Sure, the new Tick show is great and all, but will we ever get to see old friends like Chairface Chippendale, the Breadmaster or – please, please – the Evil Bomber What Bombs at Midnight? We went straight to The Tick creator Ben Edlund and demanded to know, and his firm, emphatic answer was… maybe.
The entire first season of The Tick is letting viewers roll around in the fluffy super-love flowing between the title character and Arthur. Since fans love the original animated series and its previous live-action incarnation, they have been vocally wondering if any of those characters might get a chance to live again on the new series (especially since season two is on its way). I’d assumed the answer would be no, but decided to ask Edlund anyway when I interviewed him and executive producer Barry Josephson last week – but I didn’t get the answer I expected.
Gizmodo: I’ve been consistently getting one question from people who are watching: They want to know if you’ll be revisiting previous iterations of characters from The Tick. The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight, Chairface Chippendale. Is it important to you to not revisit these characters?
Ben Edlund: It’s not important not to revisit those characters – those things are potentially open. Some of them, unfortunately, like the Bomber, are just a cartoon rights thing. Chairface… certain things can live. I want to see them alive in this universe. I feel like… they are naturally laden with other things. The Terror can live in all these universes, because he’s kind of graduated to this iconic, seminal figure of bad. These other things are, I think, stuff I want to play with.
Barry Josephson: Ben is living this really good life of inventing and having reverence for [things] the audience likes. You know, when you look at this season, the Terror was something people liked, and he likes, and he wanted to write that. And you look at Overkill’s character, Miss Lint’s character, the Bomber’s character, the story [is something] that Ben has dreamed up and [has been] wanting to tell. I think the most important thing is he’s inventing something new for the show. But we both really feel strongly that we want to hear what people loved, and would love to see, because that’s always a good thing to do. And I think the Marvel Universe does that really well, too. They lean in and listen to that. They understand the audience.
Edlund: And when they bring characters up from the storied past of Marvel, there’s always a wonderful charge in that, so that’s something we want to take advantage of. But there’s a certain first, reflexive muscle [twitch] that is about saying, “We’re not dependent on what came before us.” Then, we get less defensive.
The pair’s comments make it sound like – now that they have established this mutation of the Wild Blue Yonder – they’re open to figuring out how they can reinvent previously seen characters. The little smidge of proffered hope is tantalising because, if nothing else, the new Tick has done a great job of reimagining and deepening something that fans already loved.