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Welcome to the The Venture Bros. guide!

After seven seasons and a five-year hiatus, the Venture Bros. movie is finally coming soon! But what is The Venture Bros. and what do you need to know before the film finale comes out?

What is The Venture Bros.?

The Venture Bros. is one of the longest running shows in Adult Swim history. The animated series was created by Christopher McCulloch and Doc Hammer in 2003 and will conclude with a film finale in July 2023, marking a twenty-year production timeline. The show lovingly parodies genre stories through an impressive universe of original characters. Despite often being overlooked, the groundbreaking legacy of Venture Bros. has inspired many of the most popular modern adult cartoons today, including Rick & Morty and Harley Quinn. 

Although the first season feels uneven, The Venture Bros. rapidly develops a dense character-based mythology over seven seasons with incredible twists, satisfying payoffs, and constant improvements in animation. Beloved characters, intricate details, and countless callbacks make the show infinitely rewatchable and endlessly rewarding. With hysterical jokes, sharp genre analysis, and meaningful character growth, every subsequent season of Venture Bros. feels fresh and highly entertaining.

The show also has a remarkable amount of depth as a coming-of-age character study about fathers, sons, insecurity, failure, and friendship. The series is filled with deep emotional introspection, and several characters openly explore their queerness and sexuality. With 20 years to develop its material, The Venture Bros. has transcended its unassuming cartoon format to become one of the best adult animated series ever made, and it only gets better season after season.

In addition to the main cast, Venture Bros. features legendary guest stars including Stephen ColbertKevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Jeffrey Wright, J.K. Simmons, Nathan Fillion, Bill Hader, Kate McKinnon, Rhys Darby, Clancy Brown, H. Jon BenjaminPatton Oswalt, and Aziz Ansari.

With the series finale Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart coming later this year, now is the perfect time to jump into The Venture Bros. and see what the show is all about! And if you’re already a fan, hopefully this guide will help prepare you for the finale. Enjoy watching!

“Go Team Venture!” 

venture-bros-hank-dean-go-team-venture (Adult Swim)


 

Who are the Venture Brothers?

The first episode of season one introduces nearly all the major characters in the show. You meet the main “heroes” of Team Venture and “villains” of Team Monarch. Team Venture is composed of the super scientist Dr. Venture, his sons Hank and Dean, and his bodyguard Brock. The Fluttering Horde includes the supervillain Monarch, his partner Dr. Girlfriend, and numerous henchmen. The first season also introduces most of the supporting characters of the show, like Billy Quizboy (a trivia mastermind), Dr. Orpheus (a Doctor Strange pastiche), and the Impossible family (a horrific parody of the Fantastic Four).

Season two adds a few more essential characters like Sgt. Hatred (an important member of the Venture Family) and the Order of the Triad (a Midnight Sons supernatural team). Each season continues to add new characters, as well as flesh out the backstory of the existing ones.

The show truly shines with the layered history of its world, especially through organizations like the Guild of Calamitous Intent, the Office of Secret Intelligence, and the Sovereign’s Council of 13. Many characters also evolve throughout the seasons, changing their motivations and affiliations, just as people do in real life. Venture Bros. is an outstanding showcase of world building through a rich roster of interconnected characters, organizations, and mysteries.

For a deep dive into the characters and their concept art, check out Go Team Venture!: The Art and Making of The Venture Bros., a behind-the-scenes art book by Ken Plume, Doc Hammer, and Chris McCulloch

Team Venture

  • Dr. Rusty Venture (James Urbaniak): Super scientist and father.
  • Brock Samson (Patrick Warburton): Dr. Venture’s bodyguard.
  • Hank Venture (Christopher McCulloch): Dr. Venture’s son (blond hair).
  • Dean Venture (Michael Sinterniklaas): Dr. Venture’s son (red hair).
  • H.E.L.P.eR. (Christopher McCulloch): Dr. Venture’s robot assistant.

The Fluttering Horde

  • The Monarch (Christopher McCulloch): Supervillain.
  • Dr. Girlfriend (Doc Hammer): The Monarch’s partner and girlfriend.
  • Henchman 21 (Doc Hammer): A henchman for the Monarch.
  • Henchman 24 (Christopher McCulloch): A henchman for the Monarch.

Recurring side characters

  • The Phantom Limb (James Urbaniak): Supervillain with invisible limbs.
  • Billy Quizboy (Doc Hammer): Super intelligent neuro-geneticist.
  • Pete White (Christopher McCulloch): Super technologist, Billy’s best friend.
  • Dr. Byron Orpheus (Steven Rattazzi): Parody of Doctor Strange, member of the Order of the Triad.
  • The Pirate Captain (Christopher McCulloch): A pirate captain.
  • Dr. Jonas “J.J.” Venture Jr. (James Urbaniak): Dr. Venture’s more-successful brother.
  • Gen. Hunter Gathers (Christopher McCulloch): Secret agent.
  • Professor Richard Impossible (Stephen Colbert, Bill Hader, Christopher McCulloch): Parody of Marvel’s Mr. Fantastic. 
  • Shoreleave (Doc Hammer): Secret agent.
  • The Sovereign (Christopher McCulloch): Supervillain, leader of the Council of 13.
  • Molotov Cocktease (Mia Barron): Parody of Marvel’s Black Widow.

Season 2 additions

  • Sergeant Hatred (Christopher McCulloch, Brendon Small): Supervillain, bodyguard
  • Jefferson Twilight (Charles Parnell): Parody of Marvel’s Blade, member of the Order of the Triad.
  • The Alchemist (Dana Snyder): an alchemist named Al, member of the Order of the Triad.
  • Dr. Henry Killinger (Christopher McCulloch): Parody of Henry Kissinger.
  • Myra Brandish (Joanna Adler): Hank and Dean’s mother?

Original Team Venture

  • Dr. Jonas Venture Sr. (Paul Boocock): World adventurer, Dr. Venture’s father.
  • The Action Man (Christopher McCulloch): Parody of Captain America and G.I. Joe.
  • Col. Horace Gentleman (Christopher McCulloch): Parody of James Bond.
  • Kano (Christopher McCulloch): Parody of The Green Hornet’s Kato.
  • Dr. Entmann (Stephen DeStefano): Parody of Marvel’s Ant-Man.
venture-bros-character-roster-cast-2.jpg
The vast ensemble of The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros. season one (2004)

The first season showcases Team Venture as they go on strange adventures around the world. With the limited cast and scope, it’s a much simpler season than the later ones, but don’t be deterred! These episodes set up important lore for the show to come, and are not to be skipped. (Except for the pilot episode, you SHOULD skip that.)

The episodes were released out of production order, but order is only crucial for the final three episodes. Just follow the order below and you should be fine! Some of the most important episodes are in bold.

  • Pilot – The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay
    • Completely skippable. Not recommended for new viewers
  • S1 E1 – Dia de los Dangerous!
    • Start here! Introduces the main characters and features important flashbacks
  • S1 E2 – Careers in Science
    • Features Dr. Venture flashbacks! Important setup for “Arrears in Science” (S7 E3)
  • S1 E3 – Home Insecurity
  • S1 E4 – The Incredible Mr. Brisby
  • S1 E5 – Eeney, Meeney, Miney… Magic!
    • Features details about Hank and Dean’s mother!
  • S1 E6 – Ghosts Of The Sargasso
  • S1 E7 – Ice Station – Impossible!
  • S1 E8 – Mid-life Chrysalis
    • Features details about Hank and Dean’s mother!
  • S1 E9 – Are You There, God? It’s Me, Dean
    • Features Grover Cleveland’s Presidential Time machine!
  • S1 E10 – Tag Sale – You’re it!
  • S1 E11 – Past Tense
    • Features Dr. Venture flashbacks!
  • S1 E12 – Trial of the Monarch
    • Important Monarch episode!
  • S1 E13 – Return to Spider-Skull Island
  • Special – A Very Venture Christmas
venture-bros-team-venture-hank-dean-rusty-brock-samson
Dr. Venture, Hank, Dean, and Brock Samson (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros. season two (2006)

After the shocking events of the season one finale, Venture Bros. quickly evolves in its second season. Season two is when the show began to prove just how innovative it would become.

Building on elements from the first season, the show explodes the typical premise of adventure heroes and villains by exploring the realistic psychological consequences their actions. Season two also ends with the first two-part finale, an outstanding example of the cinematic-level events to come.

  • S2 E1 – Powerless In The Face Of Death
    • Features details about Hank and Dean’s mother! Also features details about cloning!
  • S2 E2 – Hate Floats
  • S2 E3 – Assassinanny 911
  • S2 E4 – Escape To The House Of Mummies Part II
  • S2 E5 – Twenty Years to Midnight
    • Features Dr. Venture flashbacks!
  • S2 E6 – Victor. Echo. November.
  • S2 E7 – Love-Bheits
  • S2 E8 – Fallen Arches
    • Introduces the Order of the Triad!
  • S2 E9 – Guess Who’s Coming to State Dinner?
  • S2 E10 – I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills
    • Introduces Myra Brandish and Dr. Henry Killinger!
  • S2 E11 – ¡Viva Los Muertos!
  • S2 E12 – Showdown At Cremation Creek (Part I)
  • S2 E13 – Showdown At Cremation Creek (Part II)
venture-bros-monarch-henchman-fluttering-horde.jpg
Monarch, Henchman 21, and the Fluttering Horde (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros. season three (2008)

Season three upgrades to HD quality and removes the censors, the first of many animation improvements over the course of the show. This is also when Venture Bros. settles into a consistent rhythm of quality, which steadily improves as the seasons progress. The story continues the major character developments from season two, introduces new characters like Dermott, fleshes out the history of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, and ends with another epic two-part finale.

  • S3 E1 – Shadowman 9: In The Cradle of Destiny
    • Features Myra Brandish and flashbacks of Dr. Venture and the Monarch!
  • S3 E2 – The Doctor is Sin
    • Important Dr. Venture episode
  • S3 E3 – The Invisible Hand of Fate
    • Features Myra Brandish!
  • S3 E4 – Home Is Where The Hate Is
  • S3 E5 – The Buddy System
  • S3 E6 – Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman
  • S3 E7 – What Goes Down Must Come Up
  • S3 E8 – Tears of a Sea Cow
  • S3 E9 – Now Museum-Now You Don’t
  • S3 E10 – The Lepidopterists
  • S3 E11 – ORB
    • Important setup for “Arrears in Science” (S7 E3). Important flashback episode for the Guild of Calamitous Intent
  • S3 E12 – The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I)
  • S3 E13 – The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)
venture-bros-moppets-tim-tom-kevin
The Moppets (Tim-Tom and Kevin) (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros. season four (2009)

Season four is the longest season of The Venture Bros. Like earlier seasons, it immediately deals with the huge ramifications of the previous season finale, with the biggest changes for Hank and Henchman 21. It also introduces the covert organization S.P.H.I.N.X., a coalition of villains called the Revenge Society, and heavy background lore for the Venture family.

Part I

  • S4 E1 – Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel
  • S4 E2 – Handsome Ransom
  • S4 E3 – Perchance to Dean
    • Features details about Hank and Dean’s mother!
  • S4 E4 – Return to Malice
  • S4 E5 – The Revenge Society
  • S4 E6 – Self-Medication
  • S4 E7 – The Better Man
  • S4 E8 – Pinstripes and Poltergeists
    • Features details about Hank and Dean’s mother!

Part II

  • S4 E9 – The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-glider
  • S4 E10 – Pomp And Circuitry
  • S4 E11 – Any Which Way But Zeus
  • S4 E12 – Everybody Comes To Hank’s
    • Important episode for Dermott’s backstory. Also features Dr. Venture flashbacks!
  • S4 E13 – Bright Lights, Dean City
    • Features Scare Bear!
  • S4 E14 – Assisted Suicide
    • Features Myra Brandish! Flashbacks for Dr. Venture
  • S4 E15 – The Silent Partners
  • S4 E16 – Operation P.R.O.M.
  • Special – From The Ladle To The Grave: The Shallow Gravy Story
venture-bros-SPHINX-brock-samson-shoreleave-hunter-gathers
S.P.H.I.N.X. (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros. season five (2013)

Season five is one of the most transformative seasons of the show. Gary ventures into all-new territory, Dean works through his depression, and the Dr. Ventures complete their new space station Gargantua-2. Meanwhile we meet a new group of villains called the “Investors”…

  • Special – A Very Venture Halloween
    • Features details about cloning!
  • S5 E1 – What Color Is Your Cleansuit?
  • S5 E2 – Venture Libre
  • S5 E3 – SPHINX Rising
    • Important setup for “Arrears in Science” (S7 E3)
  • S5 E4 – Spanakopita!
    • Features Dr. Venture flashbacks! Helps set up “Arrears in Science” (S7 E3)
  • S5 E5 – O.S.I. Love You
  • S5 E6 – Momma’s Boys
    • Features Myra Brandish!
  • S5 E7 – Bot Seeks Bot
    • Important setup for “Arrears in Science” (S7 E3)
  • S5 E8 – The Devil’s Grip
    • Important Moppet episode! Also features revelations about cloning
  • Special – All This And Gargantua-2
    • Important episode that changes the status quo of the whole show
venture-bros-mommas-boys-hank-enrico-metassa
H.E.L.P.eR., Side-Kick, Enrico, and The Viceroy (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros. season six (2016)

The Venture brothers go to New York! This season is when the show truly transcends, with better character designs and tighter plotting. The highlights of the season include countless Marvel and DC parodies, the epic Blue Morpho saga, and the terrifying villain Red Death. The season finale leads immediately into season seven, so make sure to keep going!

  • S6 E1 – Hostile Makeover
  • S6 E2 – Maybe No Go
  • S6 E3 – Faking Miracles
    • Features Blue Morpho flashbacks!
  • S6 E4 – Rapacity In Blue
    • Features Blue Morpho flashbacks!
  • S6 E5 – Tanks For Nuthin’
  • S6 E6 – It Happening One Night
    • Features Scare Bear!
  • S6 E7 – A Party For Tarzan
    • Important flashback episode for Monarch, Blue Morpho, and the Guild of Calamitous Intent
  • S6 E8 – Red Means Stop
    • Features Red Death!
venture-bros-season-six-new-york-elevator-hank-dean-vatred-cropped
Hank, H.E.L.P.eR., Dr. Venture, Uncle Vatred, and Dean (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros. season seven (2018)

Season seven is the last TV season of the show. The first three episodes are actually one continuous story, serving as a huge three-part finale to season six. This season furthered Hank and Dean’s maturation and dropped major revelations which redefine the past six seasons. After “The Saphrax Protocol”, the story will conclude with the first-ever Venture Bros. movie, Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart!

  • S7 E1 – The Venture Bros. & The Curse of the Haunted Problem
  • S7 E2 – The Rorqual Affair
    • Features Scare Bear and Red Death!
  • S7 E3 – Arrears in Science
    • Feature Red Death! Major flashbacks affecting Monarch and Dr. Venture
  • S7 E4 – The High Cost of Loathing
  • S7 E5 – The Inamorata Consequence
  • S7 E6 – The Bellicose Proxy
  • S7 E7 – The Unicorn in Captivity
  • S7 E8 – The Terminus Mandate
    • Features Red Death!
  • S7 E9 – The Forecast Manufacturer
    • Features Scare Bear and Grover Cleveland’s Presidential Time machine!
  • S7 E10 – The Saphrax Protocol
    • Features Red Death and details about Hank and Dean’s mother! Also an important Monarch episode
venture-bros-season-six-new-york
The New York cast of Venture Bros. (Adult Swim)

 

The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart (2023)

After the shocking season seven finale, The Venture Bros. was scheduled for an eighth and final season. However, a executive shake-up at Adult Swim caused the series to be cancelled. But thanks to HBO Max, the first-ever Venture Bros. film was announced in 2021 as a continuation of the show!

Releasing July 21, 2023 on digital and July 25 on DVD/Blu-Ray, Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart will be the series finale for Venture Bros. after a long five-year hiatus, completing the twenty-year story.

While most of the plot details have been kept private so far, the official synopsis reads:

“A nationwide manhunt for Hank Venture leads to untold dangers and unexpected revelations while an imposing evil from the past reemerges to wreak havoc on the Ventures, The Guild, and even the Monarch marriage.”

We also know that the film will introduce several new characters, including Nina Arianda as Mantilla, Clancy Brown as Daisy, Hal Lublin as Clayton, Jay Pharoah as Nuno Blood, and Jane Lynch as the mysterious Bobbi St. Simone.

Going into the film, fans have many questions including:

  • Who is Bobbi St. Simone?
  • What’s going on with Scare Bear?
  • Will the time travelers come back?
  • What does the title of the film mean?
  • Who crashed the Fitzcarraldos’ plane?
  • How does the Monarch react to his family heritage?
  • Will long-absent characters like Molotov and Triana show up?
  • What happens when one of the major characters learns that he’s a clone?

We can also assume that the finale will tie up loose character threads, reveal the final truth about Hank and Dean’s mother, and probably leave us with a shocking surprise or two! Stay tuned for our film review coming next month!


And that’s The Venture Bros. guide! Have you watched the show before? Are you excited to jump in for the first time? Let me know on Twitter @vinwriteswords and remember to follow the site @MyCosmicCircus for our coverage of The Venture Bros.: Radiant Is the Blood of the Baboon Heart!

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Vin

Reviews, reading guides, and crazy theories. Obsessed with the Midnight Sons. Find me on Twitter @vinwriteswords!

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