Everything To Remember About ‘The Venture Bros.’ Before It Finally Returns

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. It’s been a long time since the last season of The Venture Bros. There was one special, “All This and Gargantua-2” (which was really, really good), in 2015, but Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer haven’t graced the world with a proper, full-length season since 2013. I’d say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but my heart was already plenty fond of The Venture Bros., the best superhero show on television.

Because it’s been so long since Dr. Henry Killinger healed Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, and even longer since Dean told Hank that they’re clones (this sentence makes sense in context, I swear), you might be in need of a reminder of everything’s that happened and where we left off before season six premieres on Jan. 31. Consider this your Venture Bros. catch-up.

Dr. “Rusty” Venture is the leader of Venture Industries, a company once known for its ingenuity but now lives in the shadows of Dr. Venture’s brilliant and deceased father, Dr. Jonas. “Rusty” has two sons, Hank and Dean, who are both clones (they’ve died at least 13 times).

There’s also Dermott, Hank’s BFF and Shallow Gravy bandmate who just learned he’s a Venture, much to everyone’s confusion.

Dermott previously believed his father was Brock Samson, the loyal former-Venture bodyguard who works for the Office of Secret Intelligence (OSI), a government agency that covertly protects the world from bad guys.

Such bad guys (and gals) include:

    -The Monarch, Dr. Venture’s arch-enemy who fancies himself the world’s most diabolical supervillain, when really he’s just a guy in a butterfly suit.

– Dr. Mrs. the Monarch, the gravel-voiced brains behind the Monarch’s lack-of-brawn. The former Dr. Girlfriend is as clever as she is gorgeous, but she has one weakness: her inexplicable love for the Monarch.

– Gary, who was bad then good then bad again. He was a Monarch henchmen, Henchman 21 specifically, who became disillusioned with his boss after the death of his best friend, Henchman 24, and briefly revived S.P.H.I.N.X. as the Viceroy before its former members took over again.

The unlikely trio currently live in the Monarch’s childhood home (which looks like Don Draper’s from Mad Men), and (possibly) work together as the new Council of 13, the leaders of the villain collective Guild of Calamitous Intent. Other members include Dr. Henry Killinger (think Henry Kissinger, but with a magic murder bag); Guild dispatch agents Watch and Ward; and Phantom Limb, Dr. Mrs. the Monarch’s former teacher before she left him for the Monarch.

Their calamitous intent is to make life miserable for the OSI, though they can’t just attack anyone. Members are assigned an archenemy and there are pages and pages of guidelines on what you can and can’t do, who can and can’t murder in a vat of acid, etc. It’s bureaucracy made literally evil.

Other key moments and things to remember:

– When a fed-up Brock (who’s known “Rusty” since college) quit the OSI, he also stopped being Hank and Dean’s babysitter. Sergeant Hatred, a former arch-enemy of Dr. Venture’s, became the Venture’s new bodyguard. Hank needed a minute to get used to it.

– Real people exist in The Venture Bros. universe. David Bowie is a recurring character and Iggy Pop, Caligula, and Klaus Nomi have all popped up from time to time. Many of the show’s weirdos are also parodies of famous pop culture creations, like the obvious Dr. Strange homage, Dr. Orpheus, a dramatic yet well-meaning necromancer that lives on the Venture grounds.

– The Sovereign, the once-leader of the Guild of Calamitous Intent and the Council of 13, may have been shot and killed by Headshot while shapeshifting in the form of an eagle.

– In the last special, Jonas Jr., Dr. Venture’s deformed and cancer-ridden twin, sacrificed himself and left the multi-billion dollar Venture Techno Industries Corporation, “and its brand-new headquarters in New York,” to his brother.

What mysteries will TEAM VENTURE solve in New York?

We’ll see on Jan. 31 (you can catch up on seasons 1-5 on Hulu or Adult Swim).