If a new rumor is to be believed, The Tick, Ben Edlund’s cult favorite live-action TV adaptation of his uber-indie comic book of the same name, may be on its way back to television thanks to Amazon – and both Edlund and series star Patrick Warburton are said to be on board.
Launched on the credibility of the comic and the popularity of the mid-1990s animated series that was inspired by it, The Tick ran for just 8 episodes on FOX in 2001 (there is another episode that did not air but lives on the DVD and on streaming sites).
Well-received by many critics at the time, the show about a vigilante hero and his low level hero friends now seems to naturally align with Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Firefly, Drive and Wonderfalls to serve as painful reminders of both FOX’s boldness in trying shows that were less than standard and their inability to give those shows enough time to find their audience.
For The Tick (and those other shows, most likely), the timing just wasn’t right, but these are very different times. The winter of 2001 (when The Tick debuted) could adequately be described as a pre-phenomenon period where pop-culture’s most familiar representations of superheroes were Christopher Reeve’s Superman performance from almost two decades prior, the first X-Men movie, the uneven track record of the earlier Batman films, and comic books. Contrast that with the present-day – we’re awash in comic book movies, TV shows and chatter about those things.
But despite the abundance of projects that hold comic book heroes in high regard, there really is very little that exists to gently poke a little bit of fun and lovingly lampoon this cultural behemoth. And in a moment where there are rumors that some comic book movies may adhere to a super serious sounding edict about avoiding lightness when portraying mythic superheroes who fly or run very fast, we need something like The Tick (and The Greatest American Hero) more than ever.
As I said up front, though, this is just a rumor right now and it almost feels too good to be true, especially with Edlund and Warburton on board. Back in 2009, Warburton himself seemed to believe that it was unlikely that he would put on his blue rubber suit and play the character again when he spoke to CBR, but now we have this news from out of the blue and so many questions. For example, will the rest of the primary cast – Nestor Carbonell as Batmanuel, David Burke as Arthur and Liz Vassey as Captain Liberty – also return and will the show maintain its low-fi charm?
In that the rumor states that the show will be picked up by Amazon, I’m also curious if this would be a series order right off the bat (giving fans a set number of episodes to look forward to) or if Amazon would throw The Tick into its annual Pilot Competition, which asks people to “watch, rate and review” their potential shows before they become full-fledged series.
Doing something like that might sound like an indignity for such a beloved property; it might even be logistically complicated (or impossible) for a pre-existing show that wasn’t developed explicitly for Amazon. That said, it could inject a bit of a crowdfunding element into the process (without the outlay) while proving that there is a market for new episodes of The Tick.
As is the case with all rumors, we’ll just have to wait and see if this becomes a reality and in what shape it takes when/if it does. With that said though, even the hint of a chance for more episodes of The Tick and the excitement that is accompanying this rumor seem like a good indication that one day, someone will smarten up and give Ben Edlund the money to bring back the character, even if it isn’t right now.
For more news about the possible reboot of The Tick stay tuned to Screen Rant.