The Venture Bros. Episode Recap, 06×01: “Hostile Makeover”

Season 6, Episode 2 Recap —->

“Ugh, Welcome to New York.” – Dr. Rusty Venture


Hey, everyone. RobBarracuda here, and the time is finally here. More than 2 years after the last full season ended and just one year after the last world-altering special, The Venture Bros. are back for season 6. A new home and new life in New York awaits the Venture family, but the usual superhero/supervillain shenanigans are still around to make their lives hell. So let’s get to it with a recap of the season 6 premiere, “Hostile Makeover”.

In the aftermath of “All This And Gargantua-2”, Rusty Venture learns that his brother J.J. left his multi-million dollar business as well as a fancy new apartment complex to the Venture family in his will. The Ventures and Sergeant Hatred quickly move in and find themselves reveling in the lap of luxury. Once they’re all settled in, the Ventures head off to do their own things: Hatred wants to run a security check on the compound, Hank wants to mess around, and Dean’s considering applying to college. However, they get a set of unexpected visitors in their presence: the Crusaders Action League, a group of colorful superheroes who protect and serve the people of NY… for a price. They consist of Tosh, an obvious nod to Captain America, Warianna, the Wonder Woman analogue of the group, and the Fallen Archer, essentially Green Arrow with Hawkeye’s color scheme. Warianna warns the Ventures of an ominous black building out front which is a supposed hive of supervillains, but Hatred assures them he has things covered.Crusaders Action League

The Monarch and Gary are eating breakfast when the Monarch suddenly becomes infuriated upon hearing the news of Rusty’s sudden acquisition of wealth and resources. Meanwhile, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is attending a meeting of the newly formed Council of 13 (well… 6 or 7, really), but without the presence of the Sovereign (rest in peace David Bowie) they are unsure of how to proceed. Watch and Ward enter the meeting room to deliver the Council’s charter and decide on a new Sovereign. However, first they must deal with the various rumors and states of unrest that exist throughout the Guild of Calamitous Intent.

Brown WidowDean rushes to get to Stuyvesant University but finds that he just missed the official campus tour. In an odd coincidence, the campus tour guide is none other than the Brown Widow, a character who appeared once in Season 4 and then was never heard from again. He starts to show Dean around campus for a bit before a university professor (the civilian identity of the Captain America spoof from earlier) throws a can at Widow’s head and embarrasses him in front of Dean.

Back at the Venture’s residence, Rusty is busy dealing with a lot of strenuous charity work, receiving no other assistance than that of the Pirate Captain who unfortunately has to depart while there’s still work to be done. As the captain leaves, we notice Gary and the Monarch in disguise as the Naked Cowboy and Statue of Liberty respectively. Just as it looks like they’re in the clear to break in, the Pirate Captain interferes and forces the two to abort their mission for now.

This could be us, but you playin'.
This could be us, but you playin’.

Later that night, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch attempts to lead a Guild meeting where the crowd is rather unsavory and fueled by various personal complaints. The Council tries to appease them with a makeshift Sovereign (really the Phantom Limb), but they all know of the Sovereign’s demise so no one buys it. She tries once more to calm down the crowd, even promising that the Council will screen for new members to join them.

Rusty comes back to the apartment to find a multitude of excessive items purchased by Hank, including an arcade machine, trapeze tutor, and a giraffe. While he berates Hank for his excessive spending, the family finds themselves in the midst of an unexpected visitor: none other than Brock Samson. Now that the Ventures are a high-profile target, the OSI needs their best agent on the job, which unfortunately means Sergeant Hatred is relegated to desk work.

Once Brock is settled in, he accompanies Rusty on an excursion to a fancy Italian suit-and-tie shop where the owner, Enzo, is apparently an old acquaintance of his. 20 years prior he visited the shop to request a high-quality suit, the Ambassadore, which he never picked up.

Back at the Monarch’s house, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is in a Skype call with the other Council members discussing how the meeting went. Things don’t appear to be going well, especially since the New York chapter is threatening secession, so the Council suggests that she tries to charm the NY chapter’s leader Kingpi—I mean Wide Wale – into staying with the Guild. When she leaves, the Monarch and Gary use this opportunity to once again break into the new Venture compound, utilizing the help of one of the house construction workers, Manolo.

The two of them sneak their way into the compound while Sergeant Hatred secretly observes from afar. While their break-in appears to be successful at first, they end up triggering the alarm system and getting trapped in the elevator with the Pirate Captain, who knocked himself out with tranquilizer earlier. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch and Wide WaleIn the black building across from the Venture’s apartment, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch meets with Wide Wale to discuss his possible allegiance to the Guild, even being promised a seat on the Council. However, Wale has certain… other intentions in mind with her. This gets the attention of Hank who’s spying on people from the roof, and as he does so he notices what appears to be a woman drowning in a pool, so he uses Brock’s grapple gun to launch over to the other side. Brock realizes what’s happening and tries to stop Hank from crossing the zipline, but it’s too late. This gets the attention of the Fallen Archer who thinks Brock threw Hank off the roof, and he alerts the other League members of the situation. Warianna rushes to the area but ends up getting taken out momentarily by the grapple line, motivating Tosh to take care of the situation regardless of the lack of payment.

A five-way fight breaks out between Brock, the League, and the Venture’s new security robot, J-bot. As the fight goes on, the woman that Hank was spying on awakens in the presence of Hank. Evidently, she didn’t actually drown because she has gills.

I’m sensing an aquatic theme with the Wide Wale’s building.

Night DickSuddenly, Hank falls off the zipline and almost falls to his death, but the surprise appearance of another costumed vigilante named Night Dick, a character whose backstory and design are an amalgamation of The Spirit and also possibly Ghost Rider, spares him from a life-ending fall. The fight ultimately gets called off by Rusty as he explains to the League that Brock and J-bot are his bodyguards. Meanwhile, Gary and the Monarch manage to escape from the elevator and the compound, but they get intercepted by Sergeant Hatred. Thankfully, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch shows up in time to save the two, saying that their intrusion onto the Venture’s research facility (evidently Wide Wale’s territory) is primarily a Guild issue and that she’ll take care of it. As the three drive off, she tries to uncomfortably explain to the Monarch what exactly it is she did with Wide Wale.

In the post-credits stinger, the League all dashes off from the scene of the crime, not offering any help to fix the damages they caused to the Venture’s apartment. As the Ventures head back inside, H.E.L.P.eR., who throughout the episode has been frustrated with the attention that J-bot has received from Rusty, quickly pushes J-bot off the side of the building while no one is looking.

My Thoughts

Given that “All This And Gargantua-2” was a pretty big shake-up of events to wipe the slate as clean as possible, it’s no surprise that “Hostile Makeover” spends most of its time as build-up, seeding new plot threads and expanding on some of the dangling threads from that special. It’s clear that the big overriding plot thread for the season will be the Council’s attempts to rebuild the Guild of Calamitous Intent following the death of the Sovereign and the prior actions of Dr. Killinger. The Ventures have also found themselves with their own new hurdles to tackle with their newfound life in New York City. Dean attempting to get his education on track and go to college, Hank’s constantly shifting sense of identity now that the family’s richer than they ever thought was possible, and Hatred having to deal with being relieved of his duties as the Venture’s bodyguard. Not to mention that all of these conflicts have to play out against the superhero/supervillain-laden backdrop of the series’ take on NYC.

While spoofing comic book characters is nothing new for the series, the promos made it clear that this would be kicked into overdrive for season 6. It’s not a surprising move considering that the season is set in NYC, where Marvel Comics is primarily based out of, as well as DC comics before moving to California in 2013. In the Marvel comics universe NYC houses Stark Towers, the meeting place of the Avengers, ensuring that nearly all superheroes will find themselves in the city at one point. “Hostile Makeover” introduces no less than 5 new comic-inspired characters as well as the unexpected return of a prior one-off hero (Brown Widow), and it’s going to be fun to see how these characters play into the ongoing story and how their presence affects Guild activities and the lives of the Ventures. We already know that the League can definitely be relied on to deliver some really entertaining action in a pinch, as their fight against Brock and J-bot is the indisputable highlight of the episode. All in all, I’m really glad that the series is back. The storytelling is still intriguing, the action was awesome, and Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer’s comedic sensibilities are still as on-point as they were when the series started nearly 14 years ago. This is RobBarracuda, and I’ll see you all next week.

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