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The Bat
The Venture Bros. character
Hank the bat saphrax

"The night is mine."
First appearance

Powerless in the Face of Death
Voiced by

Christopher McCulloch
Real name

Henry Allen "Hank" Venture
Information
Aliases The Bat
Occupation Superhero
Relatives Colonel Lloyd Venture (great-great grandfather, deceased)
Jonas Venture Sr. (grandfather)
Doctor Thaddeus Venture (father)
Bobbi Saint Simone (mother)
Hank Venture "Original" (genetic template)
Dean Venture (twin brother)
Dermott Fictel (half-brother)
Jonas Venture Jr. (uncle, deceased)
The Action Man (godfather)
Notable
characteristics

Adventurous enthusiasm
Highly gullible
Obsession with Batman
Alliances

Team Venture
Enemies

Baron Werner Ünderbheit
Karl
The Monarch
Myra Brandish
Rocco

The Bat is the superhero alter ego of Hank Venture on The Venture Bros. He is directly based on the DC Comics superhero Batman.

Origin and History

Since childhood, Hank Venture has been obsessed with the superhero Batman and created his own hero persona based on the character: The Bat.

The Bat's initial costume consisted of a plastic Halloween mask from Adam West's 1960s Batman TV series, blue gloves, oversized black rubber rain boots, a cape, and a tshirt/shorts combo that was a store-bought Batman costume purchased for him by his father when he was 10 years old.[1][2][3]

Season 2

One of Hank's earlier clones died by dressing up in his Bat costume and jumping off of the roof of The Venture Compound with an umbrella, which did nothing to slow his fall.[1]

Dean was excited to be going on a double-date with his crush Triana Orpheus, but Hank misunderstood the meaning of "best outfit" and chose to dress as The Bat for his date with Kim. Dean, visibly upset, informed their father. Brock informed Hank that he had to change out of the costume or walk to the date instead of receiving a ride. Hank grudgingly changed into his regular attire.[4]

Each year for Halloween the Venture Family would work on a group costume and every time Hank would spoil their chances of winning best costume by dressing as The Bat.[2]

In Love-Bheits, the family dressed in a Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi themed costume, with Dean as Princess Leia, Brock as Chewbacca, Dr. Venture as Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Hank as The Bat. The year prior the family's Wizard of Oz group costume was Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and The Bat. Their earlier KISS costume consisted of "the hard rocking quartet of Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and The Bat."[2]

While dressed as The Bat when the Venture Family was trapped in Ünderland, Hank unsuccessfully attempted to rescue his brother Dean and prevent him from marrying Baron Ünderbheit.[2] Though he managed to infiltrate the throne room, Hank immediately tripped and cut his tongue on his mask.

After Dr. Venture successfully brought a dead Monarch henchman back to life as Venturestein, he had Hank and Dean assist him with socializing the undead former henchman. Hank taught Venturestein about Batman, giving him a plastic Batman mask to cover his face when Brock took Venturestein to patronize a prostitute.[5]

Season 3

Hank met the assassin Le Tueur and had an animated conversation with him about Batman after noting that he was in love with Le Tueur's Batman towel.[6] Hank said he once jumped off his roof dressed in a Batman costume, but he wasn't sure--he might have dreamt it.

Brock Samson confronted Le Tueur, who had been hired to assassinate him, and the two fought in a hotel room. When Le Tueur moved in for his killing stroke, Hank interrupted to remind him that Batman doesn't kill and neither would any true Batman fan. Le Tueur sinisterly admitted that he only liked Batman because he has the best villains, but the momentary distraction was enough for Brock to take advantage and he preemptively killed Le Tueur.[6]

Season 4

Hank temporarily became the new Wonder Boy, sidekick to the solar-powered superhero Captain Sunshine, following his rescue from The Monarch.[7] The hero-sidekick relationship between Captain Sunshine and Wonder Boy heavily paralleled the relationship between Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder. Hank initially embraced the lifestyle, but ultimately rejected the role because he felt Captain Sunshine was just using him to replace his previous sidekick, who had been killed by The Monarch.

Before leaving, Hank asked Captain Sunshine if he could "put in a good word with Batman for me", prompting Sunshine to yell "Get out of my Sanctum Solarium!"[7]

Sergeant Hatred and Hank briefly had a conversation about how "Batman" Hank is. When Hatred said he was at a loss as to how they should deal with the members of the Guild of Calamitous Intent who had arrived unannounced at the Venture Compound, Hank told him "Let me show you what a Batman-loaded, Brock-trained Venture can do!"[8]

After Hank and Dean graduated from their learning beds, their father had them discuss career options with Billy Quizboy in lieu of a guidance counselor. Billy told Hank that he made a mistake because he wrote "Batman" twice on his list of career choices. Hank responded that the separate entries were for Golden Age Batman and Post-Crisis Batman: "They're, like, two completely different Batmen!"[9]

Season 5

Hank traveled to the Latin American nation of Puerto Bahia with Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred as part of a mission assigned to his father by General Manhowers.[10] Following a pteranodon attack on the X-1 he was separated from his father and bodyguard, landing in a Puerto Bahia coffee plantation with nothing but a jetpack and the clothes on his back.

Hank gorged himself on fresh coffee berries/beans and consequently overdosed on caffeine, finding himself unable to sleep and pained with vomiting and terrible diarrhea. He busied himself building a fire, gathering supplies from the jungle, carving wooden spikes, eating more coffee beans, and narrating an internal monologue:

"Hank's War Journal, Stardate 2112. Sleep would not come to me. The Jungle would not allow it. She has clutched me to her bountiful bosom and nourished me, which is kind of nice 'cause I never had a mommy. But she demands a sacrifice in return. I've vomited and diarrheaed out whatever was left of my old life. My Hank's run dry. I'm but an empty vessel, waiting for the Jungle to fill me with new purpose. Only through her will I be reborn. But, pray tell, what new Hank will emerge from her hot, green womb? Huh?"[10]

Hank wandered through the jungle until it began raining. He stumbled upon the ruins of a Mayan temple dedicated to the bat god Camazotz[11] and rushed inside to escape the downpour.[10] Hank spied a massive sculpture, raising a lit match to get a better look at it, and spoke aloud as if it had given him an order:

"Yes, Mother. I shall become a bat."[10]
Meanwhile, Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred had been taken captive by Venturestein and the revolutionary abominations of U.R.G.H. who follow him. Three such abominations--Gill-Man, the fly-headed abomination, and the giant crab--were on a routine patrol of the jungles of Puerto Bahia when they were ambushed. The giant crab fell into a pit, landing on carved wooden spikes that impaled it to death. Gill-Man and Flyhead drew their machine guns but continued their patrol. A person swung down from the trees on a vine, moving so fast as to be a blur, knocking out Flyhead. Gill-Man, visibly nervous and sweating, looked around in fear. A spinning projectile flew out of the jungle, striking Gill-Man directly in the face. Lightning flashed and the figure of THE BAT loomed over his unconscious form.

Hank's costume for The Bat in Puerto Bahia differed from his traditional store-bought Batman costume.[10] It consisted of a black ceremonial bat mask and bat amulet taken from the temple of the Mayan bat god Camazotz, green Aquaman Underoos, sneakers, a utility belt with two pouches, and green jungle leaves that serve as his cape, bracers, and shinguards. He did not wear a shirt or pants, though his cape was able to fully cover his body from the neck down when he so chose. The green and black color scheme allowed The Bat to blend in perfectly with the jungle for maximum stealth.

A mob of abominations lead by Karl the Cheetah Man gathered at the base of the temple ruins Venturestein used as his headquarters, demanding justice for their fallen comrade Turu the pteranodon. Venturestein attempted to placate them, telling them the time for bloodshed was over and they would soon be joined by revolutionary brothers and sisters from around the world. At this point Gill-Man brought up The Bat, a massive bat creature that had been terrorizing their patrols. Upon hearing this the mob shifted focus, unanimously deciding to immediately take to the jungle and hunt down The Bat.

With the abominations out on the hunt, The Bat surveyed their camp, noting Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred in a prison cell, Venturestein in his office with Sonnystein, and an empty office next to Venturestein's holding Dr. Venture's confiscated jPad.[10]

Karl, Gill-Man, Boar-Man, and Dog-Man found Hank's campsite in the jungle with the fire still ablaze. They swapped legends about The Bat, all of them terrified except for Karl, who sniffed Hank's soiled pants and dismissed him as nothing but "a boy with a tummy ache." A vine noose dropped from the treetops and slipped around Karl's neck, yanking him straight upward as The Bat descended on the other end of the vine to land directly on the campfire, extinguishing it. As the abominations closed in on The Bat, he smirked and lifted his cape, dispersing the campfire smoke contained beneath it like a smoke bomb. Karl, dangling by his neck, slashed the vine and landed nimbly on his feet. The smoke dispersed to show Gill-Man, Boar-Man, and Dog-Man lying unconscious at The Bat's feet. Karl attempted to pursue The Bat, but he flew away with the aid of the jetpack concealed beneath his cape, with Karl unable to follow due to cheetahs' inability to climb trees.

The Bat sneaked into Venturestein's office, silently slipping past him as Venturestein sat at his desk, staring off mournfully. He retrieved the jPad and told a befuddled General Manhowers that the mission was in his hands now. Manhowers, unconvinced by this reassurance, told "the Venture boy" that he looked "a fright" and needed to have himself "a lie down".[10] The Bat slipped the jPad into his belt and prepared to leave, but found his way blocked by Venturestein. The two stared each other down for a tense moment and it looked like things would come to blows, with The Bat raising his fists in preparation. Venturestein, however, donned the plastic Batman mask Hank gave him in ¡Viva los Muertos!, tossed The Bat the keys to Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred's prison cell, and told him "Go." The Bat dashed a few paces, stopped, and turned to say thank you to Venturestein as he departed. Venturestein responded by thrusting his fists in the air triumphantly and shouting "Batman!" after him.

The Bat unlocked the prison cell with Venturestein's keys, prompting joyful cries of "Hank!" from his father and his bodyguard. He replied, "Hank's gone. Call me... The Bat."[10] Dr. Venture was ready to leave, but Hatred felt like he'd found a home for himself among the abominations--until Karl returned and ordered the abominations to kill the Venture crew, eliminating any desire Hatred had to stay in Puerto Bahia.

"To the Hankmobile!"[10] The Bat, Sergeant Hatred, and Dr. Venture jumped into a makeshift vehicle that Hank had crafted out of the shell of the dead giant crab abomination by lashing it to a flatbed dolly with vines and mounting the jetback on the back for forward propulsion. Abominations fired machine guns after them but the bullets bounced off of the crab's tough shell. The Bat initiated the jetpack, causing the vehicle to shoot forward through the jungle toward the beach and, ultimately, freedom. When the vehicle stopped, The Bat instructed Venture and Hatred to head for the beach; he set a countdown on the jPad and tossed it into the jungle toward the pursuing abominations, hoping to eliminate them in an explosion of C4.

Karl, unfortunately, found the jPad and disarmed it before it could explode. He and several other abominations appeared on the beach, brandishing machine guns. The caffeine finally wore off and The Bat, no longer able to stay awake, collapsed onto the sand and passed out. Things looked dire, with the abominations closing in on Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred, but the situation was defused by the combination of H.E.L.P.eR. arriving to rescue Dr. Venture and boatloads of abominations arriving in Puerto Bahia to join Venturestein's revolutionary group U.R.G.H.[10]

Season 7

Hank confessed to Dean that when he takes on a persona--be it Enrico Matassa or The Bat or Russian Guyovitch--something comes over him and he becomes that character.[12] He wondered if this made him crazy, like James McAvoy's character in the 2016 horror film Split. Dean dismissed the idea of Hank having dissociative identity disorder, thinking it more likely he had an overactive imagination and ADD.

Hank moved into Dean's old room in the VenTech Tower after Dean moved to the on-campus dorms at Stuyvesant University.[13] Hank redecorated the room and moved his things into it. On the shelf next to Hank's bed he placed his Enrico Matassa hat and the Batman mask he wears as The Bat.[14]

Hank injured his head on a lamppost playing football in the snow, passing out after discovering his brother Dean in bed with Hank's girlfriend Sirena Ong.[15] Dean, wracked with guilt, watched over Hank while he lay comatose in Stuyvesant University Medical Center; he read aloud a list of grievances and ways he had wronged Hank, one of which was telling Hank that he was jealous that he didn't care about being dressed like Batman in public.[16]

Hank, meanwhile, dreamt of a shared world with The Action Man and Dr. Phineas Phage that culminated in a coming-of-age decision to grow up.[16] Hank awoke from his coma while Dean napped, slipped out of the hospital unnoticed, and internally recited a monologue based on the speech from the end of the 1990 film Darkman:

"I'm everywhere and nowhere. I'm a man on a mission and a mission on a man. I'll find myself even if I have to look in myself. It's time I grow up. Call me... The Bat."[16]

Hank pulled down the hood of his coat to reveal the Batman mask and declared himself once more to be "The Bat".

Episode Appearances

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 7

Trivia

Gallery

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Powerless in the Face of Death
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Love-Bheits
  3. 3.0 3.1 O.S.I. Love You
  4. Victor. Echo. November.
  5. ¡Viva los Muertos!
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Handsome Ransom
  8. The Revenge Society
  9. Pomp and Circuitry
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 10.9 Venture Libre
  11. Jackson Publick, Go Team Venture!: The Art and Making of The Venture Bros. (2018), p. 241
  12. Arrears in Science
  13. The High Cost of Loathing
  14. The Terminus Mandate
  15. The Forecast Manufacturer
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 The Saphrax Protocol