Cartoon Network has a special gift for each of us this morning: a brand new episode of the brand new series Ben 10: Omniverse! By the time you read this, many of you will have gotten your first glimpse of Man of Action’s new art and storyline direction for this latest generation of the franchise, with the special two part episode kicking off at 9am local time. Obviously, this show means a lot to a lot of people; Ben 10 is one of the more popular toons on TV in the past decade, so ANY new Ben-news is a big thing. However, add in the fact that it’s pretty different, at least visually, from everything we’ve seen so far… that makes it all the more exciting. So, what do you think? Have you seen it? Are you in love? Incredibly angry? What did you like about the premiere episode? Are you on board for ‘The More Things Change’? Shout out in the ToonBarn Comment section below, and let’s see where this new Ben 10: Omniverse is going to take us!
The general premise of Ben 10: Omniverse’s first episode seems pretty straight forward. Ben is forced to fight crime alone because Kevin and Gwen have other things to do – Gwen is off taking classes at college and… well, Kevin joins up with her. So, OK, this seems pretty inline with what an Ultimate Alien episode could be. But then Grandpa Max (!) introduces a whole new partner to the crime fighting gang, Plumber Rook. From there, its up to Ben and Rook to stop Fistina, Liam, and Bubble Helmet from destroying Mr. Baumann’s superstore. Right there, we’ve got all the flavor of an old school Ben 10 or Alien Force episode. …but it keeps going! Now, Ben and his new partner have to hunt down a mysterious city, deep under Bellwood.
From there? It’s pure Omniverse. We’ve got Khyber hunting for Ben, a Nemetrix equipped space dog, and let’s not forget the most amazing team up to ever come out of the world of animation; kid Ben, from the era of the original series, and teenage Ben, from the Ultimate Alien years.
Honestly, there’s a lot to take in. Man of Action and Cartoon Network each delivered in a big way with the new series. Obviously, the most noticeable piece to the overall puzzle is the time split between the two eras, with an older and younger Ben working together. This aspect seems to have gone over well with the fans, as a premise, and really added a cool new element to our Ben 10 experience – it made the adventure seem much fresher.
The artwork has been the other incredibly big discussion point, with the new toon adopting a new look and animation style. This aspect has been a lot more divisive, with a bold love it or hate it response. As this is the world of online fans, the “hate its” always tend to be a bit louder Other cartoons have gone through similar changes through out the years, from Bugs Bunny’s Looney Tunes, to the animated world of Batman through Justice League Unlimited. Even the Simpsons has seen their look evolve over time. Many fans of the Ben 10 franchise seem to have been hoping for a Generator Rex type skew, which would have built on the three previous versions of the show. However, Man of Action really stuck to the first part of their premiere title, “The more things change…” and found a way to have the series stay visually fresh.
But it’s not just the art that starts a new direction: we’ve got new alien forms, a new super creepy monster bad guy, a brand new ally in Rook… at the very least, even if you’re one of those who didn’t like the art style, there’s a LOT of cool story elements to play with moving forward. Having seen the two-part pilot, we absolutely give the series the ToonBarn Seal of Approval, and STRONGLY recommend that you give it a chance – it’s that good!
That said, we are VERY on board with the new show – already fans! What about you guys? What are your honest opinions?