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Amazon's 'The Tick' Reprises Oddball Comic Book Antihero
August 24, 2017  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Amazon has out-weirded itself with The Tick.

Earlier this month Amazon rolled out Comrade Detective, a comic “re-discovery” of a non-existent TV cop show from Cold War-era Romania.

The Tick, whose first season will be released Friday on the streaming service, is adapted from a comic book with a premise that comes off every bit as weird.

The Tick himself (Peter Serafinowicz, top) is a blue-costumed superhero with two antennae that can pop up or droop to reflect his mood.

He’s a relentless, perpetually optimistic good guy in a New York suffering under the oppressive thumb of The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley, right), who may or may not be personally alive, but whose henchmen torment the population.

The Tick finds a reluctant young partner in Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman), a quintessential nerd who was traumatized by The Terror as a lad.

It’s not an immediate Batman-and-Robin situation. Arthur is obsessed with proving The Terror is still alive, despite long-accepted evidence that he was killed, but Arthur insists that’s all the involvement he wants in the case.

He wants to prove The Terror lives, hand the case over to superheroes who can do something about it, and resume the anonymous life of the harmless nerd.

His sister Dot (Valorie Curry), Arthur’s legal guardian, fervently wishes the same for him, since his obsession with The Terror has led to a long string of police incident reports.

Dot, a paramedic, is not a complete innocent bystander here. It turns out she has her own involvement in the tense drama that grips the city.

Other Tick regulars include Superian (Brendan Hines), who has become the public face of superheroes and seems most interested in selling the public on the idea that all is well and all is under control.

The living contradictions to those reassurances include Ms. Lint (Yara Martinez), informally tagged Lightning Girl because she can shoot bolts of electricity from her fingers. She’s also a rebel inside the crime world, a free spirit who likes to do things her own way.

You’ll know her because she only has one functioning eye, the consequence of choosing a rewarding and exciting but occasionally dangerous profession.

Where The Tick himself fits into this fraught scenario remains intentionally nebulous as the show gets under way. Is he a savior or merely an inspirational ray of hope? Can most of the world besides Arthur even see him? Can one blue man save a city?

In any case, if The Tick sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because this isn’t the first time someone has seen it as a promising television property.

It ran for three seasons as an animated series from 1994 to 1996. It was reincarnated as a live-action show in the fall of 2001 on Fox, getting cancelled after nine episodes. 

It would be fair to say it was a cult fave, and safe to say the same will likely be true of the new rebirth.

It also might be fair at times to say that in contrast to popcorn television, this is more like pot-brownie television.

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Just watched 4 episodes of The Tick and it is fun and funny. Unlike the Marvel Defenders, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, et al latest installment with the four. They become repitious and ponderous, hour long 13 episodes of the same story line. The Tick is 27 minutes and doesn't take itself seriously.
Aug 30, 2017   |  Reply
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