On September 10, 1994, audiences got to experience the world’s greatest superhero on their tv screens for the first time: The Tick. And with The Tick came The Tick’s rogues gallery, some of the weirdest, most bonkers and hilarious supervillains ever created. The Tick was adapted from the popular comic book series created by Ben Udland as a parody of the superhero genre, with The Tick as the muscle-bound, dimwitted altruistic hero, Arthur as the cowardly soft-spoken accountant turned hero sidekick, and villains that make Calendar Man look as menacing as the Red Skull. Sometimes their plans are terrible and their motivations are ridiculous, sometimes their powers are nonsensical, but they’re always able to provide a laugh.
Now that Amazon has green-lit a new live-action version of The Tick for their Prime original series, it’s time for some of those crazy villains to come back to our screens. They’ve already confirmed that Tick’s arch-nemesis, The Terror, will be returning, but while he may be the most dangerous, he’s far from the weirdest or the funniest. With the series set to debut on August 25, CBR takes a look at the 15 weirdest, most WTF villains of The Tick cartoon.
15. DINOSAUR NEIL
Dinosaur Neil was just an ordinary scientist who wears a dinosaur costume every day. Neil works at a dinosaur park, and while the costume might make you assume he’s a mascot, he’s actually a paleontologist. He was working on a scientific process to clone dinosaurs for his park when one day, he accidentally ate one of the cloning experiments, confusing it for pasta.
As you might imagine, the dinosaur DNA merged with his own, transforming him into a 70-foot dinosaur (although still retaining Neil’s thick mustache.) He wreaked havoc on the city until The Tick and Arthur were able to dose him with aspirin, which reduced the “swollen DNA” and returned him to normal size. Neil had to continue to take aspirin regularly to keep his mutations at bay, which of course, didn’t always go according to plan.
14. OTTOMAN EXPRESS
Ottoman Express was a fairly minor villain from the cartoon series as she only made one appearance, but her powers would make for a fantastic challenge to The Tick in the new Amazon series. When The Tick and Arthur go out furniture shopping for their apartment, they have a run-in with Ottoman Express who has the ability to bring furniture to life and bend it to her will.
While an army of armchairs doesn’t sound all that threatening, you’d be surprised how much furniture is constantly surrounding us at any time. She also tends to use it more just to steal furniture “for the glory of the Ottoman Empire.” It’s never made clear, however, if she’s actually loyal to the Ottoman Turkish Empire, or if she’s just a really big fan of furniture puns.
Brainchild, aka “Charles,” is an evil genius, an inventor of weapons of doom, a maniacal mastermind, and he’s only nine years old. He works with his younger sister, Amelia, and his cybernetic dog, Skippy, who used to be a normal dog before he was hit by a car and Charles brought him back using robotic parts. Around the same time, he replaced most of his skull with a transparent glass dome because he likes people to be able to see his brain.
Charles actually still lives with his parents who are aware of his lifestyle, they’re just really, really bad at disciplining him and basically let Charles get away with anything… including being a criminal supervillain because they’re progressive modern parents and consider this to be “just a phase.”
12. EASTERN BLOC ROBOT COWBOY
Eastern Bloc Robot Cowboy was originally a brilliant scientist before he transferred his brain into the robotic body of a vending machine. Though he appears to be based in Europe, Eastern Bloc Robot Cowboy speaks with an American southwestern accent and wears a cowboy hat.
In his first encounter with The Tick, Eastern Bloc Robot Cowboy challenges him to a duel and blasts The Tick away with a pair of dual ray guns that extend from his vending slots. In their second duel, The Tick throws a quarter into his coin slot and buys the brain inside the vending machine, defeating him for good. For some reason, the brain speaks in Russian rather than English, so it’s only the robotic vending machine body that was a southwestern cowboy.
11. EVIL MIDNIGHT BOMBER WHAT BOMBS AT MIDNIGHT
The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight is one of the few villains of The Tick who is literally insane. He mutters to himself at all times and doesn’t seem to be able to have any control over what comes out of his mouth. He has an obsession with bombing public places so that the world will know his name.
In “The Tick vs. The Tick,” Midnight Bomber plants dozens of bombs in a superhero night club, but one of his verbal outbursts causes him to shout his plans out loud to The Tick, who promptly disposes of all the bombs. As he’s being carted off by the police, he announces that they’ll never be able to convict him without evidence, before another one of his verbal outbursts causes him to confess everything.
10. THE ANGRY RED HERRING
The Angry Red Herring started out as a world-renowned international jewel thief and fishmonger. Not much is known about his past or why he donned the angry red herring costume, but the suit is equipped with dual machine guns that extend from the eye holes and coated in petroleum jelly so that he can slip out of the grip of heroes even as mighty as The Tick himself.
He only had one appearance in the episode, “Little Wooden Boy and the Belly of Love,” and it appears to be a relatively minor one, as he ends up living up to his namesake and being a red herring as the episode’s central villain. He’s dispatched fairly quickly while the main antagonists end up being The Swiss.
9. THE DEADLY BULB
The reason the Deadly Bulb became a villain was due to being born with the tragic deformity of having a live pig for his left leg, earning him the nickname “Pigleg,” which he hated. He began a life of crime, in the hope that it would draw people’s attention away from his pig leg.
Eventually, the Deadly Bulb was defeated when he was almost knocked off of the top of a building to his death, only to be rescued when his pig leg grabbed the ledge before he fell. Realizing that he owed his life to his pig leg, the Deadly Bulb renounced evil, gave up his life of crime and spent the rest of his days embracing the nickname “Pigleg” and doing everything he could to make his leg happy.
8. UNCLE CREAMY
Uncle Creamy was originally an ordinary actor playing the corporate mascot of Uncle Creamy Iced Cream Inc before a horrible accident caused his body to fuse with the ice cream (which turned out to be composed of mostly toxic runoff) turning him into a giant living ice cream cone. He subsequently goes on a rampage, attempting to destroy the company’s credibility and demolish the factory where their ice cream was produced.
Though Uncle Creamy Iced Cream Inc. tries to make him out to be a terrorist to the public, he desperately tries to harm no one in his rampage, especially the children that purchase the company’s ice cream. In the end, he was redeemed when he exposed the company for the dangerous and harmful practices of their ice cream production.
7. MULTIPLE SANTA
Multiple Santa is one of the few villains from The Tick to appear in both the original comic book by Ben Edlund as well as the animated series. While in the comics, little was revealed about Multiple Santa except that he was a part of The Terror’s gang, in the animated series, Multiple Santa began as a bank robber who wore a Santa Claus disguise.
While he was running from the police after one fateful robbery, he ran straight into a neon sign and was electrocuted. He survived the accident, and instead gained the ability to create electrical clones of himself. The Tick is unable to physically attack the clones because he can’t bring himself to harm Santa Claus, and instead noogies them, discovering that the static electricity created by the noogies destroys them. From there, Tick and the heroes are able to put a stop to Multiple Santa.
6. THE SWISS
The Swiss are a team of Swiss industrial spies who track down Arthur and a woman with the same moth suit to steal the flying suit and secret designs created by the inventor of the suit. When they have a run in with Die Fledermaus and subsequently beat him up, Die Fledermaus mistakenly assumes that they were sent by the Swiss government with the intention of invading the United States. American Maid explains that Switzerland is a neutral country, so this is not possible.
They’re an extremely versatile team that’s well-prepared for nearly any situation due to the fact that almost all their equipment is part of the giant Swiss Army knives equipped with various weapons and paramilitary gear extensions. They’re only defeated when Arthur grabs one of their Swiss Army knives and uses the giant tweezers to squeeze the leader’s nose until he surrenders.
5. THE HOTEL MANAGER
The Hotel Manager is from the far distant future when time travel has been invented, which he uses to run a hotel chain where guests can travel back to the prehistoric age and experience the past. When The Tick and Arthur accidentally get stuck in the past, the Hotel Manager enslaves cave people to work as service people for his hotel guests. To keep them in line, he uses an army of robot bellhop henchmen who kill and cook ancient animals.
The Tick shows up to rescue Arthur, but the Hotel Manager uses the time travel technology to teleport Tick’s head to the 1950s. Arthur is forced to defeat the Hotel Manager on his own by teleporting him back to the big bang, rescuing The Tick and returning to the present.
4. PROTO CLOWN
Proto Clown is a gigantic, muscle-bound clown that’s basically a parody of the Hulk as a clown. He even walks around shouting, “Clown Smash!” as he destroys the city. He was the only villain in the series to hit The Tick so hard that he was knocked unconscious.
Proto Clown was created by a clown-loving scientist named Bud Frontier who wanted to create the biggest, funniest clown of all time. Proto Clown is not inherently evil, but when he learned that the purpose of his creation was to make people laugh at him, he took it offensively and went on a rampage through The City. Dr. Frontier convinced the superheroes to approach Proto Clown with love and understanding, which almost worked until Frontier accidentally honked Proto Clown’s nose, causing the heroes to start laughing at him and sending him into a rage.
3. EL SEED
El Seed commits crimes because he hates the human race for oppressing and destroying plant life all over the world. He considers himself “the self-proclaimed liberator of the plant population.” Not much is clear about how El Seed came to be, but he speaks with a Spanish accent and wears a lime-green bullfighter uniform, suggesting that he’s at least based in Spain.
Though he doesn’t appear to have any plant-based powers and never gets into a one-on-one fight with The Tick, he does have a laboratory where he creates different varieties of plant monsters and armies to destroy the human race for him. In his first encounter with The Tick, El Seed douses him in some kind of chemical which causes The Tick to grow different kinds of plants from his body.
The Breadmaster was once a brilliant baker and food scientist, but due to his hatred of inferior store-bought breads and his elitist personality, he turned to a life of terrorism, destroying supermarkets with massively expanding bread loaf bombs to punish them for their inferior bread quality. He was such a brilliant food scientist that he even created a living henchman made entirely of butter named Buttery Pat.
In his final appearance of the cartoon, Season Three, Episode Seven “The Tick vs. Europe,” the Breadmaster faces off against European hero Blitzen, who agrees with the Breadmaster on the poor baking standards of the United States. Breadmaster uses an army of Gingerbread men to try to take over the city, but when they go stale, Breadmaster is easily defeated.
1. CHAIRFACE CHIPPENDALE
Chairface Chippendale is one of The Tick’s greatest enemies. He likely gets his name from the fact that his head is literally a small chair attached to his shoulders. In his very first encounter with The Tick, his evil plan is to use a giant laser beam to write his name on the moon. That’s right. He’s not in it to be the great ruling overlord of the Earth, or even to hold a small country hostage for huge sums of money.
Chairface Chippendale just wants you to know the name Chairface Chippendale, and he’ll write it on the moon so you don’t forget it. Unfortunately for him, The Tick puts a stop to his plan after just “CHA” has been engraved onto the surface of the moon, a visual gag that’s visible in nearly every episode of the series.
Who was your favorite nutcase ne’er do well on The Tick? Let us know in the comments!
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