Reboots & Launches of popular IP’s are common place in American media, especially amongst series in the superhero genre. It is a way for companies to publishers to keep their characters fresh and relevant for a new generation of readers and viewers. However like with anything else the various incarnations of these heroes can be met with positive or negative feedback from their fans. Today we will take a look at one of the newest heroes to get a reboot; Ben10!
First off I will admit right off the bat that growing up as a kid I despised the original Ben10 and really never had any interest in its various sequels /movies /spinoffs /specials /etc. And this was because around the time Ben10 originally aired in the middle of the 00’s like many I was a teenager in that “everything replacing the shows I used to watch sucks” phase. To me Ben10 was just a wannabe a show that tried to capture the spirit of popular DC superhero cartoons and anime without putting any of the effort in. I acknowledge though I was most likely in the minority of individuals in that mindset as the series became one of Cartoon Network’s most popular original series for a good number of years not only amongst those who were kids in the ought’s but some nineties kids as well who saw it as one of the last hold outs of shows with that classic action cartoon vibe to it, and I can see where they are coming from, looking back the original Ben10 has that late 90’s Saturday morning cartoon feel to it to a degree, however even looking at the previous incarnation from a more objective and mature standpoint I still can’t say I care for it all that much.
So here is where I will most likely get a fair amount of shade thrown at me, but oh well. Overall I find the 2017 incarnation of Ben10 to be the most entertaining version yet! The characters are all fairly lively and Ben & Gwen act like real kids not just stereotypes of what adults think kids act like, they have fun, relax and bicker with each other but not to a cliché extreme like the originals did. This gives their dynamic a more natural feel which benefits both characters and makes both much less annoying than they were in the past. The color pallet of the show is also much brighter and more visually appealing and the characters redesigns really breath new life into them and visually it seems to fit somewhere between Be Cool Scooby Doo and Gravity Falls, making for a cute yet quirky visual experience. The shortened run-time of episodes also helps the series in my opinion because like with the original Powerpuff Girls or Courage it feels like something is always happening, it is fast paced enough to keep the viewer engaged in the episode while still being contained enough to not feel as disjointed and manic as something like Teen Titans Go! While like TTG & last years PPG reboot it is more on the comedic side than the action side it never feels like it is over doing it, there is a good balance between humor and action that in my book puts the show closer to series like Regular Show, only instead of two friends working at a park this is two kids spending the summer traveling the U.S. with their Grandpa. Overall I just find this new version much more enjoyable and entertaining.
At the end of the day like with any reboot or reimagining your personal enjoyment of this series will vary and I understand why some hardcore fans of the original series may not be on board with this new incarnation and that like TTG! and PPG16 that it will be yet another show that will be divisive amongst Cartoon Network and Superhero fans. I myself though would urge to give the show a chance, if you are a 90’s kid you should have grown out of your “everything sucks” stage by now and to all those ought’s babies out there don’t make the same mistakes we did, don’t let nostalgia goggles and confirmation bias cloud your judgement take in every new experience you have, even something as simple as watching a cartoon with all the same innocence you did as a child, let a work speak for itself and analyze how it holds up on its own terms not how it works compared to the past. If you like it great and if you still dislike it that’s fine too. I guess all I am saying is, give the new Ben10 a chance! If you do I think you might just be pleasantly surprised. 😉
Season 1 of Ben10 2017 is currently airing weekdays on Cartoon Network.