The Tick vs. Season One (1994 Animated Series)
B- Sound: B- Extras: C Episodes: A
own small way, Ben Edlund's "The
Tick" changed television animation. The Tick's blend of superhero parody and
absurdist adventure paved the way for Cartoon Network's wildly popular Adult
Swim and its series of strange and unpredictable animated shows. Venture
Brothers, Aqua Teen Hunger Force,
Sea Lab 2020 and all the rest owe a
debt to Edlund's big blue buffoon.
The Tick vs. Season One introduces (or re-introduces) the
world to Edlund's zany genius. The Tick
is more than just a massive, super-strong paragon of blind heroism and naiveté.
He becomes a mirror that reflects all
that is strange and absurd about the superhero genre. And he's damn funny while doing it. This box features twelve of the thirteen
episodes that comprised Season One of the show. Only episode 11, The Tick vs. The Mole-Men
was left out, with the producers citing "creative" reasons for its
absence and fans wondering if it wasn't left out to avoid the assiduous
attorneys of a certain house of ideas. No
matter, episode 11 was one of the weaker offerings of Season One, and there are
so many other great episodes that it will not be missed by any but the most
ardent completist. Highlights for this
box include "The Tick vs. Proto-Clown" and "The Tick vs. Chairface
X 1 picture quality of the episodes varies from average to inadequate as the
prints are inconsistent and have major detail issues. Although the animation may be a bit weak by
today's standards, it is not helped by consistently grainy video quality
images. The Dolby Digital 2.0 surround
sound makes the grade, but certainly doesn't wow the listener with stunning
audio. This box is sadly lacking extras.
Interviews with creator Ben Edlund and
the producers would have been nice. Instead we get a very spare presentation, but
at least the box is loaded with great episodes.
humble origins as an independent comic book, the Tick was transformed into a
truly remarkable animated series that ran three seasons and later morphed into
a live-action show that was far less successful, but edgy and funny in its own
way. Featuring nifty new cover artwork
by Edlund himself, The Tick vs. Season
One is an important buy for fans of fun, edgy animation from creators who
are not afraid to laugh at themselves.
- Scott R. Pyle