As seen after the “All This and Gargantua-2” special’s closing moments courtesy of Adult Swim’s Youtube channel, Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture gained the greatest of inheritances thanks to the death of his baby brother, Jonas Venture Jr. Rather than give the eldest Venture brother a literal ton of money, JJ passed down his company – VenTech Industries – to his obviously intellectual inferior. Thaddeus (and his family) moved to VenTech headquarters in New York, immediately fired the company’s Board of Directors, spent a bunch of the money he “earned” on specialized “speed suits”, and found himself struggling to understand the current trend of profitable technology including everything from phone apps to the Segway. Being nothing short of a dreamer without both the great ability to create like his deceased father & sibling alike and approach mechanical creations with logic or even morality, Thaddeus enlisted his friends Billy Whalen and Pete White (as well as The Sea Captain – who had been previously hired by Jonas Jr. before suffering from another battle with his addiction to tranquilizers thanks to The Monarch – and his son Dean Venture popping in once in a while) to help him come up with something for the annual “Science Now Conference (“…to unveil ‘OS Sparkle Dream…”).
Of course things didn’t pan out as planned due to a mixture of bad ideas and one impressive mind-control substance code-named “God Gas” that didn’t work as one would hope as it turned mice into religious zealots, men into a hallucinating madmen, and Billy doing his best David Hasselhoff “sloppily eating a hamburger while under the influence” impression that forced The Sea Captain to go on various TV talk shows to dispel the true rumors that Dr. Venture was experimenting with something that could ruin lives.
And between it all were several villains arching the new level-ten protagonist in Dr. Thaddeus Venture either failing miserably (Haranguetan; Think Tank), almost succeeding before blowing up (The Doom Factory – the perfect depiction of Andy Warhol’s “The Factory” if they were inspired to form their own version of DC Comics’ Legion of Doom) or simply being the disposer of power for lower level adversaries to test their skills against the Venture family (Wide Wale).
On the opposite end of the spectrum was none other than “Rusty’s” old (more like “still”) infatuation and member The Guild of Calamitous Intent’s Council of Thirteen, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (DMTM). Following the fall of The Guild’s figurehead, The Sovereign, the organization formed to place antagonists with would-be heroes and super scientists alike (such as Dr. Venture’s father, Jonas) seemed to be on its last legs. The aforementioned Council was down to six members including DMTM, Phantom Limb and personal favorite Dr. Z – leaving them forced to reach out to individuals who were only licensed villains in the New York chapter including Dr. Venture’s latest rival in Wide Wale. But things were just as problematic at home for the former Lady Au Pair as they were trying to rebuild The Guild.
The Monarch, lamenting over his recent inability to arch Thaddeus, refused to embrace his new life and start from scratch after everything he once to arch went down in figurative and literal flames. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch did everything in her power to build her husband back up and, most importantly, raise his rank so maybe he could achieve his dream in crushing Dr. Venture – yet her love was doing everything in his power, both intentionally and inadvertently, to mess up her plans. Unfortunately for DMTM an unexpected development occurred halfway through the season that not only had everyone seeing blue, but also turned the arching world upside down as a pair of vigilantes began further chipping away at the already cracked foundation of The Guild.
The World Keeps on Turning
Thanks to the season’s length and a heavy focus on the more villainous side of “The Venture Bros.” universe, several characters barely got a single episode dedicated to their antics – specifically Hank Venture and Billy “Quizboy” Whalen & Pete White. The latter picked up their protagonist activities by going head-to-head with Augustus St. Cloud – a character formally introduced the season prior as Billy’s intellectual equal who just happened to be loaded with money and pop culture references. In the season’s second episode, the only human members of Conjectural Technologies gave up their company’s rights to St. Cloud to stop him from, somehow, going back in time and potentially ruining the rise of rap, causing the early emergence of nu-metal, and hindering Billy losing his virginity to Wu-Tang’s “Wu-Tang Forever” album. Thankfully for the pair of wannabe scientists, their company was eventually sold to none other than VenTech Industries – giving Whalen & White the chance to work side-by-side with their “good” friend.
And then there was Hank finding himself love struck yet again. After being forced into the work world yet again because of his penchant for going overboard when given money, Hank embraced his blue-collar nature after momentarily interacting with a mutant girl able to breathe underwater thanks to gills on the sides of her neck. Through several unexpected interactions between Hank and his infatuation – who was later introduced to the blonde-headed Venture as Sirena, the daughter of Wide Wale – the pair eventually got the chance to go out on a somewhat secret date featuring Dean, Billy and Pete doing their best to help Hank impress this foul-mouthed “princess” thanks to his heroics, ability to play bass, and dance like Michael Jackson (while, not-so-ironically dressed as M.J. during his “Bad” phase). Though there was a minor hiccup during the date thanks to Sirena’s self-proclaimed ex actually being their waiter (and just happened to be resident super hero the “Brown Widow”), the budding love between Hank and Sirena bloomed during a late night swim that culminated in a passionate underwater (and eventually land-based) kiss.
Brock Samson also had the spotlight shown on him several times during the season. Of course there was the moments of “Brock Smash” that allowed him to bring back the creepy eye twitch of anger. But nothing mattered more when it came to showcasing Brock’s current lifestyle being the Venture family’s bodyguard again thanks to Thaddeus’ recent ranking up than Samson’s interactions with the opposite sex. Well, “interaction” as the hulking killing machine found himself confronted yet again by a woman who seemed unattainable. In this season’s case, Samson discovered his match in the apparent Amazon Warriana of the Crusaders Action League – a quartet of heroes who offer paid protection against villainous threats. Sporting a lasso of truth, Warriana’s interactions with Brock initially made Samson question his own manhood before some of Dr. Venture’s “God Gas” got the better of his inhibitions and put him in position to have things stuck where the sun doesn’t shine. Warriana and Brock eventually came to an understanding to continue their relationship – the two apparently finally meeting their physical and romantic equal.
Oh, and H.E.L.P.e.R. had the opportunity to showcase its talents by besting Jonas Venture Jr.’s old robotic assistant and its obvious superior.
It’s What You Are
The once “mighty” Monarch found himself in a terrible conundrum as his primary nemesis’ arching rank had risen to the point only top-tier villains of the world could make his life tedious. The Monarch’s old home base of the flying cocoon had been destroyed as all of his henchmen other than Henchman 21 had either died or abandoned him. And his better half in Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (or “Dr. My Wife”) was spending a majority of her time trying to rebuild The Guild. All that was really left for The Monarch was to supervise the remodeling of his childhood home. But unbeknownst to both its homeowners and their henchman, the dilapidated building housed a magnificent secret that would change the way The Monarch looked at the world and his entire childhood. Thanks to the handiwork of Manolo (“you pay for the quality”), The Monarch and his loyal henchman walked into a hidden basement that turned out to be the hideout of a legendary vigilante hero of the past, The Blue Morpho.
The Blue Morpho once ran with Jonas Venture Sr. as a violent savior of the innocent who refused to not play by The Guild’s rules, let alone registered with The Guild as a true protagonist – causing a bounty to be put on his head and leaving people to wonder whether or not the plane crash that killed him (and gave birth to young Malcolm transforming into “The Monarch”) was an accident or not. With The Monarch lamenting over his inability to officially arch Dr. Venture, Henchman 21 came up with an idea to take out (or at least convince to stop) every enemy with the appropriate level to put down Dr. Venture while dressed as the once retired hero.
And the plan, in somewhat shocking fashion, actually proved to be an early success. From gargantuan beast men like Haranguetan to even accidentally taking out mouthy antagonists like Think Tank (an incredibly intelligent philosophy teacher whose costume made him look like a better version of MODOK from Marvel Comics), things were finally working out the son of Morpho and Henchman 21 – who started dressing as Kano (The Blue Morpho’s right-hand man who would become an official member of Team Venture).
But the reemergence of The Blue Morpho and subsequent murders of several authorized Guild clients put The Monarch on the organization’s wanted list – a hunt organized by none other than Dr. Mrs. The Monarch without the knowledge of her husband’s new secret identity. Thanks to some quick thinking, DMTM’s insistence that her husband get back to arching someone other than Dr. Venture, and the latest man behind the mask sporting a very similar facial structure of “Rusty” – accented by their matching facial hair – The Monarch was eventually able to get The Guild’s eyes off of him and even the man they suspected. But like many moments seen during the series when it came to The Monarch, the heir to The Blue Morpho legacy took things one-step too far. In the season finale, The Monarch decided to go after another new Dr. Venture adversary, Red Death.
A soft-spoken family man who looked like a mix of The Red Skull and a Horseman of the Apocalypse, Red Death became nothing short of a legendary figure in the world of villainy thanks to his high body count, owning a flying horse & a flame-throwing scythe, and a penchant for only arching one day a year (the latter being one of the reasons for the amount of people he had killed over the years). With The Monarch and Henchman 21 – who had grown disgusted with himself for having a hand in Haranguetan’s death and lying to his boss by imprisoning the other villains The Monarch believed “Kano” killed in a large bathroom a la the original “Saw” movie with more butt eating – proclaiming to have captured Red Death’s family, the pair of faux heroes put themselves in a position to die like so many people who stepped up to Red Death. Thankfully for The Blue Morpho and Kano, Red Death gave the pair a pass because he understood what The Monarch was going through being obsessed with arching a single person.
Red Death enlightened The Monarch that the only way he got over his obsession was by slaughtering his enemy and family before he could move on with his life and be a typical super villain. The advice given to The Monarch courtesy of a man who was quickly becoming his idol may or may not have put him on the right path as the season concluded not with a confrontation between the two long-time adversaries, but The Blue Morpho Jr. hitting his lone henchman for not alerting him there was a third bathroom in the house that Gary would inadvertently turn into a den for cannibalism.
So that ends another memorable season with a lot of questions left to answer (when we’ll get those answers is any fan’s guess). But we all now know the greatest hero of all time…