|First Appearance|| The Venture Bros. |
The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay
The Monarch's primary traits are his butterfly/royalty theme (based on both Monarch terms for butterfly and royalty), his shrill voice, and his hatred of Thaddeus Venture. He has set his base of operations inside a floating cocoon (characters have commented on how illogical this is), and all of his weaponry is modeled on physical traits of butterflies. In spite of his fascination with them, the Monarch remains oblivious to the actual biology and physical capabilities of butterflies ("The Terrible Secret of Turtle Bay"). The Monarch commands a set of henchmen dressed in yellow and black attire with butterfly wings, all known solely by number (except for junior henchmen). Monarch frequently kills henchmen when he is in a bad mood. The henchmen are passionately loyal to the Monarch, and it is suggested many of them were down on their luck or troubled when he recruited them and gave them a purpose.
The Monarch "co-arches" with his wife Doctor Mrs. The Monarch (formerly his lover and aide Doctor Girlfriend), a gravelly-voiced woman with a striking resemblance to a young Jackie Kennedy; At the end of the second season, The Monarch and Doctor Girlfriend were finally wed, while the Guild of Calamitous Intent officially sanctioned the wedding at the beginning of season three ("Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny"). After their marriage, Doctor Girlfriend changed her name to Doctor Mrs. The Monarch.
The Monarch's arch-rival (to him, at least) is Dr. Venture. The Monarch's entire career of "arching" Dr. Venture was unsanctioned by the Guild of Calamitous Intent; "The Monarch" was not even a registered member of the Guild until the beginning of season three ("Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny"). Prior to that, he had been registered with the Guild as various low-level henchmen for other villains. The Monarch's hatred for Venture stems from some reason unknown, with the first instance of attempted murder occurring when they were both in college ("Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny"). The Monarch is eventually forced to give up illegally "arching" Dr. Venture in order to wed Doctor Girlfriend, but makes repeated attempts to rekindle their one-sided rivalry. He also hates Hank, Dean, and Brock Samson to a lesser extent because of their affiliation with Dr. Venture.
The Monarch has had the opportunity on numerous occasions to significantly harm Thaddeus Venture and his family, but prefers to play at a "deadly game of Cat and Also Cat".
The Monarch was the child of a wealthy couple who died when their private plane crashed in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The Monarch was the only one to survive the crash, and spent 3 months living in the forest amongst a colony of Monarch butterflies, who "adopted" him. As he was ignorant of their migration patterns, the butterflies eventually left, and the devastated Monarch hitch-hiked to the city and collected his sizable inheritance. The remainder of his boyhood and teenage years were likely spent in New York, as "The Trial of the Monarch" revealed Monarch's connection with the 1980s New York punk scene. The Monarch apparently left New York to go to college.("Past Tense"). In college, he was known as Malcolm and shared a creative writing class with Dr. Venture; apparently, the Monarch devoted all of his assignments to butterflies (which led Venture to initially assume he was a "closet case"). At some point in college, The Monarch made his first attempt to kill Thaddeus, which instead resulted in Underbheit's disfigurement ("Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny").
After graduating college with a BA in Creative Writing, The Monarch went to work at the Guild of Calamitous Intent as a registered low-level henchman to various villains including Phantom Limb (known as Shadowman 9), while he waited for his trust fund to come out of escrow. During this time, he also illegally moonlighted as his "Monarch" alter-ego, unsuccessfully arching on a young Dr. Venture. it was during his henching day when he met his future wife; she had just failed at being a solo super-villain (Lady AuPair), and accepted a Number 2 position working for Phantom Limb, this time as Queen Etheria. Donning one of his "early version" butterfly costumes, he attended a dinner party held by the Guild, and successfully seduced Queen Etheria in his car parked outside; Phantom Limb discovered this, and both Queen Etheria and The Monarch left together.
With the guidance of his new Number 2 (Doctor Girlfriend), The Monarch gave up his henching career, and turned to full-time arching of Doctor Venture. Using The Monarch's vast wealth, they built a giant, floating military base from which to launch his attacks on Dr. Venture. Near the end of the first season, he and Doctor Girlfriend have a falling out over a tell-all book published by the Monarch's henchmen (according to the Monarch, "filled with lies and pictures of also-lies"), which brought to light her salacious past with a variety of other supervillains. She left him and went back to Phantom Limb, who in turn framed the Monarch for murder so that he could have Doctor Girlfriend to himself. The Monarch managed to escape from prison and rebuilt his career, eventually winning back Doctor Girlfriend; The Monarch and Doctor Girlfriend were officially married at the beginning of season 3, whereupon she changed her name to Dr. Mrs. The Monarch.
In return for recognition and leniency from the Guild (and for permission to marry his wife), The Monarch was forced to stop arching Dr. Venture, a fact which he has trouble coming to terms with. Season 3 saw The Monarch sinking ever-lower in depression over not arching Venture: killing all 8 of his "new assignments" from the Guild, nearly ruining his marriage, raiding the Venture compound and finally arching Jonas Venture, Jr. on a trial basis. Thanks to a "family by-laws" loophole found by Dr. Mrs. The Monarch, season 3 ends with a horrific showdown at the Venture compound, where The Monarch donned shooting, flying (but otherwise immovable) armor and faced off against the O.S.I. He ended up killing all of the Hank-and-Dean clone slugs, several O.S.I. troopers, many of his own henchmen, and finally fell to earth in a nauseated bundle, to be picked up by his remaining henchmen and his wife.
In the second episode of Season 4, The Monarch kidnaps Hank & Dean and tries to order Dr Venture to pay a ransom. Hank is immediately rescued by Captain Sunshine, who takes him back to his lair to make him the new Wonder Boy. (The Monarch killed the last Wonder Boy while he and Dr. Girlfriend were broken up.) Dr Venture gets Dean back and then both he and the Monarch track down Captain Sunshine's lair in order to get Hank back. His wife creates for Monarch a solar ray cannon, guessing that Captain Sunshine's powers don't work at night. However, the ray gun empowers Sunshine who then defeats the Monarch. The Monarch, his wife, and 21 head home in a cab. One of them then fires a dart at the cabbie when he inquired about the fare.
in the hour long special (Operation: P.R.O.M) The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend headed to the prom (Taking seargent Hatred ex-wife Tinyfeet along to help them get in) and meet up with 21, but when he admits that he realizes Dr. Venture is not a bad person, the Monarch accuses him of being drugged. An inebriated 21 snaps and angrily reveals his infatuation with Dr. Girlfriend, even telling the Monarch about their previous amorous encounter, but the Monarch merely laughs it off due to his "swinger" relationship with Dr. Girlfriend (common among villains) and tells 21 to stop being a crybaby. Having had enough, 21 quits his job as henchman and storms off.
The Monarch is a theatrical, colorful villain, whose theatrics are not matched by his competence - his plans tend to go awry through mixtures of error, arrogance, bad luck, being outwitted, and Brock Samson killing henchmen until enough are dead to stop any schemes. He also is given to grandiose speeches and phrases, some of which get away from him or don't sound like he expected.
The Monarch has admitted, only to #21, that sometimes he hates himself more than other villains hate their arch-nemeses. Despite his wealth, power, beautiful wife, and loyal henchmen, he seems eternally insecure and self-loathing. The reasons for this have yet to be explained.
The Monarch can be witty and charming, and possesses a cutting sarcastic wit. Unfortunately these traits tend to emerge right before he does something very unwise.
He is deeply in love with his wife, and the two have an erratic but passionate long-term history. The Monarch can be both loving and playful (as witnessed in several intimate scenes), but also bitterly insecure over their relationship.
Despite his flaws, he is considered by many (including Doctor Mrs. The Monarch and #21) to be a person truly talented in villainy, filled with a villainous kind of hatred that's almost an art form.
The possible explanation for The Monarch's odd mixture of ineptness and genre-aware cunning, may have been given in the season 3 premiere Shadowman 9: In the Cradle of Destiny, in which it was revealed that The Monarch is actually a Guild henchman who started his own career as a full-blown "villain" without "going through the proper channels" of the Guild or receiving formal training. Depending on how one looks at it, The Monarch could actually be seen as a very successful henchman, who was able to bootstrap his way up to being a major villain, and win over Dr. Girlfriend. This furthers the dichotomy between the Monarch and Dr. Venture: Venture started out with everything, the son of the great Jonas Venture that had all of the advantages, and his life turned into a failure. The Monarch may not be the most successful or competent villain ever, but compared to Venture, he's at least got the excuse that he wasn't supposed to be a major villain, but refused to play the hand fate dealt him.
Equipment and abilities
Though the Monarch has no powers, his costume is equipped with a variety of gadgets. His costume conceals large butterfly wings crafted by Doctor Girlfriend that allow him to fly, and he also has two wristbands that shoot out a number of darts (variously depicted as either tranquilizers or lethal). He has shown on multiple occasions to be surprisingly competent in battle. In the episode "Dia de Los Dangerous!", he explains that he was raised by butterflies, which involved living off milkweed, "ensuring his toxicity to this day," though it does not appear to have any bearing on his performance.
While The Monarch has an obvious relish for the theatrics and grandiose aspects of supervillainy, he has proven he's not above cheap tricks and underhanded tactics as a more practical approach. In Handsome Ransom, The Monarch simply kicked Dr. Venture in the groin and robbed him of the ransom drop while the two were negotiating.
All of the Monarch's equipment is based on butterflies. His base is a giant flying cocoon. It has a pink and purple color scheme inside and he refers to the central workstation as his "throne room." The master bedroom's bed doubles as an escape pod, shaped like a smaller cocoon. Its internal defenses were personally designed by him, which may explain why Brock could easily take them out single-handedly ("Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean"). He also has a car, the Monarch-mobile, also decked out in purple, as well as a butterfly-shaped aircraft (with cargo/henchman room in the abdomen) that was only shown once. The cocoon's engine may run on antimatter ("Showdown at Cremation Creek (Part 1)"). The Monarch also briefly had a "Butterfly Glider" (based off the Green Goblin's weapon), a large golden butterfly shaped personal flying transport that ran on bio-diesel The Diving Bell Vs. The Butter-Glider
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