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Henry Allen "Hank" Venture is one of the two deuteragonists of the Adult Swim television program The Venture Bros., the other being his twin brother Dean. He is voiced by show co-creator Christopher McCulloch.
His appearance is similar to that of Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo, (a similarity mentioned by Triana Orpheus). The resemblance mainly stems from his ever-present (except when he wears his Aquaman pajamas, his Venture Industries boilersuit, or his Batman costume) white shirt and neckerchief wardrobe and blond hair, although his hair is much shorter than Fred's (Hank has remarked that he does not particularly like neckerchiefs any longer, but continues to wear them to please his father).
On a minor note, Hank has pointed out that he has a scar from a giant centipede.
The Hank who appeared in the first season was circumcised, while Dean was not; Hank used this as an insult (calling it a "creepy dog dork"). However, the Hank that was activated in "Powerless in the Face of Death" was uncircumcised until the third season episode "Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman" when he passed through an Amazonian warrior tribe's rite of manhood. In Season 4, Hank is shown to have a drastically altered appearance, having grown his hair out and taking to wearing Brock's old jacket on top of his speed suit; the series creators have stated that this change is due to Hank beginning to age normally in a single body, now that he has no more clone bodies in which to be revived. This was also a way for Hank to model his appearance after his absent hero Brock Samson.
However, after graduating from his learning bed he returns to his original look which he maintains until season 5.
During Season 6, he has adopted a new hairstyle as well wearing a white jacket with the ventures logo and red and white stripes which owes to his new status as a rich kid. Also, after getting a job he wears a pizza delivery boy uniform.
Hank Venture is the more outgoing, adventurous, and gullible of the two boys. He exhibits a typically 1950s/1960s outlook on life, frequently using such mild interjections as 'golly!' Unlike Dean, he tends to be less naive and more decisive, even if his actions are often mentally unsound and fail to help the current situation. He is prone to flights of fancy; Brock Samson states at one point "it's like he (Hank) channels dead crazy people," to which Dean agrees.
Hank tends to be more keen on adventuring than anyone else in the family, frequently asking to accompany Brock on his various trips ("Home Insecurity") or just hanging out with him ("Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!"). While Brock considers Hank an apt pupil, Hank's exuberance and joy at being included in adventurous undertakings frequently leads to missteps - ranging from slight to fatal - occurring. His best friend is his brother Dean, and the two attempt to live up to the legacy of Team Venture, albeit poorly. Like any other pair of brothers, Hank and Dean argue at times; Hank is the physically stronger of the two and usually overpowers Dean when rough-housing (His father, Dr. Venture, also once mentioned that Hank "get(s) that kind of retard strength when he gets all worked up"). His relationship with his father can border on the nonexistent at times, largely due to Dr. Venture's focus more on Dean and on his own work/money troubles. However it is later admitted by his father that Hank reminds him of himself as when he was young he tried to rebel against his father's legacy as well.
Hank tends to bond well and easily with others: Brock Samson, The Monarch, Sergeant Hatred (after Hatred swore off child molesting), Dermott Fictel, Doctor Girlfriend (who rightly considered Hank capable of driving a getaway car, while dismissing Dean as a "candy-ass"), Henchman 21 (who, before learning of Dr. Venture's cloning facility, believed Hank to be a Highlander-style immortal being based on the number of times 21 had seen him die), and assassin Jean-Claude Le Tueur (whom Hank bonded with while discussing comic books; their plans to go to the San Diego Comic-Con the next year fell through, however, as Brock sliced Le Teur in half). are all characters that Hank has befriended.
Hank has a fascination with Batman and is shown wearing the same Batman costume as a running gag.
Hank has a close relationship with family bodyguard Brock Samson, who treats him with genuine affection and concern. While Dean is apparently being groomed by Dr. Venture to follow in his father and grandfather's footsteps as a super-scientist, Brock has passed on some of his own unique expertise to Hank. He once talked him through the process of defeating several "ghost" pirates via his wrist communicator("Ghosts of the Sargasso"), and tends to think of Hank as his back-up in most violent situations the Ventures get into ("Love-Bheits", "The Buddy System").
There are suggestions from other characters that Hank may be gay, particularly from the Alchemist in "Fallen Arches" and from Triana and Dean in "The Buddy System." In "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills." Hank insinuates that he may have enjoyed some of Sergeant Hatred's sexual molestation. Additionally, he was almost kissed by Abraham Lincoln, whose spirit had temporarily taken over Dean's body, in "Guess Who's Coming to State Dinner?" and was kissed by Captain Sunshine in "Handsome Ransom." In the instance with Lincoln, which Hank rejected, Lincoln offered the excuse that he was merely reacting to the hormone levels in Dean's teenage body, and the instance with Captain Sunshine was akin to a Mafia-style dismissal rather than a sexual advance. Contrarily, in "Everybody Comes to Hank's" he loses his virginity to Dermott Fictel's biological mother Nikki Fictel. Afterwords, he has his memory erased by S.P.H.I.N.X. after he learns the truth of Dermott's conception as Rusty Venture's bastard son with Nikki Fictel, who was the 15 year old chairperson of Rusty's fan club. He did leave a message on his communicator for himself under the title "Dean Faceplant" explaining that he lost his virginity, but excluded the disgusting parts of sleeping with someone his dad also slept with, to his now memory-erased self. Also in Season 6, he starts a romantic relationship with Sirena Ong, the daughter of the Super-villain Wide Wale.
History and activities on the show
Details of Hank's childhood have been very sparse; in "Careers in Science," Dr. Venture bemoans the "moment of passion" that led to the boys' birth. He, like Dean, regrets knowing nothing of their birth mother and sometimes entertains fantasies about finding her ("Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!" "Hate Floats"). The episode "I Know Why the Caged Bird Kills" had the, now insane, ex-OSI agent Myra Brandish claim to be the boys' mother. Hank resembles her younger appearance, but in a later episode, Dr. Venture's 'death confession' to Sergeant Hatred was that he tricked Myra into thinking she was the boys mother.
Thanks to their father's scientific knowledge, the Hank and Dean that appear in The Venture Bros. have been cloned over 14 times. Venture explains that the boys seem to be rather "death-prone," and as a precaution he keeps a few clones ready at all times for activation. Although Dr. Venture mentions in "Powerless in the Face of Death" that both Hank and Dean's clones were first developed from "toenail clippings," obviously his dead sons' clippings. A flashback montage showing the boys' deaths seems to indicate that Hank may have met an unfortunate end slightly more frequently than Dean.
In the season three episode, The Family That Slays Together, Stays Together (Part I), Hank mentions in a conversation with Le Tueur that he once jumped off his roof pretending to be Batman, then second guesses himself saying "or maybe I dreamt it". This clip was seen in the season two premiere as one of Hanks many deaths, hinting the boys may have some residual memories of their past selves.
While Hank rarely has an episode dedicated solely to himself, he does play at least a prominent part in nearly all episodes. He helped Brock to take down a ship of faux-ghost pirates, led an attack on the "Phantom Spaceman" and attempted to free Brock from Dr. Venture's hypnotic "joy can." He can be counted on for enthusiasm, if not actual intelligence or competence. Unlike Dean, however, Hank noticed that his supposed age did not match the date on his ID card.
One of his larger roles involved his accidental exposure to the "Goliath Serum." This compound, invented by Richard Impossible for use as a weapon, was intended to cause a chain reaction in a living organism that culminates in a massive, devastating explosion proportional to the mass of subject, for example, an ant could destroy a tank, meaning Hank theoretically could have exploded with the force of atom bomb at least. Dr. Venture worked with Pete White, Master Billy Quizboy, and Impossible's wife Sally to produce an antidote. Shortly after being injected with this experimental cure, Hank's symptoms vanished; Dr. Impossible, however, curtly announced that the scientists had only succeeded in inventing ranch dressing. (The serum was apparently only effective on ants, the only creatures on which it had ever been tested.) However, Hank did manifest symptoms of the serum, so it's possible that the supposed "ranch dressing" was really a cure and Dr. Impossible was just jealous of Dr. Venture's success. Richard's wife, Sally Impossible, even claims that this is the reason.
He developed an intense crush on Molotov Cocktease when she guarded the Venture family for several days while Brock was hunting his former mentor and eagerly threw himself into the training the Russian mercenary forced the Ventures to do. His infatuation led him to take down his posters of Mary Lou Retton and Danica Patrick, which worried Dean about the training's effect over his brother. Coming across her then-discarded stiletto heel boots, he nuzzled and rubbed against them, only to be lightly touched in the neck by the blade hidden in the heel, which was coated with a highly effective psychotropic hallucinogen. This caused him to hallucinate that Molotov wanted him to kill his father so they could be together (Dr. Venture had been making his usual pathetic advances to Molotov in the meantime). He picked up a machete and attempted to hack down his father in his lab; but the weapon was made merely of papier-mâché and he was summarily grounded for his attack.
Again he has played minor but important roles in recent episodes, such as attempting to personally crash the wedding between Baron Ünderbheit and his brother while trapped in Ünderland; he also tried to help the spirit of Abraham Lincoln save the current president from being assassinated — although when his brother was possessed by Lincoln, he was nearly kissed, an event that horrified him but prompted Lincoln (who indicated that he had access to Dean's memories) to express knowledge that the boys had experimented with each other previously.
In the fourth season, Hank is shown with his hair grown out and has begun to emulate his absent hero, Brock, growing out his hair, wearing Brock's jacket and gaining greater willingness to learn combat. He has also gained a rebellious streak referring to his father as both a "honky" and the "president of the United States of boogers". He has also grown resentful towards Dean after Dean both gets his own lab in the panic room while Dr. Venture refuses to train Hank for his future career (with his dad and an unbiased delivery man both thinking his future is in box moving). A massive amount of Dean pictures in the attic (put up by a clone), and being blamed for a fire (which said Dean-clone caused), calling the police on his dad (which was actually due to aforementioned deliveryman/amateur psychic) and stealing the people mover to flee to Mexico (which was actually his fault) resulting in a large grounding and a beating when he listened to records. His father has also tried to prevent him from using the bathroom while grounded but this was foiled given the fact the Venture Compound only has one bathroom. He later tried to join S.P.H.I.N.X, but, despite his amazing résumé and incredible skill passing every "test" they threw at him, they found him more of a nuisance than a asset. Though as Brock Samson pointed out, Hank will need to be 18 or older to join S.P.H.I.N.X anyway.
In the fifth season, Hank attempts to join S.P.H.I.N.X once more when it is placed under Gary's control and in the process he gains a power suit which he wears until the episode in which it is stolen by Molotov Cocktease and later destroyed by Brock Samson. In the season's finale, he learns from Dean that they are clones of their original selves but the news does not upset him but rather excites him on the fact to be a member of the Venture family. From this optimistic view, Hank is able to bring his brother out of his depression and make him see that have an amazing family and that everything would be alright.
During the sixth season, Hank along with his family have moved to New York while there Hank quickly gets use to his new life as a rich kid before he is told to get a job from his father. In response, he becomes a pizza delivery boy and has taken an interest in a young woman named Sirena Ong who he successfully asks out on date. In It Happening One Night, Hank goes on a date with Sirena and goes through great lengths to impress her all of which are successful and while swimming in a lake the two share a kiss.
Is Hank's father, throughout most of the show the two are constantly at odds with each other mostly due to Dr. Venture favoring Dean over Hank. In Every Which Way But Zeus, Hank and Sgt. Hatred pretend to hold Dr. Venture hostage and mistakenly call out Dean's name. Hearing this, Dr. Venture screams out to take him instead of Dean which shocks both Hatred and Hank. This causes Hank to reveal that they kidnapped him as well but Thaddeus states they can do whatever they want to him. This revelation causes Hank to become depressed, and before administering "torture" to his father, he asks why Thaddeus loves Dean more than Hank. Thaddeus rebuffs this statement by saying he does love Hank and says he only told them to torture Hank because he knows Hank is tough, like himself, and could endure the torture. Thaddeus explains that Hank, like Thaddeus, didn't want to be what his father wanted either and he is in fact proud of his son's resistance. After this, Hank understood that his father deeply loves and cares for him.
Dean is hank's twin brother who he is older than by four minutes. Hank and Dean have a stereotypical sibling relationship as they fight and mock each other at times but ultimately are each other's best friend. In the season five finale, Hank asks his brother why he was so depressed to which Dean replies that he learned that he and Hank are clones that have died countless times and are shells of their original selves. Hank thinks this amazing, much to his brother's surprise, Hank explains to Dean that it's yet another reason why its awesome to be a Venture and lightens Dean's mood. In he season six episode It Happening One Night, Dean helps his brother with trying to impress Sirena Ong on their date which was successful.
Hank openly idolizes Brock and does everything he can to spend time with and learn from him. When Brock left to help SPHINX, Hank was the most affected by his absence, becoming more rebellious by growing out his hair and wearing Brock's signature jacket until he returned. In Season 6, Brock was reassigned to work for the Ventures this caused Hank to be greatly excited as his idol returned to the family.
Hank was scared of Sergeant Hatred as he molested him and his brother (who holds no recollection due to being passed out from the wine). When Hatred became the new family bodyguard, Hank was openly disdainful of Sgt. Hatred taking over for Brock. But after (accidentally) shooting Hatred in the arm on his command and then having a heart to heart, they've settled in to a good relationship. In O.S.I. Love You, Hatred told Hank it was his destiny to protect his family, before he went out to confront Molotov Cocktease and nearly got himself killed. Hank used his Strength Suit to save Hatred and later explained Hatred was kind of like family and gave him the nickname Uncle Vatred.
Hank and Dermott are close friends. They share many common interests and formed a band. Neither of them are aware they're half-brothers through Dr. Venture and Nikki. When Hank himself had sex with Nikki Fictel and later found out the truth, he was so disgusted he willingly had his memory erased. In Momma's Boys Dermott calls Dr. Venture "Dad" right in front of Hank and Dean, much to their surprise, so it is unknown what their relationship will be like in future episodes but they are great friends so maybe nothing will change.
In Everybody Comes to Hank's, Hank is shown to have a crush on Dermott's older sister Nikki. He goes over to their home where they talk with Hank spotting Nikki's Rusty Venture collection from the old TV show. Nikki stated Hank reminded him of the character of the show which Hank denies and calls her words suspicious with Nikki stating she was hiding a big crush on him and the end up having sex. Hank was excited due to losing his virginity however, this was short-lived due to learning (through a spell charm) that as a teenager Nikki once slept with his father leading to the birth of Dermott. Hank was so disgusted that he willingly had his memory erased but not before leaving a message to himself (post memory erased) about the encounter showing that in spite of the disturbing details he enjoyed the sex. In What Color is Your Cleansuit?, while Hank was sleeping in Dermott's room she attempted to seduce him again. However, with his memory erased he had forgotten their encounter and it appears he's lost his crush on her as he was a little disturbed by her advances on him.
In Hostile Makeover, Hank had spotted Sirena Ong through the use of Brock's binoculars and saw her diving in a pool and give off an unresponsive look which caused him to attempt to save her only to find out she possessed gills. In Faking Miracles, he once again encounters her and tries to speak with her only for he father's henchmen to attack him until Sirena ordered them off. Hank later delivered a pizza to her apartment but was again chased off by Wide Wale's men. When Hank managed to elude them he found himself on the veranda outside Sirena where they properly got acquainted and hank managed to ask Sirena out on a date after impressing her with his hover car. In Rapacity in Blue, hank is shown nervous about going on his upcoming date with Sirena going to various members of his family on how to not mess up his chances with her. In It Happening One Night, he goes out on his date with her and while having Dean and Pete White help him in various ways he is happy to learn she is actually enjoying herself. While treating her to dinner, he is somewhat jealous that their waiter is her ex-boyfriend but this is brushed aside when they go to the pier where she reveals she is aware of him having friends help him on their date. However, she is flattered that he went to such lengths to just to impress her on the date her, before the two take a swim in the lake. When their bodyguards come to retrieve them, they hide in the lake where they share a kiss before they are taken back to their respective homes. This hints at a future relationship between the two. In Red Means Stop, there is a chalkboard in hank's room with their initals on it, hinting at another step in their relationship.
- Dr. Venture has vaguely referred to the boys having an actual mother on a few occasions:
- In "Careers in Science", Dr. Venture says that he "started" the boys in a moment of passion.
- In "Mid-Life Chrysalis", the boys directly asked Dr. Venture about their mother. He realizes that he's never really told them about their mother, and begins to tell them about her, but is cut off before he could go into more detail.
- Also, in "Eeney, Meeney, Miney... Magic!", the image of Dr. Venture makes a reference to their mother while Hank is in the fantasy world of Dr. Venture's "joy can", with Hank hearing her voice off screen. However, this was the idealized fantasy world of Hank's in which he had a mother (with Dean's absence implied), and likely had no basis in real events at all.
- In "Powerless in the Face of Death", Dr. Venture implies that the boys' mother was ugly. When he mentions losing his virginity at 24, Dr. Orpheus says "That is awful!" (Referring to his continued cloning of the boys). Dr. Venture scoffs, and replies "You didn't even see her, it was horrific."
- Myra Brandish claimed to be the boys' mother. Season 3 confirmed that she was Thaddeus Venture's bodyguard at approximately the time he was 24, at about the right time frame for the boys to be conceived, and Thaddeus has confirmed he did have sex with her. Myra even bears a close resemblance to Hank.
- In "Momma's Boys", Dr Venture makes a 'death confession' to Sergeant Hatred telling him that he convinced some (unnamed) woman she was the boys mother and "messed her up pretty bad". This happens just after the scene where Hank comes to believe that Myra was lying about being his mother. Later he tells Hank he wanted Myra to give the boys free daycare and him free 'daycare'.
- Also, in the episode Perchance to Dean during a flashback we see Dr. Venture showing Brock the Dean and Hank clones. Upon coming across one that's deformed he says it's a face only a mother can love and "good thing she's not here".
- Hammer and Publick have confirmed that the boys do, in fact, have a biological mother.
- Hank is not allowed to use the oven without supervision as per =Everybody Comes To Hank's.
- In Love-Bheits, it is revealed that Hank has been taking Judo lessons from Brock
- In his bedroom in the Venture Compound, he has a toy car that looks identical to Brock's car, Adriene.