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The Five Most Mentally Unstable Ladies of “Venture Bros.”

Following the misadventures of a family of fourth generation super scientists and the villains and associates they have picked up along the way, Adult Swim’s The Venture Bros., created by Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick, has been treating its fans to an intelligent pastiche of adventure fiction and the teen sleuth genre since 2004. With each passing season, the popular animated series, which exposes the bleak future of boy detectives and the failed dreams of the 1960s space race, adds to a constantly evolving collection of characters from the male-dominated catalog of secret agents, boy geniuses and action figures.

Women however, are frequently portrayed as, albeit appropriately for the tone of the program, cynical sex workers, emotionally disturbed shut-ins and hapless bystanders. However, there are a handful of female characters, all of which that walk the line of masculinist fantasy and post-feminist strength, that have risen to the top as fan favorites. For those of you who need a refresher before The Venture Bros. returns for its fifth season tonight at midnight, here’s a recap of the show’s previous seasons through the eyes of these sometimes misunderstood, always popular ladies of the Venture-verse.

Dr. Girlfriend
Occupation: Number Two for The Mighty Monarch
AKA: Lady Au Pere, Queen Etheria, Dr. Fiancee, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch
First Appearance: Episode 101: Dia De Los Dangerous!
The lover/second in command for Dr. Venture’s relentless arch-nemesis, The Monarch, and the most prominent of all the female characters in the series, she has had a string of male bosses intent on exploiting her sexuality rather than take advantage of her professional acumen and top level efficiency. Due to her bass-y, gravel inflected voice her actual gender is called into question on numerous occasions, including rumors that she is MTF with a surgically implanted baboon’s uterus.

In Episode 102, Mid-Life Chrysalis she goes undercover for The Monarch to seduce Dr. Venture and infect him with a deadly serum, only to ultimately be slut-shamed by her boyfriend and driven back into the arms of her old boss, Phantom Limb. After some soul searching, she and The Monarch reunite and are granted duo-ship by the evil-doers bureaucracy The Guild of Calamitous Intent. It appears that their villainous bliss is put in jeopardy when in, episode 414, Assisted Suicide, she makes out with Henchmen #24, but when The Monarch finds out, he simply shrugs it off, pointing out that bad guys are pretty much all swingers.

Sally Impossible
AKA: The Visible Woman
First Appearance: Episode 109: Ice Station: Impossible
Rival scientist, Professor Impossible’s long oppressed wife, she is kept hidden from the outside world and her husband’s investors due to her invisible skin — a result of one of his laboratory accidents. Trapped in a loveless marriage and desperate for sexual intimacy she is constantly looking for a way out through the few men she comes in contact with, like in episode 205, 20 Years to Midnight where she mistakes Dr. Venture’s self-serving behavior for affection and desire to rescue her from her imprisonment.

Eventually, by episode 309, Now Museum – Now You Don’t, she is living with Dr. Venture’s parasitic twin brother, JJ, on Spider Skull Island as part of his defense team. Her absence from her husband’s life drives him into a deep depression and leaves him in such a low emotional state he can be recruited into the new evil guild, The Revenge Society as seen in episode 411, Every Which Way But Zeus.

Molotov Cocktease
Occupation: Siberian Mercenary
Group Affiliation: The Black Hearts
First Appearance: Episode 104: Eeney, Meeney, Miney… Magic!
A deadly opponent of the Venture family’s bodyguard/nanny, Brock Samson, the two are locked in a pre-coital tête-à-tête that, due to her titanium-clad chastity belt, she ultimately always wins. She is truly the only woman he has ever loved, which is proven in episode 207, Assassinanny, where she discovers while babysitting the Venture family in Samson’s absence, that he kept her eye as a memento.

Publick and Hammer make up for Molotov’s shameful underuse in the show by weaving her into major plot points in the most clandestine of ways; take for example episode 313, The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together, pt. 2, when she stages an elaborate assassination attempt on Samson in order to guarantee success for her own mercenary squad, The Black Hearts. In the season 4 finale, Operation P.R.O.M she reveals that while she is no longer chaste, her heart belongs to her new boyfriend, Monstroso and she lets herself fall to her apparent death rather than stay with Brock.

Triana Orpheus
Known Relatives: Dr. Byron Orpheus (father) Tatyana (mother)
First Appearance: Episode 104: Eeney, Meeney, Miney… Magic!
The daughter of the magical Dr. Orpheus, she and her father rent an apartment on the Venture property after her mother left them for a young necromancer named The Outrider. She is unaware that, because of her father’s involvement in the dark arts, her own sanity is teetering on the brink of instability, this is made most clear in episode 204, Escape to the House of Mummies where he alludes to having to wipe her memory every time she goes into her bedroom closet, which is actually a porthole to “the burning nowhere”.

When faced with a future of being married to Dean and mothering his deformed offspring in episode 407, The Better Man she decides to go and live with her mother, where she finds a new boyfriend, a dreamboat paraplegic named Raven.

Colonel Hunter Gathers
Occupation: Secret Agent
First Appearance: Episode 207: Assassinanny
Brock Samson’s government agent mentor, after dedicating his life to the secret agency OSI, he undergoes gender reassignment surgery to escape assassination after he goes AWOL.

He is frequently seen providing professional and spiritual guidance to Samson in flashbacks and, in the case of episode 211, Showdown at Cremation Creek, pt 1, a peyote induced fever dream. After spending some time working undercover as an exotic dancer and in an all-female mercenary squad, it is later revealed that he had been undercover for the splinter terrorist group S.P.H.I.N.X. all along, where Samson rejoins him as his charge. Though he is no longer living life as a woman (from the waist up, anyway) he reveals in episode 415, The Silent Partners that he misses his breasts: “Inside of me there’s a woman screaming to be heard!”

The Venture Bros. season five debuts on Sunday, June 2, at midnight on Adult Swim.

  • Roberto Severino

    Very cool stuff. I sort of watched bits and pieces of Adult Swim growing up, but never really watched The Venture Brothers that much at all. I heard Stephen DeStefano does some marvelous work for the show, but thanks for giving us a nice summary of the female characters on the program. Makes me wanna watch it right now.

  • Lazy Student

    Man, I would have never guesed so many spoilers would actually get me interested in watching this show!

  • Eman

    Is Gathers a woman again?

    • GamerBot

      On the contrary. Gathers has been a man since the end of the first episode of Season 4, “Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel”.

  • Sam Pourasghar

    Hmmm… good idea for a topic, but I gotta disagree with these choices for the prestigious “Five Most Mentally Unstable Ladies of Venture Bros”. Sure, Sally Impossible is definitely in there, but the first one that should jump to mind is Hank and Dean’s (possible) mother Myra Brandish. The other main contender for the batshit craziest lady of the lot could easily be the computer program “Mother” who controls the facility below the compound. Dr. Tara Quymn’s bodyguard Ginnie is flat out the scariest for violent mood swings, and finally Patty (the Daphne-esque character from the Scooby Doo style episode) was probably the most detached from reality thanks to the mental abuse she suffered at the hands of Ted (Freddy).

    Dr Girlfriend/Dr Fiance/Dr Mrs The Monarch is likely to be the most logical and stable of the lot and Molotov is a ruthless killer but still quite mentally focused. Triana does suffer from confusion because of the memory wiping her father performs everytime she discovers the being that lives in her closet, however the rest of the time she’s the most normal kid around. Hunter may have appeared unstable, but he always knew what was going on. So yeah, there ya have it. SPHINX!

    • Elana Pritchard

      SPHINX! *snap

    • lddk

      Agreed. Perhaps a better title would be “Most Badass Women”, though Ginnie may need to be in there somewhere for sake of sheer toughness.

      “Most Mentally Unstable” just seems like an odd title for this piece.

    • DarlieB

      Agreed. Dr Girlfriend is not unstable.

  • Elana Pritchard

    I think the Venture Bros. is the best show on television. Love the characters, love the storyline, love how they treat the audience as intelligent human beings… can’t get enough!

  • Elana Pritchard

    “Here’s all you have to know about men and women:
    women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is
    that men are stupid.”

    George Carlin

    • Axolotl

      Aww, I think men can be crazy too.

  • Ms. Dr. Girlfriend is no longer number two- she and The Monarch are a co-arching team.

  • Inkan1969

    Congratulations for the season premiere. Jackson Publick and the others showed their incredible talent at creating compelling and three dimensional characters, and staging expertly timed comedy.

  • Lexi

    Wow, I really disagree with this article. I certainly don’t feel like most of these choices for “mentally unstable characters” are actually mentally unstable except for maybe Sally (and not even so much any more). There are also a great number of mentally unstable male characters in the show, so it’s not as though there’s some double standard going on. No, this article sounds like it was written by someone who’s just read descriptions or a summary of Venture Bros. and is trying to write an article that will get people’s attention, as opposed to someone who’s actually watched every episode of the show and gets it.

  • Cassandra Gbiv

    Sidenote: Dr. Girlfriend’s voice was touched upon because of how much she used to drink and smoke.

  • Eric Paulsen

    Good article, but minor point – Dr. Mrs. the Monarch made out with Henchman “Two-Ton” 21 (aka. Gary), not Henchman 24 who was dead-ish at the time.

    Henchman 24: Come on! They have one female servicing a large group of males. That implies a species that lays eggs.

    Henchman 21: Oh my God, you’re crazy! They’re so obviously mammals!

    Henchman 24: Please! She’d be in estrus 24/7 if she didn’t lay eggs.

    Henchman 21: Smurfs don’t lay eggs! I won’t tell you this again! Papa Smurf has a f**king beard! They’re mammals