Venture Bros: Now Museum, Now You Don’t!

What does Jonas Venture, Jr. want?  He has founded a museum in his father’s honor,hitcounter a father he never knew.  If I’m not mistaken, he has turned his own home, Spider-Skull Island, into that museum.

Spider-Skull Island, of course, has rich associations for Jonas Jr.  It was the Team Venture headquarters (the founding of which we see in the pre-title sequence), and therefore a kind of home for his father.  Many children end up living as men in their father’s house, and it’s an admirable characteristic to honor one’s father (something Rusty simply cannot do).  But most men, I think we would say, would stop short of actually turning their inherited dwelling into a literal museum.  A home is a place to live in, a museum is a place to house the items of the dead — almost a mausoleum.

Why does Jonas Jr. turn his home into a museum dedicated to his father?  I don’t think it’s merely that he worships Jonas Sr (although it’s certainly easier to worship a father who isn’t around — cf Christianity), and I don’t think it’s merely that he wants to stick a knife in Rusty’s side (how appropriate that Jonas Jr lives in the ex-headquarters of the — yikes! — Fraternity of Torment). 

I think Jonas, like many of the characters of the Venture universe, yearns for family.  Up to this point, he’s kind of been tossed on the scrap-heap of “old Venture characters”, making do on Spider-Skull Island with Sally Impossible and Ned and the Ghost-Pirates and so forth.  Having no love toward his brother (whom he tried to kill even before he was born), Jonas reaches out to his missing father to assemble a family from the members of the old Team Venture.  This is the point of the museum, is it not?   To bring together Colonel Gentleman, the Action Man and the rest, to assemble them for that “impromptu” photo-op, with himself at the center?  To, essentially, take his father’s place as the head of the Venture family.

Jonas Jr’s gesture brings up questions the purpose of organizations like Team Venture, organizations like the Fraternity of Torment, and the real-life counterparts of those organizations (the CIA, the Marines, the Navy SEALS, the Mafia — any organization that presents itself, first and foremost, as a “fraternity”).  Jonas Sr has no wife that we’ve seen so far, and is enormously absent with regards to his young son Rusty (his glib, facetious confession to Dick Cavett notwithstanding).  Jonas Sr, no doubt, founded Team Venture precisely to have the family he felt he didn’t have in “real life.”  If he felt Rusty was part of Team Venture, Rusty’s role in the team seems to have been primarily that of “hostage,” the family member who is always in trouble and therefore must always be “rescued.”  Men, it seems to me, leave their “blood” families specifically in order to join an artificial family.  The artificial family a man chooses may be the army, or academia, a street gang or a film crew — or it may be a globe-trotting gang of misfits and psychopaths adventurers.  Jonas Jr, finding his tossed-together set of Venture “remainders” wanting, decides to shoot for the big prize — patriarch.

(Action Man’s murderous rampage in the intro, shouting “Action!  Action!  Action!” as he shoots a helpless man repeatedly in the head, reminds me that shows like Jonny Quest, Scooby Doo and the others cited in this episode were used, in their initial runs anyway, as babysitters for children whose parents wanted to sleep in on Saturday mornings.  They became, in essence, surrogate parents and family members, teaching their lessons of violence, imperialism and incredibly bad parenting to a generation of wide-eyed moppets.  This is, of course, where Billy Quizboy’s fan worship comes in.  No doubt, Team Venture were Billy’s family growing up — as far as I can remember he’s never spoken about having parents or siblings — and his quivering desire to possess the team reflects that.)

(Oh, and how cruel is it that “Now Museum” features Team Venture selling autographs on the same weekend as the San Diego Comic-Con?)

(At first, the Jonas Venture Jr Museum of Jonas Venture seems like one colossal stab in the back to Jonas Jr’s big brother Rusty — but on closer inspection, Jonas’s impulse seems to have little to do with sibling rivalry.  It’s not that Jonas Jr is trying to “steal the spotlight” away from Rusty, Rusty’s whole problem is that he has no spotlight to begin with.  And it’s not that he’s trying to “take Rusty’s Place” as Jonas Sr’s son.  It seems more to me that Jonas Jr wants to take Jonas Sr’s place — consideration of Rusty’s feelings don’t seem to have occurred to him at all.  Rusty may feel slighted or insulted, but, as the old saying goes, you wouldn’t worry so much about what people think of you if you only knew how rarely they do.)

Now let’s look at Richard Impossible.  What did Richard do?  Richard, apparently, left his “blood” family to join Team Venture’s “Boys’ Brigade” as a kind of Snapper Carr figure.  Once he had grown to maturity, Richard married but then tried to combine his “real” family and his artificial family — he took his own blood relatives intothe world of adventure and, in so doing, turned them into hideous freaks and ruined their lives.  Ned, rendered into a drooling, walking callous seems happy enough, but Richard’s wife Sally could not stand Richard’s controlling mania and coldness (who’s the real walking callous?) and left him, ending up with, well, ending up with Jonas Jr, another calculating, controlling superscientist.

So Richard tried to wed his real family to his artificial family and the results were disastrous.  Now that Sally and the rest of the Impossible team have left him, Richard has been reduced to a shell of a man, haggard and unkempt, prone to drunkeness and desperation.  The cold, controlling genius of “Ice Station — Impossible!” is now a shattered wreck — he’s even lost his elasticity, literally his ability to “bounce back” — an apt visual metaphor.

Sally, having left Richard, is now chafing under the smug, condescending personality of Jonas Jr.  She’s chafing, but the Ghost Pirates have had quite enough.  They decide that they would rather live as miserable independent failures than as servants to the presumptuous, ambitious Jonas Jr.  They have taken the blood-family/artificial-family conundrum one step further – they have left their blood families, formed an artificial family, failed in the goals of their artificial family and have now joined a blood family again — only to find themselves, once again, urged to leave their blood family and re-form their artificial family again.

So: Jonas Jr, unhappy with the limits of his “blood” family, tries to re-form his father’s artificial family.  His father’s artificial family, who have apparently been wandering in the animated wilderness since Jonas Sr’s death, are only too happy to oblige (Colonel Gentleman’s off-set adventures are only the most alarming of the group — he may sound like James Bond, but he is apparently possessed of the soul of William S. Burroughs — a potent combination indeed).  Jonas Jr’s brother Rusty is put out, but Jonas doesn’t even seem to notice — he only criticises Rusty’s “Scooby Doo purple” suit (although Colonel Gentleman’s even more behind-the-times purple suit elicits no comment).  His gesture of reunion (with himself as patriarch) even includes the ex-tenants of the island, the Fraternity of Torment.

The Fraternity of Torment have had their artificial family destroyed (by Jonas Sr and Team Venture) but they, too, are more than eager to participate in Jonas Jr’s self-designed coronation.  Everyone is grasping for one last glimmer of that golden time that Jonas Sr represents, and Jonas Jr exploits that desire for all it’s worth.

The spoiler, of course, is Brainulo, who pretends to be the “doddering old man” at the reunion but is secretly its cunning usurper (how dispiriting it must be for Brainulo, a man from the distant future, to find himself elderly before he has ever been born).  Brainulo uses his massive mental powers not to start his robot Futuro but to cause the hidden fears and desires of the party guests to bubble to the surface.  It is perfectly in keeping with the Venture Bros universe that most of the guests have fears and desires wholly unsuitable to the task of wreaking havoc, and the one guest who does was ready to wreak havoc when he walked in the door anyway.

Jonas grasps for his moment, the Ghost Pirates rebel, the buried resentments of a generation boil to the surface in the shape of an Italian self-destruct mechanism (deus ex machina indeed!) and only Richard’s self-loathing, his despair at having been foolish enough to combine his real and artificial family and his inability to rebuild his life, “saves” the day.


65 Responses to “Venture Bros: Now Museum, Now You Don’t!”
  1. ndgmtlcd says:

    What? No reference to the Kim Possible mythos?

    • Todd says:

      I was going to put one in there, but found my impulse stoppable.

    • cucumberseed says:

      Wasn’t familiar enough to spot those. What do you mean?

      • Todd says:

        I think Mr. ndg is making an “Impossible” pun.

        • ndgmtlcd says:

          I find it amazing how Venture Bros covers so many of the traditional science fiction themes that were also covered in the Kim Possible series. I don’t think it’s plagiarism. I think it’s a question in both cases of a deep familiarity with all the popular aspects of science fiction, and the urge to do some fun art around it. That’s why I see something like Richard Impossible and “Ice Station — Impossible!” as being perhaps even more of a reference to Kim Possible’s family and adventures than to “Ice Station Zebra” or to BSG’s 1978 episode “Gun on Ice planet Zero”.

          But I’m not really sure about it, hence the questioning here and there.

          • blake_reitz says:

            Plus, there’s twins.

            Speaking of comparisons, i find their villain set-up similar as well. Neither is a rip on the other, but they use and subvert the same tropes to similar effect.

            Both “Arch-villians” are more concerned with hating their opponent then actually accomplishing their goals, both have a female cohort who does the real lifting (and provides snark), both are fixated (to some degree) on the protagonist’s father. Plus, villainy in both universes is a corporate affair, with temps and contracts and bored henchmen.

            The main difference, as I see it, is that Rusty is constantly dragged down by his past, where as Kim has no history to hold her back.

  2. selectnone says:

    as far as I can remember [Billy Quizboy]’s never spoken about having parents or siblings

    Back in the first season he mentioned “my mom calls me her little water-baby”, I wonder how that might fit in with his more recent character-devopments, if at all.

    Unless he’s referring to his on-the-road “stage-mom” Pete White, in which case… that’s kinda creepy 😉

  3. laminator_x says:

    The TV characters as surrogate family concept you mention for Master Billy also has some resonance with Peter White’s desire for Maggie Seaver, though in Peters case it takes more of an Oedipal turn.

  4. mitejen says:

    I absolutely love that Colonel Gentleman’s back. He’s just so much fun, and has rejuvenated my personal joy at stilted Sean Connery impersonations.

    I had a bad moment when I really thought the whole island would be destroyed, and ludicrously my first thought was ‘They can’t kill Pete White! NOT PETE WHITE!’ I never realized how much I care about that goofy albino.

  5. blake_reitz says:

    One moment I thought was very telling this episode: During the clip show of Jonas Venture, he is asked “What is your greatest invention?” and he responds “My son.”

    “My son.”

    It elects a big “awww” from the audience, but I thought it was hinting at something far more sinister. Other people have brought up Rusty’s lack of a mother, maybe this is the most solid clue yet that Rusty has no mother. The boys may not have been the first to be cloned over and over, and this might even explain some of Rusty’s genetic…oddities (like having a tiny sentient twin brother grow inside of you).

    Another thing: We see those hover-boots Rusty was trying to pawn to the military in the flashback. Has Rusty really created so little?

    And does Scare-rantula have seven fingers? What’s up with that?

    • Todd says:

      I’m guessing Scarantula has seven fingers (and a thumb) because of the whole “spider” thing.

      • smallerdemon says:

        Which brings up the entire question posed by Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot: Are exaggerated features really enough to define a monster? Or in this case, a villain. (Episode 424, Host Segment 2: Exaggerated physical features for monsters – “Is Torgo a monster?”)

        • blake_reitz says:

          Plus, he’s got other fingers. I mean, if he’s got 8 on each hand, then that’s 32 fingers. I’ve never seen a spider with that many fingers. Uh, or legs.

    • dougo says:

      That’s Scaramantula, which I assume is a reference to Scaramanga, though it could also be Scaramouche or something.

  6. I thought this one was really good.


    I never have anything to contribute to the discussion.

  7. I wonder why this episode didn’t air either immediately before or immediately after What Goes Down, because they seem like perfect complements: Museum gives us Jonas Jr.’s and pretty much the rest of the world’s perception of Jonas Sr. as the brilliant, caring super scientist, filtered through photo-ops and puff-piece interviews, whereas WGDMCU has Rusty sifting through the horrific failure his father swept under the rug.

  8. cwdhardin says:

    What does jonas jr. know?

    I’m wondering just how much of Rusty’s life J.Jr. was able to absorb while “in the womb”.Is he aware of the darker side of J.Sr. or only what he sees in the highlite reels.Seeing as J.Jr. has no past to look to to form and understand who he himself is all he has is the public perception of J.SR. to go by.and maybe thats why the gathering of those he believes knew his father best to find out more,or to recieve praise or recognitionas “youre so much like your dad” type of comments.

    • Todd says:

      Re: What does jonas jr. know?

      Jonas Jr not only advertises Sr as some kind of ideal dad, he manages to edit the footage to suggest that he’s an only child. He’s either trying to cut Rusty out of the deal or else he’s deep into his own psychopathology.

    • cdthomas says:

      Re: *Why* does jonas jr. know?

      How *did* he absorb so much knowledge from a drug-addled/sub-par student?

      How did he see anything? How could he see anything?
      Why does he have working eyes, since he was in the dark for a period far longer than the one needed to make infants permanently blind?

      How did he get both sets of teeth in, when he had nothing to chew?

      I know I’m past the ‘oh, never mind’ stage, but I’m wondering how his intellect survived conditions that would better suit Ned than a superscientist.

      • dougo says:

        Re: *Why* does jonas jr. know?

        There’s some speculation that Jonas Sr. somehow created Rusty without a mother; perhaps he created Jonas Jr. as well, engineered to grow eyes and intelligence (but not height or a left arm) while living inside Rusty into midlife.

  9. lolavavoom says:

    I can’t help but wonder where Rocket Impossible is in the midst of all this. In a world of convoluted father/son relationships, it would be interesting to see how all these would be father-figures treat Sweet Pea…I mean Rocket.

  10. Anonymous says:

    We’ve gotten a lot of hints dropped this year that Rusty’s not quite natural. Look how frail and spindly he is — how he bleeds when shot by a rubber bullet, much to Sgt. Hatred’s surprise — how Brock asks, in “What Goes Down Must Come Up,” whether Rusty’s broken his hip when he falls into the Venture subbasement. I think the odds of his clonehood are getting better all the time.

    I used to think J.J. was everything his brother wasn’t — brilliant, fundamentally kind and generous. Now I’m not so sure. In his own way, and despite his apparent success, J.J. seems a lot more like Rusty than I’d thought. He’s an ass to everyone around him without realizing it, although he’s more of a smiling, cheerful ass than Rusty’s more whiny, pessimistic style. He’s just as pathologically desperate to live up to a dad he never really knew. And like Rusty, he does have a few, isolated moments of decency; I think J.J. really did want to give Rusty his moment in the spotlight by inviting him up to speak at the podium.

    — N.A.

    • Todd says:

      Perhaps Jonas Jr was brilliant, kind etc when he was fresh out of the “womb”. But life has attacked him since then, as it has attacked all the Venture characters on their journeys from two-dimensional pop-culture characters to living, breathing neurotics.

      • Anonymous says:

        It doesn’t seem that he’s experienced anything to warrant such a change.I think that he is that way because he is truly his father’s son.We’re just now getting to know him better

        • mattyoung says:

          And he’s trying harder to become his father, to the detriment of his “real” family (Sally, the Captain, Ned) that’s right in front of him, but he can’t seem to appreciate. Instead, he’s choosing what he thinks should be his real family and lineage, since, unlike Rusty, he wasn’t there to see the havok it wreaks.

      • zaratustra00 says:

        One of the Venture Bros themes this season, along with ‘child abuse’, seems to be ‘nobody is perfect from up close’.

        • laminator_x says:

          Boy Adventurers!

          The flashbacks in this episode, along with the day-camp debacle in The Buddy System, hit an essential paradox in the Boy Adventurer idea: It seems great fun until you’re actually the one getting dropped into a tank of piranhas.

          In the flashbacks, Team Venture was clearly having a lot of fun foiling the Fraternity. Rusty? Not so much.

      • noskilz says:

        A good question might be if Jonas Jr’s behavior in this episode is typical of his day to day demeanor or just a result of so wanting his little shindig to go off perfectly that he winds up making an ass of himself rather than ensuring its success. It could certainly be one or the other, but JJ usually has seemed a reasonably decent sort(aside, perhaps, from his initial appearance.) I don’t know any mutant scientist-adventurers, but I’ve seen a number of nigh-botched parties, excursions, and vacations where a determination to realize some idealized plan of how matters should unfold really underscores the old line about the road to hell being paved with good intentions(mostly from the outside, thankfully.)

        I was going to float the idea that there seemed to be kind of a squandered opportunities angle to the episode, but that can probably be said of most of the episodes. It just seemed like several characters had the opportunity to improve their situations with no more than a little tact or attention to detail. In the end, it seems the only person, Impossible, who did manage to improve his standing may have done it by accident.

    • cdthomas says:

      I think the obvious truth is that Rusty’s far older

      than he lets on — either through genetic decay through repeated cloning or drug abuse or the strain of birthing his brother for four decades or simply not having any release from the cortisol cascade of being archenemies’ favorite pincushion, courtesy of his adventuring dad. *Every* technology Rusty uses was courtesy of his dad, and he hasn’t innovated one bit. That also includes cloning tech. Maybe he can take cancer out of the genetic pattern of a boy he killed through gross negligence, but the tech must be like an Easy Bake Oven — so simple even he can’t frak it up for the boys’ clones.

      Maybe Operation Rusty’s Blanket is perpetual care for the clones named Rusty, as a trade for American government access to Jonas Sr’s tech, as part of his bequest. There’s no other reason OSI would stay involved for decades, if it weren’t for a legal agreement saying they must take reasonable care of Rusty.

      It might be the only truly decent thing Jonas Sr. has ever done.

      When Rusty says he can’t sleep for all the nightmares his dad made him live through, take him at his word. Like the child made monster in PEEPING TOM, he’s not kidding.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: I think the obvious truth is that Rusty’s far older

        maybe the only reason he wanted to make sure Rusty was safe because he knew that Rusty was a host to his clone J.Jr.which is really J.Sr….maybe

      • zaratustra00 says:

        Re: I think the obvious truth is that Rusty’s far older

        Rusty is not stupid, if you watch the whole show, he’s just incredibly -lazy- and has a willingness to cut corners that ends up making everything he does explode on his face.

        • Anonymous says:

          Re: I think the obvious truth is that Rusty’s far older

          For me, the VB story pleasure comes from how it blurs the boundaries between worlds and concepts that actually require to be kept seperate if just to make their own sense and genre – cartoon vs reality, screen-memory and real memory, robot, clone and human, a son and a tumorous parasitic growth… a father vs a father-figure and on and on. The most obvious one has been substituting fallible, dubious “good” superheroes for the possibility of actual heroes. (Going after Castro and partying with Kennedy indeed….)

          Rusty’s childhood “adventure” is that he was exploited by his father, and that forms the symbiotic link between televisual fiction and a cognitive childhood one. The results are traumatic. So Rusty is the center which all this orbits around. This is the son who has grown up /survived / in recuperation waking up with nightmares over several hundred traumatic “episodes” thanks to Dad.

          But Rusty’s survival strength is precisely by being a misanthrope, which is often confused for conceited or self-centered, if one doesn’t look at the larger story.

          For him the world he experienced has no heroism, so it can’t in turn have a “super” version of that. He’s not a believer, so it makes him in some ways, MORE super than the others. He sees just “deformed” people as he commented in the museum. So from his view, we mostly see the other shades and colors, the “perverse” mistakes, accidents, damaged lifestyles rather than any actual heroic acts.

          VB stories need a self-enclosed setting with limits, to bring these people together outside of the actual world. Now it’s JJs “museum”. JJ trying to re-center the story around himself – he went too far, hubris. He can’t succeed. Even the members of Venture’s old Team don’t recognize him with respect, but only his father’s history where THEY are pictured. It’s the museum gone from history to nostalgia to narcissism. As we see the melee ends with the Cavett-interview of Jonas calming everyone down, JJ suavely trying to segue out of that and introduce Rusty, but who is – what else – absent, left, a non-believer in this convention (who he also blames for killing his father oddly enough)

          So in the end, JJ is missing the kernel of the real trauma, that would authorize his museum, and he is missing the years growing up in episodic adventure-nightmares that is the stuff that makes Rusty “Rusty”. Rusty in turn, is missing the ego-driven narcissism JJ has to catch up and be “the son” of Jonas.

          But the evidence this season, is that Rusty in certain clinches still shows he has the ability to make certain important decisions. He didn’t accept killinger’s offer to become the arch of his brother. So he does know what he is NOT able to identify with for power alone. And yet paradoxically, he also didn’t stick around now to “save” his brother, and his pompous vanity museum, and he told Brock, since “he’s family”…and they laughed.

          • Todd says:

            Re: I think the obvious truth is that Rusty’s far older

            The only thing I would add to this is that Rusty’s experience vis-a-vis Jonas Sr is not unique — every son is scarred by the experiences he has with his father, every son is kept awake at night by the recriminations and regrets brought on by memories of his father. Rusty’s memories are just a little more colorful than most sons’.

            • Anonymous says:

              every son is… BUT

              But then again, there is also a good probability a mother is involved, and that softens the equation – or worsens it.

              • Todd says:

                Re: every son is… BUT

                Which makes the mystery of Rusty’s mother that much more intriguing.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Re: every son is… BUT

                  Still in all this family construction, one episode stands out as a bit of an oddity now: When the boys died, why did Rusty run away? chased by Brock to the Himalayas, to some opium den, to a techno rave etc….to be “free”, as he said, and he was going to “start a family” with the girl he was dancing with until Brock dragged him away…. Why all that if he knows – and has done before – that he will just recreate the clone/sons? It’s almost like he realized something that he doesn’t wnat to confront in that process, a trigger that went off.

          • Anonymous says:

            Re: I think the obvious truth is that Rusty’s far older

            Clearly, both Jonas and Rusty are defined by their father; both are living in, and in some ways, trying to live up to, his shadow. But increasingly, it looks like J.J. is running after his father, trying to catch up with the good things he thinks his dad represented. Rusty, in contrast, is running away from his dad, trying to escape all the bad memories and hypocrisy that his father represents for him.

            When J.J. builds a fantastic new gizmo, it’s an act of devotion, an attempt to become the great man his father was. When Rusty scavenges some old invention of his dad’s for parts, or to snag a fat military contract, it’s an act of spite, an attempt to consume and destroy one more hated piece of his childhood (for cash!)

            — N.A.

  11. cwdhardin says:

    i wonder if Jonas Sr. would have treated Rusty any differently than Jonas Jr.treated Rusty.Jonas Jr.seemed to be a pretty good all around guy,(of course after the initial wanting to kill his brother)but now he’s coming across as jerk the more you get to know him.Maybe Jr. is Sr. in some kind of reincarnation experiment like the boys,but doesn’t remember it like in “Total Recall” .mmm nah

  12. misterseth says:

    Interesting museum, to a father the founder (JJ) never knew, and, who in turn, from a son, the father (Jonas Sr.) never knew he had.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, remember of course that J.J. is a man with a LOT to compensate for. He was born a malformed parasite, and despite his debonair ways and great intellect, he’s still a freakish midget with a robot arm. Just like his drive to be financially and scientifically successful, I view his desperate desire to connect with his father — well, to connect himself to his father’s legacy — as an attempt to validate his very existence, to prove that he’s something more than just genetic leftovers. Once a parasite, I suppose, always a parasite.

      Someone mentioned Rocket Impossible earlier. Given Rocket’s red hair, is it possible he’s J.J.’s son, conceived via Rusty’s body during one of those blackouts in which J.J. was “driving” Rusty before they were separated? There’s a lot we don’t see during “Ice Station Impossible,” and Sally Impossible seems _awfully_ attached to Dr. Venture after that, for reasons beyond mere semi-psychotic desperation…

      — N.A.

  13. mattyoung says:

    Their Three Dads

    I think this episode highlights everything that makes Rusty such a great and sympathetic character despite his utterly despicable nature. He absolutely refuses to give his father’s world any of the dignity it demands but doesn’t deserve.

    Hell, even when he’s being chased through the compound basement by his father’s “children” onto a nuclear missile, he can’t stop himself from mocking them.

    His motives may not be pure, but dedicating one’s life to the slavish advancement of pointless super-science doesn’t interest him. Which is probably a good thing for the rest of the world since the only things he’s succeeded at are villain-worthy exploits (keeping alive a dog with no skin, raising an army of the undead…). In a way, his general failure as a super-scientist may be his most worthwhile achievement.

    J.J., having had no actual experience with his father, is seeking to emulate the man in newsreel footage and photo ops, because he hasn’t experience the real horror of that life that Rusty has. I think by now it’s safe to say that Rusty as he is embodies far more of the “real” Jonas Venture Sr. than either Rusty or J.J. would be comfortable to admit.

    • Anonymous says:

      A museum to manufactured memories

      I think this episode continues the Rusty-centric cycle, a further fleshing out of his character and psyche, and although he remains sidelined, he interjects his points in specific moments and stays out of the mess otherwise. He knows he is central to the museum’s story (he mentions all the episodes over all the years HE had to put up with and which he still wakes up from nightmares over), and also he goes up to the Team Venture members and essentially blames them for killing his father and now also their comrade – who shows up to punch him out and prove at least that wrong.

      He and Brock have nothing to identify with in this re-enactment of family history, but watch on the sidelines. Rusty comments on the concluding melee, so this is what it looks like – seems sort of obvious when you aren’t in the center, to which Brock answers “welcome to my world”. That’s a kind of self-awareness showing…

      As fo Jonas Jr. he seemed awfully close to Phantom Limb in his new atitude, the arriveste aspirations of “upper class” tastes, the folding napkins in triangles, when to serve what, etc…his treatment of his trophy girlfriend or his pirate-workers. I kept thinking more of Phantom Limb at least, rather than Jonas sr.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: A museum to manufactured memories

        Also – a nice touch, history vs history erupts – the psychological projections induced in everyone that cause the melee, are only soothed by the large screen, edited screen projection of sentimentality, of nostalgia, of “DAD”. Which Rusty seemed immune to on all points.

    • craigjclark says:

      Re: Their Three Dads

      His motives may not be pure, but dedicating one’s life to the slavish advancement of pointless super-science doesn’t interest him. Which is probably a good thing for the rest of the world since the only things he’s succeeded at are villain-worthy exploits (keeping alive a dog with no skin, raising an army of the undead…).

      And don’t forget the Ooh Ray and the Joy Can.

  14. kornleaf says:

    i seem to recall quizboy talking about his mother.
    how she called him her “little water baby”

  15. kornleaf says:

    re: richard

    “So Richard tried to wed his real family to his artificial family and the results were disastrous. Now that Sally and the rest of the Impossible team have left him, Richard has been reduced to a shell of a man, haggard and unkempt, prone to drunkeness and desperation. The cold, controlling genius of “Ice Station — Impossible!” is now a shattered wreck — he’s even lost his elasticity, literally his ability to “bounce back” — an apt visual metaphor.”

    he also lost his awesome, commanding voice…

  16. jbacardi says:

    I’m going to put on my Incredibly Picky Nerd Hat to let you know that Jonny Quest originally aired in prime-time, unlike Scooby-Doo and the rest.

    I’ll now remove the Hat and finish the post.

  17. jbacardi says:

    …and I’ll return for one more observation- I found Rusty and Brock’s bemused reaction to the whole mess very amusing, and found myself saying “Good for you, Rusty” as they left.

    Strange, considering how much of a prick Rusty’s been since episode one…

  18. igorxa says:

    ok, here’s my crazy idea. when sr. calls rusty his best “invention” what he really means is rusty is sr.’s clone. it’s not perfect (none of the clones to date are perfect), and somehow everything that was jonas sr. split itself right down the middle so that each of the brothers is half of their father. one being inside the other is further evidence of jonas’ failure. not only did sr. fail at raising his son(s), he failed at even making them.

    and if this is true, we’re not going to find out till the end.

  19. kornleaf says:

    i kinda like how rusty fluctuates from living off of his dad’s fame to despising/living in the shadow of it to being pissed and slighted at being left out of it yet doing rather nothing of his own to shine…

  20. kornleaf says:


    also like how the action man talks about “arching” castro…
    interesting use of words.

    • zqadams says:

      Re: p.s.

      Darnit, you beat me to what I was going to bring up. I think it ties in neatly to the whole corporate pointlessness of the Guild for America’s foremost science-heroes to go play the heel “for a couple of hours” in an enemy state. Would the Guild approve of such a thing? Or is sending non-union supervillains to a Communist nation JFK’s ultimate middle finger to Castro?

      (Also, the pedant in me feels the need to point out that while Dr. I turned Ned into a giant callus, he was already a drooling mentally-handicapped man-child when the accident occurred.)

      • Todd says:

        Re: p.s.

        I’m glad somebody’s paying attention.

      • dougo says:

        Re: p.s.

        But Action Man and Team Venture weren’t supervillians. Presumably Castro was one of their archvillains, and “arching” as a verb is symmetric (a la “archenemies”).

        • zqadams says:

          Re: p.s.

          They weren’t supervillains in the US. I’m sure that that early in the revolutionary regime, the Cubanos saw them very differently. Besides, they were proactively attacking Castro–in the Ventureverse, that seems to be the sole domain of the baddies.

  21. sideshowratt says:

    At the risk of revealing myself as a bad fan who hasn’t watched season 1 in a loooong time, I think Ned and Cody are Sally’s relatives, not Richard’s. So he has no blood family that we’ve seen thus far.

    As for Scaramantula being polydactyl – I *think* it’s because his eight-fingered, hirsute hand is evocative of a spider, which is why he picks the spider character. The spider-nose is rubber, as Brainulo tells us (“He should be wearing a rubber ass on his face instead.”).

    • Todd says:

      Of course, Ned and Cody are Sally’s relatives. I wasn’t saying that Richard married his sister. Although that would make theirs one of the more relatively normal marriages in the Venture universe.

  22. (Colonel Gentleman’s off-set adventures are only the most alarming of the group — he may sound like James Bond, but he is apparently possessed of the soul of William S. Burroughs — a potent combination indeed)
    I want this spinoff so badly.