The Tick (comic)
A casual but incisive send-up of Superhero comics, written by Ben Edlund and published in the early 1990s. It features as its title character a super-strong, "Nigh Invulnerable" (or so he says), and
probably insane moron with a hypertrophied sense of justice and Melodrama, given to bold, thoughtless action and near-incomprehensible Aesop-like pronouncements. Assisting the Tick in his daily struggle against the forces of Evil is Arthur, a former accountant, now moth-themed Sidekick.
Edlund created The Tick as a mascot for a newsletter of the Norwood, Massachusetts store New England Comics, where he was a customer. Edlund expanded this into stories, beginning with the three-page tale "The Tick" in New England Comics Newsletter #14–15 (July/August – September/October 1986), in which the hero escapes from a mental institution. The character became popular and the store financed a black-and-white comic book series, with the first issue released in June, 1988; it's been reprinted at least nine times since then.
From 1994-1996, Fox Kids broadcast a well-made and fondly-remembered animated adaptation. In 2001, FOX attempted to revive the series in a live action format with Patrick "Puddy" Warburton in the title role.
- Adaptation Distillation - Most fans agree that the cartoon version was a great step for the franchise.
- The Cameo: The 10th anniversary re-release of Tick issue #1 has a bonus segment showing Tick's escape from an insane asylum. It turns out Dr. Bunsen and his assistant Beaker ran the place.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Many of the antagonists, particularly Chairface Chippendale and The Terror.
- Clark Kenting: Clark Oppenheimer's glasses and The Tick's hypnotic tie.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Tick, turned to 11.
- 11? The Tick's dial goes all the way to "Justice"!
- Conservation of Ninjitsu: The third issue is titled appropriately "Night of a Million Zillion Ninjas" and they're every bit as ineffective as you'd expect with such large numbers. Justified in part by the revelation that Ninja has become a cheap franchise.
- Deface of the Moon: An aborted attempt by Chairface Chippendale to write his name. The letters "CHA" appear on the moon as a Continuity Nod.
- The Ditz: The Tick.
- Early-Bird Cameo: In one issue, a mysterious female figure wearing a flying suit identical to Arthur's appears in a few panels. The comic ended before her story was revealed, but she later appeared in the animated series as Carmelita Vatos, daughter of the suit's inventor and (eventually) Arthur's love interest.
- Expy: Clark Oppenheimer.
- Franchise Zombie: Ben Edlund wants to focus on science fiction and horror for his entertainment output. Fans keep asking for more of The Tick. He's apparently grown quite disgusted with the character as a result.
- God Guise: Of sorts, as other inmates of the Evanston Asylum that escaped when The Tick did start worshipping him, forming the Mystic Order of Arachnid Vigilance. Which then underwent Defictionalization as The Tick's fanclub.
- The Greatest Story Never Told: Just to tweak Chairface Chippendale, his attempt to carve his name in the moon is hushed up and subsequently blamed on Charo.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Parodied to the point of ludicrousness (just take a look at the picture on the trope page).
- Idiot Hero: Erm, the Tick.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Really, just look at the Tick's profile (preferably against the Tick-signal).
- Live Action Adaptation: See The Tick (television).
- Meganekko: Arthur's sister Dot
- The Monolith: A Monolith upgrades a town full of farmers into full-blown mad scientists.
- No Name Given: The Tick
- Roof Hopping: But tends to smash the parts he lands on, and they don't take too kindly to that in Europe.
- Southern-Fried Geniuses: One issue has the characters ran into a town full of genius hillbillies that got their hands on The Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The Tick fights crime in a city named The City.