Venture Brothers Season 4.1 Review

Season 4.1 of the Venture Brothers is available on finer shelves across America, and no shelves are finer then the fine and venerable shelves here at the Forbidden Planet. Ask any sales associate for assistance in locating said product, or even ask if they have any stock of Jackson Publick, the show-runner for Venture Brother’s, comic book work.

Oh yeah, Jackson did comic books!

JACKSON PUBLICK SCHOOL

Jackson Publick, a.k.a. Chris McCulloch, the voice of beloved henchman 24 as well as Hank and others started out as an indie comic book self publisher. His work caught the attention of NEC press, the guys who continue to publish one of the funniest comics of all time, Ben Edlund’s the Tick.

Jackson wrote the first stint on the Tick after Ben left, a collection NEC still keeps in print as The Tick: Karma Tornado. Some of it is very funny, some of it not so much. Lots of it will seem familiar to fans of both the Venture Brothers and the Tick Cartoon show, which Jackson was also a writer on.

Jackson’s style blends finding the inane in the insane with a real bend on personal lows. All throughout the Venture Brothers show the emphasis is on regret and failure. The Tick is, of course, immune to such pesky emotions, but almost everybody in his supporting cast are not.

Another comic book highlight for Mr. Publick are the first three Monkeysuit anthologies. Monkeysuit was an anthology of comic book indies slinging out some good, 4-6 page stuff. Many luminaries came and went though the suit of monkey, include Ben Edlund himself (in Volume 1.), Mo Willems of “Courage the Cowardly Dog” fame and even co-show runner for the Venture Brothers Doc Hammer!

Jackson co-edited the book for several years with several talented colleagues, as well as turned in an amazing Superman send up that should be essential to all Venture fans.

FROM THE CRADLE TO THE GRADE

When the Venture Brothers works it is amazing stuff….when it fails the opposite can be true. How does Season 4.1 stack up in the lexicon of Venture fun?

Change is rarely beautiful, and Season 4 is definitely a time of change. Losing the parody flavor that made their show a pop-hit in the first place, The Astrobase team of Jackson and Doc Hammer have decided to knuckle down and follow their character’s pathetic lives to their linear conclusions.

Fans of the fun, biting look back on our collectively shared childhoods the show provided did not take kindly to the shift in tone. Combine with that the sparse involvement of voice actor Patrick Warburton who played Brock Sampson, one of the shows best characters and you have a fairly flawed gem that is surely showing it’s strain.

But then again, Jackson and Doc are almost finished wrapping up Season 4.2, and it is some of the best work they’ve ever done.

Venture Brothers 4.1 is amazing for the challenge the creators of the show set out to meet. For Venture fans it might get a C, but the GPA for the complete season 4 looks rosy!

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