The Tick is a popular character that’s existed in a variety of different incarnations. The big blue superhero, who’s always been somewhat self-aware and self-referential, began life in the 1980s as a sort of mascot for New England Comics, a comic book store chain. The chain soon began publishing a regular comic book series featuring the character, created by Ben Edlund. The Tick was later adapted for an animated TV series, starting in 1994, and even a short-lived 2001 live-action series, starring Patrick Warburton as the big blue man.
A revival of The Tick, after a couple of years of development, was finally announced this year, with Peter Serafinowicz taking over the title role and Edlund; the creator of the character itself and the two previous TV series, once again in charge and listed as the writer; and Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer, directing. Griffin Newman, Jackie Earle Haley, Yara Martinez and Brendan Hines are also part of the cast. The premise, according to Amazon’s synopsis, entails “an underdog accountant with zero powers comes to realize his city is owned by a global super villain long-thought dead. As he struggles to uncover this conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero.”
A debut is set for Amazon in August, and following the first images last month, Amazon has released a series of photos of the new Tick in action. You can check them out, below.
Edlund also described the idea behind the series:
“This has been a labor of love for Amazon, Sony, and all of us. The only way for this to have value was if we found a wholly new expression of ‘The Tick’ and Arthur’s story in live-action, and I think we’re on to something! Visually and thematically this new ‘Tick’ lives in the textures and rhetoric of today’s superhero saturation tsunami — and for it to be something you want to watch for hours, it needed to find its way to a story with heart and stakes, as well as absurdism. Is it a radically new hybrid of humor and super heroic action with characters you will care desperately about? YES! Yes it is.”
It appears from the photos that the series is going for a certain sense of realism, one that looks enough like The Tick of old to remain faithful, but also recognizing that the superhero TV landscape has changed radically since 1994 (and for that matter, 2001).
Now, can the brain trust behind The Tick – also including Men in Black and Get Shorty director Barry Sonnenfeld – find a way to keep things satirical and subversive, in a very different era than the last time we saw The Tick? We will find out soon enough.
The Tick debuts on Amazon’s streaming service this month.