“The Venture Bros.” Season 1 – Great Characters, Villains and World…I Want to See More

The Venture Bros Episode 2

     I am so glad one of my friends recommended this show. A season done and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This is a show that celebrates and satires Super Hero stories as well as old adventure stories and old adventure television mysteries (think “Scooby-Doo”) suffice to say it has quickly become a favorite show. The greatest part of this show is really the  characters who define the mythos, which I will get into deeper in the review.

    The series was created back Jackson Publick who also wrote a lot of the episodes with Doc Hammer.

     The story involves the misadventures of the Venture Family as they get into a lot of trouble and face their enemies ranging from Baron Underbheit to the Monarch, though their greatest enemy is often themselves.

The Pros: The World – The world of “The Venture Bros.” is awesome! It is a world full of heroes, villains, secret agencies, androids and mysteries. There are super heroes and super villains and each has tons of henchmen to boot. Seriously, it is an awesome world.

The Soundtrack – The soundtrack captures the pulpy nature of the show really well. It’s fast and snappy and reminds me of the old Adam West “Batman” and comics from that era….which captures the characters perfectly. J.G. Thirwell is awesome.

The Animation – The animation is awesome. It flows and has a pulpy feel to it that shows us each character and how they tick, from the Venture Bros. running at the beginning to the tall standing Brock to the slouched Dr. Venture. Character mannerisms are captured beautifully in the animation.

The Characters – The characters are the strongest part, with the minor one-shot characters being the only time the show really feels weak. The main characters though get some great exploration though.

Jonas Venture Jr. – Jonas Venture Jr. is Dr. Venture’s brother who breaks out of his body (he was eaten in the womb) and wants revenge until Dr. Venture apologizes and gives him half of all he has, showing he is more than just someone out for revenge and is smart and capable of growth.

Hank Venture – Hank is the jock of the Venture Bros. and idealizes Brock even though he is a complete dweeb. He’s usually always fighting his brother Dean. He is obsessed with blaming whatever happens on ghosts and is a lot like Fred from “Scooby-Doo.”

Dean Venture – Dean is the anxious nerd of the brothers who is the first to fall in love (Triana) and is the more sensitive of the two. He is the brother I like more as he has a lot more awareness of his surroundings, though he is just as much a danger to himself as Hank.

Dr. Venture – Dr. Venture is the cynical protagonist who only seems to really care about Brock. We never see him care about his sons except how he can use them to save himself and is a washed up has-been as he even sells a lot of his and his father’s stuff in an episode. He is a character who is apathetic and just doesn’t care. He does have a tender side though, as we see when he is in a relationship with Dr. Girlfriend.

Brock Samson – Brock is my favorite character on the show. The guy is unstable and a walking tank as it takes a lot to bring him down. We see that his one true love is Molotov Cocktease and that he is really doing his own thing most of the time when he isn’t protecting Dr. Venture and the brothers. He also has a good heart too as he helps an ex-military guy and his Bigfoot husband escape.

Old Team Venture – Old Team Venture is pretty great. Gentlman is probably my favorite of them and I can’t wait to see more of how the original Venture interacted with them.

The Villains – The main villains are awesome and each have distinct personalities and motivations, and they go way back, all the way to college in regards to their relationship to Dr. Venture.

Baron Underbheit – Baron Underbheit was a foreign exchange student who was Dr. Venture’s friend. Sadly the friendship when sour after he got his jaw blown off so now he hates him. They still can interact without killing each other though as he goes to Dr. Venture’s yard sale and the funeral of their mutual friend.

Dr. Girlfriend – Dr. Girlfriend is awesome! She was a powerhouse who hooked up with the Monarch and has been the only one holding his operation together. We see her good side countless times though, from her relationship to Dr. Venture to her sadness at the Monarch for when he turns on her. I’m glad she’s sticking around as she is easily the most competent character on the show besides Brock.

the Monarch – the Monarch is an awesome villain! This is a guy who lives by his obsession against Dr. Venture but has everything going against him as he has the maturity of a child and it is that that pushes Dr. Girlfriend away into the Guild of Calamity’s and Phantom Limb’s arms. This is what ends him up in prison with no allies and only his obsession against the Ventures to sustain him. Though he is given depth even then as he likes Hank and Dean and helps them get out of prison (though sadly his minions kill them anyway).

The Satire – The satire is brilliant in this! From the villains and heroes all knowing each other in college, the parent and obsessive issues they all have as well as the Villains have to live by rules laid down by the Guild. Superheroes are satired, mad scientists, villains, pulp and comic stories, etc. Each episode is really worth a second watch and I look forward to Season 2.

   This is a solidly amazing show that knows exactly what it wants to be (a satire and celebration of the pulp genre and the many forms it takes) and an exploration of characters, while always never forgetting the comedy that defines it. If I were to think of any con it would be that some threads get dropped (the Guild and their place in this world, Hank and Dean need more development, etc.). The older characters are fantastic though and even Hank and Dean have their comedic moments leaving only the one shot characters who are joke as the only major con. Regardless, this is an amazing show that I highly recommend.

Final Score: 9.5 / 10

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The Venture Bros. – Season 1, Episode 1 – “Dia De Los Dangerous” – You Don’t Mess With Brock and the Humanity of the Monarch

The Venture Bros Episode 1 Dia De Los Dangerous

   The Monarch and Brock Samson are probably my two favorite characters on the show at this point. Both of them are so true in what they are and manage to be sympathetic even though they are completely nuts. This episode exists to flesh out the Monarch’s backstory and show us just how selfish Dr. Venture is.

    “Dia De Los Dangerous” was directed and written by Jackson Publick.

     The story involves the Ventures and Samson traveling to Mexico so that Dr. Venture can be a guest lecturer at a Community College. Things soon go awry when the boys get seperated from the group and Dr. Venture’s Kidneys are taken.

The Pros: H. E. L. P. eR. – This is a pretty weak robot that speaks incomprehensible but is easily the heart of the team as it is kind in a way that the Venture Brothers clearly are not. In this the brothers treat him to an upgrade and he is there for Dr. Venture after his kidney’s are stolen. The robot has a great design as well.

Dr. Girlfriend – Dr. Girlfriend has the voice of a deep voiced man and is the Monarch’s love interest. She is awesome as we see her counsel and be there for the Monarch and help him through his parental abandonment issues.

Dr. Venture – Dr. Venture is a selfish git who only cares about his kids in how he can use them to further his own ends. We get a glimpse of why in the next episode as he is a reflection of how he perceived his father to a degree. There is nothing redeemable about him in this episode though.

Dean and Hank Venture – These two update H. E. L. P. eR. and end up getting knocked out and their stuff stolen and later kidnapped by the Monarch. They hold their own though though they are not good at reading situations due to them needing rescue multiple times through the episode. They have a funny moment too where they end up with a prostitute but run away in fear after she touches their dicks…as they were oblivious to what she actually does.

the Monarch – the Monarch didn’t care about his biological parents dying in a plane crash we learn…he felt greater loss at the Monarch butterlfys who raised him leaving (which he later learned was them migrating to Mexico, and from Dr. Girlfriend dying as the that is the life-cycle of a butterfly), and from all this all he wants is to be a good father as he never had one.

Brock Samson – Brock goes on a rampage in this as Monarch minions knock him out with their car and later slaughters the Monarch Minions in Mexico with his car in revenge. Seriously, this guy is an insane character and is great because of it. Brock has no line.

The Cons: Mexico – So much more could have been done here, the location only exists to be somewhere new and some “Day of the Dead” jokes so the episode could have happened anywhere at the end of the day. The story is still great for the character bits but could have been more.

This is an episode I’d recommend and is a must see if only for Brock’s rampage and the Monarch’s backstory. The episode is also a lot of fun and made me solidly invested in this show after watching the pilot.

Final Score: 9.3 / 10