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The Venture Bros. episode
Any Which Way But Zeus
Season 4
Orig. Airdate September 26, 2010
Writer(s) Doc Hammer
Director Jackson Publick
Production # 4-49
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Pomp & Circuitry 50 Everybody Comes to Hank's


A secret new faction, seemingly lead by the Greek god of lightning, is kidnapping heroes and villains and pitting them against each other in battles to the death. This forces The Guild, SPHINX, OSI, and The Revenge Society into an uneasy alliance to put a stop to Zeus!


  • Scott Hall, now going by the name "Henchman Zero," was first seen in "The Lepidopterists". He mentions that 21 left him to die by the hands of Brock Sampson in that episode.
  • Col. Gathers states she could pole dance better than half those women in the strip club, a reference to when she had worked as a stripper.
  • Ex-Wonderboy can be seen in a picture with Sunshine and Desmond. He was first seen as an adult in Dr. Venture's group therapy in "Self-Medication".
  • Dr. Venture was being held and "tortured" inside Sergeant Hatred's hover-tank (now with the venture logo on the front), the tank was first mentioned in "Powerless in the Face of *Death".
  • Tiger Shark represents The Peril Partnership, first mentioned in the Season 2 episode "Fallen Arches"


Billy Quizboy and Pete White are attacked in their trailer by a man claiming to be Zeus, the Greek god of thunder. Later that night, after being left behind by Brock Samson, Colonel Gathers, and the other members of SPHINX, Zeus takes Shore Leave. The abduction of heroes and villains makes news all over the world. Dr. Thaddeus Venture believes he will be the next victim, though his son Hank and bodyguard Sergeant Hatred seem less concerned.

At Zeus's base (an abandoned horse racing track) Zero forces two of the kidnapped characters - Henchman #21 and U.S. Steel's partner Ghost Robot - to fight in a brutal deathmatch, which ends with Ghost Robot's death at #21's hands. Billy, Pete, and Shore Leave are seen sharing a cell in Zeus's prison (actually a disguised stable), discussing Zeus's plan, which seems to involve systematically killing off all of them until only one remains.

The abductions have attracted the attention of the OSI, which summons Brock and Col. Gathers as representatives of SPHINX to a secret meeting; Phantom Limb and Professor Impossible are in attendance, representing their new Revenge Society, as are Red Mantle and Dragoon, representing the Guild of Calamitous Intent, and a number of other villains. The meeting, called by OSI General Treister to discuss a plan for recovering the kidnapped heroes and villains, quickly falls into disarray as the attendees bicker over old scores.

Dr. Venture, still completely paranoid that he will be taken next, is instead "kidnapped" by Sgt. Hatred, Hank, and Dean while wearing voice changing masks to disguise their identity. They plan to subject Rusty to various tortures in order to validate his fears. While being interrogated, Hatred accidentally slips out Dean's name which leads Rusty to think that they kidnapped Dean and begs them to take him instead which hatred says "Hey that's pretty impressive. When Hank says they have "Hank" as well, Rusty reveals they can just go ahead and kill him, making Hank angrily eager to torture his father.

Gravely wounded, a old man cryptically warns Shore Leave of Zero's true intentions while #21 meditates in silence; ultimately, the henchman stands and asks his cellmates for help. They all agree, but when Shore Leave asks for #21's name, he introduces himself as Henchman #1.

The scene changes back to Hank failing at torturing Rusty he finally asks why Rusty seemingly loves Dean more than Hank. Rusty reveals (without knowing it's Hank he's talking to) that he knew they'd never manage to kill Hank, and actually admires Hank for trying his best to not follow the Venture legacy. If anything, Hank is more like him and his disinterest in following his own father. Rusty says he would  want  to hold hank and apologize to him for his existence and for dooming him to be like himself. Additionally, he actually feels sorry for Dean because he believes so much in the whole "super-scientist" legacy and because he'll probably just end up just like his grandfather.

Billy and Pete are summoned by Zero to fight for Zeus, but they instead argue over their designation as hero and villain respectively and are thrown back in their cell, along with #21 and a seemingly ordinary old man. Billy, Pete, Shore Leave, and #21 are all summoned to fight in a tag-team battle, but the moment that Zero drops the flag to begin, Billy and Pete flee while Shore Leave and #21 use their weapons to reveal that Zeus is merely a cardboard cutout. Impressed, Zero leaps down from the booth to fight #21 himself, but #21 merely threatens him, before calling him Henchman #1. Zero becomes angry and removes his helmet, revealing Scott Hall, the former Henchman #1 who was believed to have been killed by Brock Samson (episode: "The Lepidopterists"). Back at the OSI meeting, it is revealed that the old man is actually the original Captain Sunshine, who retired and promoted his sidekick Wonder Boy to be the new Captain Sunshine (seen in Handsome Ransom) and presently serves as his butler, Desmond. Hall, now calling himself "Henchman Zero," explains how he tricked Desmond (who still retained his Captain Sunshine powers) into dressing as Zeus and gathering heroic sidekicks and villainous henchmen. Hall had lead Desmond to believe that he would be gathering them for a party, as an attempt to compensate them for the perceived lack of recognition secondary characters receive. He later overtook Desmond and threw him into the prison stable. Hall now plans to finish off all the gathered heroes and villains by forcing them to battle, intending to kill the last survivor (which Hall hoped would be Henchman #21) himself, all for revenge over being left for dead by #21. When challenged by Hall, #21 refuses to fight, and points out that the other abduction victims have been freed by Billy and Pete, prompting Hall to flee.

At the OSI meeting, Mr. Doe and Mr. Cardholder inform the demoralized group that the issue has resolved itself, showing them that the heroes and villains have been reunited with their associates.

In a post-credits scene, Dr. Venture is still held captured by Hank, who has tricked him into paying a ransom to his supposed kidnappers - actually Hank and Hatred themselves.

Fun Facts[edit]

  • The Apple Mummy cereal is a reference to the General Mills monster cereals Boo Berry, Count Chocula and Frankenberry. Two other cereals were Yummy Mummy, Fruit Brute that were long discontinued, but have lately had seasonal releases during the Halloween season.
  • Captain Sunshine is revealed to be a "legacy character" (a character whose identity is passed down to new generations). This occurs commonly in super hero comics.
  • The leader of the strange faction is Scott Hall ex-henchman #1!

[edit] Voice Talent
Voice Talent
James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Phantom Limb
Patrick Warburton Brock Samson
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Chris McCulloch Hank Venture
Sgt. Hatred
Hunter Gathers
Pete White
Storm Front
Tiger Shark
Ghost Robot
Doc Hammer Billy Quizboy
Shore Leave
Red Mantle
Henchman 21
Bill Hader Professor Impossible
Toby Huss General Treister
Mike Lazzo Golfer (Uncredited)