Honk If You Love Justice
August 13, 2012
It's been a very good summer for superheroes. We've seen Earth's mightiest heroes assemble as The Avengers; The Amazing Spiderman get a new lease on life; and Christopher Nolan concludes his epic Batman Trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. Given the amount of money earned by superheroes at the box office this summer, I fully expect the major studios to double down. Many long-delayed fan-favorites like Ant-Man and Deadpool may finally see the light of day. Might I suggest that there is one more superhero who deserves his own movie; one whose truly heroic chin demands the 16:9 widescreen format; that mighty blue salmon of Justice, coursing upstream to the very spawning ground of Evil: THE TICK!
The City has many enemies: Chairface Chippendale, the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight, Man-Eating Cow, and Eastern Bloc Robot-Cowboy, to name but a few. To face down such insidious evil, the City needs a hero. The hero they get is The Tick (battle cry: "SPOON!") an immensely muscled, relentlessly good-natured dim wit whose strength and enthusiasm for justice is matched only by his disregard for rational thinking. Every hero needs a sidekick, and The Tick's is Arthur (battle cry: "NOT MY FACE! NOT MY FACE!"), a former accountant with a moth suit and a concerned sister. Other superheroes in the City include American Maid, Die Fledermaus, Sewer Urchin, the Civic Minded Five, and the Decency Squad.
If you think this is all very bizarre, you are correct. The Tick began life in 1986 as an underground comic by Ben Edlund. For some inexplicable reason, in 1994 the folks at the Fox Network thought that The Tick would make a wonderful children's Saturday morning cartoon. So they turned Edlund loose and got a surreal superhero satire full of comic-nerd in-jokes. The animated series lasted 3 seasons, which is rather impressive considering its humor included jokes like "Comfort, commitment, marriage, what do these things have in common? The letter 'C' except for marriage, and if people get all British whenever they get knocked on the head, what do British people get? I know... comatose. Another 'C'."
Fox gave The Tick another shot in 2001 as a live-action television program, with the inspired casting of Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld's Puddy) as the titular hero. Who can deny the snazzy of that? Or the casting of Lost's Nestor Carbonell as Batmanuel? Are you denying the snazzy of that? Alas, like many other nerd-beloved Fox projects (Firefly, the Adventures of Briscoe County, Arrested Development, Futurama, and more!), the network apparently didn't know exactly what to do with such an oddball property and it lasted for only 8 episodes.
So here, I've told you about two cancelled TV programs, and you cry out "Surely there must be a way to taste the sweet Justiceness of The Tick! I wonder what it's like to wear the tights of justice?" Yes, my friends, there is indeed a way to smack Evil on the nose with the rolled up newspaper of Goodness. The first two seasons of the animated The Tick are available on DVD at MCPL, and the 2001 live-action TV show is available on Netflix. Now if I can just get Ben Edlund, Patrick Warburton, and Joss Whedon all on board with my plans for SPOON!: The Tick 3D IMAX EXPERIENCE.
May Evil beware and may Good dress warmly and eat plenty of fresh vegetables,