The Tick is a prime example of what a superhero show could be


Amazon Prime’s The Tick was a breath of fresh air in the superhero television world. But after two seasons, it looks like Amazon Prime won’t be renewing.

Full disclosure — I love The Tick. From his humble beginnings as a New England newsletter mascot, to a quirky television superhero, he’s endured 33 years in the pop culture world. The Tick has also enjoyed some time on television as well, with his most recent foray being the Amazon Prime original series, which was sadly canceled after only two seasons.

If you haven’t watched the new show, you can stream both seasons now. At 10 episodes per season, with each episode being 30 minutes long, it’s easy to binge this engrossing show. Each character is built deliberately well — even the villains are a joy to watch.

The titular character, The Tick, is a childlike superhero who has no memory of his past. He’s impossibly goofy, sweet, and eager to be the hero — even when you don’t need one. He’s all too eager to please, and he lets his good nature get the best of him. It’s hard to not feel a little protective of Tick, who’s innocent nature makes him a very sympathetic character.

His adoration and love for his sidekick — Arthur — is incredibly pure and fun to watch. The Tick can even admit when he’s wrong, for example, when he’s fighting Lobsterculese, but then stops when Arthur tells him she isn’t a villain, she’s a victim.

The Tick apologizes, and vows to make things right for her. He’s still learning about his own powers, both as a super and a human, and watching him explore the world with a sense of awe is something more of us should do.

As much as we love The Tick, Arthur is the real shining gem in the Amazon Prime series. Arthur, aside from a super suit, has no discernible powers. He’s just a regular human, still dealing with the trauma of watching his father die a horrific (yet accidental) death at the hands of The Terror, one of the City’s bad guys.

He’s a realistic take on the otherwise over saturated superhero. We can see his depression and anxiety come out in different ways — such as pushing away his family and Tick, as well as his struggle with believing he can be anything more than just a guy who witnessed his fathers death.

His PTSD from the event comes out in the form of nightmares, therefor his lack of sleep also contributes to his otherwise cold personality. He’s also become obsessed with proving that the Terror is still alive, resulting in some pretty tin foil hat theories (which wind up being true). He’s very much so the opposite of characters like Batman and Green Lantern, who both saw their parents killed in a horrific way, yet grew up to become some of the mightiest superheroes around.

Arthur takes the long road in becoming a super, but the Tick never doubts Arthur for a second. Arthur grows exponentially between the two seasons, and really comes out of his shell by the end of season 2. He’s still cautious, but his self-esteem has clearly grown within the two seasons.

The relationship between Tick and Arthur is the highlight of the series. The two are polar opposites of each other, yet the each bring out the best in one another. Arthur makes Tick more human, while Tick makes Arthur more super. As I pointed out earlier, if it hadn’t been for Arthur, Tick could have ended Lobstercules. They really come into their own in season two, becoming an actual dynamic duo.

The other characters can’t be ignored either, despite their limited screen time compared to Tick and Arthur. Miss Lint, the shows main villain, is entirely too sympathetic. She’s annoyed at Ramsey’s obsession with ancient Egyptian aesthetics, when it’s clear that he himself is not Egyptian. As such, she disposes of them. In season 2 she penetrates the superhero command center known as AEGIS by posing as a superhero — Joan of Arc.

Even while performing good deeds she’s still impossibly sarcastic and fun, but we can hear her subconscious telling her that being good is just as fun. Her character arc is clearly in it’s peak, and it’s a shame we won’t get to see the payout.

Superion, the big Superman type in the series, has a similar arc as Miss Lint, only in the opposite direction. He’s starting to doubt himself as a good guy, and his ego is going unchecked, resulting in him kidnapping a guy who speaks ill of him.

He uses Arthur as a “voice of reason”, with Arthur himself is barely struggling to be such a person for himself. Superion has all of the characteristics of a hero turned evil, and I would have liked to have seen him go 100 percent bad guy, forcing Arthur to be the one to maybe talk him down from that life. Superion, like Tick, takes Arthur out of his comfort zone, forcing him to grow and evolve.

Overkill and Dot are two other characters that were finally coming into their own halfway through season 2. When we first meet Overkill, he’s a cold-blooded murderer who has no intention of helping Tick and Arthur. He also suffers from some pretty serious heartbreak thanks to Miss Lint, which isn’t explored very well. Yet when he meets Dot — Arthur’s sister — his walls start coming down. It’s clear that Overkill yearns for love and acceptance, and finds that in Dot.

Dot herself is a fantastic character, who is also a super, but again, we only see her coming into her own in season 2. Her relationship to her brother and Overkill doesn’t define her either. She was an EMT, so being a hero (in some capacity) has always been inside of her. But having Overkill’s weapons at her disposal doesn’t help either. She, like the rest of the characters on the show, had great potential.

In the end though, Prime decided to not bring back The Tick for a season 3. It’s a shame, because I have a lot of unanswered questions, and the characters were really coming into their own. The show was funny, honest, and very engrossing. Here’s hoping another studio picks this show up!

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Did you enjoy The Tick? Let us know in the comments below. Spoon!