11 Anti-Heroes Who Need a Sidekick

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Anti-heroes — we can’t help but to root for them, even if they fail to retain most hero qualities. Anti-heroes are some of the most popular and relevant characters in modern cinema these days. Morally gray characters are much more interesting to watch, and even if the viewer doesn’t agree with their choices and course of action, they can understand the motivation behind it. Anti-heroes are drastically different from straight-up villains. However, they can have a few things in common, and one of them is a sidekick.

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A sidekick is a character that is considered a partner or an inferior to another character. They help them create their plans and execute them. While many anti-heroes don’t have sidekicks, some do – and some are in dire need of one for multiple reasons. Here are ten anti-heroes from the movies and television shows who could benefit from a sidekick.

11 Daryl Dixon — The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

The Walking Dead Daryl Dixon points a gun standing outside
AMC

Fan favorite zombie-killer Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) carried on The Walking Dead franchise in his own spin-off, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, which sees the titular character head to France to try to find Rick Grimes. There he gets wrapped up in a war between two factions, and a mystery surrounding a young boy who may have some kind of unknown powers.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

Daryl has been largely a lone wolf character since his brother died. His friendship with Carol is one of the highlights of the original show, but she was definitely no sidekick, and hasn’t appeared in the new spin-off yet. Daryl is a quiet and sometimes dark character, but has all of the potential to really become a hero along the lines of Rick — and a sidekick would really help get him there. For Daryl to have someone not just to help take care of, but to train and teach, would solidify him as the hero we all know he really is.

10 Billy Butcher — The Boys

The Boys Karl Urban Billy Butcher giving a crazy look with a yellow filter
Prime Video

Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) is one of the ultimate anti-heroes on television right now. Butcher is one of the leads of the superhero show, The Boys. He is violent and doesn’t really care what he has to do to achieve his goals, especially when it comes to killing Homelander (Antony Starr) and getting revenge for the death of his wife.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

Butcher is very capable of doing things on his own, though he has a group of friends who usually help him (“The Boys”). And Hughie, who joins them after his girlfriend is killed, is a great candidate for a sidekick. But Butcher needs to really embrace that potential and let Hughie and the other Boys help him. His anti-hero path is only getting darker, and he really needs a moral compass like Hughie in his life to balance him out before he goes full villain mode.

9 Captain Jack Sparrow — Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow still shot
Buena Vista Pictures

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) may not be the bloodthirsty kind of anti-hero that has become quite common these days. However, he is still far from the traditional hero — especially as he is portrayed in the Disney movie franchise Pirates of the Caribbean. Sparrow lies, cheats, and does whatever he can to outsmart his opponents and get the treasures and ships he desires. If there’s anything you can count on him to do, it’s betray you.

Related: 10 Villain Sidekicks Who Stole the Spotlight

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

The devious captain is known for getting himself into situations that are just as dangerous as they are hilarious. While he has a crew on his ship, when he is able to secure one, he could use some help — even if only so he doesn’t have to drink his precious rum alone. Sparrow would conquer all the seas if he got a sidekick just as smart as him, and it could be both entertaining and endearing to see him corrupt a young pirate into becoming a chip off the old block.

8 Deadpool — Deadpool

Deadpool Ryan Reynolds holds his hands to his face
20th Century Fox

The hilarious and irreverent Deadpool films follow Ryan Reynolds as the eponymous and 4th-wall-breaking comic book character that may be the perfect, and raunchiest, adaptation from graphic novels. Deadpool is more complicated than he first appears, with a tragic backstory and difficult love life adding depth to the otherwise ridiculous character.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

It’s worth noting that Deadpool does have a sidekick or two in the comics, over the course of his story. But so far in the movies, he has been alone. And a character like Deadpool could use a good sidekick — for tossing an extra magazine his way, or to keep him from losing himself in his understandable despair, or, one can hope, to even ground the immature crime-fighter and give him a reason to grow up a bit himself.

7 Hank Voight — Chicago PD

Chicago PD Hank Vought on the phone looking concerned
NBC

Sargent Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) is a great example of a police anti-hero. Voight is the head of the Chicago Police Department’s Intelligence Unit and has the final word on every action his officers take — even if they don’t agree with him. Chicago PD currently has 10 seasons, and there have been ups and downs in the degree of law-breaking Voight has done, which includes murder and tampering with evidence.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

Voight has had problems with almost every single one of his officers. They usually don’t agree on following a darker path, even if some officers do and end up aligning with him, for a short time. Voight did have a sidekick in the first couple of seasons, Detective Olinsky (Elias Koteas), but the character unfortunately died. They worked well together and were able to solve problems without prejudicing the other officers. After so many seasons without one, it would be interesting to see him with a new set of hands that are not afraid of getting bloody.

6 Bryan Mills — Taken

Taken Liam Neeson Bryan Mills on a cell phone and pointing a gun
20th Century Fox

In the action thriller franchise Taken, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) goes through (a couple of times) a father’s worst nightmare: his daughter is kidnapped. With significant training as a former CIA officer, he knows how low his chances are of finding her at all, let alone alive and well. But he still manages to do it right at the last possible moment, before unspeakable things happen. The character is more on the hero side of the spectrum, but it is important to remember that he doesn’t care what law he breaks and who he has to shoot — he will get his daughter back.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

Mills would definitely benefit from having someone by his side, picking up on clues and having ideas about how to get his daughter back – or maybe as a bodyguard watching her to begin with. This would be especially true if it was someone who also had police training that he could bounce options off of, and to help him out during gunfights. Maybe the sidekick could even be a love interest for his daughter, eventually.

5 Harley Quinn — Birds of Prey

Birds of Prey Harley Quinn with colorful smoke behind her grinning
Warner Bros.

There are many version and adaptations of the fantabulous Harley Quinn, but for the purpose of this article, we are focusing on the live action movies, especially Birds of Prey, starring Margot Robbie as the wild and free-spirited Quinn, finally escaping from the toxic relationship she had with the Joker, and finding herself. And if finding herself involves mad escapades to secure the perfect breakfast sandwich or raiding police stations, so be it.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

Harley actually starts off as the Joker’s sidekick — but she was destined for more. Now out of the shadows of the Batman villain and on her own, a large part of Harley’s journey to find herself could involve a sidekick who not only helps her out with her love of chaos, but they could also help her orient herself and learn about her motivations and morals. As a character, the new Harley post-Joker is still being defined, and a younger female sidekick would be perfect for her along the way.

4 Thomas Shelby — Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders Thomas Shelby smoking a cigarette
BBC

Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy), the lead in Peaky Blinders, may be the strongest definition of television anti-hero in the last couple of years. The complex character is known for being cunning, violent, and ultimately getting what he wants — regardless if anyone else, or his own morals, get in the way. Shelby took his family from poverty to riches mostly alone, and he had more than a few bumps along the way.

Related: The 10 Most Iconic Sidekicks in Western Movies

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

The thing about Thomas Shelby is that he treats everyone around him as inferiors, and doesn’t really trust them. To be completely fair, very few have earned his trust and have not somehow managed to hinder to hinder his plans. Though the series is now over, it would have been interesting to see a sidekick, someone that he could trust 100%, who would be there for him, especially in the last season when he was tricked into thinking he was dying.

3 Loki — Loki

God Loki
Disney

The character of Loki has one of the most interesting arcs in the entire MCU. From where he started, as an obvious villain, to where he ended in the TV series Loki, the God of Mischief comes a long way and goes through a lot. Technically, we aren’t even with the same version of Loki by the end. But it’s close enough that the evolution of his character counts – and this also means that, despite the ending of the show, we may see Loki again.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

Loki is a complicated, deep, and ultimately very lonely character. His biggest struggle comes from his desire to be loved. While he seems destined to end up alone for now, if Loki ever does return to the MCU, a sidekick would be absolutely perfect for him. His friendship with Mobius was deeply meaningful and powerful on him, and was responsible for his choices, and a similar sidekick in the future could have an even greater effect.

2 Camille Preaker — Sharp Objects

Camille Preaker Sharp Objects Amy Adams standing in sunlight
HBO

Journalist Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) is the lead character in what is one of the best detective miniseries of all time, Sharp Objects. With a dark and complicated past, she doesn’t trust anyone around her, and given what she went through, that is not a surprise. She deals with everything on her own — and almost dies because of it.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

To be fair, it is not only that Preaker would benefit from having some journalistic assistance in trying to understand the murder case in her hometown while being overwhelmed by her family drama, she also just needed someone to be there for her. Camille needed some deep emotional support that she never got in the story, not even as a child, and a sidekick would provide that for her.

1 John Wick — John Wick

John Wick in front of a blue circle for John Wick 4 poster art
Lionsgate

Played by the undeniably breathtaking Keanu Reeves, John Wick is a relentless force of nature when he is angry and bent on revenge. For four movies and counting, he has been impressing audiences with incredible choreographed fight scenes and epic storylines. Though he has some faithful companions in the form of dogs, Wick has been a lone wolf in all of his escapades, and continues to be so.

Why Do They Need A Sidekick?

While it’s hard to imagine that someone like Wick needs, much less wants, a sidekick, he clearly could use one. And one that has two legs, rather than four. Wick is a lone hitman who is lucky to be blessed with a surprising amount of friends, but he is missing the loyal sidekick that is always there to help him and stand by him. Wick with a constant companion could be gamechanging, and add a refreshing aspect to the franchise, too.

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