- Entertainment and Media»
- Cartoons & Animation
Ben 10: Interesting Aliens of the Franchise
In the article Time Travel: Differences in Media I talked about how the Cartoon Network series Ben 10: Omniverse handled the concept of time travel and how interacting with one, central point in time can have side-effects in the wider timestream. But this was a fairly recent entry in a long franchise. The article Ben 10: Animation Differences and Tones talked about all of the other entries of this franchise. Originally airing on Cartoon Network in 2005, Ben 10 was a fairly lighthearted cartoon about a 10-year old boy receiving superpowers of alien origin. And while the original series was entertaining, eventually it had to end. To make room for a sequel series. Two sequels, Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, were also aired on Cartoon Network but tried to steer the series into a more serious route. When it became very clear that people preferred the series when it was less serious, the most recent sequel, Ben 10: Omniverse, was made to appease people who disliked the previous two sequels. But now that Ben 10: Omniverse has ended, Cartoon Network have shown images that have made it perfectly clear that 2016 will have a reboot of the entire Ben 10 franchise. Currently unnamed, this new series will have familiar characters, but a very different art style. But the is one constant that all of these shows shared. The aliens. For the entirety of the Ben 10 franchise, the main superpower was for the hero gaining the ability to transform into various alien species through a watch. Here were some of the more interesting aliens that appeared throughout the series.
First appearing in Ben 10: Alien Force, Alien X was advertised as an alien with amazing secrets. And in the episode he first appeared in, Ben managed to unlock that secret. This alien was omnipotent. Which meant that Alien X had complete control of reality, could manipulate reality to suit his whims, and in a later series, bring back a destroyed universe. But like most works of fiction where a character gains incredible power, there is always a cost. In this case it's a species-wide cost. See, Alien X is a Celestialsapien. As the name suggest, these were aliens that possessed powers of a godly nature. But each member of this species possessed two, separate personalities that were in a constant state of conflict over every action a Celestialsapien could make. And these personalities had to be completely unanimous about their decisions. In Ben's case, he provided a third, governing personality that would serve to add another decisive factor when making decisions. Which meant that Alien X never did anything after his immediate introduction during the Ben 10: Alien Force/Ben 10: Ultimate Alien series.
I said earlier that Alien X had the ability to restore an entire universe if it was destroyed. In Ben 10: Omniverse, that actually happened. In the episode So Long , and Thanks for All the Smoothies Ben, and Alien X by extension, ended up being the sole remaining human in the universe. During this event, both of the alternate personalities within Alien X begrudgingly agreed to allow Ben to use Alien X to use his reality bending powers to fix the universe. Of course, Universe vs. Tennyson had Ben go on trial for recreating the universe. And here we get to see Alien X fight. By pointing out that allowing Ben sole control full control of Alien X and his abilities meant that the alternate personalities within Alien X could argue for as long as they want, Ben was able to use Alien X's full abilities to not only defeat a fellow Celestialsapien, but get out of further accusations about his actions regarding restoring the universe.
Some of the aliens that Ben possessed in the Ben 10 franchise were noted to be incredibly intelligent. These aliens, while not as physically imposing as other aliens, were capable of using their mental capacity to construct weapons that could defeat larger opponents. Brainstorm was somewhat unique because he was a huge alien with high intelligence, he also had the added ability to shoot out electrical streams out of his head. Via a brain that would expose itself each time the electrical power was used. Other interesting aspects about him was that he spoke in a very sophisticated manner. Originally appearing in Ben 10: Alien Force, Brainstorm was an alien that was primarily used for his offensive capabilities rather than his intellectual abilities. Ben 10: Omniverse, in trying to be more cartoonish compared to its predecessor, did things differently.
In the episode The Vengers the premise was fairly interesting; in an attempt to discredit Ben as a superhero, some former enemies of his decided to start their own superhero group. At first things were not too bad. Sure Ben started losing favor with the public while the aforementioned Vengers got all the glory, but both sides did not start any fight with each other. But once both sides finally did have their inevitable superhero fight, the viewer got to see an interesting combination of Brainstorm's brain and brawn. As a reference to the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, Brainstorm referenced Sherlock Holmes's ability to analyze a scene and instantly monologue a strategy to defeat an opponent. And as an added reason as to why Brainstorm was an awesome alien in his own right, he was able to monologue his strategy to defeat his enemies all at the same time; and with the implication that The Vengers were all hearing him monologue. And while their first fight scene ended with Ben quitting the superhero business, The Vengers ended with another plot twist about Brainstorm's intellect. During the fight scene with The Vengers, Brainstorm not only proved that his intellect could single-handedly defeat four villains, he was even able to predict that this team would not stay as a coherent unit for very long. They were just at each other's throats a lot sooner than Brainstorm predicted, though.
Usually when a superhero gains a new ability in comics or in cartoons, there are episodes or issues that dealt with the hero learning how to use new abilities. Usually after an embarrassing initial display of power. Ben 10 also had a few episodes where Ben had to deal with new aliens. Like in the second season episode The Big Tick. With the introduction of Cannonbolt. An Arburian Pelarota, Cannonbolt was an alien whose sole ability was to roll into a ball. Unfortunately, Ben had to learn how to make good use of an alien whose only ability was to roll into a ball. Of course, being able to produce his rotational momentum to crash into enemies and the ability to bounce around and hit enemies with the force of a wrecking ball quickly made Cannonbolt an arguably overpowered and useful alien.
As one of the previews Ben 10: Omniverse established, Ben at the point of this series had complete control of Cannonbolt. He was able to knock around enemies, trap his enemies inside his body to use as makeshift projectiles, and resist the damage of a giant, flying fist. Ultimately, all Ben had to learn with Cannonbolt was how not to make a complete mess when indoors.
Ben 10 as a series is going to receive a reboot sometime this year. And with this reboot comes the reintroduction to Ben's aliens. And hopefully some new aliens, too. But for a reference of what possible abilities a new alien could possess, looking at the aliens of past shows helps show what potential abilities might appear.