I got into The Tick by way of the 90s cartoon that aired on Saturday mornings on Fox. That was a great line-up back then. X-Men, Spider-Man, and The Tick. My Saturday mornings were set. But that’s a different story.
For the second time, we have a Tick reboot. And for the second time, we have a live-action version of the Tick. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how it was going to work the first time around. As a fan of Patrick Warburton, I enjoyed it, but it was definitely goofy and never really got its stride. No surprise that it was cancelled. So when they announced a revived version on Amazon, I was skeptical. I just unfairly imagined that same live-action cast returning for more adventures, which I didn’t think was necessary. However, I quickly learned that was not the case. We’d be treated to a whole new version of the Tick.
Crime, nastiness and evil rear their fowl odorous heads in every corner of the globe, and that’s saying something because globes don’t even have corners!
– The Tick
This time around Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy, Parks and Recreation) takes up the blue rubber suit. But perhaps the most intriguing part of this version, The Tick is not the centerpiece of the story. He’s key, but really this is Arthur’s story. Griffin Newman (Draft Day, Buttwhistle) takes on the Moth mantle this time around to tell his origin story. And it’s a doozy.
He is surrounded by a loving family, namely his sister Dot played by Valorie Curry (Blair Witch, The Following), his mom played by Patricia Kalember (Signs, Power), and his step-dad Walter (not his real dad, as Arthur often reminds us), who is terribly concerned about foot health for some reason, played by Francois Chau (LOST, Rescue Dawn). But he is still haunted by the murder of his father and subsequent taunting at the hands of The Terror, expertly portrayed by Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen, A Nightmare on Elm Street), when he was a kid.
The gist of the first season, and there is actually a very good overarching story for the series, is that the City’s super powered protector, Superian, played by Brendan Hines (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Covert Affairs), defeated The Terror once and for all years ago. But Arthur disagrees as he spends years of energy and sanity to prove everyone wrong. During his sleuthing, Arthur runs smack dab into the Tick and of course his iconic moth shaped suit. Where did this big blue beauty come from? No one, including himself, knows. But that matters not as Arthur and Tick begrudgingly (more so Arthur than Tick to be honest) team up to solve the mystery.
I’m a superhero, Arthur. I’m nigh-invulnerable. I have the reflexes of an Olympic-level jungle cat. I have the strength of ten, perhaps 20 men. A crowded bus stop of men. But my greatest power is this. When destiny speaks, she speaks to me.
– The Tick
During their travels the dynamic duo come across and up against the typical odd assortment of characters that define the universe of The Tick. We are introduced to Overkill (Scott Speiser – Criminal Minds, NCIS), a vigilante with a secret past, Dangerboat (voice of Alan Tudyk – Rogue One, Wreck-It Ralph) an AI stranded on Overkill’s boat who is infatuated with Arthur and supplies the team with all sorts of intel, Ms. Lint (Yara Martinez – The Hitcher, True Detective) super powered villainess with electric abilities who constantly fights the stigma of attracting lint, VLM (Ryan Woodle – Daredevil, The Box) who is literally a Very Large Man by way of science terrorism, and Tinfoil Kevin (Devin Ratray – Home Alone, R.I.P.D.) local homeless conspiracy theorist and housesitter, to name a few.
One of my favorite things about this new series is that it’s more gritty and realistic than previous versions. Yes, I know how that sounds as we’re still being treated to the world of the Tick, but it’s less outrageous this go around. We are still treated to Tick’s wonderful speeches and exciting action, but we’re also in a world where Arthur feels real danger. He is truly a reluctant hero. Not like the badass we’ve seen in past media like Kurt Russell in The Thing or Denzel Washington in The Equalizer, but a very incapable hero with zero skills who is extremely nerdy. Pretty sure that’s more relatable to most of us.
I highly recommend this series. I think creator Ben Endlund has evolved in his story telling and to that end the Tick has evolved into an even better version of a comic book hero.
Season 1 of The Tick returns February 23, 2018, on Amazon Prime.
Check out the trailer below:
If you hate reading, feel free to check out my video review:
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