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Questions are answered and truths are revealed. Learn how Henchman 21 copes with life without 24. See what happens when Brock and the Venture family are forced to part ways. Discover the final fate of H.E.L.P.eR. And all the while, the balance of the free world hangs in the hands of Dean Venture, who must kill Hitler.
The first half of the Venture Bros.' fourth season might be subtitled The Venture Bros. Grow Up, since so much change is afoot for the hapless Hank and Dean Venture, their scientist dad Rusty, and bloodthirsty bodyguard Brock Samson; naturally, most of these formative moments are utter disasters, as befits the Venture family, and all of it delivered in the most inventive and frequently hilarious ways. Season 4 opens with the Venture compound under assault and Samson voiced by Patrick Warburton out of commission due to an explosion; Samson eventually rejoins his old outfit, the G.I. Joe-esque SPHINX, which requires the reformed arch-villain Sgt. Hatred voiced by Christopher McCulloch, a.k.a. series cocreator Jackson Publick to step in and mind the boys. Meanwhile, Dean Michael Sinterniklaas is reluctantly groomed by his father James Urbaniak for a life in super-science, and Hank McCulloch searches for a father figure to replace Brock. Candidates include Hatred and Captain Sunshine Batman regular Kevin Conroy, whose interest in Hank is decidedly prurient. There are also surprises afoot for necromancer Dr. Orpheus Steven Rattazzi and daughter Triana Lisa Hammer, as well as the Monarch's Henchman, 21 cocreator Doc Hammer, and the rise of the delusional Phantom Limb Urbaniak as a threat to the Ventures. It's a lot to digest, so newcomers are advised to backtrack and check out the first three seasons before diving in; Venture vets, however, will revel in the razor-sharp dialogue, the skewering of pop-culture sacred cows, and the terrific vocal performances by every member of the cast, with Urbaniak, Rattazzi, and McCulloch as standouts. Best of all, the rest of the season, which includes one of the series' most clever outings, the noir-inspired "Everybody Comes to Hank's," is still to come. Extras include witty, informative commentary by Publick and Doc Hammer on every episode, as well as a battery of deleted scenes and a very amusing abandoned cold opening that finds 21 ruining the Monarch's mock invasion of the Venture compound. Buyers should know that the eight episodes presented on the single-disc set are uncut. --Paul Gaita