In an era where superheroes dominate both the big and small screens, Amazon’s ‘The Tick’ emerged as a beacon of comedic relief and satirical brilliance. With Prime Video’s current lineup brimming with superhero-themed shows like ‘The Boys’ and ‘Invincible,’ it’s hard not to feel the absence of a third season for ‘The Tick.’ This superhero comedy, grounded in a unique blend of humor and a satirical take on classic and modern media tropes, not only offered entertainment but also delved into deeper themes like mental trauma and postmodern satire.
A Series Ahead of Its Time
The journey of ‘The Tick’ on Amazon was a tale of misfortune and mistiming. Premiering just before the breakout success of ‘The Boys’ in 2019, the show was cut short, leaving several subplots unresolved. This was despite the series showcasing a talented cast and a distinctive flavor of superhero comedy. ‘The Tick,’ featuring the lovable duo of Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) and The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz), presented a world where superheroes were not just about capes and superpowers but also about personal struggles and satirical takes on societal norms.
The Tick and Arthur: A Dynamic Duo
The show’s heart lay in its central characters – Arthur, grappling with childhood trauma, and The Tick, an enigmatic figure whose existence might be a product of Arthur’s psychological needs. This unique dynamic added a layer of depth to the superhero narrative, making ‘The Tick’ more than just a comedy. The series cleverly wove in themes of mental health, trauma, and identity through its storytelling, a fresh take in the superhero genre.
A Satirical Masterpiece
Aww… I miss The Tick pic.twitter.com/b4yOoO8rRB
— Brendan (@BrendanMcInnis) December 4, 2023
The Tick didn’t shy away from lampooning the superhero genre. From its portrayal of the villain Ms. Lint (Yara Martinez) to the satirical 28th Amendment protecting superhero identities, the show was a masterclass in comedy. The character of Overkill (Scott Speiser), a parody of the gritty, violent vigilante archetype, and the AI-powered Dangerboat (voiced by Alan Tudyk) added layers of humor and satire, making ‘The Tick’ a standout series in its genre.
The Unfinished Saga of ‘The Tick’
Season 2 of ‘The Tick’ left fans longing for more, especially with the intriguing subplot surrounding Superian (Brendan Hines), a flawed Superman-like figure. The show hinted at more complex storylines and character developments that would have unfolded in a potential third season, especially regarding Superian’s mysterious past and his struggle with public perception. Additionally, the character of The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) and the cryptic organization AEGIS hinted at deeper conspiracies and themes that remained unexplored.
A Legacy of Underappreciation
Despite its brilliance, ‘The Tick’ faced cancellation after two seasons in 2019. This fate seems to be a recurring theme for adaptations of ‘The Tick,’ reflecting the indie spirit of the original comics. Each adaptation, including the classic 1994 animated series and the 2001 live-action sitcom, brought something unique to the table but struggled to find a lasting audience.
The Tick’s Continuing Legacy
As streaming platforms continue to evolve, the absence of ‘The Tick’ in Prime Video’s superhero lineup is more palpable than ever. The show’s blend of humor, satire, and deep storytelling set it apart in a crowded genre. For fans and newcomers alike, the complete 1994 animated series is available on Hulu, and both seasons of the 2016 live-action series are streaming on Prime Video. As we revisit these treasures, one can’t help but hope for a revival, proving that sometimes, the most deserving heroes are those who fly just under the radar.