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Handsome Ransom

  • Original Air Date:
    October 25, 2009
  • Written by:
    Jackson Publick
  • Production Number:
    40
  • ... and KEVIN CONROY as Captain Sunshine
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Jump To: Summary | Capsule | Notes
All-time score of 4.0 with 418 votes

Summary

The Monarch's abduction and ransom of Hank and Dean, part of his newest scheme to hurt Dr. Venture, inadvertently catches the attention of semi-retired super-hero Captain Sunshine. As Dr. Venture and The Monarch squabble over the rules of kidnapping, Hank must decide if he's ready to become Captain Sunshine's newest young and supple sidekick.

Capsule

We begin with Hank and Dean hanging upside down inside the Cocoon. Two robotic silkworms (mechapillars) are slowly encasing them in silk or something. The Monarch laughs maniacally in the foreground as Dr. Venture watches, unamused, on the big screen. The Monarch says he'll give up the boys in exchange for... ten million dollars. Both Dr. Venture and Dr. Girlfriend are surprised by this since it's not usually in the Monarch's repertoire to demand money from Dr. Venture.

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Yeah, what- what are you doing?

THE MONARCH
[sighs and flips off the screen] Honey, how long have we been trying to kill this schmuck? Ten, twenty years?

DR. GIRLFRIEND
I don't know, since Marky-Mark had a Funky Bunch?

THE MONARCH
And it never works. You want to know how to really hurt Venture?

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Not really, but as a wife I try to be supportive, so-

THE MONARCH
You strike him in the pocketbook!! Ha ha!

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Yeah, speaking of; how much did those mechapillars set us back?

THE MONARCH
Couple mil. [flips screen back on] ANYWAY! It's ten million dollars, Venture. Tick tock, tick tock.

DR. VENTURE
[he and Sgt. Hatred are frantically searching their wallets] Look, I don't have that kind of cash just lying around-

DEAN
Daaaaady- mmmmhmmmm [his cries are muffled as the mechapillar shoots silk into his mouth]

DR. VENTURE
Alright, alright, you can have anything you want in my lab! Anything you see here, take your pick!

The Monarch refuses this deal, saying it's either money or nothing. Hank tells his dad to just pay up, which causes Sgt. Hatred to tell him not to side with the Monarch. Hank gets annoyed, telling Hatred and his father that Sgt. Hatred is not his dad or bodyguard.

DR. VENTURE
Will you accept half for just Dean? You can keep Hank.

SGT. HATRED
Your father doesn't mean that, Hank.

DR. VENTURE
Oh, don't I?! Do you know what Mr. Smart-mouth called me when he stormed out of the house this morning? A honky.

THE MONARCH
[snickers] Did you really?

HANK
Yeah.

THE MONARCH
[clears throat] I'm transmitting the instructions for the drop off now, Venture. I suggest you follow them or your boys will follow the Rainbow Bridge to Valhalla! Hahahahah haaa... [screen flips off] That's not as dark as it sounds in my head, is it?

Just then a hole is punched in the side of the Cocoon and a mysterious figure hovers, cape flowing in the wind.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Up to your old tricks again, eh Monarch?

THE MONARCH
Captain Sunshine?! [he's belted in the face with Sunshine's sunbeam attack (or something)] Fuuuu-

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Got a thing for torturing young boys, don't you? Well you're not fighting a boy now! [he throws the Monarch]

[Sunshine is surrounded by henchmen, but he fires off a large flash of light, blinding all of them]

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
You may be invulnerable, Monarch, but no one is invulnerable to justice! I'm going to make you pay for what you did to Wonderboy! Once and for all!

He flies out through the ceiling, carrying the Monarch with him.

Opening credits logo.

At an undisclosed location Dr. Venture is standing in front of a jeep eating pistachios. A bag, presumably filled with money, is sitting on the hood of the jeep. Sgt. Hatred pokes out of a trap door in the road, asking if he's seen anything yet. Dr. Venture tells him no, and to stay out of sight. Hatred is clearly uncomfortable in his shallow grave but Dr. Venture is unwilling to compromise the abmush.

Meanwhile in the Cocoon repairs are (once again) underway. Just as they fix the big screen Dr. Venture pops up on it.

DR. VENTURE
Fiiiiinaly!! I've been trying to reach you people for hours. Your instructions said two o'clock.

DR. GIRLFRIEND
I'm sorry! Uh, we had some engine troubles and- and... my period came!

THE MONARCH
[enters] Henchman 21!

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Can you hang on a second. [flips off the screen]

THE MONARCH
There is a taxi idling in the driveway awaiting his fare. Slay him.

[21 only stands and makes a flexing motion which causes a blade to deploy from his glove. He silently runs out of the room]

THE MONARCH
Is that Venture? What'd you tell him? What time is it?

DR. GIRLFRIEND
I stalled. What did he do to you?

THE MONARCH
The usual; he threw me in jail. Literally. Threw me right into the yard at the state prison. Then he shouts up to the warden: [mimicking] "Looks like this one won't be causing any more trouble!" Then he flies off with a gay little salute.

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Oh my god.

THE MONARCH
Apparently nobody ever told him what due process was.

DR. GIRLFRIEND
What the hell did you do to Wonderboy to get him so worked up?

THE MONARCH
Oh yeah- yeah, yeah, remember when we were broken up and I was... drinking a lot? Well I- I kind of slew him. Did he look old to you?

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Who?

THE MONARCH
Captain Sunshine.

DR. GIRLFRIEND
No, I thought he looked great for his age.

THE MONARCH
He looked old to me. I mean, he's still super fit and all, but when you get up real close he's like totally hitting that age when men start to look like somebody's aunt.

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Whatever, we've got a problem.

Apparently Captain Sunshine flew back in a couple minutes after his first visit and took Hank. Dean is still around though, so that's good I guess.

Outside Casa de Monarch, 21 is paying the cabbie he was instructed to kill. The cabbie protests that he's not getting a tip and 21 says he's lucky to get that and also to keep the payment secret since he's got a reputation to uphold. High above them two figures fly past the sun.

It's Hank and Captain Sunshine! Sunshine asks Hank if his mom is worried, to which Hank responds that he doesn't have a mother. He asks about his dad which garners the same response from Hank. Captain Sunshine looks a little too excited. Down below some people see them flying over and are happy since he's apparently good at cleaning up the town. You know, just keep him away from their kids.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
You... like me, don't you Hank? It is Hank, isn't it?

HANK
Yeah!

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
[laughs] Goood! Good! [clears throat] You know, Hank, I think you and I are gonna be super friends!

A flock of birds fly past them and Hank awkwardly grabs Captain Sunshine. After a slightly too long embrace Captain Sunshine proclaims that it's time to tank Hank home. Hank groans, but they fly right past the Venture Compound and to Captain Sunshine's, uh, mansion? Hank seems excited about this new prospect and Sunshine only mentions how hank looks just like 'him' when he smiles before they descend into Captain Sunshine's giant sundial, which is not a euphemism for anything, I swear.

Meanwhile at the rendezvous point the Cocoon finally arrives. It lands and a bunch of henchmen pile down the ramp followed by the Monarch, Dr. Girlfriend and Dean. Dr. Venture hands off the money, which the Monarch quickly identifies as smelling of toner. Dr. Venture yells 'NOW!' and Sgt. Hatred barges out of his hidden area. A million guns are aimed at him and he lowers his guns and asks where Hank is. Dr. Girlfriend nearly blows it, but the Monarch quickly covers it up, saying he knew Venture would double-cross him and they kept Hank as collateral. Sgt. Hatred points out that's against Guild guidelines before keeling over and barfing up his guts.

THE MONARCH
What's the matter with him now?

DR. VENTURE
He's been scarfing pistachios in a hot spider hole for two hours because somebody was late.

THE MONARCH
Oh, excuse us for ruining your double-cross. [sighs] Alright, do over! Everybody back in the Cocoon. Try it again tomorrow. [they all begin to exit]

DR. VENTURE
Wait! The least you could do for making us wait around all day is let us keep Dean.

THE MONARCH
No way!

DR. GIRLFRIEND
Ehh, do you really want that kid hanging around all night?

THE MONARCH
Ehh, yeah, yeah. Alright fine, you can keep Dean. [he pushes Dean towards Dr. Venture and Hatred] Oh wait a minute, how did I get screwed on this deal? I want an IOU!

Dr. Venture writes him an IOU on the back of his copier machine money and the Monarch says that they'll be hearing from him. And next time, come alone.

Inside Captain Sunshine's Sanctum Solarium he is greeted by his butler, Desmond. Sunshine informs Desmond that he should cancel all his plans (which include a children's charity ball) because he's got a new 'pet project'. Hank peers around the corner, and Desmond seems disappointed that Captain Sunshine has done it again. Hank and Sunshine briefly converse about the Monarch and Sunshine asks Hank if he'd like to be his sidekick. Hank accepts after hearing his compensation (free room and board, Ferris wheel rides and 20 video game tokens a week) and Sunshine happily flies off.

Dr. Venture attempts to his up his brother for cash, but the Pirate Captain informs him that Jonas Jr. is out of town... like way out of town, in space, building Gargantua 2 apparently. Interesting?

DR. VENTURE
This wouldn't even be happening if you had just done your job in the first place. The way I see it it's you who should be paying the Monarch.

SGT. HATRED
Well I don't see that at all.

DR. VENTURE
Well weren't you some kind of big-shot criminal for twenty years? Didn't you put any money away?

SGT. HATRED
I'll be honest with you, Venture, I drank most of it away, and what little I remember not drinking away Princess Tinyfeet got because I [starts crying] drank her away! Aww, there I go, what do you have to bring that up?!

Next to be called are Pete and Billy who are in their trailer dancing and drinking and wearing neck braces. Pete asks to hold the check again. It's for $10 million and from 'General Consolidated Insurance', so apparently they've both committed insurance fraud? Presumably. The phone rings and Billy answers, ripping off his neck brace.

Back at Sunshine's place Desmond is finishing up Hank's haircut. He informs Hank that Captain Sunshine is waiting for him in his new quarters and then hands Hank a tube of lube, noting that suggested application is to the buttocks and inner-thighs. Oh yeah. Hank enters his room where Captain Sunshine is waiting for him.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Your hair looks very handsome Hank! I mean, Wonderboy.

HANK
Uh, thanks.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Did, uh, d-did Desmond instruct you about the, uhh-

HANK
Yeah, feels kinda ooky.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
[laughs] Trust me you'll be glad you had it in the morning. [takes off cape] Well, I for one can't wait to get started. Would you care for some warm milk, it might relax you.

HANK
No thanks, I'm okay.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
After all tomorrow's gonna be a big day! I want you to get plenty of rest! Well, goodnight then. [leaves] Wonderboy.

HANK
Oh, good night. Captain Sunshine. [he looks around]

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
[enters] Just kidding! [he holds up a sleeping bag and pillow] Slumber party!!

Commercial.

In Dr. Venture's lab he is now packing a real $10mil into his bag. Billy is upset about losing their seed money, but Dr. Venture assures him they'll get it back if they stick to the plan. Pete has with him a silver suitcase which apparently has a big role to play in whatever their plan is.

SGT. HATRED
Wow, did you really make all this selling seeds? I couldn't even sell enough of the things to win a damned Go-Kart when I was a little boy.

BILLY
No. And I'm not a little boy, I'm thirty-seven.

SGT. HATRED
Woah, hold on now! You're thirty-seven? You mean to tell me it's perfectly legal for me to-

He is interrupted by the phone/fax ringing.

Back at Captain Sunshine's mansion Hank wakes up from his apparently undisturbed slumber only to have his bed flip downwards and send him down a chute of some kind. Standard morning for Hank I guess. Captain Sunshine is down in his Sanctum Solarium talking to some other super heroes on his big screen:

BARBIE-Q
Captain, Asbestos has broken out of prison again! We could sure use your super-help!

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
I wish I could, Barbie-Q, but it's just not a good time.

GHOST ROBOT
Would you like to talk about it? I, too, know the terrible pain of loss. The hollowness one feels when one is just going through the motions of life. Like a living ghost, or a robot.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Well thank you Ghost Robot, but, I'm better now.

U.S. STEEL
Then quit yer belly-itchin and get your sunkissed butt back here you worthless, weak wiggly-worm!

OWL GUY (not his official name)
I guess that's U.S.'s way of sayin' he misses you, Cap. We all do.

U.S. STEEL
Naah, aww shucks.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Aww, I appreciate that gang, I promise I'll be back as soon as-

HANK
[slides into a ball pit behind Captain Sunshine, he's wearing the Wonderboy uniform] Aww, sweet! Aw, you were totally right about that lube, slipped on like a glove!

OWL GUY (not his official name)
Damn, Cap, another one?

Take two at the rendezvous point. The Monarch protests Dr. Venture not being alone, but Dr. venture shrugs it off since he's only with Dean. I mean, come on. Henchmen lead someone dressed as Hank down the gang walk, though his head is covered with a black hood and he's wearing Hank's old clothes. Dr. Venture sees through the obvious fake since there's no way Hank would take off Brock's jacket and pulls off the hood, revealing a henchman. The Monarch confesses that he doesn't actually have Hank any more. He lost him. Dr. Venture starts to question this but before he can get much out he is kicked in the groin by the Monarch, who runs back into the Cocoon. Dr. Venture radios Billy with the signal, and Billy takes aim at the Monarch with the shrink ray curiously set to 'grow'. However the ray malfunctions and doesn't work.

Inside the Cocoon the Monarch gloats about his latest acquisition but Dr. Girlfriend points out that they're now obligated to actually find Hank, which means locating Captain Sunshine. Inside the bag of money we see the reason for Billy's shrink ray target. Sgt. Hatred is disguised as a hundred, and uh, has been shrunk to the size of one.

Meanwhile Captain Sunshine and Hank are riding in Sunshine's snazzy car. Hank asks when they'll get to see some action, and Sunshine informs him that they will need to patrol for crime first. There is a brief awkward moment when Sunshine holds onto Hank after stopping short (telling him to buckle his seatbelt) and then Scorpio, in his scorpion-shaped car pulls up next to them.

SCORPIO
Well, well, well, if it isn't Captain Sunshine. And I thought you'd retired.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
No such luck, Scorpio.

SCORPIO
Ooohh, who's the new Wonderboy?

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Just you never mind!

SCORPIO
Mmm, I'd sure love to tie him to a giant typewriter.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
You know the rules, Scorpio, he's off limits during training.

SCORPIO
Haven't broken his cherry yet, eh? Well I hope you do a better job with this one, ugh, to think that a C-lister like the Monarch-

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
That's it!! Stay here, Wonderboy!!

Captain Sunshine then proceeds to beat the living crap out of Scorpio with his own car. Hank gets out to help or something and Sunshine freaks out, saying that Hank could have been hurt, though he seems happy that Hank is doing okay. Very confusing.

Back at the Cocoon Dr. Girlfriend explains that analyzing the Monarch's flaky sunburn skin, it contains trace amounts of Sunshine's unique radiation. They can then use that radiation to trace him to his location. Sgt. Hatred has also been listening to this the entire time and informs Dr. Venture that if they can get to Hank first the Monarch will have to give the money back. He sends a copy of the map to Dr. Venture's apparently ancient dot matrix fax machine.

At Captain Sunshine's house he's busy tucking Hank in:

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
I'm sorry for my outburst earlier, Wonderboy. [sighs] I just, I couldn't live with myself if... anything bad ever happened to you again [sniffles]

HANK
It's cool, Captain Sunshine. I mean, I- I'd still like to go on more super hero patrols with you. If you'd have me.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
You would?

HANK
Well yeah, and hey, I was thinkin', maybe we should try doing them at night. 'Cause isn't there like, more criminals out then?

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Not for us, chum! Besides, at night, I see action with a different team.

A Channel 5 Action News intro plays, with Chuck Scarsdale and Barbara Quantas, Sam Turgen with sports, Weatherbot 5 with the exclusive Action Five-cast, and Neville Brown with sports! Each of the reporters is a member of the super team group that Sunshine was talking to earlier. The news starts with Barbara Quantas saying that Chuck Scarsdale is out, however Scarsdale (who is Captain Sunshine's secret identity, just so we're clear here) rushes in, saying he's here. To do the news. Tonight.

Back at Sunshine's mansion Desmond answers the door:

PETE
Oh, hello. I'm millionaire playboy Bruce White. And this is my ward, Billy. I was just passing through the neighborhood-

DESMOND
I find all of that quite difficult to believe.

DR. VENTURE
Believe this, Ask Jeeves! [he hits Desmond with some kind of spray, knocking him out] Good work! Alright, let's find the ten million dollar boy and get the hell out of here.

BILLY
That was the best you could do? 'This is my ward' [mimicking sounds]

PETE
What? You are kinda my ward.

As they're running away Desmond hits an emergency alarm button hidden on a giraffe before collapsing again.

In the news room Chuck Scarsdal has just finished up a report when his watch starts flashing. Barbara then shows a home video of the Cocoon hovering over Chuck's house, though the report claims it's a UFO and doesn't make any effort to identify the house. Chuck starts freaking out and mumbling to himself ('not again') before he completely flips out, shouting Wonderboy's name and running around the studio. The news producer tells the tech to go to a tape of anything, anything at all, and we're treated to a Copter 5 News Copter advertisement promoting the power of flying (and five on-board news computers). Chuck Scarsdale meanwhile runs up to the roof of the building to see the very same chopper. The pilot tries to say hello but Chuck throws him out of the chopper and flys towards his house, still shouting for Wonderboy.

Meanwhile the Monarch has infiltrated the Scarsdale/Sunshine household. He instructs the henchmen to find Hank but leave Captain Sunshine to him. However instead Hank finds them. He throws a bolas at 21 who ducks, causing the weapon to hit and knock the Monarch down. Hank slides down the banister and kicks 21 in the check, knocking Sgt. Hatred out of his satchel. Hank his 21 a number of times, though none of them seem to hurt much, and 21 questions Hank's motives.

HENCHMEN 21
Dude quit it, what are you trying to be?

HANK
[continuing his barrage] I'm your worst nightmare, dirtbag! Jab. Body blow, body blow!

[Henchman 21 hits Hank, knocking him down, Hank cries out and begins to cry]

HENCHMAN 21
I'm sorry I had to pop you one, but you were being a little dick.

HANK
Chuck! [he hits 21 in the face with a smoke bomb] Flashbomb! [21 falls over]

THE MONARCH
Alright, Hank, playtime's over, let's get your gay little ass hom-

[Hank shoots him in the face with his grappling hook]

THE MONARCH
[yells] Oh! That is IT!! COME HERE!!

Hank's grapple hook bounces off the Monarch's head and attaches to the staircase, dragging Hank upwards. The Monarch, pissed, goes after him just as Dr. Venture, Pete and Billy enter. At this moment Chuck Scarsdale crashes Copter 5 into his giant sundial, running into his house screaming for Wonderboy.

DR. VENTURE
Shit! It's Chuck Scarsdale! Hide or we're gonna be on the news!! [they flee]

Scarsdale runs past them without even noticing. Upstairs Hank and the Monarch fight, though Hank is mostly just dodging the Monarch's punches. They step on the bed and the bed folds and the Monarch falls down the tube. He lands in the ball pit just as Captain Sunshine is putting on his suit. Sunshine runs over to him, thinking he's Wonderboy, but alas, it's only the Monarch dressed as Wonderboy and with a scorching wedgie.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Take. That costume. OFF!!

THE MONARCH
What's the matter, Captain Funtime? Isn't this what you've always wanted?

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
What are you talking about?!

THE MONARCH
Wouldn't it just fix everything twisted up inside of you if you could just fuck Wonderboy and your worst enemy at the same time!

[Captain Sunshine is very unsure and continues to back away from the advancing Monarch]

THE MONARCH
Well come and get it!!

The Monarch makes a number of lewd gestures at Sunshine, who is clearly very upset at this point. Sunshine tries to tell the Monarch to stop, but the Monarch reveals that he knows Sunshine's powers don't work at night. He also made a high-powered radiation canon (with his wife's help) that simulates his sunshine beams. The Monarch blasts him with the beam, but it actually has the opposite effect and energizes Sunshine (a handy announcer explains that it's similar to the daily sunlight that gives him his abilities). Captain Sunshine then goes on a rampage, blinding all the henchmen once again. He's about to blast Pete, Billy and Dr. V when Hank stops him.

DR. VENTURE
Hank! Why are you dressed like a pride parade? And who's this clown?

HANK
Give me a minute here, pop.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Pop? He's your- you told me you were an orphan!

DR. VENTURE
Thpff, I should be so lucky.

HANK
POP. Alright, now technically I never said that.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Were you ever even in the circus? Or did you lie about that too?

HANK
Look, I appreciate everything you've given me, especially the Chocodiles, 'cause my bodyguard never lets me have those. But I just think maybe you're using me to try to replace someone else. Maybe somebody you lost or something, I don't really know what's up with that. You keep talking about him, I didn't want to ask. What I do know is that I can't be that other kid, no matter how hard I try.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Don't say that. Don't say that, Wonderboy. You can be a great Wonderboy someday, Wonderboy!

HANK
That's just it! I'm not Wonderboy! I'm Hank Venture, and I want to go home.

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Please! Don't leave me again, Wonderboy, please! [continues babbling]

HANK
Okay, you're really not getting the whole Hank, Wonderboy, not me thing. So... just gonna let myself out, and...

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Don't do this, Wonderboy. [he kisses Hank] You broke my heart, Hank. You broke my heart. [he walks away]

DR. VENTURE
You know I bet this guy would pay ten million for Hank. What do you say, double or nothing?

HANK
Oh hey, um, you think maybe you could, you know, put in a good word with Batman for me?

CAPTAIN SUNSHINE
Get out of my Sanctum Solarium!!

Roll end credits.

Outside the Monarch's house a cab drops off him, Dr. Girlfriend and 21, all very badly sunburned. The cabbie asks for his fare but gets only a dart in the neck instead.

Notes

  • This episode marks the first time Captain Sunshine has appeared in the series since his first mention in Return to Spider-Skull Island by the Monarch ("Have you sent the charred remains of Wonder-boy to his beloved Captain Sunshine?"). Sunshine was voiced by Kevin Conroy, who is best known for his voice work as Batman/Bruce Wayne in pretty much every non-live action version of Batman since the animated series started airing in 1992. Most recently he voiced Batman in the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum.

  • Captain Sunshine himself is inspired by a number of characters, both real and fictional. There's of course the obvious Superman analogy. Sunshine can fly and has a couple other super powers similar to Superman's. He's also got a few similarities to Batman, though mainly focused around having a sidekick whom his alter-ego takes care of. Batman and Robin's relationship was perhaps slightly creepy prior to the 80s when books like The Dark Knight Returns changed Batman to be less goofy and more dark and brooding.

    And the final piece of his personality is inspired by Michael Jackson. Says Jackson (Publick):

    The second episode of the fourth season of The Venture Bros. airs tonight on adultswim. Entitled "Handsome Ransom," it was the first script we wrote for this season--back when we still thought we'd be doing 13 episodes straight through and starting production immediately after pre-production of season 3 finished.

    ...Which also means it was written when Michael Jackson was still alive...

    Obvious analogies are his man-boy persona where he seems somewhat harmless but also might be thought of as a molester. It's actually at least somewhat apparent that Sunshine isn't even really a pedophile (most awkward things are explained or never seem to come to fruition) but rather just someone who acts like a kid, or is even overprotective of his sidekicks because they have a tendency to die somewhat often. It's mostly open to your own interpretation, but keep in mind Hank has had first-hand experience with Sgt. Hatred prior to his injection (seen in Blood of the Father, Heart of Steel) so might at least be able to recognize some signs of issues like that.

    And finally Jackson basically stated as much:

    Captain Sunshine = NOT an actual pedophile

    So that pretty much wraps that up.

  • Delving further into Captain Sunshine, his mansion ownership is obviously heavily Bruce Wayne inspired, though the mansion itself is more akin to Neverland Ranch, Michael Jackson's former home. The Sanctum Solarium is a combination of the Batcave and to a lesser extent Superman's Fortress of Solitude. The giant penny with the Monarch's head on it is a reference to the giant penny traditionally seen in almost every version of the Batcave. The actual name of the base is likely a reference to Dr. Strange's lair, Scantim Sanctorum. Thanks to Preston in the comments for that tidbit.

    Sunshine's powers are much more analogous to Superman's, who gets his powers from the yellow sun (since his home planet had a red sun). Sunshine likewise gets his powers from the sun, though he appears to lose then during the night whereas Superman seems to always be under the influence of the sun regardless of the time of day (with exceptions such as when someone somehow removes the sun from the equation).

  • Desmond is a fairly obvious parallel to Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne's (and Batman's) loyal butler. Thanks to Bill in the comments for reminding me to add that!

  • Aside from the Superman and Batman angles, a few people in the comments here also pointed out that Birdman has a few similarities to Birdman (not to be confused with the Adult Swim series Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law which was a comedy spin-off of the original 1967 series). Namely that he uses the sun to get his powers and shoots similar beams from his hands. A recurring plot device in the Birdman series was Birdman being captured by a bad guy, unable to recharge his powers (something he needed to do fairly frequently) and something unlikely happening causing him to get them back at the last second.

  • Captain Sunshine mentions that the Monarch in invulnerable, this is a reference to Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny where, during a flashback, the Monarch tells a story about Captain Sunshine and a malfunctioning weapon which causes Sunshine to think the Monarch is invulnerable. The line from that episode is: "And then Captain Sunshine pulls the trigger and, of course, nothing. To this day, he still thinks I'm invulnerable." Thanks to The Sunshine Kid and Roscoe in the comments for pointing that out!

  • It's not worth much more than random speculation at this moment, but the check Pete and Billy got is marked as being from 'General Consolidated Insurance' which has the same initials as the Guild of Calamitous Intent. The signature on it is Manfred Duport (or possibly Manfred Dupont) which may or may not be significant, but I sure don't know how.

  • Since there's been a minor amount of confusion, Billy refers to the ten million as 'seed money' which refers to money one uses to start or jump-start a business (to 'seed' it, to use a gardening analogy). Sgt. Hatred thinks it means they were just selling seeds, which isn't the case, since it appears Pete and Billy just pretended to hurt their necks to get an insurance payout.

  • The scene towards the end where Captain Sunshine kisses Hank and tells him that he broke his heart is right out of The Godfather: Part II where Michael and Fredo have a similar scene. The kiss is actually famously referred to as 'the kiss of death', where Michael confronts Fredo about his betrayal. You can watch a crappy Youtube version of it if you like.

Episode Cast

James Urbaniak Dr. Venture
Michael Sinterniklaas Dean Venture
Christopher McCulloch Hank Venture
The Monarch
Sgt. Hatred
Pete White
Scorpio
Copter 5 Guy
Pirate Captain
Doc Hammer Dr. Girlfriend
Henchman 21
Billy Quizboy
Desmond
U.S. Steel
Rachel Feinstein Barbie-Q/Barbara Quantas
Woman on Street
Kevin Conroy Captain Sunshine

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