Monday, October 7, 2013

It Came from the Dollar Bin! The Tick: Heroes of the City #1!

Yes, the to-date final installment of that series I started months ago where I take a look at the #1 issues of comics I picked up at a used book store! Lemme tell you, my life sounds amazing when you say it out loud.

The Tick is sort of special to me because I watched the TV cartoon as a kid, and it's something that really holds up today. And according to the creators of the Venture Brothers, who are pals with Tick creator Ben Edlund, the two shows/comics are set in the same universe! I was also pretty into the sadly short-lived live-action sh-ow, really clever writing on that one.

If you're not familiar with the Tick (and I admit I'm not that versed in his actual comic appearances), he's an escaped mental patient who is super strong and nigh-invulnerable. His sidekick Arthur is a doughy nervous wreck in a flying moth suit. They fight silly villains like Chairface Chippendale and Pineapple Pokopo, and team up with silly heroes like Rubberduck and the Caped Cod. 

In this issue, a falling out between Arthur and the Tick has the Tick working as a sidekick-for-hire to get in Arthur's head. At the same time, Arthur wishes he felt like a hero as he goes to hang out with his girlfriend at her fast food job.

On the way, he encounters the absolute classic "cat up a tree", and as you can see this doesn't go well. It does get down, though -- it jumps, landing on Arthur's soft belly, after knocking him down. When he gets to the fast food place he's not feeling so great, but he saves a man from choking.

And in case you're wondering, yes, this sparked an incredibly cheesy "Oh, Arthur, you're my hero!" from his GF. These stories are kind of cheesy, but to be fair they aren't penned by Ben Edlund, but rather Clay Griffith (the Tick's part) and Marc Silvia (this Arthur story and a surprise at the end)

At what I'm guessing is about the same time, the Tick is working his sidekick job under a hero called El Flamingo, who polices, uh, the pool at a local country club. You know, this is the fourth hero or villain I've seen named after the pink freakin' flamingo, though obviously this one's a comedy character so at least he has an excuse.

As you can imagine, El Flamingo is a glorified lifeguard, except I'm not even sure he can swim. He thinks it's a pretty sweet gig, since he's never even heard of poolside crime. This means he basically gets paid to chill around by the pool and chat up ladies -- especially now that he has a sidekick to handle his workload.

However, due to his tempting fate, the Country Club is soon crashed by Cabana Boy, a supervillain who specializes in poolside crime. Faced with an actual threat, El Flamingo turns out to be a coward and a weakling.

This, naturally, is where the Tick comes in. After falling into the pool a few times, he breaks a diving board off and knocks Cabana Boy into next week. El Flamingo is quick to act like he did something.

El Flamingo throws the Tick under the bus vis a vis that broken diving board, and says it's coming out of his pay. The Tick quits, disgusted at the idea of a hero who works for money. I would sort of get where he's coming from if he actually had a regular job on the side, but then again he's also both crazy and stupid. We get a 'to be continued' card before the next story, which stars the cheerleader superhero Myndi! She stops a bunch of crooks with athletic kicks and flips.

Then she nabs a mugger, and finally stops a speeding getaway car with caltrops launched from her pompoms. Or, uh, she says it's "pompons", but get real, sister. Anyway, they turn out to be bulletproof (wow!) and even house guns! 

Don't worry, though, they only fire paintball pellets, which hurt but are basically as non-lethal as anything shot from a gun can get. See, heroes don't kill, that's a rule, but guns are obviously the hippest trip.

All in all a decent enough read, though it's not as clever or quite as bizarre as most of the Tick stuff I've seen. I should probably hunt down more Tick material in general, it's classic indie stuff.

No comments:

Post a Comment