Ben Edlund’s tongue-in-cheek comic book The Tick found a niche on the satirical end of the comic book world before making its way to the small screen. Its first incarnation was as an animated series on FOX in 1994. After garnering a dedicated following, the show was canceled after three amusing seasons but later reprised as a live-action sitcom in 2001. Unfortunately, the Patrick Warburton-lead offering only lasted a few episodes, but The Tick soon found new life and cult status on DVD and syndicated TV.
Now, the battle-cry of flatware (“Spoooooon!” that is) is set to take the small screen by storm once again as an Amazon series. Initial speculation centered on a darker, edgier version of The Tick with Warburton (Netflix's upcoming A Series of Unfortunate Events) reprising his role. Unfortunately, the Venture Bros/Seinfeld actor won’t be leading the ragtag band of misfit heroes again, as it turns out. Warburton will likely still be on board as an executive-producer, but there’s definitely a new Tick in town.
British actor and funnyman Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy) will now tackle the socially awkward superhero, according to Deadline. Former players like Nestor Carbonell and Liz Vassey won’t be returning either, as the show will feature an entirely new cast. Serafinowicz will be joined by Griffin Newman (Vinyl) as his sidekick Arthur and Valorie Curry (The Following) as Arthur’s doting sister Dot. And the cast will receive some serious writing chops from creator Edlund, who will script the pilot and produce the show.
In the pilot, the Tick will be suffering from a bout of amnesia. As per the prior incarnations in print and media, he teams up with mild-mannered accountant/moth man Arthur once again to combat the menaces to The City. Aside from Arthur and Dot, the upcoming series will also include a number of new characters. With Edlund scripting and veteran cinematographer Wally Pfister (Transcendence, Flaked) directing the pilot for Sony Pictures TV, hopes are running high for a heavy dose of classic Tick mayhem as well as its absurdist sense of humor.
Edlund’s comic and cartoon also created some great villains and hilarious superheroes like the Mad Bomber (what bombs at midnight), Barry (a Punisher spoof), Die Fledermaus (Batmanuel in the live action show), Chairface Chippendale, Sewer Urchin, and American Maid (modified into Captain Liberty for the 2001 Tick). With a decent budget and quality writing, Amazon could do for The Tick what Netflix did with more serious comic fare like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. And Serafinowicz is a terrific addition to the cast. No stranger to offbeat, absurdist humor, he played Simon Pegg’s nemesis on the nerdy sitcom Spaced, the uptight roommate-cum-zombie Pete in Shaun of the Dead, and Nova Corps officer Denarian Saal in GOTG. The Tick is right up his alley.
Of course, The Tick could face some competition. The comic-based sitcom world is about to get a whole lot bigger with the Marvel sitcom Damage Control and DC’s Powerless ordered to pilot by ABC and NBC respectively. Fortunately, The Tick won’t have to worry about ratings on Amazon, something which, combined with FOX’s lack of promotion, killed its prior live-action incarnation. Coming to life as a streaming show means the writers will have more freedom to tap into darker or more adult veins if they so desire. Most of all, they can focus on setting the right mood for the comic book to come to life as a great superhero parody with a lot of heart.
Screen Rant will have more details on The Tick as they are made available.