"Venture Libre"
The Venture Bros. episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 2
Directed by Jackson Publick
Written by Jackson Publick
Original air date June 9, 2013
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"A Very Venture Halloween
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"SPHINX Rising"
List of The Venture Bros. episodes

Venture Libre is the second episode of Season 5 and the overall fifty-seventh episode of The Venture Bros.

Plot Synopsis

The Ventures are paid a "friendly" visit by the army, who smash through the kitchen window after flying in on helicopters and hand Dr. Venture a portable jPad tablet. General Manhowers has a special assignment for Dr. Venture, who takes Hank and Sgt. Hatred along with him after Dean excuses himself to his room in the attic. The three travel to the Central American island of Puerto Bahia to stop Venturestein, who has gone AWOL after being sent to quell a shoe factory strike. Manhowers has tasked Venture with blowing up Venturestein using a jPad loaded with C4 explosives.

When they arrive at the area, they are attacked by a pteranodon named Turu who destroys the X-1, forcing the plane to crash after Sergeant Hatred retaliates. Hank gets separated midair, escaping via a jetpack he mistakes for a parachute. Following the crash a group of Abominations lead by Karl the Cheetah Man attack Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred, overpowering them and marching them to their leader.

Dr. Venture is surprised to learn that Venturestein, who has been following the teachings of Guevara, has become the semi-eloquent leader of a revolutionary movement called U.R.G.H. After discovering that many mad scientists like to use the jungle as their base of operations, Venturestein makes it his mission to liberate all scientific experiments and abomination and to found a new homeland for them in Puerto Bahia.  

Dr. Venture attempts to go through with his mission, but Venturestein confiscates the jPad from him before he can activate the self destruct sequence. Despite this obvious betrayal, Venturestein still sees Dr. Venture as his beloved father and chooses not to kill him, instead having Sonnystein and Tedstein take him to be imprisoned with Hatred. As Doc is dragged off Venturestein asks him if the jPad gets internet. 

Back in Colorado, Congresswoman Marsha Backwood visits the Venture Compound as part of her re-election campaign. Dean answers the door and is mistaken for a gardener, as he had just been attempting to restore H.E.L.P.eR. to his original body from his current Walking Eye torso and is still wearing a hairnet with his black speedsuit. Following a brief but confusing conversation with Dean in English and rudimentary Spanish, Marsha Backwood contacts General Manhowers to lecture him and determine why one of her constituents is in Puerto Bahia. 

Venturestein uses the jPad to broadcast an internet message to other Abominations, telling them to break free and form "a bombin' nation" by coming to Puerto Bahia and joining U.R.G.H. 

Hank, alone in the jungle, overdoses on caffeine from eating fresh coffee berries in the coffee plantation where his jetpack crash landed. Unable to sleep, he wanders the jungle until he discovers the ruins of a Mayan temple, crafting a makeshift costume and becoming "The Bat" to help save his father and bodyguard. While in this guise Hank demonstrates remarkable skill and resourcefulness, dispatching Abominations with ease and infiltrating Venturestein's camp. During one patrol, a giant crustacean abomination falls to its death in a spike-filled pit presumably dug by The Bat, while two other abominations are hit in quick succession when The Bat drops down from the trees.

Tensions rise in Venturestein's colony, as Karl and several other abominations assert that they should kill Dr. Venture and Sgt. Hatred for accidentally killing their comrade Turu upon their arrival on the island. One abomination says the bigger problem is The Bat, and the conversation quickly shifts. The group leaves to deal with the immediate menace. The Bat appears before Dr. Venture and Sergeant Hatred to reassure them he'll be rescuing them soon, then leaves to pursue the party of abominations.

The Bat squares off with Karl and a group of abominations, successfully defeating them through the combination of a vine noose, a smokescreen, and his jetpack before making his way back to Venturestein's camp.

The Bat sneaks into Venturestein's office and lifts the jPad, securing it in his belt. He is stopped by Venturestein and for a tense moment it appears they may fight. Venturestein instead tosses The Bat the keys to Doc and Hatred's cell, donning Hank's old plastic Batman Halloween mask in solidarity. The Bat thanks him and Venturestein brokenly cheers "Batman!" after him.

The Bat uses the keys to free Dr. Venture and Hatred from their cell, but Hatred doesn't want to go, considering himself a monster for his pedophilic tendencies and the breasts caused by the hormones in Nomolestol. He years to retire among fellow freaks in a vaguely paramilitary setting until Karl arrives and orders the abominations to kill them, which immediately changes Hatred's mind.

The Bat, Doc, and Hatred hop into a makeshift Batmobile constructed from the hollowed out shell of the giant crustacean abomination strapped to a flatbed dolly, with the jetpack in back for forward propulsion. They quickly reach the beach and leap out of the vehicle, with The Bat flinging the jPad at their pursuers after initiating the destruct sequence. When the expected explosion fails to occur, Karl emerges with the jPad in hand, mockingly explaining that there are numerous reasons tech can fail to detonate in the jungle before casually tossing it onto the sand. The Bat, finally crashing from his caffeine overdose, curls up in the sand and falls asleep, no longer able to help.

The abominations corner Doc and Hatred on the shore just as H.E.L.P.eR. emerges from the water to defend Rusty from his attackers. (H.E.L.P.eR. had traveled all the way from Colorado Springs to Puerto Bahia on his own after receiving an earlier distress call from Dr. Venture, who had forgotten that his robot didn't accompany them on the mission.) Before any further casualties can occur more abominations arrive at the island by the boatload, seeking refuge in response to Venturestein's broadcast. The abominations appear overjoyed that U.R.G.H.'s message has reached the rest of the world.

Having discerned Dr. Venture's location from her conversation with General Manhowers, Congresswoman Marsha Backwood arrives via helicopter, demanding that her constituents be released. She is then accidentally blown up when she picks up the jPad filled with C4. Doc confidently cracks his knuckles and says he can fix it.

At the end of the episode, Dean has finally restored H.E.L.P.eR. to his old body. Dermott and Hank are practicing their music for an upcoming Shallow Gravy gig but stop playing mid-song, as the synthesized drumbeats being produced by the newly restored H.E.L.P.eR. sound different. Dermott is irritated. Hank blames Dean for changing the robot back.

After the credits roll it is revealed that Dr. Venture brought back Congresswoman Marsha Backwood as a female version of Venturestein. To Dr. Venture's apparent delight she gives a televised speech on behalf of U.R.G.H. at the United Nations.

Episode Cast

First Appearances

Connections to Other Episodes

Mid-Life Chrysalis

Powerless in the Face of Death

¡Viva Los Muertos!

  • Venturestein first appeared in ¡Viva Los Muertos!, when Dr. Venture brought one of The Monarch's dead henchmen back to life. Before he died he was called "Texas".
  • Jorge, from the learning bed films Dr. Venture showed Venturestein, appears as an adult.
  • Sonny and Ted, former members of The Groovy Gang, can be seen as Venturesteins in many parts of the episode. They have been renamed as Sonnystein and Tedstein, now serving as the bodyguards to Venturestein. This goes along with Dr. Venture's thoughts of making them a part of his Venturestein project in ¡Viva los Muertos!
  • Venturestein wears the plastic Batman Halloween mask that Hank gave him in the Season 2 episode ¡Viva Los Muertos!

Any Which Way But Zeus

A Very Venture Halloween

  • When the arriving abominations are coming to the island you can clearly see the monkey-like creature RICO, who was previously living with Ben in a A Very Venture Halloween.

Momma's Boys

  • In the Season 5 episode Momma's Boys we learn that Hank has been using the Teddy Talk-To-Me Doll to call his father and occupy him while he sneaks out with Dermott to perform Shallow Gravy gigs. Doc doesn't realize he's speaking to a talking doll, thinking Ted is his actual best friend. Later in the same episode Doc goes looking for Teddy and finally meets his "friend" for the first time when the actual voice actor behind the doll escapes from Dunwitch Asylum for the Criminally Obsessive.

Cultural References


  • Hank Venture undergoes a transformation after overdosing on caffeine and becomes his super hero alter ego, The Bat, based on his lifelong obsession with Batman.
  • Venturestein wears a plastic Batman Halloween mask.

Blade Runner (1982)

  • When Dr. Venture is being briefed by General Manhowers about Venturestein on the X1, Hank insists it is a trap, saying "when we get there, if he's in a pair of bicycle shorts talking about 'tears in the rain', you run like hell." This quote, and General Manhowers's response that Dr. Venture doesn't have to "worry about (Venturestein) going all Roy Batty on you" are references to the science fiction film Blade Runner. In particular, they are referring to a scene where Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), an LAPD replicant hunter, is saved from falling off of a building by Roy Batty, a renegade replicant who has rebelled from the government in a bid to bypass a four year limit imposed on his life. Hank's reference to "tears in the rain" is a famous quote by Batty that occurs immediately after he rescues Deckard. This same soliloquy is quoted in the season 4 episode Assisted Suicide, when Gary discusses seeing "attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion" with Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.


  • The temple in the jungle where Hank declares "I shall become a bat" is devoted to the Mayan bat god Camazotz. "The Bat" takes the ceremonial mask/helmet and medallion in his costume from this temple.

Chia Pet

  • An orange skinned abomination resembles a living Chia Pet due to the green moss or leaves growing all over his scalp and back.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms (1940)

  • The reanimated dog head is a reference to a real life experiment, publicized in 1940, where the Soviet scientist Sergei Brukhonenko managed to briefly revive a decapitated dog's head and capture the moments on film.


Jocelyn Wildenstein

  • After Doc and Sgt. Hatred crash land in the jungle, when Hatred tries to cause a diversion to distract the abomination soldiers, he yells out "Jocelyn Wildenstein called. She wants her face back!" to Karl, the Cheetah Man. He is referring to Jocelyn Wildenstein, a New York socialite infamous for undergoing numerous plastic surgeries so that her face would resemble a cat.

Jonny Quest (1964-1965)



  • Sergeant Hatred's backstory, where he was part of an experimental Super Soldier program that made him violently aggressive, is similar to the origin of the Marvel Comics supervillain Nuke. Nuke famously has a tattoo of an American flag covering his face, while Hatred has a V tattooed on his face (formerly an H).

Patricia Piccinini, "Leather Landscape" (2003)

Robot Monster (1953)

  • The creature appearing to be a gorilla in a space helmet is a direct reference to the cybernetic alien Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 from the 1953 independent 3D film Robot Monster. Called "one of the top turkeys of the year," and frequently cited as "one of the worst films ever made," it earned a surprising $1,000,000 the year it was released--on a $50,000 budget. Robot Monster is considered by some a cult classic, while others believe it deserving of its place in the 1978 book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (And How They Got That Way).

Smokey Bear

  • There is an abomination that closely resembles Smokey, the fictional bear that stops forest fires.

Stardate (Star Trek)

  • Hank's journal entry mentions "Stardate 2112". The stardate system is a fictional method of measuring time developed for the original Star Trek television series and used in all of the subsequent Star Trek shows and films.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996)

The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

The Fly (1958)

  • The fly-headed abomination is visually based on the French-Canadian scientist André Delambre from the 1958 horror film The Fly.

The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009)

  • In one of the boats carrying abominations one of them is just three humans tied together in bandages. This is a reference to the Dutch horror film The Human Centipede.

The Island of Dr. Moreau

  • Venturestein's army consists of animal humanoids, zombies, and many strange abnormal creatures drawn from a number of sources that use the "mad scientist in the jungle" trope, the most prominent being the various incarnations of The Island of Dr. Moreau.

The Punisher


Vacanti mouse

Weapons Plus

Wifey (1978)

  • Dean reads a copy of Judy Blume's 1978 adult novel Wifey in his attic bedroom.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Production Notes

  • One of the animation directors (Kimson Albert) has a "nickname" inserted into his credits. The nickname is an unusual line or word from the preceding episode. For Venture Libre the credit reads Kimson "Hurt Science" Albert.


  • In Venturestein's flashback during his time in the army, the first two zombies to explode are clearly undead clones of Hank and Dean.
  • In Sergeant Hatred's flashback he unlocks a suppressed memory of being exposed to a super-soldier drug as part of a human weapon program. However, a side effect is that he goes into a pedophilic rage and charges at General Treister's son on "Bring Your Son To Work Day". Fortunately, he was only able to rip off the boy's underoos before he was restrained by O.S.I. agents.


Preceded by:
"A Very Venture Halloween"
The Venture Bros. episodes
Original Airdate:
June 9th, 2013
Followed by:
"SPHINX Rising"
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