First up we have Captain America and his first sidekick, Bucky. Bucky is a strange character to me. Cap was created in a time when most adult heroes had teen sidekicks, and Joe Simon and Jack Kirby followed suit with Captain America, giving him a young protégé called Bucky. Bucky was really Bucky Barnes, the company (Cap was in the army) mascot, who had inadvertently discovered Steve Rogers was really Captain America, and that led to him being trained to be Cap’s junior partner. The funny thing is, while Cap had the Super Soldier Serum and an indestructible shield, Bucky just had a cool costume and a domino mask. He really didn’t do much more than get captured, as shown on most of the early covers of Captain America Comics. When Stan Lee brought Cap into the ’60 via suspended animation to join with the newly created Avengers, he revealed that Bucky had died during he and Cap’s last mission.
I think removing Bucky from the team was a good move, as him being alive didn’t add anything to Cap, but his death haunted Steve Rogers for years. Bucky was mostly unknown when people like me started reading Avengers and Captain America comics in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and Captain America was one of Marvel’s greatest. Still, I loved the rendition of Bucky and the old heroes in Roy Thomas’ Invaders comics in the’70s. Later, Bucky would return in a storyline that fans seemed to enjoy, but I still haven’t read.