a review by Nalini Haynes
Production: Cartoon Network
Dean and Hank are the Venture Bros, who live with their professor father and their bodyguard Sargeant Hatred, who used to be their enemy. Their home is a compound not far from what appears to be a neighbourhood of bad guys including Monarch, the head bee and his wife with the big breasts and very masculine voice.
The first episode was really weird, until I realised everything was out of sequence. By the end of the episode I figured out more or less what was going on, but it was quite a difficult introduction to the series. Later episodes ran sequentially so were much easier to follow. This was important as each episode ran multiple plots such as the one where the aborted clone made a skin suit to take his brother’s place, while the other brother was grounded and rebelling, leading to running over a corpse…
Venture Bros is an animated action/adventure/comedy/science fiction cartoon series that spoofs a lot of cultural icons. The teaser for episode one included a funny spoof of Raiders of the Lost Ark after the ark was opened. That was only the beginning. Other spoofs include Batman and Robin, which is of particular note because this included innuendo that may increase the rating of Venture Bros.
This series is aimed at fans of Indiana Jones, Batman, the SF genre, comics and much more. Without a good background in this general field, you’ll miss the in-jokes and references. I strongly recommend starting at the beginning of the series though, and not starting at the beginning of season 4. Looking at IMDB, the earlier seasons get even higher ratings than this season, which is more incentive to start at the beginning.
This article was previously published in Dark Matter issue 3, April 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.