Ben 10: Ultimate Alien (2010– )

TV Series  -  Animation | Family | Sci-Fi
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With his secret identity now revealed to the world, Ben Tennyson continues to fight evil as a superhero with the help of the newly acquired Ultimatrix.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Ben Tennyson / ... (52 episodes, 2010-2012)
...
 Gwen Tennyson / ... (52 episodes, 2010-2012)
...
 Humungosaur / ... (52 episodes, 2010-2012)
...
 Kevin Levin / ... (51 episodes, 2010-2012)
...
 Aggregor / ... (29 episodes, 2010-2012)
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With his secret identity now revealed to the world, Ben Tennyson continues to fight evil as a superhero with the help of the newly acquired Ultimatrix.

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23 April 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ben 10: Evolution  »

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User Reviews

 
Thank you, Dwayne
5 March 2013 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Much as I like Ben 10 - and I do - Ultimate Alien wasn't really up my alley when I first saw it. I got on board the Ben 10 train around the time when Dwayne McDuffie took over in 2008. I really enjoyed Alien Force (which remains my "nostalgic" favorite), and have since gotten around to watching the original series, after this, I was confident Ben 10 was a series I liked.

This changed dramatically with the beginning of the third, unscheduled and unplanned for, season of Alien Force. I just couldn't stand Ben's arrogant attitude, and some of the episodes seemed rather stupid. I especially hated how they were basically trying to reset the character dynamics to a somewhat intermediate point between Alien Force and the Original series. To me, it felt like a huge step backwards.

Which leads us to the third rendition, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. Like before, Ben's arrogance and cocky attitude annoyed me to no end, though the show got better with time. Ben would occasionally display glimpses of maturity/cleverness, and the Aggregor/Ultimate Kevin arc certainly didn't hurt.

UA got better towards the end of the series, and I ultimately figured it was a "decent" show.

After the abomination known as Ben 10: Omniverse made me want to vomit, I went back and rewatched some older Ben 10, realizing how much stronger they were by comparison, all three of them. Somehow, Ben's character grew on me trough this nostalgia trip, and it allowed me to look at the show (UA) as a whole.

While Ben is admittedly cocky, arrogant and comes off as kind of an idiot, once you actually take a real look at the character you realize this is not the case. As Ben himself quite adequately put it in the season 1 finale, once the situation got serious, so would he. This wasn't a one-time occurrence, it's always there; when there's no real threat, Ben doesn't put himself past gorging himself on his fame or enjoying the attention, but he knows when to switch gears and go about things more seriously.

So, what else is there? Well, there's some great humor, for one: Rath is hysterical, Kevin's got a lot of good lines, as does Gwen. Ben less so, but it's there. A lot of his aliens give the writers good material as well.

The animation has also taken a step up, while in Alien Force almost everything took place at night in a big vacant world where there's usually only three or four people, here there's a nice balance between day and night stuff and at least there's people walking by in the background.

In addition, the show retains the darker, more adult edge to it that it first gained in Alien Force. For example, they repeatedly make it clear when characters are killed, explicitly mentioning it and taking no effort to sugarcoat it for its audience, which shows a level of respect for children's intelligence that you generally don't find in a show of this type. The same goes for some of the more intense fights and several emotionally-laden exchanges.

It's also the most ambitious series Ben 10 has ever done; there are multiple format-breakers, among them some episodes where Ben feels like a guest star in his own series. The creators are trusting that their universe is interesting and complex enough to hold our attention without relying on the cosmetic appeal of the titular character. I was especially impressed with the episode "It's not easy being Gwen".

Ultimate Alien seems to me like it's sort of the "Justice League Unlimited" of the franchise, old villains and aliens return, new characters are introduced en masse, other characters are given focus, and the team seems to be handling threats on a wider scale than before. It's the culmination of the Ben 10 mythos, with almost every loose thread from the previous shows getting wrapped up nicely. The show had finally become what it always wanted to be.

Now, the show has its flaws, which are easily noticeable, but they don't break the show.

First off, Ben can still be annoying at times, there's really not much to do about that, though, and as I said, it's not as bad as I initially thought.

Second, some old aliens are neglected while new aliens are thrown in at their expense, like Fasttrack and Eatle, both of which are completely unnecessary, as Ben already had Upchuck and XLR8 at the ready, the latter of whom I miss dearly from the original series.

Then there's other aliens who have no reason whatsoever to not be used, like Eye Guy, and Ben- Wolf, Mummy and Vicktor, as well as Upgrade. Man do I miss Upgrade.

Thirdly, the show isn't without its low points, every series has its share of bad episodes, and Ultimate Alien is no exception. I especially disliked the episode with Ma Vreedle, just an utterly joyless experience from beginning to end

And finally, why is every "beautiful" girl in this show just a carbon copy of Gwen, it gets pretty tiring after a while.

In the end, however, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien is a great show, fantastic for kids and still good enough for older viewers, like me.

All thanks to Man of Action and the late Dwayne McDuffie, you had a great run.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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