With it’s Fifth Season having just begun, The Venture Bros. is an Adult Swim staple that started as a Johnny Quest satire before ballooning into a universe filled with absurdity and obscure pop culture references on such grand a scale that it would give both Marvel and DC Universes a run for their bright-spandexed space-money.
I must admit that out of all of the top ten lists I have ever written, this one was the most difficult, as with the exception of maybe one episode parodying The Manchurian Candidate, there isn’t a weak link on this Venture Industries chain. So if you need a crash course in the Venture Universe, go sit down and watch them all because I could’ve honestly just thrown the entirety of Season Two into this list and I wouldn’t be wrong. Then once you realize how you’ve been missing out on this visual opium, turn on the DVD commentary and get lost in what I would consider my favorite cartoon of all time. Otherwise, check out the top ten episodes of The Venture Bros.:
10. Ghosts of The Sargasso
In this gem from Season One, The Venture family enters a traditional Johnny Quest-ian adventure in the Bermuda Triangle, trying to recover a downed experimental aircraft from the sixties.
While Doc strokes his own ego on the ocean floor, Brock and the boys are ambushed by a band of pretend-ghost pirates, who had been essentially floating in the Bermuda Triangle for decades basically doing nothing. Eventually a real ghost appears on the bow of the ship, screaming excessively and…well, screaming excessively.
The true highlight of the episode however comes in the opening, as we witness a failed Team Venture experimental test flight of one Major Tom, in a sequence where literally every line is from a David Bowie song, foreshadowing the series’ devotion to the homo superior.
Also of significance is a scene where Brock claims that he hid the keys to the experimental Venture X-2 boat up his derrière, prompting the faux ghost pirates to wonder if he is bluffing or not, and how to properly investigate. Things do not go well for anyone involved, really.