Henchman #21 is one of The Monarch's henchmen from the Adult Swim cartoon series Venture Bros. He is also THE MAN.
We're going to take a few liberties and assume you are similar to us here at Cracked in a few ways. We think it's safe to say that at some point in your life you've fantasized about taking part in the struggle between good and evil, heroes and villains. You may have originally pictured yourself as a superhero.
Take a quick look around you, tho. Do you see an underground crime lab, with top of the line monitoring equipment and an array of battlesuits at your disposal? If so, you are likely either a Cracked columnist or huffing a lot of gasoline (these designations aren't necessarily mutually-exclusive). If you actually do have a super power of some sort, we totally need to hang out more because that is awesome. The rest of us however have to rule out the superhero role, and for that matter rule out the superhero sidekick role because nobody the fuck actually wants to be a superhero's sidekick.
We haven't gotten in all the numbers for Cracked's supervillain demographic, but we're pretty sure they're more likely perusing the site for our articles on crazy-ass weaponry than a Topic Page about a cartoon charachter. So for the sake of brevity, we'll assume you're not one of them either. Apologies if we were mistaken.
We're willing to go out on a limb here and say that for a lot of you, like a lot of us, Henchman 21 and his (SPOILER: now deceased) friend Henchman 24 were the characters you could most realistically see yourself as. Smarting off and having irrelevant pop culture discussions, frequently commenting on the preposterousness of the situations you wind up in, but pulling through when the chips are down. Basically pulling the villain equivalent of skating through class only to ace the final exam. That's what makes #21's transformation at the end of Season 4 into a (SPOILER: totall badass) that much more satisfying.
All that is known about #21's pre-henchman life is that his real name is Gary, and that the Monarch kidnapped him when he was 15 on a school trip. Despite frequently being portrayed as a bumbler, he's the only henchman that managed to (SPOILER: , along with 24, actually kill the Venture Brothers,) and (SPOILER: survive a one-on-one fistfight with Brock Samson, who later complimented him on his skill). This is not to mention him leading (SPOILER: the drunk faction of henchman that captured Brock Samson and the rest of the Venture Family after The Monarch's bachelor party). Not bad for a paunchy comic geek.
Despite being forced into henching (ahem, "costumed agression") Henchman 21 is fiercely loyal to The Monarch, as represented by the butterfly tramp stamp he acquired near the end of Season Two. However, that may imply a different definition of "fierce" than he originally intended. During the brief period when (SPOILER: The Monarch was imprisoned and 21 was attending henchman therapy), he wound up reacquainting himself with his mom, who hadn't seen him since the kidnapping.
#21 and his best friend #24 spend most of the first three seasons of Venture Bros marvelling to the point of nearly breaking the fourth wall about how they manage to survive while other, more qualified henchmen don't. Then, suddenly, (SPOILER: 24 is killed), and everything completely changes.
He spends months training with his LARP crew, The Orchard Street Wolf Pack, bulking himself up. His demeanor becomes more ruthless (SPOILER: it's mostly an act tho, as shown when he backs down from assasinating the cab driver). He devotes himself to whipping the "Fluttering Horde" into shape (SPOILER: out of grief regarding 21's death), and quickly rises through the ranks to a sort of "General" status and The Monarch's bodyguard. He's also modified his uniform and permanently maintains a gritty 5 o'clock shadow like a mid 90s Jim Lee-style comic book charachter. However, he's also begun to display some dismaying signs that he may be losing his sanity (SPOILER: like talking to the skull of 24 and either being haunted by, or hallucinating, the ghost of him).
In any case, Gary's all grown up now.