Saturday, August 2, 2008

Venture Brothers: Learnin' Up

I'm not going to even act like I'm the first person to do this, because I know I'm not. What I'm going to start doing is, every Monday, I'm going to post a synopsis and review of the latest episode of Venture Brothers, when there is one. I'll try to keep this post as spoiler-free as possible, but you should still be a little wary. The premise of the series is a grown-up "Jonny Quest", and the life he would find himself in years after his prime. A quick run-down of the main characters:

The "good guys" are comprised of former boy adventurer and current super-scientist Doctor Thaddeus "Rusty" Venture, who is constantly trying to escape from his father's shadow while simultaneously driving his father's company into the ground. He still adventures and is joined by his sons, Hank and Dean, bodyguard Brock Samson, and robot HELPeR. Hank is the more athletic of the two brothers, while Dean is more intelligent. Dean also seems slightly more mature, while Hank is better with stress. Brock, their bodyguard, enjoys killing things and sleeping with women. He is very good at both of those things. Together, they sort of make up the current Team Venture.

The Ventures regularly interact with all sorts of people, including Rusty's brother Jonas, the Order of the Triad (including magic-man Doctor Byron Orpheus who is the father of the girl Dean loves, Triana), the original Team Venture, Mister White and Master Billy Quizboy, and all sorts of other people. We'll cover each character as they pop up. Those are only the somewhat heroic characters, too. When it comes to the villains, well, there's only a few you really need to know of ahead of time:

-Phantom Limb, who is a pretty big jerk with invisible arms and legs.
-Baron Underbheit, who used to be a Doctor Doom-like despot with a steel lower law.
-Sergeant Hatred, who is Doctor Venture's current archenemy.

Then there's the Monarch. For a very long time, he was Doctor Venture's archenemy, and continues to hold a torch of hatred for the man. He's a classic super-villain with a butterfly-motif and a flying cocoon/fortress filled with henchmen and a dedicated number two.

The dedicated number two is Doctor Girlfriend, who looks like Jackie Onassis and has an unnaturally deep voice. She used to number two for Phantom Limb, and is supremely competent at the whole super-villain thing. As you can guess from the name, she's the Monarch's significant other.

The henchmen are just that: henchmen, in this case evil versions of "The Tick"'s Arthur. Two, in particular, are worth noting: 21 and 24. 21 is a chubby pop culture nut who has no idea what the heck his uniform or any of the weapons he uses seem to do, and has an odd sort of friendship with Hank Venture. 24 is tall and thin, and sounds like Ray Romano.

So the stage is set. I over-simplified things here, as the inter-personal dynamics between all these characters is one of the things that makes the show great, and I'll be going into them with my brief episode synopses. I think perhaps I'm being over-ambitious with this.

No comments: