The Tick, originally a comic character created by Ben Edlund which in around 1994 got picked up by FOX and made into a rather successful kids cartoon. This was my introduction to the big blue lug. Like many cartoons of the early 90’s, it was a show with adult-oriented humour.
So when I found out that it had been made into a sitcom, I wasn’t that surprised. What I was surprised about however, was how enjoyable this short run of episodes (they only got to 9) actually is.
Starring Patrick Warburton as the title character, this show bears more than one or two comparisons to Seinfeld (Larry Charles as executive producer may be the reason for this). Although The Tick is our star, his moth-costumed side-kick Arthur (David Burke) is our protagonist. Arthur is our every man – an accountant who decided to follow his dreams one day and be a full time superhero instead. The others in the group are Captain Liberty (A Wonderwoman/Captain America mash-up) and Batmanuel who’s essentially a Spanish Batman. Those familiar with the cartoon maybe a little confused – Captain Liberty is American Maid and Batmanuel is Die Fleidermaus.
The stories (with exception to the Pilot) focus on these four characters and the downtime they have between superhero-ing. It is to superhero stories what Pulp Fiction is to gangster movies.
For those of you that enjoy Venture Bros (I know I do), you’ll dig this too. According to Edlund, the format of this show served as a kind of template to what they do with that (Christopher McCulloch has written for both).
Story highlights include an episode where The Tick is in a battle of wills with Arthur’s toilet, one where Arthur’s parents find out he is a superhero and give him an intervention and another where our heroes hit a super-villains’ car in a parking lot.
And how about guest stars? The pilot features none other than Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown, Uncle Fester, Judge Doom – the toon hating nutbag from Who Framed Roger Rabbit), some other guys that I previously hadn’t heard of and Mr Ron Pearlman (Hellboy).
Look, just check it out. If you can track it down, it’s good. It’s kind of a shame it didn’t catch on but if it failing meant that now we have Venture Bros then maybe not all was lost.