Also last month, I stumbled across the fact that in 2010 the University of Queensland accepted an undergraduate thesis in the Film and Media Studies honours program titled “Robin the Boy Hostage: The Evolution of the Superhero Sidekick”.
Unfortunately, access to this work is limited beyond this abstract:
The superhero's youth sidekick has become a mainstay within superhero narratives since their introduction in the late 1930s [sic]. This research will attempt to illustrate the change within the sidekick archetype, from their origins within mythology through changes within youth culture and the comic book industry. This Dissertation will also view how these changes have been implemented with the relationship of the most popular superhero and sidekick partnership, Batman and Robin, and view how the characters[’] popularity has halted changes seen within other sidekick characters.The entry says this item is “Anonymous” but placed in the repository by Mrs. Isabel Bentley—perhaps a university administrator. If anyone has access to the Queensland file, it would be interesting to know more.