Can you come back to me when you find a fireproof human? Okay thanks
They were also introduced before the "ripoff era" I described. I don't exactly care for them myself, but I certainly don't hate them.
Have you got anything to refute the reasons I listed? Or is this just going to have to be an agree to disagree situation?
Right, with those out of the way I'd like to present my reviews of Omniverse, and also the reboot show. But I want to give a little context to my thoughts on Omniverse and how they changed over time, because they were largely shaped by what we were putting up with beforehand.
After the end of Ultimate Alien I had pretty much given up on Ben 10 as a whole. It crushed me that a franchise that used to be full of such potential, creativity and charm had just been watered down into this bland, unappealing mess of a show that wasn't even awful (though it definitely was awful at points) as it was painfully bland and uninteresting to me. A show that time and again disrespected its roots by trampling on the continuity that preceded it and making it a moment of excitement to even catch a glimpse of one of the original aliens that started the whole series off in the first place - and even then their designs were usually simplified because of this godawful artstyle:
But believe it or not, Wildmutt was one of the lucky ones. Not only did he have a prominent role in one of the episodes, he actually got an Ultimate Form, one of eight in the entire show! Why they gave it to Wildmutt of all people is still a mystery to me to this day.
Meanwhile, aliens like XLR8 (he appeared once, in the Generator Rex crossover, for five seconds. I'm not joking.) and Grey Matter were forgotten about in favour of idiots like Fasttrack and Jury Rigg. The only reason they were even acknowledged to exist, is because they were ironically a part of the long line of alien forms featured in the series intro (though apparently they weren't unlocked until the crappy Ben 10,000 did it for... some reason).
I was tired of these insults to the characters, I was tired of the "muh drama" that was horribly written and boring to watch, and I was tired of this bloody artstyle.
Then Omniverse was announced. I was a bit confused at first, especially with the 11-year-old Ben stuff, but then I was excited. So excited, because this seemed like a new direction, something that would bring the franchise back to its roots and forget that UAF ever happened. We had brand new aliens that actually looked inspired again. I mean we got another electric one, but he looked cool, he looked like a classic alien! Probably because he was. And then there were completely new ones like Crashhopper, or Gravattack, or... Bloxx... yeah most of the new ones were kind of bad to be perfectly honest with you, but they started okay at least.
We had pretty much every alien completely overhauled in this new artstyle, making them feel fresh and vibrant and inspired again:
(they even brought Way Big back to his classic design!):
Were there some horrid designs? Oh yeah, there were some bad ones:
(genuinely don't know what they were thinking with this one)
But regardless of some of their designs being... weak, everyone was here, everyone got a fair share of the limelight. Old favourites were brought back after years of just being ignored. The only four aliens from the older shows that never appeared in Omniverse were Jetray, Spitter, Chamalien (probably because they just didn't get around to them: they had over 50 aliens at that point), and Fasttrack: because Derrick hates him just as much as I do:
I actually like Rook as a foil for Ben, too, he's a fun character, and their friendship over the course of the series feels genuine. All the nods and references to previous continuity are great, even stuff that wasn't in the shows, like this:
These beasts of burden on Khoros, the home planet of Four Arms, are a reference to a mount Four Arms was given in the original series' toyline. This stuff was great.
The scope was expanded to a ridiculous degree: we actually got to explore this universe we kept getting told about, and not just as a pit-stop on a massive fetch-quest glares at Ultimate Alien. We even started to show off alternate universes and crazy crap like that. Sure, most of them were kind of generic, but it was pretty cool as an idea. It actually felt like the same show again, sometimes. Not to mention expanding on the Omnitrix concept with the Nemetrix (I only think it's a shame that we didn't see more of it).
I loved it, to begin with, it felt like Ben 10 was back. However... cracks started to show. The first major warning signs were Blukic and Driba. These guys were extremely annoying. It only got worse when they got their own dedicated episode. Apparently the showrunner loved it so much that he asked for more, and so they got even more focus, and were annoying as hell.
Sometimes the show was pretty funny, but other times it was obnoxious, especially in the filler episodes and a lot of the new characters they introduced, and the show really struggled when it came to doing anything serious. It just felt... eh... The big story arcs weren't that entertaining beyond the first one with Khyber. And while a lot of the ideas were cool (and others were really dumb: okay Alien X just doesn't have any limitation now, okay there goes all dramatic tension), a lot of the potential went untapped.
The continuity lockout was pretty bad at points too, because it was drawing from everything (even the Incurseans, which appeared in like two episodes beforehand, and here got a whole story-arc to themselves), people who hadn't necessarily kept up with everything Ben 10 could likely get confused at times.
Also: they ruined Toepick and Atomix.
Toepick is a walking one-trick pony who doesn't even fit his original description in Ken 10, and Atomix?
What is this. What the hell is this.
This is the only Atomix for me.
They did manage to make the Ultimate Aliens cool though, by some miracle
But yeah, the formulas got old very fast, and this show went on for 80 episodes. By the time we got to stuff like "hey look here's Ken from the future and now he has to make sure Ben and Kai get together so he doesn't stop existing" I was just done. It also tried to patch up continuity with retcons of the retcons, but it just became even more convoluted than it already was and they should've just left it alone. I appreciate the attempt, but it was the equivalent of trying to fix a broken clock with a sledgehammer.
I don't hate it (I hate aspects of it, but I don't hate it as a whole), but it could've been much better, all things considered.
Now for the reboot.
It's just... meh. The designs are all passable, though I still wonder why on earth they did away with the visual cohesion of having the clothing of every alien be black and white, or black and lime green or whatever the hell he's wearing now. I don't care for the artstyle but it's inoffensive: the colours pop and the shapes are easy on the eyes and more importantly are easy to animate. They butchered Stinkfly so as to be unrecognisable but I understand why. I wish they could've just picked Upchuck or somebody instead and gone for Heatblast as the main flying alien.
Overflow can go die though, especially for getting my hopes up.
This is Overflow:
This is Waterhazard with a new coat of paint which continues to add weirdly tech-like elements into aliens where it doesn't belong and it continuously annoys me:
Back when it came out I watched the first two episodes and gave up partway through because it was so obnoxious that I couldn't stand it. I forgot about it for like a year and a half, and then randomly browsing the internet made me stumble on some Ben 10 wiki pages that made me go "Wait what?" and then I decided to watch it because of morbid curiosity.
There are some decent ideas in there, Michael Morningstar's rebooted version could be really interesting in a better-written show. But most of it is squandered by the fact that they only have 11 minute episodes. You cannot get anything decent out of 11 minutes. It's just rushed and stupid, you can barely get a concept off the ground before you have to put it to bed again. And even if it is wrapped up decently by the end, it usually isn't an idea with any real merit anyway.
The multi-part episodes is where the show really shines. It's where it actually feels like a TV show, because they have time to establish anything. I might just be biased because at that point I'd largely been stuck with pretty much nothing for a whole season, but it was still worth it IMO. Finally having Ben turn into Vilgax, even if it was only briefly, was cool. Also Upgrade sacrificing himself to update the watch was... weird. It just kind of happens and they don't really address it in the actual story. It sounded a lot better on the wiki page
They also brought back Humungousaur and Rath because of course they did, and apparently you can only have 10 aliens at a time in the watch now? Oof. I was watching around the time season 2 had just started and got to when Shock Rock (ANOTHER electric alien by the way), and I never really cared to continue tbh. Apparently there's Kevin with an evil Omnitrix now though, so that's... a thing.
Again, I don't hate it, I just feel like a lot of its potential just can't be realised because of the stupid constraints placed on it, mainly the runtime. The cast is solid, the plot can be engaging at times and the aliens are still pretty fun all things considered. Not all the jokes land, and again, really don't care for the artstyle, but it's not the worst thing in the world. It actually looks like it's trying some different stuff too from what I've seen, which is nice.
I probably won't get back to watching anytime soon, but at least the IP is still alive and well I guess. It's been going strong for 3 seasons now and there's even a spinoff with Kevin that's apparently in the works. Who knows? Maybe it'll reboot again someday and become a long-lasting franchise?
Original Series: Fantastic
Alien Force: Stupid retcons, but an okay show on its own merits
Ultimate Alien: Actual pondscum
Omniverse: Means well, but kind of gets old
Reboot: Has potential, but a lot of stuff is holding it back