Amazon along with original creator of The Tick Ben Edlund have decided to breath new life back into the infamous blue, do gooding, goofball in the form of an Amazon original series. Upon hearing this news my cynicism kicked into overdrive and I immediately uttered the words “well… this will be awful” aloud. Last night I took the time to view the free pilot on Amazon Prime, and immediately ate my words.
The overview from the Amazon Prime page:
In a world where superheroes have been real for decades, an accountant with mental health issues and zero powers comes to realize his city is owned by a global super villain long-thought dead. As he struggles to uncover this conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero, who may or may not be a figment of his own imagination…
My previous experience with The Tick is limited to the animated series from the mid 90’s. I was 10 years old at the time and quickly grew to love the giant blue maniac. I loved watching him square off against some of the weirdest villains I had ever seen. Likewise the heroes and sidekicks who also inhabited the city were no less weird and outrageous. Although the show only lasted 3 seasons, well into my adulthood I took the time to enjoy The Tick. I could lose hours watching in the form of reruns or, clips on YouTube.
This new version of The Tick has taken my beloved hero and sent him on the ever popular dark route. But this time the creators stayed away from gritty. This version finds its home rooted in dark humor, more mature jokes, and themes. Instead of taking a photo copy of reboots from other comic franchises The Tick opts to remain relatively light. We see some introduced realism in the form of fleshed out back stories and the use of technology. Think the first half of Batman Begins with the quick, off kilter humor of Firefly. We get a peek into what it might really be like to be a superhero.
My only real complaint with the pilot is actually The Tick himself. I am not completely sold on Peter Serafinowicz as this character. Serafinowicz has done a great job adjusting his voice to achieve the heroic, exclamative tone synonymous with The Tick. However, it still feels slightly odd to see The Tick without hearing Townsend Coleman. Edlund and crew manage to keep the character upbeat with some popular phrases like “NEAT!” in tact. Fans will also be excited to know that his long winded and often hilarious monologues full of metaphors survive in this version of the character.
The Ticks new uniform has also suffered a bit in this adaptation. Creators seem to struggle to find a balance between stylized realistic super hero attire and function. Tick’s suit looks rubberized with cut in muscle mass similar to the Keaton Batman of the late 80’s. In addition I found it distracting that it appeared Serafinowicz seemed unable to tilt his head. As a result much of the time he is focused straight forward and appears to adapt by moving from the shoulders when he needs to look around or refocus his attention.
Consequently after viewing the episode I found myself describing it as if “Kick Ass were created by Joss Whedon”. I continue to stand by that statement. As a matter of fact I was not surprised to find that Edlund had experience on shows like Firefly with Whedon. The Tick is violent, atmospheric, lovable, and its humor hits all the right beats for aging fans of the comics or animated television series. I liked it enough to head on over to Amazon’s pilot season survey and give it a positive review. If you are a fan of the character, Ben Edlund, or you just find yourself with some extra time and want something new to watch give the pilot for The Tick a try.
Go HERE to check out the pilot.
If you enjoy the pilot make sure you head over to the Amazon pilot season page to vote for the series!
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