It took DC Comics and Marvel Comics a long time to construct out the advanced, interconnected, self-referential universes that they finally mined for his or her film tasks. It took The Venture Bros. creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick three seasons to create a equally wealthy world filled with heroes and villains. And then, within the season 6 premiere, they did it once more, within the equal of one in all DC’s timeline-resetting disaster storylines. At the tip of season 7, the showrunners lastly performed the hand they’d been holding because the starting: the eponymous Venture Bros. weren’t who they appeared to be. The Venture universe was nearly to enter its greatest spin but. And then, with little greater than a few tweets, the present was abruptly completed, like a world erased by the Anti-Monitor, or eaten by Galactus. Except Hammer and Publick didn’t get to jot down the ending.
Much has been manufactured from how fortunate The Venture Bros. was to get a lot time to make its mark. Initially a Jonny Quest satire that morphed into a large, self-aware parody of nerd tradition, superheroes, and the delicate masculinity of man-children decided by no means to develop out of an limitless sport of high-stakes cosplay, Venture Bros. stretched out to seven seasons over 16 years. But what good is that point if all of it ends in a whimper? The present got here to a satisfying conclusion within the season 4 finale. Why let it stay on, solely to kill it simply as a brand new and closing period gave the impression to be starting with season 8?
Last season, The Venture Bros. performed its ace within the gap: it revealed to a long-suspecting viewers that the titular “Venture Bros.” weren’t essentially boy-turned-teen adventurers Hank and Dean Venture in any case. The title might not have even referred to their father, anti-protagonist Doctor Thaddeus S. Venture, and his secret long-lost brother Jonas, Jr. The actual Venture brothers could also be Doc and his archenemy, the Monarch. The reveal has been hinted at for years: the character designs for Doc and the Monarch are eerily related, and a handful of Easter eggs strewn in regards to the collection hinted at a childhood relationship that neither one appears to recollect.
Season 7, constructing on the present’s labyrinthine mythology, answered the lingering query: the Monarch, né Malcolm Fitzcarraldo, can also be a son of the legendary (and legendarily terrible) super-scientist Jonas Venture, Sr. An alternate future model of Doc even coincidentally visited the Monarch, referring to him by his first title, and hinting at a future the place the bitter frenemies turned allies, and even buddies.
The collection was additionally transferring towards a brand new relationship between Hank and Dean, brothers whose lives have drifted aside, and whose ties might have been irrevocably severed after Dean slept with Hank’s girlfriend in season 7’s penultimate episode. Could Hank and Dean develop into the subsequent Doc and Monarch, one other era of archnemeses fated to play out the poisonous patterns their grandfather set in movement by?
We might by no means know, and for followers, that’s a criminal offense far better than any perpetrated by a member of the collection’ villainous forms, the Guild of Calamitous Intent. Allowing a present to patiently roll out a complete universe over seven seasons, then killing it simply because it’s bringing its characters’ arcs to their pure conclusions is like stopping MCU Phase Three proper earlier than Avengers: Endgame.
In reality, it’s worse. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a big-budget blockbuster sport, by and thru. The Venture Bros., alternatively, had actual coronary heart. As critics have famous when analyzing this present, Hammer and Publick clearly developed real affection for his or her characters over the present’s center seasons. As a outcome, the way in which they instructed tales in later seasons turned much less hinged merely on loopy premises and pop-culture references. While they by no means tossed these issues apart, they more and more constructed on tender, intelligent character growth and the skilled world-building that provides the present its current fame.
Someone at Adult Swim appears to know this — one other tweet after the cancellation announcement suggests Cartoon Network is making an attempt to work with the showrunners to search out one other technique to proceed the story. But it’s laborious for followers to imagine, after seeing the community abruptly finish different beloved properties. (Metalocalypse, anybody?) Adult Swim let Hammer and Publick break tons of TV guidelines round collection construction and season launch timing. So why couldn’t they get even a particular two-hour finale episode to ship the showcase proper?
Maybe they are going to. Maybe the collection will transfer to HBO Now, or perhaps a made-for-TV film will wrap every little thing up in spectacular and possibly semi-disastrous vogue in 2022. But for now, The Venture Bros. is completed, whereas the story is something however. And the present that ushered in the golden age of sequential storytelling in grownup animation deserves higher. Venture Bros. made reveals like Rick and Morty, Archer, and BoJack Horseman not just possible, but plausible. Hammer and Publick’s collection has arguably been as influential as The Simpsons earlier than it, if not practically as heralded. It’s earned its finale. Go (discover a technique to make it occur) Team Venture!