Spiritual Lessons from The Tick
I am the wild blue yonder. The front line in a never-ending battle between good and not-so-good. Together with my stalwart sidekick, Arthur, and the magnanimous help of some other folks I know, we form the yin to villany's malevolent yang. Destiny has chosen us. Wicked men, you face The Tick.
Just the other day, I recently watched the entire series run (minus one episode) of the live-action version of The Tick, starring Patrick Warburton. I was not familiar with the character, and had never seen either the original comic, the animated series or this version. My initial reaction was unprintable; not because it contained bad language, but because I couldn’t find the words.
In short, it is a funny, silly take on the superhero genre. I loved the absolutely blithe innocence that the title character has. He has only one drive and that is to fight crime, wherever he finds it. Along with his trusty
sidekick partner, Arthur. Arthur, whose moth-inspired costume gets him confused with a rabbit, hasn’t quite figured out his cool superhero name yet. In addition, the Tick also partners up with two other characters, Batmanuel, a Latin hero who would rather be a lover rather than a fighter, and Captain Liberty, a feminist do-gooder who is employed by the government.
The eight episodes I watched was an entertaining deconstruction of the superhero genre. They focused on themes like how would superheroes function in the real world, how should superhero teams function (i.e., sidekick or partner?), the question of identity, and many others. Another fun feature is the Tick’s habit of monologuing everything, functioning as the omniscient narrator of a comic book. His tortured metaphors and simple observations of morality are a joy to watch and listen to.
I couldn’t help but think of some of the themes and how they could resonate within the context of Geekklesia. Our true identity is one we cannot run from. We are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and we were created for the purpose of glorifying God (I Corinthians 10:31) and to do good works in His name (Ephesians 2:10). We are not expected to ‘go it alone’ (Genesis 2:18a), but to work in union with other believers (I Corinthians 12:20, 21, 25) to accomplish God’s ministry of reconciling the world to Himself (II Corinthians 5:20).
If you want a superhero series that is silly fun, you could do worse than the Tick, and I would encourage you to think about the themes outlined above.