A good side character in ANY movie has the potential to outshine the hero and leave you wanting more, but that proves doubly difficult in the superhero genre, where upstaging the guy with claws or a big red cape is a tall order.
We managed to round up ten of the best supporting players in the comic book realm that provide that extra color, pizazz, and the occasional sardonic one-liner which makes a straight-laced do-gooder easier to bear. These sidekicks can be helpful or villainous, though their appeal is almost across the board due to their roguish nature. Costumed heroes may get all the love, but these are the cats you’d wanna have a beer and a good cigar with.
SUPERMAN 1 (1978) & 2 (1981)
Otis (Ned Beatty)
“Mr. Luthor!” Ned Beatty, fresh off an Oscar nod for Network, created the goofy henchman to end all goofy henchman in Otis, a supremely stupid man baby who assists Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) in his diabolical plan to blast the West Coast into Costa del Lex. With dreams of Otisburg dancing in his head, it was impossible to hate the character no matter how oafish he was because he was so child-like… The straw hat helped as well. Beatty himself relished being Otis, and would have loved to play him again. “Richard Donner, God bless his heart, he made me eat in every scene,” Beatty said. “That was a special experience and I would’ve liked to have hung on a little longer.”
THE ROCKETEER (1991)
Peevy Peabody (Alan Arkin)
Peevy is your prototypical gearhead. Even though he acts as Cliff’s (Billy Campbell) sidekick, he’s really the brains behind the whole superhero operation they get going after discovering a rocket pack in one of their circus planes. Alan Arkin’s deadpan smartass delivery makes him almost the anti-Doc Brown from Back to the Future, as well as providing some great one-liners, like when Cliff asks Peevy how he looks in his new rocket getup: “Like a hood ornament.”
Head to page 2 for antagonists from two VERY different Marvel movies…