Over the course of a comic series, and now three television adaptations, The Tick has changed as a franchise, as well as a titular superhero. So obviously, when Amazon first announced they were resurrecting Ben Edlund's cult classic superhero, a lot of folks were probably asking the same question: why? When asked, Edlund helped answer that question with two motivations that distance this latest go-round from all incarnations before it. If you'd ever wanted to know more about The Tick and Arthur's backstories, you're in for a treat. In terms of the hero at the helm, Edlund explained his thought process as follows:
We're going to explore something about how The Tick is, sort of, where he comes from, in the course of this five year journey, or whatever sort of number of years it turns into being. . . . Before, it was about, 'Oh, he has power if he doesn't have an origin. He's sort of every kind of superhero, we don't need to get specifically into his origin.' That was great, and I think this is the story of what The Tick is, it's the first time we're trying to tell that story. The same way that we've shifted the focus to Arthur as a main character.
So in the case of Amazon's The Tick, we're finally going to get to see how Peter Serafinowicz's blue bastion of betterment came to be, and it's a question that's teased early and often in the show's 12-episode run. While the character of The Tick has always been an interesting and comedic take on the superheroes of both past and present, there's never really been an exploration into where exactly he came from. It was this concept that ultimately drew Ben Edlund back to his creation, after a period of years that saw him approach, but never commit to the idea of bringing the crimefighter back to the spotlight.
But with this new approach came another big change, and it's probably the biggest change for The Tick's story structure. Instead of the traditionally front and center hero being the primary focus of this enterprise, it's sidekick Arthur Everest's turn to shine! Edlund laid out the appeal of this change when I recently spoke to him as part of Amazon's press day for The Tick, and that change was made due to the following:
Arthur's hero's journey is something that was never part of these prior iterations. He was basically as much of a hero as he was ever going to be. He expressed willingness to be a hero, and The Tick put him on a roller coaster, and together they went off. That was about as much of a journey as we saw. This is a story, this is us telling a story, everything about who The Tick is as well. Get ready for an epic.
So how do you approach an idea like The Tick, which has had cult success and several versions already in the canon? You look for the ways into the material that have never been done before. It's an ingenious way to bring back fans of the older incarnations of The Tick, while at the same time winning over new fans to the franchise. Though much like any good superhero project that exists to straddle the line between parody and love letter, focusing on Griffin Newman's Arthur lends itself to a bit of a Birdman-esque vibe, as part of the series is focused on whether The Tick exists or not.
At the same time, The Tick himself definitely feels like his typical, hyper do-gooder self, which helps assure the audience that while a lot has changed, there's still quite a bit that's stayed the same. Not to mention, the typically off-kilter humor that's existed throughout all of The Tick's franchise history is still present, and just as sharp as ever. You'll get your chance to experience the first six episodes of The Tick's 12-episode run when they hit Amazon exclusively on Friday. Stick around with us here at CinemaBlend, as we'll be covering some other fun facts about The Tick's new series throughout the next couple of weeks.