Ten years ago, eccentric millionaire THOMAS WINCHESTER, put on a cowl one day and decided to call himself, well, THE COWL. He wasn’t very imaginative but he was one hell of a crime-fighter.
Not long after starting his career as one of the Good Guys, he encountered BARRY CHASE, then 16, who was able to fly and was nearly invulnerable. In another burst of obviousness, Thomas named his new sidekick FLYBOY, because, well, he was a boy and he could fly.
For three years, they brought peace to Steel City, fighting for truth, justice and some third goal that the Cowl could never quite put his finger on but was sure he’d figure out in time. During that time they were aided by Police Inspector Herbert Moss, the Cowl’s love interest Joan Darling, and the brilliant but delusional inventor Professor Tannenbaum.
They battled such menaces as Terraform, Snakebite, the Wheel, Reaver and the beautiful but deadly Moonstar Twins. During these battles, Flyboy was often the butt of jokes by the criminals they faced, who couldn’t take a kid sidekick as a serious threat. Even the other heroes of Steel City and elsewhere rarely cut him any slack.
Then tragedy struck when the Cowl was apparently assassinated by one of his enemies.
Left alone at the age of 19, Flyboy decided to continue his crime-fighting career, even though Thomas’ will barely gave him enough money to survive, much of the rest going to cat shelters. Worse still, the problems that plagued Barry as the Cowl’s sidekick have not only continued, they have magnified. No one takes him seriously, not the good guys, not the bad guys, nobody.
And that’s where we pick up the story of Barry Chase, aka Flyboy, aka the Sidekick.
The more he tries to prove his credibility, the worse his situation becomes. Television interviews turn into arguments. Attempts to capture bad guys sometimes go afoul lead to open derision in the press. He’s broke, pissed off, and he can’t even get laid.
Meanwhile, he continues to do everything he can to continue his crime-fighting career, convinced that sooner or later he’ll catch a break and win the approval of Steel City and the other heroes. But the more desperately he tries to make something happen, the farther away that goal becomes. He does commercials. He starts drinking and hanging out at strip clubs for companionship in the deluded belief that no one will recognize him.
Sidekick is the story of Barry’s descent into darkness and madness with a darkly comic edge, a tale that turns the usual superhero topes upside down as it traces Flyboy’s gradual disintegration, fueled by corruption and desperation for approval. His downward spiral slowly drives him to the dark side of the law, where he begins an affair with the Moonglow Twins, who one night whisper something to him that he could never have imagined possible.
The truth of that allegation will give Flyboy something live for..and maybe, just maybe, something to kill for.