“There’s a new hero on (the) menu! And a big, fat sidekick of salty pork rinds!”
Many people may remember The Tick from his morning-cartoon show on Fox. Still, a good percentage of those people have never stopped to pick up the comic books the show was based on. The Tick is the title to go to for the ultimate in super-hero parody and a great place to start is The Tick and Arthur, Bonanza Edition, #1 written by Sean Wang. Providing all you need to know with minimal and well spaced exposition, it’s an excellent jumping-on point for new readers.
In this story, the ninja world seeks to return to power by rebuilding the Thorn of Oblivion, an artifact easily mistaken for a giant candy corn. However, chaos follows as the sum of The City’s villains make a mad dash to attain the Thorn for their own individual purposes as the heroes, hungry for a chance at actual heroism, race to stop them.
One of the unique elements of The Tick is its portrayal of super-heroes as desperately seeking attention and accolades in a city where everyone seems to be a costumed do-gooder. After all, who wants to be a bad guy? Heroes fall all over each other to find a villain to be their sole arch-nemesis, like bridesmaid trying to catch the bouquet.
Our titular heroes are the exception. Tick can be an unstoppable force if he wants to be, but would rather indulge his consuming and innocent imagination. Arthur is far more realistic about his job, even for a man dressed as a moth, but is hesitant for physical confrontation. Perhaps it’s these virtues that cause fate to bring them the adventures and exploits other heroes constantly seek.
Pitted against the likes of psychotic Barry (formerly the Tick), Chairface Chippendale (the man with a chair for a head) and an endless supply of ninjas (who work part-time at fast food restaurants and other odd-jobs, while in full ninja gear) the exploits of our heroes provide light-hearted interactions with their allies and foes alike.
In a world of Secret Invasions and one Crisis after another, The Tick and Arthur make for an excellent conclusion to your comic book reading day.
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