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Costumed Superheros for Great Justice!

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The live action version of “The Tick” was recently released on a spare two-DVD set. You get the sweet spritz of justice over nine episodes in 16:9 format, and of course, you can pause anytime to argue with the commode. However, the added commentary by creator Ben Edlund is somewhat sparse and distracted.

The Tick is in that realm of comedic superhero teevee shows and movies which are supposed to be funny (unlike “Batman and Robin”). It features The Tick, Arthur, Captain “Janet” Liberty and Bat Manuel. It comes from the comic created by Ben Edlund.

And it is the same realm as the feature film “Mystery Men”, which comes from the second string super heros of “Flaming Carrot Comics”. Drawing on the design and style of Tim Berton’s “Batman”, “Mystery Men” also uses the silly costumes, dubious powers, diners, and the dissonance between the real world and superheros. The movie is especially notable for the appearance by Tom Waits as the weapons master who likes to hang out in retirement residences.

A related direct to video movie is “The Specials” about a team of second-best superheroes. You get Rob Lowe as The Weevil and it just gets plain silly. Thougth there is a great performance of “Life is a Rock (but the Radio Rolled Me)” – by Reunion (thanks Rhino “Superhits of the 70s”). The addition to the DVD are the extra interviews of the characters talking about themselves, if Chris Guest did a mockumentary about superheroes.

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About Jim Carruthers