The VENTURE BROS. has been around for seven seasons over seventeen years, an underappreciated gem of an animated series.
Originally a parody of the 1960s Hanna-Barbera animated adventure show JONNY QUEST, the Venture Bros. has gone on to affectionately rag on pretty much every aspect of pop (especially nerd) culture, and has established a mind-boggling continuity and expansive universe.
A main theme of the series has been that a life of globetrotting, perilous adventure might not be the most healthy way to bring up a child. This week we see not only Doc (formerly Rusty) Venture, but a number of other former 'Boy Adventurers' seeking help in a group therapy session. Included in the mix are...
Action Johnny. Very thinly veiled Jonny Quest, now a haggard drug addict. Still in better shape than his previous appearances on the show.
The Hale brothers. Amalgam of the mystery-solving HARDY BOYS and the real-world parent-murdering Menendez brothers.
Ro-Boy. Ersatz ASTRO BOY, from 1960s manga and anime.
Wonder Boy. Former sidekick of Captain Sunshine, and a rib on BATMAN's sidekick, Robin: The Boy Wonder. Like Robin in the comic books, there have apparently been several lads behind the Wonder Boy mask. We'll see in a few episodes that the first Wonder Boy eventually got promoted to full superhero. The one featured in this episode is apparently the second. It was presumably the third who was brutally murdered by a drunken Mighty Monarch, as revealed in the first season finale. None other than Hank Venture was briefly the fourth, earlier this season. A fifth Wonder Boy will be seen next season.
The group therapist is the same one seen leading a group session with former henchmen in the Season 2 opener POWERLESS IN THE FACE OF DEATH.
In dialogue, we learn that some version of the SCOOBY-DOO characters exist in the Venture Bros world. (Not just the Groovy Gang, an amalgam of the Scooby characters and real-world hippie-era radicals seen in Season 2's ¡VIVA LOS MUERTOS!) Johnny claims that Velma not only isn't a lesbian, but gave him herpes.
In the Season 6 episode RED MEANS STOP, the extremely awesome supervillian Red Death will praise the Mighty Monarch for the "marionette thing" he did with Doc in this episode.
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