Monarch henchmen


Monarch henchmen

VBGroup


caption = Henchmen #24 (left) and #21 (right).
team_name = Henchmen of The Monarch
debut_ep = "The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay" (as a group)
"Dia de Los Dangerous!" (#24)
"Home Insecurity" (#21)
purpose = Doing the bidding of The Monarch
team_status = Active (#21 & dozens) Deceased (#24,#1 & dozens) Defected (dozens)
current_members = #21 (first name Gary) An unknown amount of others
former_members = Speedy (deceased) Texas (deceased and reanimated into Venturestein) Scott Hall (#1) (deceased) #24 (deceased)
base = The Monarch's flying cocoon base|

Monarch henchmen, in particular the recurring characters #21 and #24, are supporting characters of the Adult Swim program "The Venture Bros." They serve the supervillain Monarch and his partner Dr. Girlfriend. Monarch henchmen wear identical yellow butterfly suits, and aside from #21, #24, #1 and a wingless recruit in the first episode named Speedy, are virtually indistinguishable.

Overview

In the "The Venture Bros." series, the henchmen of the Monarch are a parody of Bond villains and various other supervillain henchmen. They are referred to only by an assigned number, are all out of shape, none are particularly clever, and they all have absolutely no ambition or initiative. According to #24 in "¡Viva los Muertos!", nine out of ten new Monarch henchmen don't survive a month. Most of them seemingly joined the Monarch because they had nothing better open to them or for them to do. A large number of henchmen are revealed to be suicidally depressed in "Showdown at Cremation Creek Part II". In "Home Insecurity", one henchman notes that he became a henchman as a somewhat dubious way to get over a drug addiction, and believes that hench work has enabled him to "turn his life around" (this comment is made mere hours before the same henchman is brutally murdered by a homicidal robot).

Monarch henchmen wear black tights with a golden-orange jerkin, golden-orange boots, gloves, wings, antennae, and a mask, with the eye-goggles colored red. Their belt has a butterfly symbol as the buckle. None of the henchmen are capable of making the ensemble look impressive. The costume's wings are functional and enable flight, in addition to functioning as inflatable life preservers, but the incompetent henchmen are unaware of this fact until Brock Samson points it out. The only weaponry they ever carry are dart guns that carry poison or sedatives, which unfortunately prove largely ineffective against Brock Samson, whom they are consistently pitted against, and subsequently killed by. They routinely steal supplies from Sergeant Hatred.

The henchmen's relationship with their employer is complex. They are sent into battles where they are killed by the dozens (with the odd exceptions of #21 and #24) without much hope of achieving their objectives, and are even killed at a whim by the Monarch himself, yet they can have an almost bizarre parental relationship with the Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend. The Monarch disciplines them as if they were children ("Tag Sale – You're It!"), and the Monarch once proclaimed to Dr. Girlfriend that the henchmen had cried themselves to sleep at night ("Hate Floats") over her absence.

When the Monarch was thrown out of The Guild of Calamitous Intent, all the henchmen left except for the recurring #21 and 24. Due to their inability to recruit new henchmen through the Guild, the remaining duo recruited new henchmen from inner-city thugs and gangsters. These new henchmen, being far more aggressive and equipped with actual firearms, quickly took over the Cocoon. It took Brock and the Phantom Limb to crush them on a rescue mission, which they did quite easily. By "Love-Bheits", the Monarch's supply of henchmen has apparently been replenished as part of the Monarch's henchmen-plan in the Guild.

While the henchmen are for the most part incompetent and incapable of winning battles (at least under the Monarch's leadership), they do successfully manage to capture Brock at one point. Whilst drunk and attempting to get tattoos in "Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part I)", they run into Brock and manage to subdue him, though not without the "predictable casualties." They then figure that the rest of the Venture family are easy pickings and capture them, too, only to learn that their actions are unwanted because the Monarch swore off "arching" Venture in order to wed Dr. Girlfriend.

Despite their historic incompetence, the Henchmen managed to put up a decent fight against a cadre of power-armored O.S.I troopers in The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II), taking down several in spite of inferior equipment and skill, albeit with heavy losses.

#21 and #24

Henchmen #21 and #24 seem to have a special place in the cocoon, partially because they have managed to survive so long while many other Henchmen have passed away, usually by what #21 calls 'Death by Samson'. The Monarch recognizes that the duo have a unique mixture of "expendable and invulnerable" in "The Lepidopterists", which is why he considers them excellent henchmen - though he is at times frustrated with some of their failures and ignorance. In the same episode, #21 and #24 themselves recognize their unusual ability to survive as henchmen, and mock a cookie cutter henchman sent with them about his impending death. The man does not take well to being labeled as such, even revealing his full name to dispute their claim, but the two just brush him off. True to form, said henchman is brutally beaten by Samson while #21 and #24 walk away without a scratch.

The Monarch does have something of a bond with #21 and #24, and #21 and #24 have stuck with him even when other henchmen didn't. They accompany he and Doctor Girlfriend to a garage sale in "Tag Sale – You're It!". When #24 is wounded, the Monarch states openly that he likes him while signing his get-well card - though he does tend to remember him as 'the one who sounds like Ray Romano'. #21, #24 and the Monarch egg each other on playfully in "Tears of a Sea Cow", eventually teaming up to trash the Venture Compound for fun.

It's clear that #21 and #24 are, quite likely, best friends, and show a lot of camaraderie and spend time together - if only because most anyone else they've worked with has deserted, died, or been incapacitated. This becomes a factor in the Season 3 finale, The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II). The two, not relishing a battle with O.S.I. agents, hide in the Monarch-mobile while trying to figure out how to rejoin later and make it look like they were there all along.

#21

Number 21, whose real name is Gary, is an overweight pop culture geek. He was kidnapped by the Monarch at age 15, but despite this he appears to have grown to enjoy his role as a henchman, even if no one tells him the finer points of their equipment. According to the deleted scenes from season 2, #21 had not seen his mother since his kidnapping while #24 lost his mother, found that his dad married his ex-wife and has a gay brother. #21 was later seen living with his mother in "Hate Floats". [Season 2 DVD deleted scenes] He is voiced by Doc Hammer.

Along with #24, #21 is the only Monarch henchman to repeatedly survive battles against the Venture family. In Tears of a Sea Cow, he noticed this, remarking, "We always survive when we should be killed. We're like...main characters or something." 24 then asks him not to jinx it. He and #24 are responsible for setting off the events of the first season when they publish a tell-all book entitled "The Flight of the Monarch", for which #21 unwisely used a picture of the Monarch himself as the cover. This set in motion a chain of events which led to the Monarch's breakup with Dr. Girlfriend and eventual imprisonment. He and #24 were the only henchmen to not abandon the Monarch when he was in prison, carrying out their boss's instructions by destroying the flying Cocoon (or at least tipping it on its side). They also take the mission to kill the Venture brothers, a goal they actually achieved, albeit accidentally.

In the second season, #21 is shown out of costume at a Henchmen Anonymous meeting. #24 comments that #21 bears a resemblance to Kevin Smith. The pair rejoin the Monarch after he escapes from prison. They are tasked with recruiting new henchmen, and unwisely turn to inner-city thugs to fill the ranks. This backfires when the thugs (armed with actual firearms) mutiny and imprison the Monarch, Dr. Venture and the two original henchmen. #21 proposes using a stash of weapons hidden in his room to fight back, but they turn out to be nothing more than collectibles from various comic and film franchises. A replica sword from "The Lord of the Rings" is the most dangerous of the lot, but #21 refuses to ruin its mint condition by taking it out of the box. They choose to attempt a breakout with the contents of this unimpressive armory anyway, only to discover that Brock and Phantom Limb had already stormed the Cocoon and disposed of the new henchmen in the meantime.

A confrontation with Hank Venture in season 3 reveals that #21, ignorant of the cloning process that brings the Venture Brothers back to life, believes Hank and Dean are immortal. It is also revealed that #21 is one of the few subscribers to Dean's Venture Family newspaper, and has written Dean's advice column anonymously regarding his crush on Dr. Girlfriend.

#24

Number 24 is usually seen together with #21, and is the only other henchman to achieve recurring character status. He seems to be slightly smarter than his portly companion and the more grounded of the duo. Prior to "henching," #24 was a laid-off mill worker. Christopher McCulloch voices #24. All full-fledged season one henchmen resemble #24 (when in costume), except for #21. In the second season, #24 gained a cleft chin, a minor alteration in his design.

Unlike #21, #24 originally took up henching voluntarily, choosing a career in costumed villainy because his GED did not allow him many careers; it was either this or join the Army. He originally served with the Monarch as a henchman for Phantom Limb, but defected when the Monarch went into business for himself. The Monarch initially promised to make him #2, but didn't follow through. Like #21, he actually seems to enjoy being a henchman. Out of costume, he is described by #21 as looking like "Seinfeld with a unibrow," although the unibrow is drawn out in later episodes.

A recurring gag is the fact that his car, a (mostly) powder-blue Nissan Stanza, is either stolen or damaged repeatedly. His car is stolen by a prostitute the Monarch had picked up when she made her escape from the Cocoon, though he ended up recovering it later. It is also crushed when the Cocoon crashes in the finale of the second season. The car was apparently purchased with loaned money from "Doug," #24's father, and he is still paying it off.

He frequently has arguments with #21 about unusual hypothetical situations, such as whether Smurfs lay eggs ("Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean") or who would win a fistfight between Anne Frank and Lizzie Borden. In the DVD commentaries, the creators admit that in these arguments they always give #24 the crazier idea.

#24 quickly learns to fly after being informed that the wings on their costumes work (a lifelong dream) and retained a level-headed attitude during the henchmen's attack on Phantom Limb's Guild. He is aware of the Monarch's technologies far more in the third season, demonstrating them to #21 in "Tears of a Sea Cow", much to his friend's surprise. As with his partner, shown during the infiltration of Jonas Venture's base, he believes that their recurring status among many missions gives them invincibillity. The loss of a third Monarch henchman, whom they had teamed up with, only reinforces their beliefs.

While there are no "ranks" in the cocoon, it is revealed that #24 is a commander.

At some point he acquired Herpes, which was cured by Doctor Henry Killinger. As he has referred to issues of being alone and desiring female company, this may have impacted his social life as well.

In the Season 3 finale The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part II), #24 becomes trapped in the Monarch-mobile when H.E.L.P.eR. steals it. His seatbelt fails to unbuckle while #21 is able to escape from the vehicle. H.E.L.P.eR. is rigged with an explosive device that is detonated by an unseen party, destroying the Monarch-mobile and killing #24, whose flaming severed head falls into the hands of #21.

References


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