When Ben Edlund first created the character The Tick as a newsletter mascot for New England Comics, he could hardly have known that his creation would be embraced by millions as a popular icon. Now, thirty years later, the writer and artist finds himself breathing new, live-action life into the concept, as Amazon orders a series pilot.
First appearing in 1986 as a spoof comic book superhero, The Tick earned his own independent comic book series in 1988, which was adapted into an animated series in 1994. A 9 episode live-action series aired on Fox in 2001, and starred Patrick Warburton as the titular hero, supported by David Burke, Nestor Carbonell and Liz Vassey.
For those unfamiliar with the character, the Tick has super human strength and mass, and is almost invulnerable. He also has “drama power,” which causes his super powers to increase in conjunction with the level of dramatic tension in a situation – thus adding to the comedic elements of a situation.
Ben Edlund returns to write the pilot of this new incarnation, and will also executive produce – but it seems as though The Tick will be resurrected with a new cast. Patrick Warburton will not reprise his role as the lead, although a replacement has not yet been announced. In the supporting cast, however, Griffin Newman (Vinyl), and Valorie Curry (House Of Lies) are reported to have been cast, and famed cinematographer Wally Pfister (Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy) is apparently in talks to direct.
The fact that The Tick is a spoof of the superhero genre makes great sense for Amazon, since its only involvement in the rise of superheroes on television has thus far been restricted to the streaming rights to shows such as Arrow. While Netflix has long since busied itself with the Marvel universe – with original programming of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist – Amazon has resisted boarding that particular band-wagon. Rather than play catch up with other, popular titles, Amazon Studios appears to be taking a different approach, which has the potential to be very refreshing indeed.