Is 'The Tick' Marvel Or DC? Amazon's Superhero Series Has A Different Kind Of Comics History

Jessica Miglio/Amazon Prime Video
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Amazon is getting into the superhero game with The Tick, a comedic take on the omnipresent genre. However, don't expect to see any CW crossovers or Netflix team-ups with The Tick and his unwitting sidekick Arthur any time soon. Believe it or not, The Tick is neither Marvel nor DC, though some of the characters might remind you of your favorite classic comics and/or summer blockbuster heroes.

The Tick, whose current adaptation stars Peter Serafinowicz and Griffin Newman as Tick and Arthur, respectively, is based on a comic book series by Ben Edlund that in 1989 was originally printed in New England Comics. It's actually still running, with a new comic arc that began in August.

There have been two previous adaptations, both created and produced by Edlund himself. The first was a Fox Animation show that was part of the Saturday morning lineup in the '90s. The second was a 2001 live action series that starred Patrick Warburton as the bug man in blue. The story is set in a comically generic world in which superheroes are commonplace.

It comments on popular characters in many ways. First, the titular hero is named after an insect, much like Spider-Man, Ant Man, and the Wasp. These first two adaptations also included satirical nods to popular characters with heroes called Batmanuel, Captain Liberty, and Sewer Urchin — a gross version of Aquaman.  

Myles Aronowitz / Amazon Prime Video

Edlund's latest adaptation for Amanzon includes new heroes like the flying alien Superian, pictured above, who bares a striking resemblance to a certain Kryptonian. The pilot mentions a superhero team called the Flag Five that were defeated long ago. Other known villains include characters named Overkill, Ms. Lint, and Ramses IV.

At the end of the day, The Tick is a comedy. While there are moments of realism and more sincerity than irony, it's more of a spoof and a goof on superheroes as a genre. The comic book source may be more indie than Marvel and DC, but its history makes this world of heroes just as rich as those other guys.