I've read three volumes of Showcase Presents: Aquaman and have come to one conclusion:

Aqualad was the single most useless and annoying sidekick of all time.

He has the same powers and skills as Aquaman, much like Robin, Kid Flash and Speedy. However, unlike the other three, he never takes any initiative, never seems to use his powers in a positive fashion, and in fact tends to be pretty much of a quitter. One of his favorite phrases seems to be, "Looks like we're done for this time, Aquaman!" He doesn't even really contribute to the stories.

So, to my mind, he's hands down the most useless and annoying sidekick out there. Anyone have anyone worse?

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Steel Sterling's sidekicks? They were of the unbelievably stupid Woozy type.
Have not encountered Steel Sterling, so I cannot comment. However, I do know that while Woozy wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, he frequently could be found fighting alongside Plastic Man and generally acquitting himself nicely.

Well, or at least helping. I can't recall a single panel where Aqualad was doing much of anything.
Point well taken, Mr. Jackson. Granted, I've only given it a few minutes of thought, but right now I cannot think of anyone worse. Even Zook, the Martian Manhunter's other-dimensional pet/sidekick/tag-along, had his moments when he actually contributed to the situation at hand.
Aqualad, or Tempest as I believe he's now called, was pretty much a wet blanket in modern Aquaman comics too. (I recently read 20-30 modern issues of Aquaman and completed the Showcase Vol.1 sometime in 2008.) Aside from what Randy pointed out (and I too agree with!), the modern books actually portray him as Aquaman's antagonist on several occasions. Now that's all fine, but more often than not, he was the scheming, backbiter who whined when things didn't turn out according to his plans.
Now I'm not saying he was a genuine villain. No, instead he was in a power struggle with Aquaman for the control of "the hearts and minds" of the Atlanteans. While I don't have all of the issues involved (so I might be missing some key explanations of his behavior), it struck me as a little strange and made Tempest very unlikeable.
Beyond that, it seems that his modern incarnation has a intentionally dour personality. I kind of think that pessimism is the remnants of his Silver Age life.
Doiby Dickles. Green Lantern has the power of the Starheart at his command... a green flame that can do *anything*. His sidekick is a Brooklyn cabbie.
Randy and I had this conversation once on Twitter already, but I still feel compelled to mention Itty, Green Lantern's alien sidekick/pet. He didn't talk, he didn't move. Hard to be more useless than that!
Rob Staeger said:
Doiby Dickles. Green Lantern has the power of the Starheart at his command... a green flame that can do *anything*. His sidekick is a Brooklyn cabbie.

True, but at the time the ring wasn't quite the 'magic ring' it's become. When he first debuted, the ring simply granted GL immunity from metals, and while it could do a few more things, Scott still spent all of his time fighting mobsters with guns.

Event then, while Doiby was comic relief, he could also be quite a formidable opponent in a fight--especially if you attacked him while Gertie was around.
If we're not just sticking to comics, the award for most Useless (and annoying) Sidekick is definitely everyone's younger brother or sister.

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I don't know about that, Dagwan. The Hardy Boys immediately come to mind. On the other hand, Frank & Joe were more partners then leader and SK.

I haven't read any Showcase Presents Aquaman because I'm simply not a fan of the lead character. I find it interesting that Aqualad was so useless in that series because it is contrary to my earliest exposure to the team of Aquaman & Aqualad. It comes from My First Issue of Teen Titans which was a story in Super Spectacular #DC-12, reprinted from Brave & the Bold #60. It's only one panel but it's stuck with me through the years.

Aquaman: "Aqualad, I give you permission to join the other Teen Titans -- but don't bite off more than you can chew!"
Aqualad: "If people took that advice, Aquaman, nothing great would ever be done! See you--!"

Are those the words of a quitter? I don't think so, Tim. Of course, the way a character is written can vary wildly from one series to another. I think you can see, though, why I find Aqualad being portrayed as useless and a quitter surprises me.
Captain Comics said:
Randy and I had this conversation once on Twitter already, but I still feel compelled to mention Itty, Green Lantern's alien sidekick/pet. He didn't talk, he didn't move. Hard to be more useless than that!

But is Itty a sidekick? I always thought of him as a pet, something for Green Lantern to bestow love and affection and take care of, like a cat or a puppy.
That's a good point; sometimes it's hard to tell. Zook, for example, seemed to straddle the line between pet and sidekick. And Itty turned out to be sentient (I think).

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