" The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as the Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient. And as the philosophy of the orient expresses it, life is not important. "
— General William Westmoreland, Hearts and Minds

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With its garish costumes, flamboyant villains and bizarre world-domination plots, the superhero genre is ripe for parody. One of the better, wittier spoofs was The Tick, which started as a comic book and ran on Fox as animated Saturday-morning series from 1994-1996. The Tick returns to DVD with the release of season two.

Evildoers, Eat My Justice!

The Tick is armless, but not harmless
The Tick is armless, but not harmless

The Tick (voiced with absolute conviction by Coleman Townsend) is the big, blue, be-muscled, dumb-as-a-post hero who protects his adopted home, The City, from bad guys and their bizarre schemes. His superhero lair is the apartment of his sidekick Arthur (a pudgy former accountant in a moth suit). With his fellow good guys, he takes on a weird pantheon of bad guys including The Fin (a super smart, talking, trained dolphin), The Mother of Invention (who wants to blow up The Renaissance so he can steal great inventions), and the Swiss (armed with large pocket knives).

The episodes really soar when the stories take bizarre and surreal turns. In “Armless but Not Harmless,” the villainous Venus and her husband Milo cut off the arms of The Tick and Arthur. The heroes watch in shock as their arms wriggle on the floor (no blood or gore in this kid’s show). The arms will be used in a crime spree until a capable plumber without any super powers reattaches them to their rightful owners. In the subplot of another episode, a whale with human limbs and wearing green overalls emerges from the ocean and proceeds to run across the country.

One episode from season two, “Alone Together,” is not included on this DVD set. The season one DVD set is also missing an episode. There has been no official word on why these were cut. Hopefully, they will show up as bonus episodes on the third season set.

DVD Extras

A lithograph of the big blue wonder (with a Tick factoid on the back) is the only bonus, which is a shame considering The Tick has been in existence since 1988.

Picture and Sound

Both picture and sound are adequate and unexceptional, kind of like a cheaply-made Saturday morning cartoon.

How to Use this DVD

Select “play all” on the main menu. Try not to go through them too fast, since there are only 12 episodes.