Superhero Origins: The Tick

This satirical superhero was originally created by artist Ben Edlund as the fictional mascot of the newsletter for the New England Comics chain of comic book stores. However, it quickly prompted its own series. In the Tick’s very first comic issue, he was first shown to be an escaped mental patient from a hospital with no memory of his previous life and nigh-invincibility. Pairing up with a moth-themed sidekick named Arthur, the duo have fought bizarre criminals together on and off the page. Join WatchMojo.com as we explore the comic book origins of The Tick.
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Superhero Origins: The Tick


He looms over the city like a big blue beacon of justice. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we will explore the comic book origins of The Tick, a hero with no secret identity.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline that unfolded in issue #1 of 1988’s “The Tick” and was expanded upon in the cartoon and live action programs of the same name.

This satirical superhero was originally created by artist Ben Edlund as the fictional mascot of the newsletter for the New England Comics chain of comic book stores. However, it quickly prompted its own black and white series, which later received colored editions.

Interestingly, the Tick’s costume was originally conceived to be brown, but he was instead made blue as it looked better in print, and fit the character’s comedic underpinnings.

In the Tick’s very first comic issue, he was first shown to restrained by a straightjacket. Having already been confined for two months and feeling quite bored, he escaped. Answering the call of ‘The City’, known only as “The City” he was soon dashing over the rooftops.

With no memory of his previous life due to frequent blows to the head, the blue outfit he wore became his true identity. Aspiring to become a superhero, The Tick wielded such nonfunctional gadgets as his ‘Secret Crime Viewfinder.’

Exploring the city and causing more havoc than he prevented, the dimwitted do-gooder discovered that he possessed near invincibility. Hilariously, this meant that even though he was unable to be harmed, he could still be hurt and experience brain trauma.

Interestingly, though the Tick is somewhat unique for having no real secret identity, or at least none he can remember, he briefly took on the false identity of Neville Nedd, a weekly World Planet Crossword editor. Outrageously, the only disguise he wore consisted of a tie over his blue outfit, believing that it would hide his ‘true’ identity.

When in battle, the Tick wielded super strength, as well as “Drama Power”, the ability to naturally make situations more dramatic, all while shouting his iconic, yet non-sequitous battle cry “Spoon!”, to throw his opponents into a tizzy.

Over the years, he has battled countless super villain parodies, including a clan of Ninjas. This likewise led him into situations where he got to encounter spoofs of other comic book heroes, like Elektra and Superman, before adopting his own sidekick, an accountant in a moth suit named Arthur. Frequently mistaken for a bunny rabbit, the highflying sidekick acts as the conscience and brains of the duo.

Together, they aimlessly help folks in trouble in the never-ending struggle between the good and not so good, frequently becoming embroiled in situations far beyond the Tick’s comprehension.

A mysterious big blue bug of justice, this insane hero continues to explore a crazy world, never letting his limited knowledge of life interfere with his desire to protect humanity. The Tick continues to make readers laugh with his dimwittedness, strange sense of humor, gaudy costume and inspirational speeches filled with outlandish metaphors.

A hero of unsung popularity, longtime fans continue to hope for a revival of the cartoons, as well as its short lived live action sitcom, which pitch-perfectly starred actor Patrick Warburton.
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