REVIEWED: SEASON 2 (ALL EPISODES) | WHERE TO WATCH: AMAZON PRIME VIDEO
The second season of Amazon Prime's interpretation of Ben Edlund's superhero parody comic is different from the first in several ways. First of all, fans get the whole series in one fell swoop, as opposed to the first season which was released in two parts and forced viewers to wait nearly five months between halves. It gives the show a chance to be enjoyed without their being a massive cliffhanger, just as the viewer is settling into the story. It's a shorter season overall, with ten episodes, as opposed to twelve, but it feels longer.
Secondly, now that the origin story is out of the way, along with the first season big bad, The Terror, things can really spread out in terms of actual character development, as opposed to just introducing everyone. Given that this is the third screen iteration of Edlund's character, one would think that wouldn't be necessary, but there have been innumerable origins of Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man at this point, so it's unsurprising.
The Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) and Arthur (Griffin Newman) get to meet a lot more superheroes as they attempt to join A.E.G.I.S., this universe's S.H.I.E.L.D. simulacra, giving them the chance to exist outside their little duo. Lone wolf vigilante Overkill (Scott Speiser) is given a greater character range -- and a backstory! -- as he and his ship, Dangerboat (voiced by Alan Tudyk) interact with Arthur's sister, Dot (Valorie Curry).
It might not be as much madcap fun as the first season, given that there are more characters with which to deal, and the viewer doesn't focus quite so much on the Tick and Arthur, but it makes for a more satisfying viewing. By the end of the season, it really feels as if something has actually happened, and characters have grown, rather than the less-than-stellar conclusion to that of the first.
A good portion of that is due to the fact that who the major villain of the season shifts as things go along. This leaves the audience uncertain as to whether or not Miss Lint/Joan of Arc (Yara Martinez) will take over the Terror's reign of evil, or if Lobstercules (voiced by Liz Vassey) is being set up as a real threat to the Tick's nigh-invulnerability.
All that and double agents, scientists, the ever-present ennui of Superman stand-in Superian (Brendan Hines), and more make this a season which breezes right by, only to be over far too soon. When it's all over, with the characters given fuller, richer stories, and what appears to be the first actual villain to cross over from the animated series set for season three, it's going to be a long wait until the next batch of episodes.