Most of the credit goes to creator Ben Edlund for making such a fun and over-the-top world that is eye candy to kids, but written for adults. The witty dialogue (“Don’t count your weasels before they pop, villain!”) and hilarious characters translate well from his original comic book to an animated medium, with Edlund even writing quite a few episodes himself. While they’ll love the Poodle Gun or watching Dinosaur Neil smash skyscrapers, I don’t see anybody under the age of 13 really getting this show—be it the Teddy Roosevelt/Josef Stalin gags or the Tick’s trippy existential crisis. Try explaining to your son or daughter why you’re cracking up so much at Bi-Polar Bear, who would fight crime if he could just get out of bed this month; or Captain Lemming, who leaps from tall buildings and…well, you can guess what happens next.
THE TICK also has a solid decade on the whole deconstructionist-superhero genre ala THE INCREDIBLES or SKY HIGH. With the main character’s long-winded speeches about justice and decency, or Arthur’s nervous concern when chasing a villain in his sister’s car, the show basks in its own self-aggrandizing glory. When the “supervillains” include an evil hand puppet, a Hulk-sized self-loathing clown and the superheroes’ dwindling bank account, you know this isn’t the Marvel or DC universe. If you are a fan of comics though, you’ll no doubt enjoy the not-so-subtle references to the Punisher, or the wussy-Batman clone, Die Fledermaus.
This DVD set contains 12 of the 13 episodes from the show’s first season (“The Tick Vs. The Mole Men” is tied up in a legal battle over copyright issues). Many classics eps are included, such as “The Tick vs. Chairface Chippendale,” “The Tick vs. The Uncommon Cold” and one of my personal favorites “The Tick vs. The Tick.” As long as you have a functioning sense of humor, I’m sure you’ll laugh out loud as much as I did.
Little Known Fact: During this first season, Arthur is voiced by none other than Micky Dolenz. (In case you’re musically deprived, Dolenz was the singer/drummer for the f*cking Monkees.)