Where would a superhero be without their plucky sidekick? It’s hard to find a hero who doesn’t need a little help now, as many problems they face cannot be solved by blindly punching alone. That’s where a sidekick shines; in showing them where to punch!

In the last few years, we’ve been treated to an amazing cast of superhero sidekicks, all with wildly varying skills and characters. To celebrate the Digital release of Shazam! Available to download today, we’ve pulled together some of our favourites from films, with a few lesser known characters and some you might not have even thought of as sidekicks!  

6) Kato-The Green Hornet

Starting the tradition of sidekicks who are more useful than the hero, Kato is a martial arts expert who spends much of 2011’s Green Hornet saving the lead. In the film, Kato is a runaway orphan who began working with the Green Hornets’ father as a mechanic, but now acts as the man of action thanks to his near superhuman fighting ability. Kato isn’t just an incredible fighter and boasts a mighty intellect that allows him to stay one step ahead of their foes.

5) Baby Groot-Guardians of the Galaxy 2

There is a very good reason Guardians of the Galaxy 2 showed off tons of baby Groot before it hit cinemas; he is adorable. Downsized from his original appearance but still voiced by the great Vin Diesel, the mini Groot turns the eclectic Guardians into a very non-traditional family unit. Ditzy, adventurous and loyal, Groot is a source of unending comedy thanks to the frequent dangerous misadventures he leads the crew into. Not that he needs much protecting, and fights to save his friends as hard as anyone else in the crew. 

4) Ned Leeds-Spiderman: Far from Home

Ned breaks tradition by being a sidekick who actually wants to be a sidekick. In his own words, he dreams about being ‘the guy in the chair’. After discovering Peter Parker’s secret, Ned uses his intellect to guide Peter in his fight against crime even saving Peter during the course of Spiderman: Homecoming. Although he may be more concerned with building his Lego Deathstar, Ned is a friend and ally to Peter that he couldn’t be without.

3) Abe Sapien-Hellboy

As the thoughtful alternative to Hellboy’s ‘punch first and ask questions later’ style, Abe Sapien is a literal fish out of water in the world. Highly intelligent, psychic and gymnastic, Abe is a fan favourite for good reason, thanks to a lovable bookishness and fascination with the occult world. In Guillermo del Toro’s beloved 2004 movie, Abe is the emotional centre of the film, bridging the gap between the casts fiery characters and terrifying situations. Just don’t get him drunk.

2) Robin-The Lego Batman Movie 

With unending optimism and a fair share of naivety, Michael Cera’s Robin is at times more important to the plot than the narcissistic Batman would like to admit. After impressing his accidental adoptive father, Robin helps to teach him the joys of family and opening yourself up to others. All great things, if you can get past his terrible ideas for catchphrases and awful theme songs.

1) Freddy Freeman-SHAZAM!

Sometimes, superheroes don’t really know how to be ‘super’ out of the gate. In SHAZAM! Freddie Freeman is the superhero sensei who teaches Billy Batson what it means to be a hero, informed by his love and encyclopaedic knowledge of DC’s other major characters. Overcoming a disability with a strong sense of humour and a drive to never let anything hold him back, Freddy is a superhero is in his own right. Throughout the film, Freddy helps to guide the overly cocky and underprepared Billy, complimenting Shazam’s powers with his intellect. Without Freddy, Billy might never have realised he had half of his powers, so you can thank Freddy for that!

Shazam! Is available to own on Digital Download now and on DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, and 4K Blu-ray from 12th August