Attention evil-doers! The Tick is here, and he's wearing the blue tights of justice! Together with his trusty moth-costumed sidekick Arthur, The Tick keeps the streets of The City safe from a rogue's gallery of hilariously malevolent villains. So grab a snack, put your feet up, and get ready to laugh and cheer as everyone's favorite brawny hero swats evil on the snout with the rolled-up newspaper of goodness! Even with one episode missing, The Tick vs. Season One
offers a dozen good reasons to enjoy one of the wackiest superheroes of all time. From his humble beginnings as an in-house comic book character created by 17-year-old Ben Edlund for a Boston comic shop, the Tick (with his muscular physique, twitching antennae, and form-fitting "blue tights of justice") has proven remarkably popular and versatile as a multimedia juggernaut, attracting a global fan base in comics, then this animated series beginning in 1994, and finally as a live-action comedy series starring Patrick Warburton as "the big blue bug of justice." All three of the Tick's incarnations are wildly entertaining, but the animated series comes closest to capturing the unbridled giddiness of Edlund's comics, albeit somewhat sanitized for a Saturday-morning audience of kids and Tick-loving teens and grown-ups. And while episode #11, "The Tick vs. The Mole Men" (widely considered to be one of the first season's weakest episodes) is missing here for legal reasons (but may be included in a future DVD release), the 12 episodes included are remarkably consistent in their well-written hilarity of character and plotting. "The Tick vs. Chairface Chippendale" is just one example of the series' rogue's gallery of oddball monstrosities (the villain's head is a wooden chair, after all!) and the show's clever writers are always finding inventive ways to incorporate in-jokes, show-biz homage (such as the villainous "Uncommon Cold," who sounds suspiciously like James Mason!), and choice bits of throwaway dialogue that will cause older viewers to burst out laughing.
It's regrettable that Buena Vista (i.e., Disney) didn't include any bonus features with this two-disc set (at the very least, the Tick's comic book origins should be acknowledged), and the color and clarity of these episodes varies a bit, from crisp and clean to just a little it fuzzy. But let's face it, the animation (as good as it is) isn't exactly state-of-the-art, and most of The Tick's quality is derived from the outrageous cast of characters (including patriotic superheroine American Maid and the Tick's moth-costumed sidekick, Arthur), all of whom reside in a kind of alternate world of hyper-imagination. Perhaps that's why The Tick has proven so enduring as a pop-cultural touchstone of the late 20th century: Whether he's in a comic book, an animated cartoon, or a live-action sitcom, the Tick is just a goofy, lovable, well-meaning reflection of our better selves, eager (as the saying goes) to swat evil on the snout with the rolled-up newspaper of goodness. Make way for seasons 2 and 3! --Jeff Shannon