|The Venture Bros. Group|
|Team Name:||Henchmen of The Monarch|
|First Appearance(s):||"The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay" (as a group)|
"Dia de Los Dangerous!" (#24)
"Home Insecurity" (#21)
|Purpose:||Doing the bidding of The Monarch|
|Current Members:||#21 (first name Gary)|
#86 (demoted to #87; name unknown)
#87 (promoted to #86; name unknown)
An unknown amount of others
|Former Members:||Speedy (deceased) |
"Texas" (deceased and reanimated into Venturestein)
Scott Hall (#1/Zero) (thought deceased, but revealed to be alive in episode 50)
#24 (deceased/returned as a ghost)
|Base:||The Monarch's flying cocoon base|
Monarch henchmen, in particular the recurring characters #21 and #24, are supporting characters of the Adult Swim program The Venture Bros. They serve the supervillain Monarch and his partner Dr. Girlfriend. Monarch henchmen wear identical yellow butterfly suits, and aside from #21, #24, #1, #86, #87 and a wingless recruit in the first episode named Speedy, are virtually indistinguishable.
In the The Venture Bros. series, the henchmen of the Monarch are a parody of Bond villains' henchmen and various other supervillain henchmen. They are referred to only by an assigned number, are all out of shape, none are particularly clever, and they all have absolutely no ambition or initiative. According to #24 in "¡Viva los Muertos!", nine out of ten new Monarch henchmen don't survive a month. Most of them seemingly joined the Monarch because they had nothing better open to them or for them to do. A large number of henchmen are revealed to be suicidally depressed in "Showdown at Cremation Creek Part II". In "Home Insecurity", one henchman notes that he became a henchman as a somewhat dubious way to get over a drug addiction, and believes that hench work has enabled him to "turn his life around" (this comment is made mere hours before the same henchman is brutally murdered by a homicidal robot).
Monarch henchmen wear black tights with a golden-orange jerkin, golden-orange boots, gloves, wings, antennae, and elaborate goggle-masks with red lenses. Their belts have a butterfly-shaped buckle. None of the henchmen are capable of making the ensemble look impressive. The costume's wings are functional and enable flight, in addition to functioning as inflatable life preservers, but the incompetent henchmen are unaware of this fact until Brock Samson points it out. The only weaponry they ever carry are dart guns that carry poison or sedatives, which unfortunately prove largely ineffective against Brock Samson, whom they are consistently pitted against. Brock Samson has continually shown throughout the series as the henchmen's worst enemy and has massacred them in droves multiple times. He has killed so many to the point that they run away in terror at the mere sight of him. They routinely steal supplies from Sergeant Hatred.
The henchmen's relationship with their employer is complex. They are sent into battles where they are killed by the dozens (with the odd exceptions of #21 and #24) without much hope of achieving their objectives, and are even killed at a whim by the Monarch himself, yet they can have an almost bizarre parental relationship with the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend. The Monarch disciplines them as if they were children ("Tag Sale – You're It!"), and the Monarch once proclaimed to Dr. Girlfriend that the henchmen cried themselves to sleep at night ("Hate Floats") during her absence. Perhaps most surprising given the Monarch's status as a "villain" in the series, is how his henchmen are honestly very loyal to the Monarch and respect him. In "Home Insecurity", several henchmen commiserating over drinks reflect that many of them used to be unemployed or had drug problems, but joining the Monarch had an entirely positive impact on their lives. In the words of one henchman, "When I met The Monarch, I was hooked on crack cocaine, I get in all kinds of trouble: Monarch turned my life around."
When the Monarch was thrown out of The Guild of Calamitous Intent, all the henchmen left except for the recurring #21 and 24. Due to their inability to recruit new henchmen through the Guild, the remaining duo recruited new henchmen from inner-city thugs and gangsters. These new henchmen, being far more aggressive and equipped with actual firearms, quickly took over the Cocoon. It took Brock and the Phantom Limb to crush them on a rescue mission, which they did quite easily. By "Love-Bheits", the Monarch's supply of henchmen has apparently been replenished as part of the Monarch's henchmen-plan in the Guild, though these Guild-supplied henchmen are just as ineffective.
While the henchmen are for the most part incompetent and incapable of winning battles (at least under the Monarch's leadership), they do successfully manage to capture Brock at one point. Whilst drunk and attempting to get tattoos in "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)", they run into Brock and manage to subdue him, though not without the "predictable casualties". They then figure that the rest of the Venture family are easy pickings and capture them, too, only to learn that their actions are unwanted because the Monarch swore off "arching" Venture in order to wed Dr. Girlfriend.
Despite their incompetence, the Henchmen managed to put up a decent fight against a cadre of power-armored O.S.I troopers in "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)", taking down several in spite of inferior equipment and skill, albeit with heavy losses (In a later episode Dr. Venture claims hundreds died in this battle, a substantial number likely being the Monarch's henchmen).
The best equipped and most efficient of The Monarch's henchmen, he did not believe 21 and 24's constant assurance that he was going to die regardless of how skilled he was. He appears in "The Lepidopterists" in which he was sent to Spider-Skull Island with 21 and 24 to perform the Dark S-7 manoeuvre, disabling the security cameras so that The Monarch could escape in the cocoon undetected.
When henchmen 1, 21, and 24 entered Spider-Skull Island, 1 was properly equipped and prepared to discover the most efficient route to reach the lair. Despite his superior knowledge of technology and the capabilities of their costumes, 21 and 24 insisted that 1 was going to die because henchmen are interchangeable and expendable characters. Annoyed, 1 insists he won't die; he offers his real name (Scott Hall) as proof of his individuality. 21 tells him that it only seals his fate by setting up a later dramatic scene in which the survivor of the mission cries out the name and vows vengeance for his death. 1 is then almost immediately caught and beaten by Brock Samson, apparently to death. However, he reappears later as a villain codenamed "Zero", vowing revenge against all henchmen and subordinates.
#21 and #24Edit
Henchmen #21 and #24 seem to have a special place in the cocoon, partially because they have managed to survive so long while many other Henchmen have died, usually by what #21 calls 'Death by Samson'. The Monarch recognizes that the duo have a unique mixture of "expendable and invulnerable" in "The Lepidopterists", which is why he considers them excellent henchmen - though he is at times frustrated with some of their failures and ignorance. In the same episode, #21 and #24 themselves recognize their unusual ability to survive as henchmen, and mock a cookie cutter henchman sent with them about his impending death. The man does not take well to being labeled as such, even revealing his full name (Scott Hall) to dispute their claim, but the two just brush him off. True to form, said henchman is brutally beaten by Samson while #21 and #24 walk away without a scratch.
The Monarch does have something of a bond with #21 and #24, who have stuck with him even when other henchmen didn't. They accompany him and Doctor Girlfriend to a garage sale in "Tag Sale – You're It!". When #24 is wounded, the Monarch states openly that he likes him while signing his get-well card - though he does tend to remember him as 'the one who sounds like Ray Romano'. #21, #24 and the Monarch egg each other on playfully in "Tears of a Sea Cow", eventually teaming up to trash the Venture Compound for fun.
It's clear that #21 and #24 are, quite likely, best friends, and show a lot of camaraderie and spend time together - if only because most anyone else they've worked with has deserted, died, or been incapacitated. This becomes a factor in the Season 3 finale, "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)". The two, not relishing a battle with O.S.I. agents, hide in the Monarch-mobile while trying to figure out how to appear later as if they had participated in the operation.
Number 21, whose real name is Gary, was initially an amiable, overweight pop culture geek. He was kidnapped by the Monarch at age 15, but despite this he appears to have grown to enjoy his role as a henchman, even if no one tells him the finer points of their equipment. According to the deleted scenes from season 2, #21 had not seen his mother since his kidnapping while #24 lost his mother, found that his father married his ex-wife and that he has a gay brother. #21 was later seen living with his mother in "Hate Floats". He is voiced by Doc Hammer.
Along with #24, #21 was the only Monarch henchman to repeatedly survive battles against the Venture family. In "Tears of a Sea Cow", he noticed this, remarking, "We always survive when we should be killed. We're like...main characters or something." He and #24 are responsible for setting off the events of the first season when they publish a tell-all book entitled "The Flight of the Monarch", for which #21 unwisely used a picture of the Monarch himself as the cover. This set in motion a chain of events which led to the Monarch's breakup with Dr. Girlfriend and eventual imprisonment. He and #24 were the only henchmen to not abandon the Monarch when he was in prison, carrying out their boss's instructions by destroying the flying Cocoon (or at least tipping it on its side). They also take the mission to kill the Venture brothers, a goal they actually achieved, albeit accidentally.
In the second season, #21 is shown out of costume at a Henchmen Anonymous meeting. #24 comments that #21 bears a resemblance to Kevin Smith, and #21 mentions that #24 looks like Jerry Seinfeld with a unibrow. The pair rejoin the Monarch after he escapes from prison. They are tasked with recruiting new henchmen, and unwisely turn to inner-city thugs to fill the ranks. This backfires when the thugs (armed with actual firearms) mutiny and imprison the Monarch, Dr. Venture and the two original henchmen. #21 proposes using a stash of weapons hidden in his room to fight back, but they turn out to be nothing more than collectibles from various comic and film franchises. A replica sword from The Lord of the Rings is the most dangerous of the lot, but #21 refuses to ruin its mint condition by taking it out of the box. They choose to attempt a breakout with the contents of this unimpressive armory anyway, only to discover that Brock and Phantom Limb had already stormed the Cocoon and disposed of the new henchmen in the meantime.
A confrontation with Hank Venture in season 3 reveals that #21, ignorant of the cloning process that brings the Venture Brothers back to life, believes Hank and Dean are immortal. It is also revealed that #21 is one of the few subscribers to Dean's Venture Family newspaper, and has written Dean's advice column anonymously regarding his crush on Dr. Girlfriend. He does slip at one point and respond to one of Dr. Girlfriend's orders with "Yes, my love." However, no one seemed to notice.
In Season 4, #21 attempts to have #24 cloned by Dr. Venture by providing him with #24 remains and tries to unsuccessfully convince him that the mint-condition Marvel Comics#1 he offers as payment is worth five-hundred thousand dollars. He leaves the comic with Dr. Venture, telling him to look it up online, who proceeds to give the comic to Hank, and over the course of the episode, it is progressively damaged and abused to the point of worthlessness.
In the second episode of Season 4, which takes place some number of months since the end of Season 3, #21 is shown to have undergone a shocking transformation from a portly, likable slacker into a bulky, muscular menace. He appears to have abandoned most of his geeky personality in favor of a more ruthless, cold, and efficient demeanor (though it appears some of this is an act and he still discusses geeky things). His new look includes 12 o'clock shadow, cut-off sleeves, and assassin blades that retract into his gloves. Interestingly, he seems to have grown a connection, and possible friendship, with the Venture Brothers, or at least Hank, as seen in sixth episode of Season 4, "Self Medication."
In Season 4, episode 4, it is revealed that #21 secretly blamed himself for #24's death, and devoted his life to making The Monarch's previously inept squad of goons into an efficient, potentially lethal army, so that no more henchmen would die for his cowardice. This efficiency even extends to the cooking staff for the Monarch. The awed henchmen consider him a legend, and refer to him as "general", with a mix of admiration and fear. Though he has gained the responsibilities and presence of a #1 or #2, he insists to still be called #21 - the henchmen sometimes call him "Two-Ton Twenty One" when referring to him as a legendary figure, similar to how government agents treat Brock Sampson - indeed, in Pinstripes & Poltergeists he challenges Brock to a fistfight, and comes impressively close to winning. Even other super villains know of him and regularly accompanies The Monarch as his personal bodyguard.
Even the Monarch has recognized what #21 has done for his whole organization, even saying so to Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. He is also shown to be close to the Monarch (likely due to the fact that Monarch trusts him) having friendly conversions in "Return to Malice" & "Self-Medication". He is also shown to have a slight rivalry with Sgt. Hatred who once called him "Fatback".
In Operation: P.R.O.M., after realizing that Dr. Venture and his friends are good people, #21 quits his job with the Monarch.
Number 24 is usually seen together with #21, and is the only other henchman to achieve recurring character status. He seems to be slightly smarter than his portly companion and the more grounded of the duo. Prior to "henching," #24 was a laid-off mill worker. Christopher McCulloch voices #24. All full-fledged season one henchmen resemble #24 (when in costume), except for #21. In the second season, #24 gained a cleft chin, a minor alteration in his design.
Unlike #21, #24 originally took up henching voluntarily, choosing a career in costumed villainy because his GED did not allow him many careers; his only other option was to join the Army. He originally served with the Monarch as a henchman for Phantom Limb, but defected when the Monarch went into business for himself. The Monarch initially promised to make him #2, but didn't follow through. Like #21, he actually seems to enjoy being a henchman. Out of costume, he was once compared to Ray Romano, and is described by #21 as looking like "Seinfeld with a unibrow," although the unibrow is drawn out in later episodes.
A recurring gag is the fact that his car, a (mostly) powder-blue Nissan Stanza, is either stolen or damaged repeatedly. His car is stolen by a prostitute the Monarch had picked up when she made her escape from the Cocoon, though he ended up recovering it later. It is also crushed when the Cocoon crashes in the finale of the second season. The car was apparently purchased with loaned money from "Doug," #24's father, and he is still paying it off. According to #24 his ex-girlfriend married his father which has made things awkward.
He frequently has arguments with #21 about unusual hypothetical situations, such as whether Smurfs lay eggs ("Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean") or who would win a fistfight between Anne Frank and Lizzie Borden. In the DVD commentaries, the creators admit that in these arguments they always give #24 the crazier idea.
#24 quickly learns to fly after being informed that the wings on their costumes work (a lifelong dream) and retained a level-headed attitude during the henchmen's attack on Phantom Limb's Guild. He is aware of the Monarch's technologies far more in the third season, demonstrating them to #21 in "Tears of a Sea Cow", much to his friend's surprise. As with his partner, shown during the infiltration of Jonas Venture Jr's base, he believes that their recurring status among many missions gives them invincibility. The loss of a third Monarch henchman, who they had teamed up with, only reinforces their beliefs.
While there are no "ranks" in the cocoon, it is revealed that #24 is a commander.
At some point he acquired herpes, which was cured by Doctor Henry Killinger. As he has referred to issues of being alone and desiring female company, this may have impacted his social life as well.
In the Season 3 finale "The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II)", #24 becomes trapped in the Monarch-mobile when H.E.L.P.eR. steals it. His seatbelt fails to unbuckle while #21 is able to escape from the vehicle. H.E.L.P.eR. is rigged with an explosive device that is detonated by an unseen party, destroying the Monarch-mobile. #24's flaming severed head lands in the hands of #21.
In Season 4, episode 1, #21 is seen at different points in time trying to find someone to resurrect #24. He approaches Dr. Venture to ask if he'll clone him (and is told that while the new #24 will look the same, he won't have the same memories and therefore won't be the same person) and will in fact just be a baby, to which #21 responds that he will raise him as if he were his own son. He also asks Dr. Orpheus (a necromancer) if he will resurrect his friend but he refuses. #21 keeps #24's skull in his room and converses with it regularly, causing Dr. Girlfriend to become concerned about his mental state. At the end of "Return to Malice", a hand is seen checking names off of #21's revenge list just before he enters the room. #21, however, is revealed to be alone with the skull which he notices has somehow moved across the room. (These actions are later shown to have been undertaken by the Moppets).
In "Pinstripes & Poltergeists", #24 returns as a ghost now haunting #21, and the question of whether haunting is genuine or a product of Gary's imagination is left ambiguous for much of the season. Initially they continue their old relationship and #24 even seems to offer otherworldly assistance to #21 in his duties as henchman. Eventually, #21 grows tired of being haunted by his former friend, as it makes masturbation difficult. In the season finale, #21's encounter with the undead-sensitive Dr. Orpheus (who cannot perceive #24's ghost) seems to indicate that the haunting was a product of Gary's grief and denial, and #24's apparition vanishes as Gary finally breaks down in acceptance of his death.
#86 (demoted to #87 by #21)Edit
A henchman who appears discussing the relative fighting prowess of lake monsters The Loch Ness Monster and Champ with henchman #87 (in a manner similar to #21 & #24) in Return to Malice. This attracts the attention of 21 who tells him Ogopogo is the better monster (dismissing Loch Ness & Champ as hoaxes). He heckles 21 (unaware of who he is) but backs off when 21 activates his retractible blades. He is told by #87 who they were just talking to, #86 accidentally mentions the car bomb that killed #24 causing #21 to demote #86 to #87 (inadvertently promoting #87 to #86). The newly demoted #87 is then forced to report for leaf raking duty.
#87 (promoted to #86 by #21)Edit
A henchmen who appear discussing the relative fighting prowess of lake monsters The Loch Ness Monster and Champ with henchman #86 (in a manner similar to #21 & #24) in Return to Malice. This attracts the attention of 21 who tells him Ogopogo is the better monster (dismissing Loch Ness & Champ as hoaxes). He tries to stop #86 from heckling #21. He eventually tells #86 that they were just confronted by the legendary "Two Ton 21" causing #86 to accidentally mention the car bomb within earshot of #21. #87 is inadvertently promoted to #86 when #21 demotes #86 to #87. The newly promoted #86 is happy about his friends demotion because it means he no longer has leaf raking duty (and no longer has to worry about his leaf allergy).
He also makes a cameo in the episode "Self-Medication".
An over-enthusiastic henchman of the Monarch who is trying desperately to earn his wings. Was killed after Brock Samson grabbed him by the throat and never let go even while unconscious. Unable to break the iron-like grip, 24 shoots Speedy as a mercy-killing. He is mentioned by 24 in The Lepidopterists when 24 tells Henchman 1 that since he's a new guy that no one ever heard of, he will die ("Let me tell you a story about a little henchmen named Speedy."). He is seen again in Pinstripes and Poltergeists as #24's ghost friend along with President Woodrow Wilson.
- ↑ Season 2 DVD deleted scenes