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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

The Tick vs. Season One (review)

Spoon! If there’s a better superhero sendup than this animated series, which aired on Fox in prime time from 1994 to 1997, I’ve yet to discover it. Based on Ben Edlund’s (Firefly) underground cult-favorite comic, these are the adventures of a mighty blue — and mighty dumb — masked avenger known only as The Tick, who protects The City from Evil, which comes in many forms. Like Chairface Chippendale, whose head is a chair and among whose evil plans is a scheme to graffiti his name across the moon. And arguably like Die Fledermaus: ostensibly a Good Guy (and a riotous parody of Batman), he is frequently his own, and The Tick’s, worst enemy. The Tick is ably assisted, in his nightly swath of destruction across The City, by Arthur (the voice of former Monkee Mickey Dolenz in these first-season episodes), a mild-mannered accountant turned super moth… though his moth-suit antennae frequently get mistaken for giant bunny ears. Words cannot do justice to the series’ wild humor and expansive exuberance, but perhaps this offers a hint of explanation of the show’s continuing appeal: Episode 11, “The Tick vs. The Mole Men,” is missing from this set due to mysterious “creative considerations” that, the Internet rumor mill has it, are connected to a certain megacelebrity’s displeasure with how she is satirized in that installment. It’s that wicked funny. Also missing: any extras or bonuses. Good thing the show is enough to entertain for hours.

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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  • Glad to be informed re: lack of extras. Please get rid of that buzzing mosquito ad.

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