Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Go, Team Venture!

The recent complete failure of my aged computer to recognise the 'turn on' button as meaningful only serves to remind me how very little I know about everything.

Rather like sham scientist Dr. Thaddeus 'Rusty' Venture in the darkly comic adventure cartoon 'The Venture Brothers' now in its fourth season.

Dr. Venture's primary skill sets include snide remarks and alcoholic self-pity, all the more shameful in a former boy adventure hero now pushing 50. His deceased father Jonas' acheivements outstripped modern conventional science but are now crumbling away unused in the Venture compound.

Beset by hordes of admittedly low-grade supervilains, Venture and his upsettingly naive sons would surely be long dead if not for the protection of stoic and vicious bodyguard Brock Sampson, and the grudgling friendships formed with several oddball superheroes.

Although it's hard to pin this cartoon down by genre (Saturday-Morning Retro-Futuristic Cross-Genre Satire?) and it's in NO WAY for kids under... say 33, it IS really, really fun. I especially enjoyed the third season, with its decreased attention paid to the travails of the young title characters and more spent on backstories and side tales featuring the ludicrous secondary types.

Such as Jefferson, the vampire hunter who only hunts 'blackulas' (you're on your own against Caucasian vampires). Or the inept Monarch and his new missus- Dr. Mrs. The Monarch (formerly Dr. Fiancee, formerly Dr. Girlfriend). The evil duo are hamstrung in their arch-foe efforts by their budget, their thematic but impractical butterfly costumes, and the bylaws of the Guild of Calamitous Intent.

I especially enjoy Henchmen 21 and 24, who I recently spotted at a nerd convention.

Foul-mouthed, occasionally disturbing, and often somewhat mean-spirited, it is still much less repellant than 'Drawn Together' and certainly much funnier.

So watch out for were-odiles, shield your eyes at all times, and never count on a robot called HELPER for anything. Go, Team Venture!

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