Monday, March 12, 2007

Danger Mouse

No, not that Danger Mouse....

I mean, Raymond “Mouse” Alexander, from Walter Mosley’s Easy Rawlins series, named by The A.V. Club on its list of “13 sidekicks who are cooler than their heroes.”
Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins, the hero of Walter Mosley’s detective series, is one of the most well-rounded protagonists in the mystery genre, growing and revealing new aspects of his character over the course of eight novels and assorted short stories. A black man in mid-century Los Angeles whose crime-solving job is just one way up the economic ladder, Easy is at times a drunk, a devoted father, a socially conscious fighter for justice, and a miser secretive to the point of paranoia. But every time his friend Mouse Alexander enters the story, all eyes go to the sidekick. Mouse is Easy’s loyal, lifelong friend, and the guy Easy goes to for muscle. But he’s also amoral and violent to the point of being a psychopath, and so unpredictably and implacably dangerous that even his friends fear him. He’s almost a force of nature, and he shrugs off criticism of his temper with lines like “If you didn’t want me to kill him, why did you leave me alone with him?” And like Sherlock Holmes, Mouse is one of those literary characters who can even survive the author’s attempt to kill him off; he proved too important to the series to stay dead after being shot in A Little Yellow Dog. Don Cheadle captured Mouse to perfection in the 1995 movie version of Devil in a Blue Dress.
"[E]very time his friend Mouse Alexander enters the story, all eyes go to the sidekick." True, that.

Read the entire list of sidekicks.

(Hat tip to Bill Crider via The Rap Sheet.)

--Marshal Zeringue