After a long hiatus, Amazon’s superhero satire The Tick is returning to the small screen for another round of butt-ticking. (Sorry.) This time, the Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) and Arthur (Griffin Newman) won’t be facing the Terror; instead they have to put up with bureaucracy in the form of AEGIS, a SHIELD-like organization that’s returned to the City to monitor the rise of a bevy of new superheroes. As creator and showrunner Ben Edlund puts it to EW, “The merry-go-round is spinning faster, with more horses.”
Below, Edlund dives into what to expect from season 2 now that the origin story’s over.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It’s been more than a year since we’ve seen the Tick and company. What were your goals going into this season to drive the story forward?
BEN EDLUND: In the first season, Arthur was very much a reluctant hero being shoved along the hero’s journey. Now, [the Tick and Arthur] are in, and they’re trying to build their superhero career. [Their superhero partnership] is up and running, which is really the spirit of the second season. The question is, how will they do? One of the other goals that I think I had was world-building — being able to expand the world and add characters and AEGIS, the superhero government regulation agency.
There are so many more characters this time around. How did you go about choosing who you want to feature without overwhelming your audience?
It’s a crazy world. You can easily hit too much. Part of it was waiting until the story needed a character and then finding the right character for that moment.
What about the threats? The trailer teased Ms. Lint [Yara Martinez] embarking on a “spree-vil.” What else will our heroes be up against?
What’s fun about this year for all of us when we were working on it is, the first season was, “Where is the Terror and how can we bring down the Terror?” and this season really gets to be a lot of other things. They face a variety of villains, and it’s not quite a monster a week, but we really get more of a richness of universe. There is a bank-robbing crustacean called Lobstercules — who came out great, by the way — that comes from a long history of villains in pants, where one half is a crazy mutant monster thing and the other half just remembers to put on pants for some reason. [Laughs] And of course Ms. Lint has her villainous rise, with gang operations and other villainous elements that assert themselves as they move forward. It’s a very dense gathering of different interesting, intricate stories. I’m excited to see how people receive it.
Looking back on season 1, were there any aspects you learned from making the first season that you brought into the second? For example, did any characters’ chemistry work so well you knew wanted to capitalize on it more?
We really enjoy Dot [played by Valorie Curry] and Overkill [Scott Speiser], and I think the audience did too. So they have a continuing story line that goes a lot of cool places. Also, one of the things that we both learned from season 1 but is a sort of a straightforward evolution from season 1 is Dot as a character: She’s found a means of coming into her own, of finding her own story.
That was our intent, but we really had to get a lot of other stuff out of the way [for that to happen]. It was an adventure in learning, to really make what is normally like the handmaiden to the adventurer, the sister, into a fully fleshed character that really competes with the other characters for where the story goes. There were upheavals, timely upheavals of certain dynamics, including gender dynamics, that have really felt like they were teaching us about places that we should be taking that character. I’m happy with what happened.
Is there anything else you want to add?
In essence, season 1 is lots of fun, but in season 2, because we’ve gotten to day one of Arthur and the Tick’s superhero career, we get to have more fun. [Laughs] It’s just more fun! Turns out, we found more fun than we had last season! [Laughs] So I’m pretty excited. I’m not dissing last season, we really enjoyed it. The incline continues.
The Tick returns April 5 on Amazon Prime Video.