ONLINE AUCTION FEATURES MORE THAN 100 PIECES FROM CULT FAVORITE LIVE-ACTION TV SHOW
By Robert Wilonsky
On the list of “Greatest TV Series Canceled Way Too Soon,” Amazon Prime’s The Tick sits near the top, alongside only a few other could-have-been, should-have-been classics cut down in their, well, primes.
Now, fans of the series will have to settle for not just the next best thing but the very best thing: a chance to own significant items from the original series in the May 27 “The Tick Prime Original” auction, presented by ScreenBid and Heritage Auctions.
Sweet, sincere, sardonic – Tick creator Ben Edlund’s third (and many believe best) on-screen iteration of the nigh-indestructible blue naïf without a past should have lasted well into the future. Instead, the show set in The City where superheroes are real (and often really funny) lasted but two seasons and 22 episodes from 2016 to 2019 – long enough only to make you want more.
“Things can either be venerated or rot away, and any sustained interest in something like this only means it made a real connection,” Edlund said in advance of the auction. “One of the things about doing this show that was really wonderful was the amazing artists who came together and made all of these ideas into realities. The idea that it’s going to continue to provide enjoyment is for the best.”
On offer at auction are 129 pieces in all, including full costumes, masks and models, blood-stained ponchos and AEGIS ID cards, weapons and watches. All that and a bag of chips – literally, as the auction includes a couple of bags of sea-salted stakeout snacks. Perfect for the devoted fan – or maybe someone wanting to make season three in their backyard.
Among the highlights from the Prime series that began as a 1986 comic-shop’s newsletter:
The Tick’s animatronic cowl was worn during the show’s first season by actor Peter Serafinowicz, who is best known for his work in Shaun of the Dead, Spy, Guardians of the Galaxy and as the voice of Darth Maul. (Patrick Warburton starred in a live-action series that aired on Fox in 2001; an animated TV series premiered in 1994). The Tick’s danger-sensing and eerily articulated antennae come to life courtesy the batteries and remote control included in the sale. This screen-used prop shows handling, wear and use.
Fans who want the whole big blue shebang can get the Tick’s costume from the pilot episode, which served as a viewers’ introduction to what Edlund once called “this blood mixture of comedy and caring.” This is the bulked-up synthetic rubber-and-cloth get-up complete with cowl and gloves worn by Serafinowicz during his introduction to accountant-turned-begrudging sidekick Arthur Everest (played by Griffin Newman). The lucky buyer will finally be able to answer the Tick’s quandary: “Am I never naked … or am I never not naked?”
That pilot-episode Tick costume is but one of several key series outfits in the auction.
Also available is the Moth costume worn by the hesitant – and traumatized – Arthur. This indestructible (well, in the series, anyway) super-suit – the object of evil-doers’ illicit desires – provides Arthur’s entrée into the world of crime-fighting and remains the reluctant hero’s outfit during the series’ entire run. It comes complete with hooded gray jumpsuit, leg padding, four pairs of gloves, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards and a pair of size-8 shoes. And, of course, there’s his trademark wings-storing backpack – and a fake sword, all in good condition.
Included in the sale is the Lobstercules costume worn in season two by the super-strong humanoid lobster (voiced by Liz Vassey), forced to hold up a bank after villains take her children hostage. The Lobstercules costume includes the mask, cowl, back armor, chest plate, shoulder and bicep pads, body suit, size-14 boots, and, of course, stunt claws.
Available separately is Lobstercules’ animatronic head, the creep cherry on the top of the most elaborate costume in this entire series. Of course, this animatronic head’s eyes light up, thanks to the included battery packs.
Other major highlights from this sale are the villain Overkill’s season one mask and season one costume. Both items were worn by the former sidekick, Flag Five member and AEGIS hero-turned-vigilante obsessed with taking down the criminal known as the Terror. Problem is, Overkill lives up to his moniker: He’s a violent, dark anti-hero – a “robo-ninja” outfitted in cybernetics who, like Arthur, was traumatized by the Terror, who took everything from him.
Overkill’s uniform is in perfect condition, and includes a large muscle suit, a large black bodysuit, the tactical undershirt he wears under his body armor, size-32 black pants, and medium black compression pants. It also includes his vest with armor, Overkill’s utility belt and a bandolier fully stocked with ammo.
Another highly coveted keepsake is the costume worn by Sage the Supernumerary in the fifth episode of season two titled “Magic is Real.” Sage is essentially the city’s Doctor Strange – which is to say he’s heir to the Blind Eye of Thirdarra, otherwise known as the third nipple staring straight through you from his plunging neckline. This lot includes that deep-V cut into his shiny blue costume, his yellow cape and gloves, and black-and-gold boots.
But there are far more than costumes available in the May 27 auction.
Props include the Donnelly Gang’s shotgun used in the season two opener. Arthur and the Tick are at the bank depositing Arthur’s check when they are interrupted by the Donnelly Gang and Lobstercules. One of the Donnellys aims his shotgun at the Tick and threatens to open fire – at which point the hero bends the weapon, which the winning bidder can display like a prized trophy.
Among the most coveted items in the auction are the Flag Five Flock Flares given to the Tick, Arthur, Bronze Star, Sage the Supernumerary and Joan of Arc when they’re tapped as the newest members of the Flag Five. We’re not sure they can still be used to reach Captain Rathbone on a secure line, but they do come with two cases and are in good condition.
There’s reading material, too: Midnight’s memoirs Good Intentions (because a dog can write and speak, in this case using the voice of animated Tick cast member Townsend Coleman), and Ms. Lint’s season two copy of Superhero Now magazine featuring Superian on the cover.