Let’s talk about sidekicks.
The sidekick’s job is to watch the main hero’s back and help in any way possible. Sometimes this means providing support and help from afar and sometimes it means getting their hands dirty and joining the hero in his/her adventures.
More often than not, comic book publishers use sidekicks as a way to fill a need in the comic that the hero can’t fill. In the case of Robin the Boy Wonder, it was a way for DC Comics to make one of their most popular heroes more kid friendly and accessible in a time where comic book superheroes were facing a lot of scrutiny.
Over the course of comic book history there have been plenty of other sidekicks. Some have worked,
and some have not.
Today we’re talking about a Golden Age super sidekick that belongs in the “did not work” category, although if you ask me it’s a crying shame.
Today we’re going to talk about Doiby Dickles.
Origin and Career
The Green Lantern of the 1940’s was radically different from the Green Lantern we know today.
Instead of being an interstellar cop who got his powers from an advanced piece of alien technology, the Golden Age Green Lantern was a railroad engineer named Alan Scott who used a ring powered by magic.
When popular heroes like Batman and Superman experienced a sales boost by adopting sidekicks, National Comics turned to legendary comic book creator Bill Finger to create a sidekick for Alan.
I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Bill Finger wasn’t just a big name for the Green Lantern, he also helped create a huge chunk of the Batman mythos we know and love today.
Doiby made his first appearance in All American Comics #27 in June of 1941.
The man was a Brooklyn taxi driver who drove Alan Scott around as needed.
He spoke with a thick Brooklyn accent, always wore a derby hat, and wasn’t afraid to get into a fight when he needed to.
He had something of a temper as well and could swing a wrench with enough power to make him a force to be reckoned with.
Also, he was incredibly attached to his cab, who he named “Goitrude”.
In short, Doiby Dickles was an ill tempered, foul mouthed cab driver who was quick in a fight and wanted to do everything he could to help.
He was magnificent.
So what happened?
The Golden Age of superheroes ended and the ensuing Silver Age took more of a science fiction bent.
This included a dramatic revamping of the Green Lantern series which shifted from the magic wielder Alan Scott to the galactic space cop Hal Jordan that we know and love today.
Sadly, this meant that the new age of comics didn’t have time and room for a hard talking fast punching maniac like Doiby,
so DC decided to ship him off into space and marry an alien princess named Ramia from the planet Myrg after saving her from a forced marriage to a man named Prince Peril.
Doiby and Ramia would return to Myrg where Doiby would become it’s king. The people of Myrg would go on to adopt Brooklyn accents and recreate the baseball field where the Brooklyn Dodgers played.
God, the Silver Age was weird.
While Doiby was no longer a member of the main supporting cast he did manage the odd guest appearance where he actually helped the Green Lanterns defeat Sinestro.
Sadly, Goitrude was destroyed in the battle. It’s one of the most heartbreaking deaths in all of comics.
While that was the extent of his Silver Age career, Doiby was nowhere near done as a character. He would continue to have revival after unlikely revival, even into the modern age.
He made an appearance with a superhero group known as “Old Justice”.
It was a joke group of old superheroes who made it their mission to keep the younger generation of superheroes in check and make sure they didn’t mess things up too much,
Naturally they became a thorn in the side of the more famous “Young Justice” superhero team, although in the end they did manage to put aside their differences and let the young ones do their jobs.
If you want to read more stories with Doiby in them, I recommend the Young Justice “Sins of Youth” story line.
Doiby’s next adventure would be with Young Justice again, when they agreed to help him travel back to Myrg and defeat an alien race known as the Slag by playing a game of baseball.
It’s worth mentioning that the team was only able to win by blatantly cheating.
Sadly, the baseball game was the last major appearance for Doiby Dickles. The rest of his appearances are guest spots and flashbacks with Alan Scott.
So, according to DC continuity, Doiby is still out there on an alien planet and is enjoying a long and happy life with an alien queen while ruling a race of Brooklyn accented extra terrestrials.
Shine on you crazy bastard, you deserve it.
2 thoughts on “Golden Age Showcase: Doiby Dickles”
I don’t share your enthusiasm for Doiby. The earliest Green Lantern strips with Alan and his fantastical powers, Irene, and a rotating roster of gangsters and thugs were actually pretty good Golden Age comics. I don’t mind expanding the cast but Doiby just ruins the strip. He’s so obnoxious and annoying and every. Single. Story. Has to have him in it. Why couldn’t they have given him a rest every once in a while? And why give Irene the boot?
Yeah, I see where you’re coming from and I agree that there were a lot of very good serious Golden Age stories. It’s just that I really enjoy the silly bits of Golden Age lore that didn’t take itself so seriously and what I wanted to do is highlight the characters and artistic choices of the time period that were bad ideas but were put in either due to trend chasing, tight deadlines, or a desire to throw things against the wall and seeing what stuck.