Amazon’s new superhero series shifts the focus away from the titular hero The Tick onto his sidekick, Arthur, to great effect. Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) is an accountant with no super powers in a world where superheroes have been operating for decades. He begins to suspect his city is in danger once again from the super villain The Terror (Jackie Earl Haley), who we are told died many years ago. He joins up with The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz, Guardians of the Galaxy) because “villainy is real.”
Episode Runtime: 29 minutes
Cast: Peter Serafinowicz, Griffin Newman, Valorie Curry, Jackie Earl Haley, Yara Martinez
Created by: Ben Edlund
Rating: Take it or leave it? Take it
Through it all, Arthur struggles with mental issues and grapples with the trauma of losing his father 15 years before to The Terror. Arthur isn’t quite sure if The Tick is real or a figment of his medicated hallucination. Therein lies a great conflict between Arthur and his sister, Dot, who finds herself unwittingly involved in some villainous plans.
As The Tick, Peter does a great job balancing the more over the top elements of the character with his endearing earnestness, which is at the heart of the show. The series does a good job of keeping the mystery going with The Tick as he does not remember anything from before past few days. The series centers on the idea of destiny and the hero’s journey, evidenced by Arthur taking control of a bulletproof suit that allows him to fly. He must decide to be the superhero he always wanted to be and take down the evil that threatens his city.
The road to Amazon’s new season of The Tick was a long one. Ben Edlund created The Tick in 1986 as a mascot in a newsletter for a New England chain of comic book stores. A fantastically funny spoof on superheroes, The Tick starred in his own comic book series in 1988 and then landed a three-season cartoon series starting on Fox in 1994. In 2001, Fox launched a live action series, starring Patrick Warburton (also a producer on this new series), but it only lasted one season.
In keeping with previous versions of The Tick, the satirical perspective remains in this latest iteration, but is heightened with more drama than expected. The relationships between The Tick, Arthur, and Dot allow the audience to fully invest in the characters. They have real problems, and super heroics compounds their problems.
Where we leave our heroes at the end of episode six is fascinating, as the mystery deepens. I can’t wait until the next episodes come out because the show is fun and light yet still manages to pack a punch. It is a family-friendly series that kids will love and their parents can enjoy as well.
The new production of The Tick benefitted from Amazon’s Comedy Pilot Season tryout in 2016. Of the three pilots produced, The Tick earned a greenlight for a full season. One amazing thing to note is that the creator, Edlund, has been an integral part of each version of The Tick, which is a testament to how true to the source material each series is. Edlund has gone on to write for Firefly, Supernatural and Gotham, so his geek cred has certainly been established.
The first six episodes were released through Amazon Prime on Aug. 24 with the next batch of episodes expected early next year.
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