For those uninitiated among you, The Venture Bros. is an American television show created by Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer that airs on Cartoon Network’s adult swim block. It’s also probably the baddest ass cartoon there’s ever been. It draws heavily from classic Hanna-Barbera adventure shows like Johnny Quest as well as Silver Age comics, classic sci-fi, and the music stylings of David Bowie. Each episode toes the line between dramatic adventure and comedic satire. If you’ve really never encountered the phenomenon that is Venture then I highly recommend checking out some of the episodes and clips on http://www.Adultswim.com .
After the straight-up incredible finale to season 4, I cannot truly verbalize how excited I am to see the new episodes. Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer have released a collection of Teaser images on their website http://www.venturebrosblog.com which have only further whet my palate. And yes, that’s just as dirty as it sounds. I’ve reposted the images here with my thoughts on what clues we can glean from them. Click on the image for a larger size
The Monarch and his beloved wife Dr. Girlfriend (AKA Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. for simplicity sake however, I’m going to keep calling her Dr. Girlfriend), having a morning chat in their flying cocoon. I can’t decide if she’s sewing or looking into a microscope. Not many clues here. The Monarch seems perturbed about something, but given his propensity to vengeful fury, that could mean just about anything. Based on their view, I’d say they’re in a jungle setting, which could mean this image is from the same episode as a few others below.
Doc and Billy exploring a Coastal reef. Not quite sure why Doc is naked. This may perhaps be one of the Doc’s chemically induced dreams (hence the lack of breathing gear) or it could just mean that Doc lost his trunks and decided to weather on in the name of science.
Hank Rocking the bass. If you’ll recall, Shallow Gravy is the name of the band that He and Dermot started. It appears they’ve scored a nursing home gig. Once again, nothing too juicy here. I’m sure this scene will be hilarious.
And here’s where things get interesting. By all appearances this is Ghost-Robot (who was presumably slain by Hanchman 21/Gary last season) and the Action Man having dinner. They do both look significantly different from their last appearances, Ghost Robot’s design seems to have gone in the direction of Apocalypse (the X-Men villain) and Action Man is looking like he might be a Cyborg. Based on the abundance of Action Man pictures following this, I’m getting the impression that something terrible might happen to him leading to Doc (or maybe Jonas Jr.) rebuilding him a la Robocop. Now what is it that these two previously unconnected characters would have to discuss? Are they hatching a vendetta scheme, or are they just discussing the stigma of being both a ghost and a robot. It’s also possible that I’m wrong and this is neither the Action Man nor Ghost Robot and is in fact two new characters. Important to note is that whether or not this is the Action Man he’s rocking the venture blues and has the V symbol on his chest so he must in some way work for Venture Industries. Another theory to consider is that the Action man becomes a legacy title and this is a new character carrying on the mantle. But if that’s the case, does something happen to the original Action Man? Questions questions and more questions.
Also check out their menus. They’re eating at a place called Chairman Mao‘s Chow House.
Shallow Gravy in the throes of Rock and Roll Stardom. I do so hope that Dermot is wearing pants beneath the three shirts he has tied around his waist. I presume Doc’s face is one of disgust and as his clone child and bastard son pursue their dreams of musical stardom (Doc, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, is a really damn terrible father). Based on this and the pic of Hank at the nursing home I figure we’re either going to get a very Shallow Gravy-centric episode or that their meteoric rise to stardom is a season long subplot.
You know what I’ve always wondered? When and how did Hank learn to play the Bass? He doesn’t seem to show aptitude for much else and there aren’t many people in his world who could have taught it to him. Even Dermot -though clearly the driving force behind them starting a band- shows no musical talent beyond wannabe hardcore yelling. Is this something Hank taught himself? Maybe Jonas Sr. left behind a machine to teach him.
I believe that’s Hector that’s either loading or unloading something onto/off of the X-1. Just a hunch, but i think this might connect to the jungle pics further down. It seems far more likely that Doc would steal a beast from the jungle than actually invent something that big (although I guess a Walking Eye might fit the bill). Could be we’re about to see a parody of the opening scene of Jurassic Park (“SHOOT HER! SHOOOOOT HERRRRR!”).
All right here we are, finally at those jungle pictures I was talking about above. It would appear that Doc takes the team to a lost world in what is no doubt a King Kong style attempt at cashing in on a mysterious creature. As I theorized above, I’m thinking the Monarch might follow him to this mysterious land and of course shenanigans will ensue. Also giant lobsters.
Sgt. Hatred (or is it Vatred now?) drives his jeep off a cliff. I’m actually not positive this is a new image because it looks strikingly familiar to the opening scene of The Diving Bell vs. the Butter Glider. Regardless, not much to say here. Hatred is obviously driving, but there;s no indication of who his passengers are or what malevolent force is chasing them.
Well Dean is still looking pretty emo. I’m going to take this as an indication that he’s not over Triana Orpheus. Ah poor Dean. Your world is one of constant stress, your father is an awful role-model, and your only friend is your brother. I’m on the fence if this emo thing is going to lead to positive growth for Dean. It might be a sign of him finally rebelling against the ridiculous expectations his father has for him, or it could just be another stunted attempt at being something he doesn’t really understand (which is definitely a theme for Dean).
More Jungle shots. Rusty still hasn’t learned his lesson about wearing polyester in the jungle. Also Hatred is peeing. Yeah, not too much going on here.
Hunter Gathers and his right hand man Brock. If you’ll recall, season 4 ended with General Traister handing the reins of the OSI to Gathers and it seems he’s convinced Brock to stay with his team. Based on Gathers’ hat and the stars on his shoulders it would appear he’s been promoted from Colonel to General. I love how Brock is donning his knife in a shoulder holster. Not so sure where they are right now. I think they’re at the Venture compound, but given the Skyline it could even be Unterland. The Crane in the background might indicate that Gathers is expanding what was Sphynx HQ and bringing Venture Industries into the purview of the OSI (A decision I’m sure Brock would have had a hand in).
Action Man getting a little action. Based on the earlier image, and the fact that this is reminding me of the opening scene of You Only Live Twice, I’m thinking that this might end badly for the Action Man. Whether or not that’s the case, the abundance of Action Man images implies his role will be much bigger in this season. You’ll notice this is definitely old Action Man, and not a flashback.
Doc all of a sudden has a new staff with different suits and everything. Clones?
A party at the Guild of Calamitous Intent. No clue what this could mean (if anything, they probably just picked this image because it had so many of the villainous background players). What’s interesting to me is that most of these characters, although we’ve seen them many times, have never been named. I know Scorpio, Kurth, and Joseph and his amazing Technicolor Nightmare Coat, but I don’t think plugface or fish-dude or any of the others have been given official names in canon. Anyhoo, looks like they’re all having a good time. This gathering could mean anything, but the fact that it’s in Guild HQ rather than at a house in Malice means it’s probably a reception for something pretty important.
Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend in the throes of ecstacy. Why? Well they’re next to their thrones with their clothes on so I’m thinking it’s not a carnal thing. Maybe they’re on mushrooms.
Doc, Hatred and Hank on their way to the Lost World. I assume this based on their outfits. Doc and Hatred are certainly wearing the same things as in the previous picture and Dean wore this outfit in the family’s last jungle excursion. Wonder why Dean didn’t come along.
Dean looking very serious. Also still Emo. Those appear to be cloning vats behind him. In the Halloween special he learned the truth of his cloned heritage and it appears he’s still coming to grips with it. Also I think that clone’s dong is sticking out.
The inevitable return of the great white dope (sorry, Bloodhound Gang reference, couldn’t resist). Well here’s Rusty doing what Rusty does best: being a jackass. Given the onlookers vests and and Rusty’s wineglass, I’m going to go ahead and say that he’s ruining someone’s Star Wars wedding. Maybe Al and Shore Leave tie the knot.
Shore Leave and a cadre of OSI agents. Not sure who the rest of them are yet, but I’m getting kind of an Avengers Vibe. The old guy in the back looks like a hobo so he could be a D-Man reference (10 points to whoever gets that one). I think the guy with the headband is an Iron Fist parody, the next picture down shows more of his costume supporting this theory. I’m thinking the tank guy is meant to satire War Machine. Not sure what the Astronaut’s deal is (or why he has a tennis racquet).
Gathers Inspects his troops. In addition to the ones in the prior picture we also see that Hobo-guy has a guy in a dog costume in a shopping cart (I bet the explanation for that is going to be GREAT), and a Snake-Eyes lookin’ fella. You’ll also notice Dean hovering in the background. I’m thinking more and more that Venture Industries gets folded into the OSI which might explain why Dean isn’t part of the jungle adventure. Perhaps he’s have found a new family with the misfits and freaks that make up the Office of Secret Intelligence.
I should acknowledge that given the nature fo the show it’s just as likely that he’s simply along for the ride but there’s something about his expression that makes me think it’s more than that. Prior to this season, when Dean is just along for the ride he’s either scared shitless or has a shit-eating grin on his face. Here he seems, I don’t know, almost normal. It’s damned peculiar.
Futuro versus Colonel Gentleman, Humongoloid, and the Action Man in a flashback. Looks like they killed the shit out of some Karate Lizards too. I imagine this is connected to the other Action Man images and this particular caper may factor into Action Man’s evolution into a cyborg. Perhaps Futuro (or maybe just his technology) plays a part in his transformation. UPDATE: It’s just occurred to me that the Robot above I figured was Ghost Robot has the same color scheme as Futuro. Coincidence?
The X-1 being attacked by a pterodactyl. Maybe it’s a descendent of the one Rusty “took down himself” (referenced in Return to the House of Mummies part 2). Once again, another Lost World image. Apparently some real shit goes down in this place.
Well thats that. 23 images and my thoughts on all of them. Strangely there’s no sign of Dr. Orpheus or Gary/Henchman 21. I don’t take this as a bad sign, quite the opposite really. It’s probably indicative of major growth in the characters that Doc and Jackson want to surprise us with.
As I mentioned above, the new season begins on May 19th but if you need something to sate your appetite until then, check out the specials that aired since Season 4′s finale. There’s From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy viewable here for free–> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8cgePd3zeI and A Very Venture Halloween viewable for $3.00 here –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlAiM_Qe8MA Also check out http://www.adultswim.com for more videos. If you have cable you can sign up for adult swim gold and access more episodes (except for some asinine reason it doesn’t work with Time Warner Cable. You know, Time Warner, the company that owns Adult Swim….). It’s kinda like HBO Go except you don’t have to pay for it, just prove you’re already paying for cable or satellite service.