Who is The Tick? Why, he is the wild blue yonder! He is a superhero! He is nigh invulnerable! He has the reflexes of an Olympic level jungle cat! He has the strength of 10, perhaps 20 men … a crowded bus stop of men!
But his greatest power is this – when destiny speaks, she speaks to him.
And when mild-mannered accountant Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) comes into possession of a moth-themed super-suit that allows him to fly, The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) is convinced that destiny is speaking to him too, and relentlessly follows him around, adamant on making him his sidekick.
Unfortunately, Arthur also has a history of trauma caused by watching first-hand, the death of his superhero idol in the hands of a certain, presumed-deceased supervillain called The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley). His quest to prove that The Terror is still alive soon leads him into the crosshairs of a criminal organisation called the Pyramid, led by Ramses IV (Michael Cerveris), a mob boss who is obsessed with Ancient Egyptian culture for “branding” purposes.
Arthur also runs afoul of Miss Lint (Yara Martinez), a supervillain who can shoot electricity out of her fingers, but also has major lint-attracting problem and can’t get into cars without shocking herself with static electricity.
Then there’s the mysterious Overkill (Scott Speiser), a violent anti-hero vigilante who, as Arthur describes him, has “all-black outfit, skull mask, and smells like death”.
That, in a gist, is The Tick, an Amazon Video TV show that is arguably the funniest superhero comedy on the air right now.
Based on a comic character by cartoonist Ben Edlund in 1986, The Tick was meant to be a spoof on superheroes, which makes it ripe for a TV sitcom.
The superhero has had one comic book line and two popular TV shows, one live-action and one animated. This new live-action series, however, sets the benchmark for modern superhero comedies.
It’s almost amazing how many quotable quotes there are in each episode. From poncho stealing shenanigans (“You cannot borrow the poncho! This is not a poncho library!”) to supervillain philosophies (“You don’t kill people because they call you names, you kill people because it’s fun!”), almost every other line of dialogue is comedy gold.
The characters are also brilliantly portrayed, with backstories of their own. Heck, some of these characters, such as Miss Lint, for instance, get developed better within some of the 20-minute episodes than some characters do in entire seasons on other superhero shows.
The star of the show, however, is without a doubt Serafinowicz’s super-earnest, naively-righteous blue crimefighter with a heart of gold and a head full of nothing (“I always let destiny do the melon work, friend”). His constant pestering of Arthur contains some of the show’s best lines (“You’ve got the brains, I’ve got the everything else!”), and his hearty laugh is so infectious that it makes you smile every time you hear it.
And the action? It’s safe to say you’ll never see a more enthusiastic beatdowns of villains in any other superhero show out there.
With most comic-book based TV shows out there either dark and brutal (Luke Cage, Daredevil, Gotham, Jessica Jones), or mostly light-hearted action dramas (The Flash, Supergirl, Agents Of SHIELD), this new live-action version of The Tick manages to, well, tick all the right boxes needed for a superhero sitcom.
The Tick is available on Amazon Prime.