Baron Werner Ünderbheit IV is a fictional character and antagonist appearing on the Adult Swim show The Venture Bros. He is voiced by T. Ryder Smith and is a close parody of the famous Marvel Comics supervillain Doctor Doom: he bears a physical deformity, wears armor and a cloak, and was the tyrannical ruler of a small nation. His first name Werner is the same as Doctor Doom's father Werner Von Doom.
Character history Edit
Ünderbheit is a villain and member of the Guild of Calamitous Intent, and seems to be one of its more competent members (Hank and Dean Venture believe him to be their father's arch-nemesis; additionally, he is well-versed in Guild protocol, as indicated by his very specific references to certain Guild regulations). He was the ruthless dictator of Ünderland, a country smaller than Delaware that (within the context of the show) borders Michigan, until he was overthrown by the Venture family and the Ünderlandian resistance. During this time he mandated attendance by all citizens at national landmarks (including the "Ünderbheit Birth Crevasse") and military service by men between the ages of thirteen and thirty-seven (after which they would be executed), and imposed the death penalty for all infractions of the nation's laws.
The Baron's closest confidante is his slave Manservant, who was a gift from his parents when he was in college. His circle of dictatorial advisors was composed of Catclops (a cyclops with a cat's face in place of an eye), Girl Hitler (a woman resembling Adolf Hitler) and Manic Eightball (a human magic 8-ball); shortly after their first appearance in the series, however, he attempted to execute them all for treason. All three survived the assault, Catclops and Girl Hitler becoming leaders of an underground resistance group that plays practical jokes on Ünderbheit, while Manic Eightball was kept prisoner as an adviser.
Before suffering his disfiguring accident, Ünderbheit shared a tenuous friendship in college with Venture, Pete White (who was his roommate), and Mike Sorayama. On occasion, Ünderbheit's overbearing, imperious manner caused friction between himself and the others, although Venture and White often allied themselves with him in order to play jokes on Sorayama. Ünderbheit incurred Sorayama's wrath by tricking him into smoking oregano while insisting that it was potent Ünderland cannabis. Although Sorayama experienced a severe allergic reaction to the spice and nearly died, he was more upset over subsequently missing a study date with a girl on whom he had an intense crush.
After college, Ünderbheit returned to Ünderland, where he became dictator (the chain of events that led to this appointment has not yet been explained; as Pete White described him as " a prince or something," however, it is likely he inherited the throne). He vowed to take revenge upon Dr. Venture for disfiguring him, and views him as the last remaining enemy of Ünderland.
Dethroning and exile from ÜnderlandEdit
In the Baron's most prominent role to date, he forced the Ventures' plane to crash-land in Ünderland and imprisoned most of the team in a pantry due to Ünderland's lack of prisons. As the group was returning from a costume party, however, Dean was dressed as Princess Leia Organa; the costume and Dean's slender frame led Ünderbheit to believe that Dean was actually a previously unknown Venture daughter. Falling in love with "her" at first sight, the Baron declared his intention to marry Dean the next day. With Brock's help, Catclops and Girl Hitler's "resistance" stormed the castle and interrupted the wedding, although too late to stop the nuptials. After Dean was revealed as a male, Catclops and Girl Hitler arrested Ünderbheit for same-sex marriage (illegal in Ünderland) and exiled him. The nation became a democracy with Girl Hitler as its new president. The ousted Baron subsequently attempted to seek refuge with the Monarch, and evidently failed; he has not appeared on the show since.
Ünderbheit's most distinguishing physical feature (other than his baldness and pale complexion) is his metal lower jaw. The jaw can be detached or rotated over the top of his head, although this makes Ünderbheit's tongue hang grotesquely from his mouth. His metallic teeth are apparently strong and sharp enough to saw through a thick chain, and he can fire the jaw like a rocket at will.
According to Ünderbheit, the prosthesis was necessary after an accident in college that was caused (either directly or indirectly) by the negligence of his lab partner, a young Dr. Venture. As he told fellow villain The Monarch, in Ünderland, "a lab partnership is a sacred trust," which Venture failed to honor properly. However in the first episode of season three it is revealed that it was The Monarch who was responsible for causing the accident in an attempt to kill Venture. The actual timing of this incident is unclear. In the episode Past Tense, Ünderbheit still has his natural jaw during the final Dungeons & Dragons game that the college friends played. While Venture was still in the infirmary, his father died. Several episodes have implied or stated explicitly that Venture left college shortly after his father's death. This would place the accident at some point in the small time period between Brock Samson's attack on the D&D game and Venture going home shortly thereafter.
As noted, Ünderbheit is a parody of the Marvel comics supervillain Doctor Doom; The Monarch even disparagingly refers to him as a "dime-store Doctor Doom." Both characters are rulers of fictional nations with subjects who are blindly loyal to them. Doom and Ünderbheit were both foreign exchange students at American universities where they met their respective nemeses, who they blame for inflicting horrible disfigurements on them. Both characters hide their mutilation with metallic attachments: Doom wears a mask in order to obscure facial scarring while Ünderbheit wears a prosthetic jaw to replace his natural one. It should be noted that in both cases, Reed Richards and Dr. Venture are not actually responsible for these handicaps.
The Baron's last name is a mock-Germanification of "underbite", a misalignment of the jaw. This reference can be considered a darkly humorous foreshadowing of the loss of his jaw (similar to Pete White being albino). It is unclear whether the same incident that cost Ünderbheit his jaw caused the loss of his hair, but in flashbacks the college-aged Werner has a mop of hair, whereas the "present-day" Baron is largely bald with a few strands of hair remaining. In "Love-Bheits," he wears a wig that resembles his college-era hairstyle; it is unclear whether this is merely a reminder of his youth or an indication that he wore a wig before his disfigurement, in which case Lex Luthor might also be an influence.
It has been directly stated in the commentary of Season 2 that both of the writers have little, if anything, planned for the Baron in the future. Jackson Publick claimed that he never wants to write for him again after writing Love-Bheits.