We start out seeing young Ben fighting an alien, who seems to get the upper hand, but the boy is eventually victorious. Jump forward to when Ben in 16, and you see Ben, Kevin, and Gwen chasing down some demented clown with a stolen brain suspended in nutrient solution. After capturing the crazed clown, Gwen and Kevin leave for college, leaving Ben alone without his primary team, but it doesn’t take him long to find trouble in the area. He investigates a crater that used to be a building only to fight some “dog-like” creature being controlled from an unseen alien. After Ben “defeats” (as in it ran away instead of killing him) the alien creature, he discovers that the building was demolished by a gang of aliens running a protection racket.
Finding out where the gang is likely to hit next, Ben convinces the store owner to let him protect it. When the gang shows up, Ben starts talking trash to get the aliens riled up until they start to attack each other. In the midst of the confrontation, another alien intervenes and reveals himself to be a Plumber there on behalf of Grandpa Max, and is to be Ben’s new partner. Ben doesn’t want to work with someone else, but, in the interim, the two of them start working together to defuse a bomb that the gang planted in the store. Unable to defuse the bomb, they toss it into an unoccupied area, and then follow the gang below ground to find out more information.
Old Ben 10 Plot Devices
As usual, Ben is still yearning to be famous, despite the fact that he already is, and will seize nearly any opportunity to state that he saved the world (the galaxy, the universe . . . ) a few times. He may be a hero, but he is egotistical beyond measure, even for a teenager. He constantly wants to do things himself, despite the fact that when he does, property values plummet at a record rate. He doesn’t like working with others, and yet he’s been with a team since as far back as when he first found the first omnitrix. It’s the same old Ben.
He also rushes into battle without thinking things through clearly and, as usual, his all-powerful and highly-sophisticated omnitrix doesn’t give him the correct alien he asks for most of the time. Since he’s had about six years of experience in this regard, one would think that he would no longer be surprised when it happens . . . yet, he is. It’s a plot device that seems reminiscent of whenever Spider-Man would run out of webbing while in a dangerous situation: if it keeps happening, adjust your tactics to work with your limitations and stop being surprised by it.
With the new series, a new animation style has been undertaken, very much unlike the previous three series. While the change is not excessively huge, it is very noticeable, and I don’t believe it fits in well. For example, the eyes just look really weird, especially on Ben, Gwen, and Max, and the design of the characters, while having some connection to the previous shows, don’t look nearly as good.
A big change is that Ben appears to have a new partner imposed on him by his grandfather. What I’ve seen of him thus far shows that he certainly has great combat skills, but he’s sorely lacking in the humor department. His addition seems to be the classic maneuver of having two opposites partner together and teach each other while they undertake their joined journey. It often works, but it is a bit of an overused cliché.
There also seems to be a new villain with some sort of plan for Ben, but what the plan is exactly I’m unsure. He could have easily taken the hero out earlier when Ben was defenseless against his pet, but he stopped just short of allowing Ben to become disemboweled. I’ve got my eye on you, creepy villain guy.
I am eager to find out just what Ben is going to do without Gwen and Kevin around, and I would like to know if he still has his girlfriend from the previous series. Also, if he’s such a huge hero on Earth—which he is—I have often wondered if he’s had any special treatment from his school for all of the school work and classes he’s missed over the years. Surely, there has to be some sort of consideration for his actions . . . saving the galaxy from Vilgax a few times must count for something, right?