- See Also: About Ben 10: Alien Force
Ben 10 is a cartoon television program made in America. It was created by "Man Of Action", which is comprised of Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, and Steven T. Seagle. It is published by Cartoon Network Studios. Originally the pilot episode "And Then There Were 10" aired on December 27, 2005. It was part of of a sneak peek of Cartoon Network's new Saturday morning lineup. The second episode "Washington B.C." was shown as a special on Cartoon Network's Fridays on January 13, 2006, on which the first and second episodes were shown back-to-back. The theme song for the show was written by Andy Sturmer and sung by Moxy. The style is reminiscent of Jack Kirby, particularly the alien and technology designs and use of Kirby dots.
Ben 10 revolves around Ben Tennyson, Gwen Tennyson (his cousin), and their grandfather Max Tennyson. At the beginning of their summer vacation camping trip, Ben almost gets struck by an alien pod that fell out of space. When he approaches it he finds the Omnitrix, a device which resembles a watch inside of the pod. The Omnitrix then leaps up onto his wrist and gives him the ability to transform into a multitude of alien lifeforms, each with their own abilities and skills distinct from the other. Even though Ben realizes that he has the abilities and the responsibility to help others at his disposal, he is still a ten year old kid, who will not hesitate to involve himself in some super powered trouble every now and again.
The first season plot primarily focuses on the villain Vilgax, who is an evil alien warlord who wishes to obtain the Omnitrix to conquer the galaxy and supposedly the universe. Because he was nearly killed at the start of the season, he sends various robotic drones and bounty hunters to obtain the Omnitrix until he is fully healed. Once he is healed and modified, he then goes to retrieve it in person. The only thing which managed to stop hime was Ben, Gwen, and Max. Furthermore, it is subtly hinted that Max has more knowledge about aliens than he shows, which is fully stated in the revelation that he and Vilgax have had confrontations in the past.
In the second season it is less plot focused, mostly having a villain of the week situation. The few plot supporting episodes featured Kevin Levin, a superhuman teenager with the ability to absorb and control different forms of energy, who Ben met in the first season episode "Kevin 11". Ben accidentally allowed Kevin to absorb the Omnitrix energy in their first encounter giving him abilities of the aliens. Kevin actually serves as the polar opposite of Ben. Kevin becoming completely insane eventually transforms into a amalgamation of Ben's original ten alien forms and thus blames Ben for it. Vilgax returns for the season finale and teems up with Kevin in a hope to succeed in retrieving the Omnitrix. Again, they both fail and both get trapped in another dimension used as a prison, which is known as the Null Void. Another important happening, which will effect the next season, was the destruction and banishment of Ghostfreak, one of Ben's original ten alien forms, from the Omnitrix. He escaped from the Omnitrix and planned to possess Ben and use the power of the Omnitrix to begin his own legacy of conquest. He was eventually defeated and destroyed by Ben.
The third season has a similar and more darker plot. Its few plot associated episodes focus around aliens styled on old monster movies, that Ben obtain as forms due to their DNA being absorbed into the Omnitrix. Purple lightning, created by a teleportaion device created by the Frankenstein-styled alien Doctor Vicktor (of Zs'Skayr's Minions), produces their appearance. Vicktor, in turn, is loyal to Zs'Skayr who was resurrected later in the third season. He plotted to shroud the earth in darkness with the use of a Corrodium beam projected from a space station and expanded across the earth using a transmitter in New Mexico, thus allowing him to be at full power and rule over the planet. His attempt, however, was thwarted by Ben; he dies once more from direct exposure to the sun, but not before his DNA was restored to the Omnitrix.
The fourth season revolves around Ben's last adventures as summer vacation ends. The few plot-centric episodes revolve around the leader of the Forever Knights organization, Forever King, and his plans to deal with the Tennysons himself. He gathers many of Ben's enemies to serve as members of of his group, the "Negative 10" to both battle the Tennysons and steal a powerful energy from the Plumber base at Mount Rushmore. Ben eventually defeats the Forever King, destroying the Mount Rushmore faces in the process, though it is implied that a hologram is used to recreate the faces. Ben 10: Secret of the Omnitrix is set shortly after this point.
The series' final episode shows a possible take on Ben's return to normal life following the end of his summer vacation, and ends with the reveal of his secret powers to his father and the general public, after a final climactic battle with Vilgax. The film Ben 10: Race Against Time portrays a similar situation, the difference being that Ben fights an original character created for the film and his secret remains safe.