; it kind of shows how depraved we are.

Issue #5 of Sidekick not only introduces the Council it places them in peril. The issue involves Eddie's great temptation at the hands of Dr. Scurrilous, Jenkins explained. Scurrilous offers him a chance to work with him and to betray and kill the Council of American Superheroes, whom he loathes anyway because they're completely useless and they're ripping him off. So it's not that difficult of a decision and to sweeten the deal Scurrilous offers to kill Eddie's girlfriend and that seems to be the kicker.

Sidekick #5 will also reveal the fate of one of the series most heroic figures, The Hobo. That's resolved at the end of the thing; we'll see the Hobo spring into smelly action, Jenkins said. There's some other great moments too, Eddie's room mate Darren also springs into action as a stand in for the lovely Pony [The female sidekick identity that Eddie adopts when working with the Justice Princess].

Following the release of Sidekick #5 the series will move from Desperado Publishing to 12 Gauge Comics. We always planned to share the wealth between two of our local friends, Jenkins stated.

Readers who may have missed Sidekick will get a chance to read the entire silly saga in June, when 12 Gauge releases the trade paperback collection of the first series. In addition to collecting the entire series, the trade paperback will also mark the debut of the winning character from Wizard Universe's Design a Sidekick Contest. The contest went really well. It was one by a nineteen year old guy who created a character called Dirt Boy, Jenkins said. We thought he was great because he has the power to turn into a pile of dirt which is spectacularly useless. It's quite possibly the most useless power you can have. Dirt Boy appears on the front cover of the collected edition and we actually have a one pager starring Dirt Boy that's printed especially for the trade. Also we took all the people who entered the contest and we're doing a funny shout out page to them because they're crazy. It was terrifying (laughs)! It was like, 'What are the people doing?'

Also in June, readers will get more of Jenkins and Moreno's twisted and wacky tales of useless superheroes when 12 Gauge releases the debut issue of Paul Jenkins' Sidekick: Super Summer Sidekick Spectacular. We'll do the occasional series of 'Sidekick' because that will fit what Chris and I can do, Jenkins explained. The two issue 'Summer Spectacular' is basically, remember those 'Legion of Superheroes' stories where you'd have characters like Bouncing Boy, Braniac 5, and the Karate Kid and they'd all be trying to get into the bloody group but couldn't get in? Bouncing Boy and all those guys would do the try outs and they'd say for the readers, 'You can try out for our Legion of Superheroes but only one you will make it by some arbitrary freakin' decision. You read the story and when they got to the point where they revealed the new member you'd be pleased and or disappointed.

So, Eddie has spent a number of years trying to get into the Council of American Superheroes; he's probably the most competent one there but he always fails at the last moment, Jenkins continued. This represents his best opportunity. He comes in as a new recruit known as the Bee. So he wears this bumble bee uniform and he looks really stupid. Everybody laughs as him as they should and we see the trials and tribulations that he gets put through. It's not pleasant; the Night Judge's trials involve gerbils.

Jenkins hopes that come June that readers get a chance to see both the Sidekick trade paperback and the Super Summer Sidekick Spectacular. We're going to do a big promotional push on 'Sidekick,' he said. What we've found is that everyone who sees the book loves it. At this most recent Wizard World LA show we we're doing a signing and I'd let people read copies of 'Sidekick' in the line. And every single one of them would buy a copy of 'Sidekick' They would then come back a little while later and buy the other issues. So content is not the problem. It's the awareness. The biggest problem you're going to have with a small press book is whether or not you can get people to see it. You just have to do the very best you can to promote the book.

Now discuss this story in CBR's Image Comics forum.

Killer Groove #2

More in Comics