After the Season Three ender, “The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together,” there was no telling where The Venture Bros. would travel in Season Four because the Venture world, as we knew it, had been obliterated. The animated folks had faced clone armies marching to “March of the Toys,” shocking resignations, and the death of a henchman. But show creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick managed to whip together a whole new sea of pop culture references intermingled with hunching, super science and action. Season Four references everything from progressive rock to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to the Arrested Development song, “Mr. Wendal,” and after Volume One, half-season releases, the entire fourth season has been released on one Blu-ray disc. My review after the jump.
The end of the third season not only mixed a mass amount of shockers, it also reset the manic world we were used to. Without clones to replace to cover up klutziness, Hank and Dean Venture have entered puberty, and are growing up, growing hair, and breaking out into the world. With Brock gone, Sergeant Hatred has taken over protection duties, Dr. Venture is as clueless as ever, and Henchman #21 being haunted by a friend while finally becoming a competent henchman.
Dean is the favorite son, being encouraged by Dr. Venture to listen to prog rock and become a super scientist, while Hank is largely forgotten, getting picked up by pedophiliac superheroes and being an all-too-willing participant in friend Dermott’s schemes. Brock is busy an agent of SPHINX, eager to take down Molotov Cocktease as increasing danger rises. The Monarch is nothing compared to the return of an insane Phantom Limb, now “Revenge,” Monstroso, and added supervillainy. But that’s just a small bit of a bigger whole; to try and sum up any particular season of Venture Bros. is ridiculous, because Hammer and Publick do all they can to throw an unending sea of twists, turns, and media commentary from all walks of life into their episodes.
Blu-ray buyers might miss the Volume One speedsuit cover that reveals a hairy man nipple, but the goods ON the full season Blu-ray make up for it. The single disc is loaded not only with the entire season (which leads to some compression issues but still looks pretty damned great), but also options to hear the f-bombs and foul language without the bleeps, commentary by Hammer and Publick for every single episode, a ton of deleted scenes – some completed and others just sketched and voiced, a quick, repetitive look at how many times one particular line might be said by voice actors, finale promos with Hammer and Publick, plus their ComicCon promo and “Lost open.”
All on one disc, it’s a release just begging for an all-day, play-all Venture fest. You just have to hope it can survive maniacal, repeated viewings until we get Season Five.