Benjamin "Ben" Kirby Tennyson was a normal ten-year-old kid, until he found the Omnitrix, a powerful watch-like device that allowed him to turn into ten different aliens. Though initially immature and clumsy, he grew as a true hero. By the time he was sixteen, he had become famous in not only his hometown of Bellwood, but on Earth and beyond. Ben has also become a member of the Plumbers and gained more aliens as time progressed. In Mystery, Incorporeal, Ben obtains an honorary degree.
Ben's physical appearance has changed throughout the series from a ten-year-old kid to a sixteen-year-old teenager. However, he retains some recurring characteristics. He has shaggy brown hair, green eyes, pale skin, and he's quite skinny for his age, though he shows a lot of muscle definition due to being athletic.
When he was 5, as revealed in a flashback of how he first met his future frenemy Mr. Baumann, Ben wore green overalls with a white shirt underneath it. White numbers saying "5 1/2" where on a black square in front of his overalls.
In the original series and Omniverse flashbacks, Ben's usual clothes consists of a black-striped, white shirt with short sleeves, green pants and black and white shoes with black stripes. Ben wears the prototype Omnitrix on his left wrist.
In Alien Force and Ultimate Alien, Ben wears a black shirt, blue pants and a green jacket with white stripes and the number 10 on it, and black shoes. Ben wears the prototype Omnitrix in Alien Force and the Ultimatrix in Ultimate Alien on his left wrist.
In Omniverse, Ben wears a shirt which is black and has a green stripe in the middle with a white 10 and green stripes on the sides of his shirt. He wears brown pants with pockets at the knees and green and white shoes. He later gains a white hooded jacket with green stripes on both arms and a green number 10 on the right side. He wears the Omnitrix on his left wrist.
Ben is initially portrayed as a cocky, arrogant, and immature boy who tends to make jokes, even when fighting enemies. He easily gets full of himself and enjoys attention from others. This attitude can sometimes make him look obnoxious or dumb, often resulting in criticisms from Gwen later Kevin and a few others. It also causes several conflicts between him and Azmuth.
These traits, however, as hinted in The Forge of Creation, stem from Ben's attempts to hide his own fear 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 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 acts against reason, such as when he chooses to save half-cured DNAlien Tyler over seizing the key for the Highbreed's invasion (Inside Man), or when he tries to save the Sentinel while losing the last Map of Infinity piece to Ultimate 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 criticized by Azmuth, most characters usually consider it as Ben's most important quality. Paradox once even stated that he had the gift to make the right choices at the right moments.
When he sees people 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 aliens, Ben went berserk and beat them up with all his strength, and, in Ultimate Aggregor's case, to the point where Gwen stopped him from attacking more. Also, when Kevin mutated again shortly after stopping Ultimate Aggregor and temporarily went back to his psychotic way, hurting all the Plumbers' helpers, Ben became willing to kill Ultimate Kevin by any means necessary. He began acting ruthless, aggressive, pessimistic, cold-hearted, nasty, and even ready to fight Gwen as Way Big when she attempted to stop him. Gwen, however, was eventually able to convince him to try another way as he was about to kill Ultimate Kevin. During the episode, Ben confesses to Max he feels guilty for letting fame get into his head, and claims that he is trying to act more mature for once. Finally, in The Purge, when the Forever Knights are holding a large group of aliens hostage (and have killed some aliens already), Ben threatens to hunt the Forever Knights down for the rest of their lives if they don't let the aliens go.
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 alien he 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 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, and adventurous and self-sacrificing attitude. He is also as much of a practical joker as his Anodite paternal grandmother Verdona.
In Omniverse, Ben thinks of himself as more of a superhero than a Plumber. He often tells Rook that he is a superhero and not a cop. He's also gotten slightly more cocky, but still retains his selfless and heroic nature. His fame caused him to get a degree at Gwen's university in Mystery, Incorporeal.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Ben has been trained in hand-to-hand combat by black belt Gwen (as shown in Be-Knighted), 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 minimize his reliance on the Omnitrixes/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 shots from Manny's blasters and proceed to disarm him while in human form in Above and Beyond. Ben was able to hold his own against Pierce, and Max hinted that Ben was a 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 the Ultimatrix). 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.
It's evident that Ben is extremely smart in some respects, possessing an above average intelligence. 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." He also has fairly moderate grades (although not at Gwen or Julie's level). Chemistry is his toughest subject, yet he still maintains a B+ average.
In Where the Magic Happens, it is shown that Ben has a good memory, as he was perfectly capable of remembering and writing down the mystic rune-like symbols for entering the inter-dimensional realm of Ledgerdomain with just one glance from a distance. He was able to write the runes down.
In Perplexahedron, Ben is also shown to possess advanced intuition, as he was able to understand how Perplexahedron really worked with a small problem at first, but was then able to learn from the mistake and figure it out easily.
Ben is also a cross dominant, skillfully wielding tools and weapons in either hand, in human or alien form.
EquipmentEditBen is the wielder of the Omnitrix (formerly the Ultimatrix and first Omnitrix), 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 ten 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 63 aliens discovered (Ben 10, Ben 10: Alien Force, and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, 72 if Ultimate forms are 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 being far more aggressive, Spidermonkey acting more childish, Big Chill being affected by his reproduction instincts, Brainstorm being far more polite, or Jury Rigg having the desire to destroy/fix machines. Two of the aliens, Ghostfreak and Big Chill, even managed to actually take over Ben's personality.
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 (until his secret was revealed to the world). 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 included what is referred as an "evolutionary function," that allowed Ben to evolve his aliens forms in order to get upgraded versions of them, referred to as Ultimate Forms. It's explained that the function works by placing the selected alien form in a simulated worst-case scenario for a millennia or so, then simply modifying the old DNA to match the new DNA.
In addition to the primary transformations and evolutionary function, the Omnitrixes and Ultimatrix can both be used for various purposes. Both have a built in Universal Translator that allows Ben to communicate with most aliens that don't speak English.
During the Highbreed invasion, the prototype Omnitrix displayed the ability to manipulate and repair genetic damage, a function he used to cure DNAliens and save the Highbreed from extinction. According to Eunice in Simian Says, Ben couldn't do this with the Ultimatrix.
Azmuth also mentioned that Ben could use the prototype Omnitrix to bring back to life any species stored on Primus.
Ben's main ability with the Omnitrix is also his main weakness. Whenever the device times out, Ben is left powerless until he either dodges or switches to a new alien form. Furthermore, in addition to gaining the selected alien's powers, he gains its weaknesses. He is also vulnerable to the alien's natural predator.
Despite his experience in using the Omnitrixes and Ultimatrix, Ben still does not know every function of them. Due to his inquisitive nature and impatience, he has accidentally unlocked new functions such as the Master Control and the Randomizer, which can at times do more harm than good (such as in the The Frogs of War: Part 1).
Though the current Omnitrix is designed to work only for him, Ben still has not mastered it. According to Azmuth, Ben may get the Master Control on his 18th birthday.
In For a Few Brains More, it is revealed that the Omnitrix does not mistransform, but rather it is due to Ben hitting the Omnitrix too hard, thereby causing the time-out function to select another alien at random. Apparently this did not happen as much with the Prototype Omnitrix when Ben was younger, as he didn't have as much strength back then.Ben has an allergy to peanuts and has a fear of peacocks. He also has coulrophobia.
Ben's left eye twitches whenever he tells a lie, but only Kevin appears to notice this.
Ben appears to have a short attention span at times, and more often than not it can get him into trouble. Rook has additionally pointed out that Ben tends to rely too much on his alien forms for combat.
Ben has been in every episode ever created so far in the franchise. To see specifics, look at the following episode guides and in-franchise movies:
- Ben 10/Episodes
- Ben 10: Alien Force/Episodes
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien/Episodes
- Ben 10: Omniverse/Episodes
- Ben 10: Secret of The Omnitrix
- Ben 10: Race Against Time
- Ben 10: Alien Swarm
- Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens
In Other MediaEdit
MAD (Television Series)Edit
Ben appeared briefly in a snippet of the new Cartoon Network show, Mad. They were doing a Star Trek parody and the crew was watching Ben 10 on their screen. Then, they did another parody, but this time with Benjamin Franklin. He was flying his kite when he was struck by a lightning bolt. He then gained the Omnitrix after the accident. He turned into Four Arms, Swampfire, Jetray, NRG, and Humungousaur. In the parody, all of Ben Franklin's aliens had his hair and glasses, and were sometimes miscolored. He spent the longest time as Humungousaur so he could defeat the British people who were dissing the USA, and smash down a junior high school bully's house as revenge for calling Ben Franklin, "Fatty MacGee". Then, they did another parody, but this time with Cowboys & Aliens. In Cowboys & Alien Force, Jedediah Benjamin Tennyson wakes up on the left side of Jake Lonergan saying he has no pants and gets punched by Jake. A cowboy said that Jake was wearing Ben's pants, his hat and his Omnitrix. Jake presses the Omnitrix, turning into an alien similar to Diamondhead or Chromastone and crushing the cowboy with its hand. The Omnitrix in this episode is more like a square and does not have the black and green color sequence.
In the South Park episode "You're Getting Old", Cartman's Mom mentioned that Cartman gets upset when he doesn't get a present every time someone else gets a present at a party. One of the presents Cartman gets is a "Ben 10 Wrist Rocket".
He appears in the Generator Rex episode Heroes United in order to help Rex deal with a "common threat" which was the sentient Alpha nanite. His appearance changed based on the series art style, becoming sleeker and more mature.
According to Ben, he was at a celebrity gig when a strange storm picked him up and dumped him into Rex's world, where he mistook Rex Salazar for an alien attempting to destroy Bellwood. However, he was also mistaken for an EVO, who Rex tried to cure, but both found that they were not what the other thought they were.
"Captured", Ben was taken back to Rex's with an unconscious Agent Six following a battle with an unknown enemy he had been chasing through the storm. While in the base, Ben learned of what was going on in that world, becoming confused by some facts, but generally grasping things are not going good.
Deciding to team up with Rex, Ben met Caesar, Rex' brother and learned that he had banished the Alpha nanite to the Null Void, thinking it was an empty dimension when in reality it's a prison for alien criminals.
However, Alpha had returned and planned, not to mention succeeded, to absorb Rex's Omega 1 Nanite to finally create a body that could sustain itself, in addition to that it copied the Ultimatrix for extra fire power. Ben turned into Upgrade and fused with Rex, allowing them to use more powerful versions of Rex's weapons to beat down Alpha. With Caesar's help, Ben entered the Null Void as a stop on the way back home, using Murk Upchuck to dump Alpha into the Null Void.
Ben made an appearance in the fifth episode of the sixth season of Robot Chicken, Hurtled from a Helicopter into a Speeding Train, where Ben is just turning 14.
Cartoon Network Online GamesEdit
Relationships With Other CharactersEdit
- According to Azmuth and Paradox, Ben will have a glorious future.
- According to Natalie Tennyson, Ben does not have good table manners.
- According to Gwen, when Ben was 10, he was sleeping with his teddy bear, called "Furry Freddy". However, Ben defended himself saying that Furry Freddy has his own bed, which happens to be right next to Ben's.
- According to Rook, Ben's history is now required reading at the Plumbers' Academy. It comprises approximately a "chapter and a half".
- According to himself in Under Wraps, Ben's favorite ice cream is made by Digby Dairy.
- According to Derrick J. Wyatt, Ben's middle name Kirby is a reference to comic book artist Jack Kirby.
- Ben and Gwen share the same birthday.
- According to Rook in The Ultimate Heist, Gwen's birthday is in December.
- Ben used to shout the names of his aliens to strike fear into his opponents. In Omniverse, Ben does this sparingly, like he did when he did when he transformed into Humungousaur after many attempts.
- Ben owns both a driver's license and a car (the car being a reluctant birthday present from Kevin).
- Ben's worst subject is Physics.
- It was revealed in Eye of the Beholder that Ben has a Plumber's Badge despite the fact that the prototype Omnitrix served as a Plumbers' Badge. However, the Ultimatrix (which Ben had at the time) couldn't be used as a Plumber's Badge as well as the Prototype Omnitrix.
- Ben passed the 3rd grade by choosing C for all the answers on multiple choice tests.
- Ben said he dislikes smoothies when he was young. It seems between that time and now, he gained a great liking for smoothies after that time.
- In Showdown: Part 1, Ben confirms that his favorite color is green, favorite food is Chili Fries, favorite hobby is collecting Sumo Slammers, his worst fear is peacocks, and his first crush is Patty Berkinfield from 3rd grade, as well as the fact he has a scar on his body in the shape of New Jersey.
- Ben has a habit of referring to other members of his Omnitrix aliens' species by the names he gives his aliens.
- In Something Zombozo This Way Comes, it is revealed that Ben has relapsed into his fear of clowns (triggered by seeing Grandpa Max become one, bringing a memory from when Max dressed like a clown when Ben was 5)
- In Mystery, Incorporeal, Ben was awarded an honorary doctorate from Friedkin University as a reward for saving the school from Darkstar. It is currently unknown what field the doctorate is in.
- According to Azmuth and Sir George, Ben is the same as they were when they were young.
- In the series, Ben is quite weak without the Omnitrix. In the video games, however, he is quite powerful.