Tag Archives: ninjas

The Naked City

What I find most interesting about the Tick, at least as an artistic endeavor, is that he has evolved in much the same way as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There are all these different version of the same basic story, told and retold while, one supposes, the creator keeps trying to perfect things. The very first version of the Tick was presented in comics, and in this case in the graphic novelization of those comics, The Naked City. (Although, since it’s colorized, I’m still not technically reading the very originalest version of the story.)

But who, you ask, is the Tick? He’s a superhero parody, is the short version. He’s a moderately insane, somewhat simple-minded, bumbling, incredibly strong and nigh invulnerable guy in a skin-tight blue outfit, with inexplicable antennae, who has appointed himself as guardian of The City. That “guardianship” basically means that he leaps around rooftops, causing an alarming amount of structural damage and looking for evil to fight. Despite himself, he usually finds it.

Populated with a boatload of ninjas and somewhat amateurishly literal parodies of Superman, Elektra and Kingpin, it’s pretty easy to tell this is the beginning of the story. The good news is that the absurdist humor is already reasonably solid, and by the last issue Edlund is starting to find his own more thematic-parody voice. I should find me the rest of the comic’s run. And the animated series. And probably the live action one? I wonder if there’s other stuff I’m not aware of. Perhaps a commemorative Tick silverware set?


The thing about being sick is that you kind of look forward to it. An excuse to not have to go to school, say. Or to work, which is even better, because the concept has been institutionalized. There are entire “sick days”, which are for the sole purpose of saying, ‘no thanks, I’m not going to work today, because I’m taking a sick day. It’s because I’m sick!’

It’s all a trick, though. The cold reality is that when you’re actually sick enough to not be at work, you won’t enjoy yourself. You’ll go to the doctor, get your prescriptions, get them filled over the course of an hour in which, sure, you have a book, but you’re sick enough that being in the same place all that time will start to make you more uncomfortable even than you started out, and it’s really hard to concentrate on reading for more than ten minutes at a stretch, what with the sinus headache, and on top of that, you get your first taste of just how bad the company drug insurance has become when they finally tell you it’s time to leave.

All of which is probably a close approximation of how Jennifer Garner felt in between Daredevil and Elektra. She had just been in a terrible movie, her character died, and… okay, that’s really all I know about her. I’ve never even seen Alias. So I guess the metaphor broke down, a little. I’m sick, sue me.

Luckily for Miss Garner, her quasi-sequel is substantially better than her last turn in Affleck’s doomed vehicle. It has a lot going for it. An old-school Campbellian plot about the motherless daughter at the heart of the ancient, hidden battle between Good and Evil, lingering, mood-setting camera work that mostly hides the TV episode-length story being stretched into a 90 minute feature, a crew of bad-ass enemies with spooky mystical powers, a boatload of ninjas, and most importantly, nary a hint of its Hollywood forebear.

All this plus decent sequel potential, and the obligatory child actor wasn’t all that bad. And did I mention the ninjas?