Benjamin Kirby Tennyson was an average ten-year-old kid, until he found the Omnitrix, an exceedingly strong and powerful watch-like device that allowed him to turn into ten different alien species. Though initially immature and clumsy, he grew as a true hero, who, by the time he was sixteen, had become famous in not only his hometown of Bellwood, but on Earth and beyond, as well as a member of the Plumbers.
Ben's physical appearance has evolved throughout the series from a ten-year-old to a fifteen and sixteen-year-old teenager. However, he retains some recurring characteristics. He has short brown hair, green eyes, pale skin, and he's quite skinny for his age (though his various future selves are portrayed as quite muscular), though he shows a lot of muscle definition due to being athletic. In the original series, his usual clothes consisted of a black-striped, white T-shirt with short sleeves, deep green cargo pants, and black and white sneakers. Starting with Alien Force, he starts wearing a black T-shirt, blue skinny jeans and a white-stripped green jacket with the number 10 on it, clothes he retains in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. Ben wears the Omnitrix and Ultimatrix on his left wrist in a watch-like manner. Like all the other main characters, his physical appearance hasn't changed much.
Ben is initially portrayed as a cocky, arrogant and immature boy who tends to make jokes even when fighting. He easily gets full of himself and enjoys attention. This attitude can sometimes make him look obnoxious or dumb, often resulting in criticisms from Gwen and later Kevin. It also causes him several conflicts with Azmuth. These traits, however, as hinted in The Forge of Creation, stem from Ben's attempts to hide his own fears about the situation (though he denied it and said he was actually oblivious). Even so, he's matured since the first series and although he can be goofy, he's also capable of great leadership skills and tends to get serious when the situation requires it.
Despite his immaturity, Ben is actually good-hearted, and his actions are motivated above all by a strong and sincere will to help and save others in need. He's shown to deeply care for other's lives, and would choose to save people by himself even when he dislikes them (such as Cash and JT). This causes him to have a strong dislike for sacrifices or life compromises and occasionally act against reason, such as choosing to save half-cured DNAlien Tyler over seizing the key for the Highbreed's invasion (Inside Man) or trying to save the Sentinel while losing the last Map of Infinity piece to Aggregor (Perplexahedron). When meeting an enemy in trouble (like Kevin or the Highbreed), he'll usually attempt to help them rather than win the hard way. While this somehow overly idealistic nature is often criticised by Azmuth, most characters usually consider it as Ben's most important quality. Paradox once even stated he had the gift to make the right choices in right moments.
When seeing people getting hurt by his fault or because of his failures, Ben tends to get mad and acts much more violent and aggressive than he usually does. For example, when Overlord kidnapped Julie, or when Aggregor successfully absorbed the Andromeda Five, Ben went berserk and beat them up with all his strength, and, in Aggregor's case, to the point when Gwen was shocked and stopped him from beating up Aggregor more. Also, when Kevin mutated again shorty after stopping Aggregor, and temporarily went back to his psychotic way, hurting all the Plumbers' helpers, Ben became willing to kill Kevin by any means necessary. He began acting ruthless, aggressive, pessimistic, cold-hearted, nasty, and even ready to fight Gwen when she attempted to get in the way. Gwen, however, was eventually able to convince him to try another way as he was about to kill Kevin. During the episode, Ben confesses to Max he feels guilty for letting fame get to his head, and is trying to act more mature for once.
Though often stated to be silly or unintelligent because of his immaturity, Ben is actually shown to be cunning and resourceful when needed, usually showing good adaptation skills when the Omnitrix doesn't provide him with the form he originally wanted. When he occasionally put his immaturity aside (most especially in the first two seasons of Alien Force), he's shown to be a responsible leader as well as a very competent fighter.
It's also evident that he is actually extremely smart in some respects, possessing advanced intuition, as in Where the Magic Happens where he memorised the writing for the secret true name of Ledgerdomain with just one glance, and in Perplexahedron, he figured out how the Perplexahedron works instantly. It was even stated by Gwen that he really isn't working up to his potential at school, and he replies, "That's what they tell me."
It's also pertinent to note that Ben has inherited both his paternal grandparents' personality. Although Ben inherited his grandmother Verdona's spirit, sense of humor, and overconfidence, he also inherited his paternal grandfather's determination, adventurous and self-sacrificing attitude. He is also as much of a practical joker, just like his paternal Anodite grandmother, Verdona.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Ben is the wielder of the Omnitrix (later the Ultimatrix), which gave him the power to modify his own genetic code in order to turn into various alien creatures, literally making him an alien shape-shifter. Traditionally, he could only transform into 10 aliens at the beginning of both the original series and Alien Force, but he later gains additional forms by either unlocking them or by scanning the DNA of aliens he meets. At the end of the original series, his arsenal included twenty aliens, while his current complete list is sixty-three aliens discovered (Ben 10, Ben 10: Alien Force, and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Ultimate forms not included).
When transforming into an alien, Ben gets all the creature's features, including its appearance, voice, all of its unique and special abilities and powers, strengths and weaknesses. Though he mostly retains his personality, there are some cases where the transformation causes change in it, such as Rath becoming far more aggressive, Spidermonkey acting more childish, or Big Chill being affected by his reproduction instincts. Two of the aliens, Ghostfreak and Big Chill, even managed to actually take over Ben's personality twice.
Though he usually uses his alien forms to fight, there have been some occasions where he was taken for a real alien by others, humans especially (at least until his secret was revealed). At one point, he intentionally impersonated Bivalvan as Water Hazard to convince P'andor to go home, and though he was unsuccessful at convincing him, P'andor believed him to be Bivalvan.
In addition to transforming into aliens, the Ultimatrix includes what is referred as an "evolutionary function," that allows Ben to make evolve his aliens forms in order to get upgraded, much, much stronger and much more powerful version of themselves, referred as Ultimate Forms. The exact way this function works is unclear, though it seems so far that Ben has only turned a limited number of his aliens into Ultimate forms.
In addition to the primary transformations and evolutionary function, the Omnitrix and Ultimatrix can both be used for various purposes. Both include an automatic translation system that allows Ben to communicate with most aliens that don't speak English.
During the Highbreed invasion, the Omnitrix displayed the ability to manipulate and repair genetic damage, a function he used to cure DNAliens and save the Highbreed from extinction. Azmuth also mentioned he can use it to bring back to life any species stored on Primus.
In addition to his Omnitrix/Ultimatrix powers and abilities, fifteen-year-old Ben, in Ben 10: Alien Force, has been trained in hand-to-hand fight by his black belt first cousin Gwen (as shown in Be-Knighted), his former plumber grandfather Max, as well as various years fighting aliens, and received a basic Plumber training. Though he has only been trained on a weekly basis in order to minimise his reliance on the Omnitrix/Ultimatrix, he is still proved to be quite exceptionally skilled in basic hand-to-hand combat as well armed and unarmed combat, being able to easily dodge Manny's blasters while in human form in the episode Above and Beyond. Max hinted that Ben was a capable highly skilled fighter even as a human in Voided, expressing surprise about the fact he lost to Pierce (though it is then revealed that Ben had lost on purpose). Another hint of his exceptional hand-to-hand skill is when he succeeded in the Plumbers' Academy with a 95 out of a 100 (without using his powers). He is also shown to be a crafty fighter. However, according to Matt Wayne, Ben isn't a trained fighter and that he uses freestyle fighting.
In Where the Magic Happens it is shown that Ben has an good memory, as he was perfectly capable of remembering and writing down the mystic rune-like symbols for entering the inter-dimensional realm of Legerdomain with just one glance and seeing them from a distance. He was able to write the runes down with perfect accuracy.
In Perplexahedron he is also shown to possess advanced intuition as he was able to understand how the cube-shaped planet Perplexahedron really worked with a small problem at first, but was then able to learn from that mistake and figure it out.
Ben was originally a ten-year-old boy, who grew up in Bellwood, and was unpopular and was also bullied often in his school.
However, his life changed the day he went on summer vacation with his grandfather, Max and his cousin, Gwen. A short time after they left Bellwood, Ben went on a walk through the woods in which they were camping, and witnessed the crash of a strange capsule from space. This capsule happened to contain the Omnitrix, an immensely strong and powerful watch-like device, that firmly affixed itself onto Ben's left wrist.
At first scared, Ben soon discovered that using the Omnitrix, he was now able to transform into ten super-powered alien creatures. Unable to remove the Omnitrix, he eventually learned to use the device (though with relative problems) in order to become a superhero. Though he occasionally arrested ordinary criminals, he was quickly led to also fight super-villains, starting with Dr. Animo, Kevin 11, and ultimately, Vilgax, a vicious and evil alien warlord who wanted to get the Omnitrix for himself.
Despite being very immature and occasionally using the Omnitrix for minor selfish purposes, Ben proved to be a valuable wearer for the Omnitrix, defeating Vilgax several times (though mostly due to the help from Gwen and Grandpa Max) and saving people several times.
During this series, Ben's favourite aliens are Fourarms, Heatblast, Wildmutt, XLR8 and Diamondhead showing his tendency to favour brute force over well-thought plans. This was especially shown in the Ultimate Alien episode, The Forge of Creation, where he was examining 16 year old Ben's Ultimatrix and called NRG and Big Chill lame when he saw them and called Brainstorm and Goop weak and said Humungousaur was okay, probably due to his big size and stature.
In Ben 10: Secret of The Omnitrix, during a battle with Dr. Animo, Ben accidentally activated the Omnitrix's self-destruct and rushed off with Gwen and Tetrax to find the Omnitrix's creator. He was joined by Myaxx and later realised the countdown sped up when he transformed. He learned he could be a hero without the Omnitrix and Gwen nearly sacrificed herself to save Ben from some Floraunas. Ben then discovered that the creator of the Omnitrix was really a Galvan named Azmuth. He shut down the self-destruct and accessed Ben a new alien, a massive form named Way Big. He then defeated Vilgax and hurled him into space.
10 year old Ben appeared in the Ultimate Alien episode The Forge of Creation. He looks different than the original 10 year old version,as a result of the different drawing style. He now has a face that resembles the current Ben and appears slightly thinner as well. His cargo pants are shaded with a lighter shade of green and his shoes are different along with a skin colour that resembles the present Ben's as well.
Ben 10: Alien Force
The sequel Ben 10: Alien Force continues Ben's adventures five years after the original series. At some point between the two shows, Ben, now fifteen years old, had succeeded in removing the Omnitrix through an unknown but difficult process, and chose to retire from his superhero career in order to have a normal teenage life, though he kept the unactivated Omnitrix as a souvenir. He then grew up into a slightly more mature teenager, losing his unpopular status at school and becoming a skilled soccer player.
However, after winning his latest match, Ben finds that his Grandpa Max had mysteriously disappeared while investigating what Magister Labrid calls "an alien conspiracy with Earth in the middle" leaving only an enigmatic holographic message for Ben. Despite Gwen's doubts, Ben decided to use the Omnitrix again in order to find Max. When he reattached the Omnitrix, it recalibrated itself, taking on a new more watch-like appearance and providing him with a brand new more exotic set of alien transformations. These ten new aliens possessed special abilities and powers that are much stronger and much more powerful than his original ten.
While helping the Alien Plumber Magister Labrid investigating on Max's disappearance, Ben and Gwen encounter Kevin, now a weapons dealer, brokering a deal between the DNAliens and the Forever Knights. Kevin attempted to attack Ben, still bitter after all his past defeats against him and his eventual imprisonment in the Null Void, but was again easily defeated after fighting Ben's new alien Swampfire and gets caught by Labrid. He then agreed to help them, hoping to get back the money he lost during the deal. Eventually, after an altercation with the Forever Knights and Labrid sacrificing his life to save Kevin's, Ben, Gwen and Kevin start working together as a team to face the Highbreed's expected invasion on Earth.
At the same time, Ben developed mutual feelings for Julie Yamamoto, an Asian/American girl from his school.
Though he was initially afraid of developing a relationship with her, fearing she'll reject him if she found out about the Omnitrix, he was eventually pushed by Gwen into taking her to a date at the Pier. The date, however, went wrong when a Galvanic Mechamorph symbiote later named Ship started attacking Ben in an attempt to get his attention. This incident eventually forced Ben to reveal his powers to Julie, but to his surprise, she didn't reject him, even calling the Omnitrix "cool." The two eventually continued dating, while Ship became Julie's pet. At some point, Ben received a visit from a mysterious clone-like being of himself using an Omnitrix himself. The clone introduced himself as Albedo, a Galvan, stating he was the true creator of the Omnitrix and that Azmuth was a liar. He asked Ben to hand him over the Omnitrix, stating he was trapped in Ben's body since his DNA had become the Omnitrix Default and needed Ben's Omnitrix to override the device's programming. When Ben refused, he turned violent and attempted to take it by force. After two clashes between them, Azmuth appeared and revealed Albedo was actually his assistant, who was untrusting of Ben and had attempted to make his own Omnitrix. As a punishment for his arrogant act of rebellion, Azmuth removed Albedo's Omnitrix's central component (the Core), leaving him trapped in a damaged photo-negative version of Ben's human form, and sent him to a Null Void prison.
During one mission, Ben was accidentally sent through a teleportation device with the Highbreed commander Reinrassic III, causing both of them to be trapped on the hostile planet Turrawuste and forcing them to work together in order to find a way back to their respective homeworlds. Though initially displaying the usual racist Highbreed's behaviours, Reinrassic slowly grew a friendship with Ben, and eventually lost his hand trying to save him from a local vicious life form. After Ben heals his hand as Swampfire, they eventually reach the teleportation gate, but Reinrassic III chose to self-exile himself on Turrawuste, as he believed his friendship with Ben had corrupted him in the eyes of his people.
Ben eventually assembled a team, consisting of himself, Gwen, Kevin, Alan Albright, Paradox, Julie, Ship, Cooper, Azmuth and a briefly reformed Darkstar for a final attack on the Highbreed's hideout in Los Soledad in order to prevent the Hyperspace Jumpgate located there from being activated and unleashing the Highbreed fleet upon the Earth. Despite help from Max and the Plumbers' helpers, they failed to prevent the arrival of the fleet. Ben then went with Gwen, Azmuth and Kevin aboard Ship through the Jumpgate to the Highbreed homeworld. He then discovered the Highbreed were actually trying to exterminate every known sentient being in the Milky Way galaxy because they were slowly dying out and as stated by Azmuth, their belief in purity among their kind had led to Inbreeding, a loss of disease resistance and finally sterility. Ben as Humungousaur which he used to break out of a holding cell asked if the Omnitrix can repair the genetic damadge to all of the Highbreed to which the device replied that it can but such an action would require all of its available power, after turning Ben back to his normal self it then charged up and relesed a powerful energy/DNA wave that infused all the Highbreeds with alien DNA from the Omnitrix's genetic database, thereby repairing their genetic damage in the process and saving them from total extinction. Though they were initially disgusted by this (and contemplated mass suicide as their only honourable act because of the change), Reinrassic III then re-appeared from his exile, and showed them how this "genetic impurity" was giving them a second chance at life. Realising he was right, his comrades named him Highbreed Supreme and he ended the war thereby bringing peace to the galaxy once more.
Character name: Ben 10
Full name: Benjamin "Ben" Kirby Tennyson
Birthplace: Bellwood, Illinois
Abilities: Above average athletic ability, highly skilled in use of Omnitrix, trained in unarmed combat and use of Level One through Five weapons technology, highly skilled hoverboard rider, highly skilled soccer player
Relationships: Carl Tennyson (father), Sandra Tennyson (mother), Maxwell Tennyson (paternal grandfather), Gwen Tennyson (cousin and teammate), Kenneth Tennyson (cousin), Kevin Levin (friend and teammate), Lo Ridgemount (girlfriend), Reef Wilkerson (friend), Emma Mackenzie (friend), Broseph Silas (coworker and friend), Fin McCloud (friend), Johnny St. James (supervisor and friend)
Bio: At the tender age of 10, Ben Tennyson had a summer he would never forget. His vacation with his cousin and grandfather started off as any other, but quickly turned into a series of bizarre and unbelievable misadventures once Ben – literally – stumbled into an alien device known as the Omnitrix. Though it was thought by all to be a weapon, the Omnitrix was in fact a genetic archive designed to both preserve endangered sentient species and to foster understanding between species by changing one individual into another species – to literally allow someone to walk a mile in another's shoes.
For much of his vacation, this truth was rather lost on Ben, who saw it as a way to live out his childish superhero fantasies – including payback against the local bullying toughs Cash and JT – and win renown for himself. As time went by – and as Ben, Gwen, and Max faced off against malevolent individuals such as the alien warlord Vilgax – Ben gradually began to understand what it truly meant to be a hero, and started to put such selfish notions aside. This was typified when Ben and Gwen had to travel across the universe to stop the Omnitrix from self-destructing, thus saving the entire universe.
At the end of his vacation, Ben – with the help of his grandfather's contacts in the interstellar police force known as the Plumbers – was able to remove the Omnitrix, and place it in storage. For the following five years, Ben enjoyed a normal life, until his grandfather disappeared and he found himself threatened by malevolent creatures known as DNAliens. With his cousin and former foe Kevin by his side, Ben donned the Omnitrix again, and faced down the DNAliens and their masters, the xenophobically self-supremacist race known as the Highbreed.
Following a peace-treaty with the Highbreed – and the end of his romantic relationship with Julie Yamamoto – Ben applied as a seasonal worker at the Surfer's Paradise Resort, hoping for a simple, drama-free summer to earn some cash…but that hope came crashing to a halt when Ben crashed into Lo Ridgemount. Over the next few weeks, Ben and Lo butted heads at first, but gradually transitioned from acquaintances, to friends, and then to boyfriend and girlfriend. Their relationship has since faced several challenges – mostly related to Ben's former nemeses seeking revenge – but thus far, the two have managed to make things work. Analysis: In his childhood days, Ben was a mostly typical 10-year-old: rambunctious, somewhat selfish, a bit irresponsible, and almost blind to the consequences of his actions. This is evident in his initial uses of the Omnitrix, though nowhere more so than his early catchphrase of "Who's your hero?" Even so, Ben displayed altruistic tendencies in his desire to do good with the Omnitrix, even though this was tied up with his desire for recognition. In addition to this, when confronted with the consequences of his actions, Ben was willing to make amends when his heroics went awry. This suggests that, despite his shortcomings, Ben had a solid moral core, even if he did not always heed it at the outset.
After his summer with the Omnitrix on his wrist, Ben began to develop a sense of responsibility, evident in his desire to set the Omnitrix aside. Even though he did not possess the Omnitrix for 5 years, his experiences with it helped shape Ben into a more selfless, responsible individual – this is obvious in his choice to wear the Omnitrix again when faced with the DNAlien/Highbreed threat, knowing that he might never be able to remove it again. Even though he has gained renown for his efforts in saving the universe – both from the Omnitrix's self-destruct and the Highbreed incursion – Ben remains fairly humble, indicating that he has truly learned that it is self-sacrifice that makes a hero.