I rewatched season 2 of The Venture Bros. recently in preparation for buying season 3, and during the episode where Rusty gets Dean a speed suit, I realised that Hank was Rusty's Un Favorite, backed up by a later scene in the car where Rusty praised Dean and chastised Hank in the same breath. Later, it struck me that this explains everything about Hank's character - his headstrong and assertive nature is him trying to impress his dad. He latches onto Brock and everything Brock does because Brock pays attention to him like a real dad. He teases and belittles his brother because he's secretly jealous of him. It's present without being Anvilicious, it adds some Hidden Depths without seeming out of character at all, it makes a character I formally viewed as the most cartoony of all the characters (even more so than Dean) into a real person, and it ties in perfectly with the overall theme of failure. God, I love this show. - randomfanboy
Watch the episode where Killinger becomes a consultant for Dr. Venture, and flashes back to the first time Doc ever felt inferior to his father. The cereal he's eating is "Alpha Dog"!
In the finale of Season 3, Brock fools one of the assassins by shaving his head and placing his hair on a shark. He then decides that he's lost his touch and quits as the Ventures' bodyguard. Brock... Samson. -Wookie72
Phantom Limb manages to be a) a tribute to the superhero The Phantom, b) a direct descendant of pulp criminal antihero Fantômas, and c) a joke on "Phantom Limb Syndrome" at the same time.- Wookie72
When I watched "Pomp and Circuitry", I was confused as to why the Guild didn't do anything to the Revenge Society, even after the neutral meeting. They were already trying to get Phantom Limb. And then it hit me: the Guild doesn't mess with other sanctioned villain teams. They can discourage against them and what not, but they can't fight them. And with the OSI recognizing the Revenge Society, the Guild can't touch them; Phantom Limb knows this and thus can remain safe in Impossible Plaza until he decides to take out the Guild. Genius. -Mogo
It just dawned on me. Captain Sunshine is an obvious expy of Batman/Superman who horribly mourns the loss of WonderBoy after the Monarch kills him. In "Self Medication", it's shown that the supposedly dead WonderBoy wasn't the original (or first) one. Additionally, Captain Sunshine believes the Monarch to be "invulnerable" due to a mishap discussed in the Season 3 Premiere and confirmed in Season 4. Captain Sunshine is Batman, The Monarch is The Joker (another supposedly death-proof villain), dead WonderBoy is Jason Todd (2nd Robin), and if you go re-watch the scene in "Handsome Ransom" between the Monarch and Sunshine, it suddenly works on all kinds of new levels. -Rocky Samson
It occurs to me that now with Col. Gathers in charge of both O.S.I. and SPHINX and The Sovereign, who is in actuality David Bowie, having officially been deemed by Dean as the true Sovereign of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, we've been giving probably the greatest Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny in cartoon fiction!! Hunter S. Thompson vs. David Bowie!!! Place your bets!!
Okay, spoilers ahead, but they're season 1 spoilers so I'm not going to mark them (also because it ruins the joke.) Okay, so, it turns out the Strangers in "Trial of the Monarch" are working for the Phantom Limb. What does that make them? The Phantom's Strangers.
From the season 4 finale: The Outrider is giving Dean a little speech about Triana. Dean delivers his now-famous Precision F-Strike. At first I just thought it was at worst a non-sequitur or at best Dean's character development. Then I realized what the Outrider was really talking about. As the guy who took Dr. Orpheus's wife, of course he'll try to convince Dean to let Triana go off and be with her new love interest. Dean's Crowning Moment Of Awesome just got more awesome, since now I see it as him calling bullshit on the Outrider.
In season 4, after his level in badass, 21 speaks in a gruffer, more action hero-like voice than he used to. However, when he's upset or stressed (for example, when he and Dr. Mrs. The Monarch are trying to revive the unconscious Monarch in "Assisted Suicide"), he slips back into his old voice. Clearly, stress makes his facade slip.
When Sergeant Hatred becomes the Venture bodyguard and tries to encourage the boys to participate in their own protection, Hank says that Brock never had a problem protecting them. On the surface it just seems to confirm that Hatred isn't as good a bodyguard as Brock was, but the backup clones made Brock's job considerably easier. Hatred has managed to actually keep the boys from dying, which is more than can be said for Brock.
In season 4, the Monarch tells the Moppets if they ever defy his rule again, he'll have them killed & fed to the dogs. In the season 5 finale, 21 - the Monarch's most trusted henchman - calls the Moppets out on trying to usurp the Monarch's position & proceeds to reveal Kevin & Tim-Tom killed 24 to the other henchman, before leading the henchman in killing the Moppets. Or if you prefer, 21 kills the Mopppets' reputation amongst the henchman, before leading the attack dogs as they eat the Moppets alive.
In The Venture Bros. season 3 ep where Hank and Dean are alone in the compound while Monarch and crew wreck it up, Monarch says he gave a robot with Rusty's face chlamydia. Now, provided Monarch wasn't lying, consider that his marriage was described by him as an "open marriage" in season four's finale. Did he or Dr. Mrs. The Monarch give the other an STD?
In the episode "Past Tense", Brock throws Colonel Gentleman over the head of the Action Man (as they are both disguised as the bad guy's Fem Bots at the time), and the Action Man tilts his head a second later. Bringing one of his sharp antennae/ear-pieces pointing straight up. If he'd tilted his head while Gentleman was in the air above him... it wouldn'thave been pretty.
In "Any which way but Zeus" its revealed that Captain Sunshine's butler, Desmond, was the original Captain Sunshine with the second being his Wonderboy. Its always been stated in statistics that kids who have been molested have a high chance of being child molesters themselves, a possible Freudian Excuse for the good captain?
Word of God says Captain Sunshine isn't a child molestor. He just has no sense of personal boundaries, and is completely oblivious to just how inappropriate his behavior seems.
Even if Captain Sunshine isn't a pedophile, it makes sense that he'd already have come out of the Wonderboy experience somewhat traumatized, to the point where he doesn't grasp what's inappropriate about it or that it's anything abnormal. The death of Wonderboy, on top of its inherent traumatic value as the death of a young charge, would have at the same time reminded him of his own former vulnerability and his irregular upbringing as a sidekick. So, still a cycle of negative behavior mimicking the way sidekicks in media grow up to be superheroes with their own sidekicks; it's just not necessarily sexual abuse that they're warped by.
Which makes perfect sense when you realize Captain Sunshine is a Composite Character parody of Batman, Superman, and Michael Jackson
What's worse is that in this same episode, Desmond said he wanted to throw a party to show the sidekicks that they were important and loved. Given that the current Captain Sunshine was a sidekick, and how he turned out, Desmond is clearly trying to prevent his mistakes from repeating. It also means that he deeply regrets what he did to the guy when they were younger, and might not have any idea how to fix the damage he caused.
Furthering the theme of failure — Desmond can't undo what he's done; Captain Sunshine genuinely wants to be a good guardian to his sidekicks, but he doesn't know how and his relationship skills are hugely unhealthy. (Again, paralleling how victims of abuse sometimes grow up to be abusers, but not specific to pedophilia. It's still possible that he was sexually abusedand isn't a pedophile; the creepy trappings seem normal to him and he has a poor sense of boundaries as a result.
In "The Invisible Hand of Fate" Pete, after weeks of Billy leaving him for the OSI, is heavily sun burnt and depressed. Put two and two together.
In the same episode, Billy gets conveniently freed from his study obligations when his roommate commits suicide and gets to spend more time with Professor Phantomos, just as Hunter Gathers wanted. Far too convenient to be coincidence, it's far more likely that Gathers murdered an innocent student to get what he wanted. (Brock is too wracked by guilt over the accidental death of a classmate during football to have been involved in this one)
Actually, Gathers revealed that the student was their insider and he was Phantomos' personal assistant, so it's not hard to guess who killed him if he really didn't commit suicide. Goes right back into Fridge Horror territory when you consider the circumstances of said events: The insider student was probably picked by Phantomas personally, was badly disfigured along with the rest the class, and immediately committed suicide when Billy showed up with papers that helped in the completion of the growth accelerator. Phantomas treated the whole thing as a matter of convenience for Billy and outright stated that the rest of the class was beneath him. He might have considered the assistant and the rest of the class as expendable guinea pigs for his project and killed him when he outlived his usefulness or he might have figured out that the assistant was spying for the O.S.I. and, as a member of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, killed him. In both cases, he could have made it look like suicide.
To be precise, Pete White is an albino, people who should be in the sun unprotected as little as possible.
When Captain Sunshine kisses Hank and tells him "You broke my heart, Hank, you broke my heart!" this may be a shoutout to the death of Fredo in The Godfather. If so, it means that Captain Sunshine gave Hank the kiss of death and he now has a promise that he will be murdered by Captain Sunshine at some undetermined point in the future...
Dean and Hank, in their death montage, are seen playing football when a spaceship crashes down, killing Hank. Now, in their other two 'solo deaths' (Hank falling off the roof, Dean running with scissors) it can be assumed they were alone. In this scene, though, Dean is clearly seen backing up to catch the football that Hank was about to throw before he was killed. So Dean has, at least in some incarnation, witnessed the death of his brother and only real friend.
More Fridge Horror when you think on how jaded Dr. Venture is to this happening, and when you think on how they made Then-Dean forget his brother had just died, and S.P.H.I.N.X. wasn't around the Venture compound then. Well...
I was just thinking about Dr. Venture's disapproval of Triana Orpheus and some unfortunate implications of why he shelters the boys so much: in not letting them have any friends or socialize with children their own age, it makes it easier to gloss over the fact the boys die so much. From a practical standpoint, it would be a pain to keep explaining why Hank and Dean die and come back so many times, especially when they die at the end of season 1 in front of Dr. Orpheus, who actually seems fond of the boys and is understandably heartbroken about their deaths.
In "Careers in Science", is Bud Manstrong's account of the Phantom Spaceman true or false? He seems to know a lot of details about how it happened (even if it just a ghost story to entertain Hank and Dean) and Lt. Baldavich complains they are alone on Gargantua-1. Did Bud Manstrong open the bay doors and kill everybody else on the station just to be alone with Baldovich?