“The Venture Bros.” is one of my favorite animated shows and an inspiration behind making this post is the hope that it can be brought back and so many of these character narratives finally brought to an end. This is a problematic show early on but becomes quite deep as it continues as it keeps consistent in exploring the themes of trauma, failure and how family can define us within that. I love this show and I hope “The Venture Bros” is picked up by another company to let Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick continue their amazing work.
For some deep analysis I’ve posted StrucciMovies and Jack Saint’s reviews of “The Venture Bros.” below. I highly recommend checking both videos out. StrucciMovies also covers the early season problematic elements of the show.
For honorary mentions I want to give a shoutout to: Phantom Limb, Dr. Orpheus, Shore Leave, Blue Morpho and Dr. Killenger.
Also this analysis does contain SPOILERS for character arcs so unless you don’t mind SPOILERS or are already caught up, don’t read on.
Here is the list:
5 – Red Death
Clancy Brown’s Red Death is the gentleman villain and easily one of the most fascinating later introductions to the show. This is a villain who has a family life fully separated from his life as a killer and holds so much history in regards to the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Everyone is afraid of this guy and for good reason. He also might be the only member of the Guild Council who didn’t give up Arching given his last act when the Council Members were doing their final Archs. I can’t wait to see where his story goes if he is brought back.
4 – Brock Samson
Patrick Warburton’s Brock Samson is a great character and takedown of the 80’s action hero. Samson is hyperviolent and loves to fight above all else. He is also nearly untouchable and is easily the greater than any member of the Guild of Calamitous Intent and any single villain in combat. This makes him the perfect bodyguard for the inept Rusty Venture and his sons as they are just as likely to harm themselves without any villain help. From this we see him mentor and be the father to Sam and Dean that Rusty never is. He is also mentors Gary / Henchman 21 and helps him come into his own.
3 – Gary Fischer / Henchman 21
Gary is a character who begins at the lowest of the Monarch’s Henchmen. Kidnapped as a child he is played out as a joke on extreme nerdome initially but over the course of the series develops into the core cast. He loses his best friend, leaves the Monarch, works with OSI, rejoins the Monarch and becomes the best friend and Number 2 of the Monarch. His arc is amazing and I love how he recounts how wonderfully convoluted the lore can get in YouTube videos to update everyone on the story of the show. Henchman 21 was in close competition with the next 2 as their drama and arcs came to define so much of what made this show great. Doc Hammer does a wonderful job making him sound so distinct and personable.
2 – Sheila / Dr. Mrs. the Monarch
Sheila was initially a thief working for the villain Phantom Limb who when she realized how she was basically being used as a prop and trophy left and joined the rebellious Phantom Limb henchman Monarch who was attempting to create his own arching outside of Guild control. He would be dead now if not for her and much of the story involves Sheila defeating greater threats to rise in power or helping to broker peace with the Guild’s enemies. Doc Hammer does a great job voicing her and seeing her rise to power to one of the best arcs in the show.
1 – Malcom Fitzcarraldo / The Monarch
The Monarch is defined by his hatred of Rusty Venture and he is willing to disregard all rules to do so until he is forced otherwise. This obsession and hate is what defines the character until he finds more dimension in his relationships with Gary and Sheila. His rise has highest highs and extremely lowest lows and oftentimes The Monarch is at his best after he has lost everything and has to think on his feet and get beyond his obsession, which is why he loses those closest to him. We see how that like the Joker when he has Rusty he isn’t happy and that it is the chase like the Joker that defines him. This is all likely to change though if the show is picked up as a major change was brought to the relationship that will define them both. This is one reason I hope the show continues as I want to see this complex character continue to grow.
Here are the great videos to give you a deep dive of this wonderful show:
Here is Jack Saint’s take on “The Venture Bros.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE8ooHf9dlw
Here is StrucciMovies on “The Ventures Bros.”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYZaXD4X-JU&ab_channel=StrucciMovies