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DVD Review: The Tick vs. Season Two

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"Spoon!"

The rallying cry of the Tick is a little unorthodox, but then again there is very little, if anything, that is orthodox in this universe. Created in the 1980's by a teenaged Ben Edlund, the big blue superhero strikes up a fantastic spoof of the oft-times overly serious superhero genre. The black and white comic was an underground sensation that I was lucky enough to find a couple of issues back in the day. In the mid-1990s it became fully franchised, the cartoon series became a Saturday morning hit and you could find Tick merchandise at the local toy shop. In 2001, there was even a vastly underrated and short lived live action series, featuring the genius casting of Patrick Warburton. That is neither here nor there, as we now get the second, of three, volumes of The Tick animated series. Twelve episodes of buttery Ticky goodness lie herein.

By the time the second season arrived, the team of Tick and Arthur was firmly established as the premiere superhero duo in the city. However, despite their heroic status, it is not their super deeds that people love. The fact that they fight bad guys and prevent the buttery spread of evil across the English muffin of the city is rather inconsequential in the face of the dim bulb brain of Tick and his accountant turned sidekick in the bunny, er, moth suit.

The heart of the show is the sweet natured Tick and the relationship that has developed between Tick and Arthur. The Tick is a goofball whose heroic deeds happen in spite of himself. The writing is spot on, capturing the silly dialogue while retaining a sharp edged wit. In addition to the leads, there is a fantastic supporting cast of heroes and villains. Among them are American Maid, Die Fliedermaus, and Sewer Urchin on the side of good, and on the side of evil you have Chairface Chippendale, Chrome Dome, and Pineapple Pokopo, among others.

This set of season two episodes is not entirely complete, they are just wanting to keep pace with the first season set, I presume. The first set was missing the episode "The Tick vs. the Mole Men," which was, and presumably still is, tied up in legal issues precluding its release. This set comes without episode 15, "Alone Together."  Although I have been unable to find any reason for the episode's absence, presumably it has to do with more legal issues. The fact that the episode is missing is stated right on the case "*This collection does not contain episode #15," so they are not trying to hide anything, they just aren't explaining it completely.

There are a good number of memorable episodes mixed into the bunch. Among the top episodes is "Armless but not Harmless," which has Tick's and Arthur's arms stolen by a criminal seeking to make her way to the Enemy Awards. It is clever, and just lightly bizarre. Then there is "Heroes" which sends up Cops as the Tick is followed around by a camera crew as he does battle with the Deadly Bulb. Another is "The Tick Loves Santa!" which has a multitude of Santa's running rampant through the city, while Tick sits depressed over the electrocution of his favorite holiday character. Finally, there is "The Tick vs. The Big Nothing," which has the twosome being kidnapped by aliens called the Whats to battle the Heys.

Audio/Video. The audio is a Dolby 2.0 track which does its job, but doesn't offer much punch. The video is 1.33:1 full frame, and it looks good although it isn't quite as smooth as it could be. Still, I cannot really complain, as it looks better than the broadcasts I remember.

Extras. Nothing, that's right, nothing. No commentaries, interviews, featurettes, or anything.

Bottomline. The Tick is a triumph of Saturday morning entertainment. It is an original creation that offers up a delightful blend of oddball comedy and city-wrecking action. Definitely a must have for fans, and the in curious alike.

Recommended.

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About Draven99

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    My set has 12 episodes.

  • http://draven99.blogspot.com Chris Beaumont

    Grrr. I knew that…. I was thinking twelve, but the “no episode 15″ through my brain into a timewarp. I’ll get it corrected….

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    While worth owning, I disagree that it is a must-have. You can still catch them if you have, what is it, Toon Disney now? I don’t see why the studio couldn’t have cough up the money for episode 15 (does it run in syndication?) and some extras. Dumping it without care happens way too often with tv series. And with the new HD format soon to be finalized, there will be another version in a couple of years that they should get right.