Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Matt Signal Advent Calendar 2015 Day 3: The Tick "The Tick Vs. The Tick"

The Tick
Season 1, Episode 7: “The Tick Vs. The Tick” 1994

Matt Says:

There are a lot of superhero satires. Let's be honest, it's a genre that's pretty easy to lampoon. But good superhero satires? Those are fewer and farther between. For me, the greatest of all time is Ben Edlund's The Tick, the story of a big, blue, not too bright superhero. And while the '90s animated series was a little softer than its comics counterpart, it was still a laugh a minute. And for sheer joke volume and commentary, my favorite episode is "The Tick Vs. The Tick."

The main story, where the Tick, our hero, goes to a superhero nightclub and encounter  Barry, a rich poseur who styles himself a superhero and calls himself the Tick as well, is standard Tick funny, and includes some memorable dialogue, including Barry's entrance line of, "Where's the jerk who calls himself the Tick?" and Tick's reply of, "I am that jerk!" as well as some great moments with Big Shot, the Tick universe's Punisher analogue who has been going to therapy and keeps telling Barry to put his anger in "the Happy Box." But it's two subplots that make this episode sing.

Arthur, being Tick's sidekick, is relegated to The Sidekick Lounge out behind the bar. The Sidekick Lounge is a small wooden shack, where Arthur sits with a silent Robin type sidekick, as well as a talking dog and a talking orangutan. The dog seems happy with his lot as a sidekick, but that is one angry ape. He gets off a monologue about hairless apes that invented money that just floors me every time.

But the true highlight, the piece de resistance of the episode is the supervillain: The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight. Yes, you read that right. This guys is basically recounting in full stream of consciousness mode a conversation he had with someone about being evil and becoming a supervillain. It's full of crazy rambling, and constant exclamations of, "Yeah, Baby!" He's completely insane and so hilarious that I won't even try to give you a sampling. The credits for the cartoon are in big blocks without identifying who voices what character, but fortunately IMDB for the episode reveals that he was voiced by voice legend Maurice LaMarche, best known for voicing Orson Welles in everything, The Brain in Pinky and the Brain, and a ton of voices including Kif Kroker, News Monster Morbo, and Lrrr of the Planet Omicron Persei 8 on Futurama, as well as about a million other things.

Also, if anyone who might known someone or is someone involved in DVD releases comes across this, c'mon! A The Tick: The Complete Series is long overdue. The first two of three season were released, but one episode from each was held back for fear of a lawsuit from Marvel, if the rumors are true. Well, now Marvel is owned by Disney, whose Buena Vista Entertainment distributed The Tick. I want to see all these episodes again!

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