Amazon's live-action reboot of The Tick – a surreal superhero parody created by Ben Edlund in 1986, who's also the creator on the show – arrived on Prime Video last month with the first half of the first season, starring Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy) as the big blue bug, and comedian Griffin Newman as his unwilling sidekick Arthur Everest.
Gadgets 360 had a phone conversation with Edlund and Newman post-release, and naturally, we wondered if they were already thinking of what comes after. Here's what Edlund had to say about the reboot:
"Yes. A natural outpouring of the first season is the body of ideas that feel like they are starting to assert themselves for another season. I also kind of went into Amazon with a five-year plan more or less, a sense of a whole story with a beginning, middle, and end that I'm still intent on pursuing. There are certain second chapter elements to that, that are actually already there [in season one]. Right now, we're just waiting to see what the world thinks."
Of course, this doesn't mean that Amazon has already greenlit the next season, but it's good to hear that the creator has a definite plan for his series. Edlund is also in the unique position of being one of a select few creators who've had the chance to interpret their own IP for the screen multiple times.
"I don't know too many times this has been done, that a single creator has interpreted, then reinterpreted, then reinterpreted, and then reinterpreted their characters," he said. "I think it's a testament to the staying power of the characters themselves, whatever essence is in there that seems to keep drawing attention."
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"It's like I cannot drop [The Tick], I'm deeply obsessed with it," Edlund added with a chuckle. Of course, with the resurgent "age of superheroes" thanks to Marvel's success, the landscape that The Tick was a response to is not what it used to be. While Edlund noted that his views on the superhero culture have changed, as has the culture itself, the bigger shift emerged from his film-making approach.
"I had a simpler view on making of things at that time," he said. "I was younger, so it was less of a thoughtful process, and more of an intuitive process to make stuff. Working in television, you start to get very analytical and critical, and lose some of the naivety that allows you to do broad sweeping creative gestures."
He said that going back to his three-decade-old creation was "good practice" because that meant revisiting some of his earliest work, trying to understand what he was thinking back then, and expanding on it. The Amazon reboot of The Tick does that by taking a different approach, showing us its fictional world through Arthur's eyes, and playing it seriously.
"Coming away from the previous live-action show [in 2001], the one thing it needed was a sense of story that you could follow, and take seriously," Edlund said. "Which is a weird thing to say, because it's superhero comedy, and the first thought might go against that. The least expected thing to do with The Tick would be to take the human element, and try to make it as moving a story as you can. It struck me as a hilarious thing: to try and get people to care. It's a poetic joke."
It is an interesting choice, one that we felt did serve to introduce more humanity into the superhero satire, but whose full impact we'll only find out when the second half of the season drops early next year.
The Tick is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video worldwide.