Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes these days, so it doesnâ€™t really surprise me to find out that one is a big blue tick. I donâ€™t think The Tick has any special Lyme Disease Ray, and I have yet to see him bite anyone, but he sure has a knack for stopping the bad guys. This Ben Edlund creation is one of those American Dream success stories. The independent comic was created to promote a local comic book store in Boston. Edlund, only 17 years old at the time, tapped into a wonderful spoof of the comic superhero molds. He populated his book with very colorful characters easily recognizable as the original ones he was spoofing. Within 10 years The Tick would become a childrenâ€™s cartoon staple. There is an appealing degree of wit and intelligence in this cartoon that honestly looks kind of stupid on the surface. The Tick isnâ€™t the sharpest tool in the toolbox and is rather naÃ¯ve for a super crime fighting master. Heâ€™s surrounded by an equally kooky group of characters, assisted mostly by his sidekick, Arthur. The villains are just as outlandish and out there as The Tick and his comrades are.
Â Â Â The DVD setâ€™s clever title is The Tick vs. Season Two. The collection could not honestly be called The Complete Second Season because one of the episodes is mysteriously missing. Iâ€™ve been informed that the episode, Alone Together, was removed for rights issues. The same thing happened in the first year. Sometimes spoofs can be a little too close to another property, and perhaps that explains the missing toons. Fans will also be a little bummed that favorite Micky Dolenze, yes heâ€™s that wacky The Monkees drummer, no longer voices Arthur. Rob Paulson takes over the job, and the difference does take some getting used to. The episodes are also not quite as strong as the first season. The single standout has to be the Christmas extravaganza, The Tick Loves Santa. The Tickâ€™s love for Santa almost keeps him from nabbing the bad guy when an electrical accident converts him into â€œMulti-Santaâ€, a clone-like group of larceny-minded Kringles.
Â Â Â While the show only lasted three years, the character lives on with toys and such.
Each episode of The Tick is presented in its original full frame broadcast format. Colors are very strong here. Blue dominates the screen, not only in The Tickâ€™s costume but in many of the showâ€™s backgrounds. All of these colors are bright. The animation style lends itself well to stark contrast, and for the most part these DVDâ€™s deliver. There is unfortunately more than a little compression artifact, particularly on the first disc.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is naturally dialog heavy but provides all of the conversation in decent clarity. There isnâ€™t anything dynamic to speak of, which doesnâ€™t upset the apple cart, except I think the theme music could have had a little more substance behind it. For the most part youâ€™ll be happy with this limited but reliable audio.
Move along. Nothing to see here. You do get 12 episodes on two discs.
The Tick is pretty entertaining stuff, all told. You have to be aware that almost everything is over the top and more than a little bit silly. The show is likely perfect for the kids but might not hold many of the adultâ€™s attention. Itâ€™s pretty harmless stuff, and I had a few laughs watching it myself. Ratchet and Clank game fans might see a resemblance between The Tick and Captain Quark. No, they really donâ€™t look alike, but something about him jogs my mind in those circles. Maybe itâ€™s just the idea here of a large blue guy costumed as a tick that forces me to find parallels I can relate to. A tick? â€œI just canâ€™t get my mind around it.â€