Spoilers ahead for season 1 of Amazon’s The Tick.

Amazon’s decision to greenlight a 2016 pilot for a new live-action adaptation of Ben Edlund’s superhero spoof comic The Tick is only getting smarter with time. 2019 is expected to see the release of six major superhero films, and caped crusaders can now be found on nearly every major network and streaming service. The original animated version of The Tick was a cult hit in the 1990s on Fox and then Comedy Central, and a subsequent live-action series in 2001 mined some of the same anarchic humor. But back then, the gags were mostly for younger viewers who read comics or watched cartoons full of superheroes. In 2019, the tropes The Tick is mocking have become so mainstream and ubiquitous that almost everyone can feel in on the joke. More superhero stories give the show more potential fans — and supply its writers with plenty of material to satire.

As a result, The Tick — which returns to Amazon with a new 10-episode run on April 5th — has gotten even stronger in its second season. The series started its run a bit darker and weirder than previous Tick incarnations by questioning whether the titular super-strong, nearly invulnerable superhero (played by Peter Serafinowicz) was actually real, or just a manifestation of the mental health problems plaguing mild mannered accountant Arthur Everest (Griffin Newman) since he watched the supervillain The Terror (Jackie Earle Haley) murder his father and the legendary superhero squad the Flag Five.

But by the end of season 1, the show confirmed that not only is The Tick real, but Arthur was right in his seemingly paranoid belief that The Terror hadn’t actually been defeated by Superman analogue Superian (Brendan Hines), and was just lying low and plotting his next spectacular evil feat. With The Terror neutralized, Arthur and The Tick start season 2 ready to embrace whatever new heroic challenges destiny sends their way.

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