Returning to the Original Continuity
@Tactical-Ochoa Ah ok, I haven't actually watched any of the Halloween sequels and have only seen the original 1978 film once (I'm not really a horror film person lol) but I see what you mean in that the 2018 sequel went back to the roots of what made the 1978 film so good rather than diverging so much like the original sequels to the film did. You could make a direct comparison with how UAF and Omniverse went in different directions compared to the original series which made them not-so-great sequels despite being good as their own thing.
@coreofthesun Yeah, Halloween pretty much went bonkers when they introduced the supernatural stuff. Halloween 2018 proved that going back to your roots without starting the continuity from scratch does work and is a valid option. Just have to make sure the execution is solid though.
And yeah, the Ben 10 sequel shows are fine on their own. They just don't really work well as sequels and diverted so much away from what made the Original Series such a great show. I get that a lot of people want a follow up to Omniverse but I think the better route to go for is to make a new sequel to the Original Series To do what Halloween 2018 did.
I've come up with a few rough ideas as to what they could do in a new sequel. There would be similarities with Alien Force but also some differences:
Firstly, I think that they could really up the ante and the stakes with the whole "secret invasion" thing (which I thought had so much untapped potential when it was introduced in Alien Force). Ben and Gwen have most likely been noticing odd things happening around Bellwood prior to this for the past few months, they've noticed people either going missing for long periods of time or else behaving weirdly (DNAliens in disguise) but haven't thought too much of it because of them being occupied with normal life - at least until they find Max's message. At this point both would realise that their suspicions and misgivings were spot on. I think that while Alien Force did make a point of how they could never have normal lives again after Ben chooses to don the Omnitrix, I think that you could build on that further and show that while Ben and Gwen do like normality to a degree, their Tennyson blood almost makes them both born for adventure and dealing with things out of the ordinary. By choosing to step back into the world of aliens, magic, mutants etc. they're stepping right back into their element.
I also think that an atmosphere of mystery should be maintained for the first phase of the story. The operations of the mysterious invaders are unknown and asides from a few DNAlien run-ins, the Tennyson's really don't know what to do because all of a sudden their familiar home town has become hostile. Max's message to start assembling a team because they are stronger in numbers is what they hold onto,because initially they are so unsure on what to do without him standing like a rock beside them and guiding them. I would involve the Plumber's kids a lot more: the likes of Cooper and Alan would join the cause earlier on; Manny, Pierce and Helen introduced later. As for the stories involving them I'm not sure but I think that they could all have their own character development. One of the themes of Alien Force was meant to be Ben becoming a leader but he never really had a team in the first place in the actual show - here he can.
I also think that bringing back Hope/Charmcaster would be a better idea than Kevin (I'll get to him), and we could still see a redemption story except it would be far more believable. I also think that having her as a part of the main cast would allow the alien and sci-fi stuff in the story to be balanced out by the more mystic elements of the universe. We could see Charmcaster and Gwen have a dislike of each other at the start (which would lead to some pretty amusing moments where Ben has to be the peacemaker), but over time have that grow into a trust in each other and somewhat akin to a mentor-student relationship as Charmcaster (at first grudgingly) teaches Gwen more about magic and they bond over it. The idea of Legerdomain is dope - and we could see Charmcaster have a few mini-arcs of her own, but ultimately revolving around Hex whom she has been running away from for the past few years out of fear of what he might do to her. I think that Ben's personality and positive nature could also have a good influence on her and help her move past her troubled past.
However there would also be a focus on Ben and Gwen's non-hero life - seeing how they deal with the regular problems of growing up in addition to all the non-normal stuff they do. You could almost introduce a Spider-Man spin to the story showing both sides of their lives as it would show how Ben and Gwen's commitment to stopping the Highbreed invasion affects their regular life both for the better or the worse. For example, despite Gwen being a prodigy, I imagine that her family are the kind who would've pushed their daughter to participate and succeed in everything even if she didn't want to. Maybe we could see her thoughts diverting from what she studies in class to how best to handle the next mission that she goes on. This could lead to tension with her parents, meaning that her time spent with Ben kicking alien backside is ironically the only time she can relax. The focus on the main cast's growth as characters was something that was lacking in the Prime continuity and something I believe could really work, since it would actually make them feel like teenagers.
The Forever Knights could also be implemented into this story , but despite them selling tech to the Highbreed and participating in illegal trade deals for their own gain, their motives seem to be unknown. Maybe they could have a great fear of magic and possibly some tension with Charmcaster from past encounters which gives them a reason to antagonise the team. Personally I've thought of a really good plot twist involving the Forever Knights which I won't reveal now just in case I try making a fancomic/fanfiction for fun based on this idea in my spare time.
The ending of part 1 of the story could involve the reforming of the Plumbers as Max's old colleagues hear of Ben's activities and organise themselves to help. I have some good ideas for how Ben's team would interact and work with them but I need to develop them a bit more. Though generally the second phase of the story would involve a more organised attempt at taking the Highbreed down, and how the protagonists adapt to essentially being Plumbers.
Kevin. I think that this version of the story would work better with him being a vigilante or a villain rather than a hero. I think that his return would need to have a really heavy personal impact on Ben because Kevin is essentially his dark mirror image. I think that initially they would have to briefly work together because of the common goal of stopping the eradication of humanity by the Highbreed, but there would always be that underlying tension between them and never a sense of cooperation or total trust, and their temporary alliance would be broken by the end of the invasion. The threat of Kevin is always personal, he's not really definitively good or evil but has gone off the deep end to the point where while he now seems sane from the outside , he's obsessed with revenge and manipulation of Ben even for the most petty reasons. Kevin's story is tragic because he could've definitely taken a turn for the better had it not been for his upbringing (which is the one area which contrasts rather than compliments Ben ) and eventually Ben would have to reluctantly accept that not everyone can be saved. Alternatively he could remain an anti-hero and change a bit for the better, but would never become close to the Tennysons because they can never forget what he did in the past, and would remain only a distant ally in the times of greatest need, leading a life by himself.
As for Ben's love life, I wouldn't delve too much into it since he is only 15/16 in the story. I had another idea which involves introducing Elena Validus into the plot (given that she's a Plumber's kid as well) in a more cohesive way than what was done in UAF but that idea isn't fully fleshed out yet. If any love interests are introduced for Ben, they would need to be engaging as characters by themselves without being too reliant on their relationship with Ben (like Julie in UAF). Ditto for Gwen.
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With regards to powers, I think that a team of Ben, Gwen, Hope, Alan and Cooper (and later Helen, Manny and Pierce) all a diverse range of abilities (which aren't too overpowered) which would be good for a range of storytelling.
Ben obviously has the Omnitrix. I think that recalibrating and shuffling his playlist does work, but I'd still keep the basic functionality of the device the same as it was in the original series. (so no voice commands, or deus ex machina abilities like reviving Ben as Diamondhead). I think that it would be a good idea to include some of Ben's less used original aliens (eg. the monster trio) to give them some more love as well as introducing newer and unique ones. I think that a good roster would be:
- Big Chill
- Spidermonkey (though I'd give him a redesign)
- Humoungasaur (would also get a slight redesign, differentiate his powerset a bit and not make him overused)
- Lodestar (except I wouldn't make him too powerful like he was in UAF)
(**in the case of Jetray, ONLY if he's severely nerfed by removing his ability to fly, break the lightspeed barrier while doing so, and his ability to survive in space. He'd primarily be a water based alien who is faster underwater than Ripjaws but not as strong, even though he can shock his enemies. He would be able to glide in the air though, just not fly at hyperspeed.)
I think that would be quite a balanced roster for Ben and the idea would be that he would have to adapt to using aliens beyond the original 10 which would probably be his favourites, and could lead to some humorous scenarios if done right.
With Gwen, I'd make her a fully human sorceress again. I personally didn't like the Anodite retcon at all - why not just explain Gwen's proficiency as her being a prodigy at pretty much everything that she does? Not like that isn't true, and it keeps the universe broad and exciting. She'd still be using actual spells rather than being totally limited to Green Lantern constructs.
Charmcaster would be similar to Gwen except she's more proficient due to having more experience, and understands how the mystic arts work more than anyone else on the team. To differentiate her from Gwen though I'd have her fighting style be distinct: maybe Charmcaster could utilise more magical artifacts and tricks in contrast to Gwen who takes more of a bare hands approach. I'm thinking that maybe some more lore could be added to how magic works in general...but that's still work in progress.
Given that Ben won't have Heatblast initially Alan's Pyronite powers are therefore unique to the team. Perhaps he will struggle initially with how he shifts from human to Pyronite but over time learns how to control it and make it less spontaneous.
Cooper also has a unique set of powers with his technopathy which allows him to control technology and use that to his advantage. Obviously he would get drawbacks from using his mutant powers too much but he is still distinct from the others and I think that there could be some really cool storylines involving his powers.
There has been a few instances where I've been responding to a few posts by people without actually reading it carefully. Which was wrong of me to do so as I don't know what I'm talking about or agreeing to. Yeah it's a huge wall of text but I'll read everything from now onwards no matter how huge the paragraphs are.
@coreofthesun Charmcaster really should've been the one to go through a redemption arc instead of Kevin. With the way that she was set up in the Original Series, it felt much more fitting for her to be in Kevin's position in Alien Force.
@Tactical-Ochoa Charmcaster is a character who deserved so much better than what she got by the end of the original timeline. Actually, if we compare what happens with Kevin and Charmcaster in the sequels...
- Gets redeemed in the first episode of Alien Force and becomes a main character.
- Has multiple run ins with former adversaries but is supported by Ben and Gwen and helps overcome the troubles of his past.
- Becomes a better person morally while around the Tennysons.
- Despite going mad again from another mutation, he still becomes good again due to Gwen's complete faith in him.
- Becomes a normal member of society, a hero, and very close with Ben and Gwen.
- Returns in AF S3 as someone who is obsessed with Gwen on a personal level and her motivations are based around that (I'll ignore what happens in Time Heals as that was an alternate timeline)
- Then in UA she teams up with other villains to cause personal pain to the Tennysons by going after their family
- Then she becomes the ruler of Legerdomain and becomes good for one episode where she admits that she was jealous of Gwen's magical proficiency (the closest that she came to getting a redemption) and becomes temporary allies with the main characters.
- Then she does a 180 for no reason and kills the main trio the next time they meet to revive her dead dad only for him to reverse the spell because he thought it was cruel. This combined with her being used by Darkstar makes her a broken wreck at the end of UA.
- In Omniverse she has become crazy, turning all those who wronged her in the past into totems, still with a hatred of Gwen, and eventually she gets turned into a totem and stuffed into her own bag.
I don't know about anyone else, but I think that if the two situations were reversed (with some tweaks) it would make way more sense than what we eventually got. Charmcaster never seemed to be a evil person at heart, more of a rebellious girl under the bad influence of her uncle. A redemption could totally work for her as she becomes a better person due to the positive influence of Ben and Gwen. Her antagonistic motives in the OS were nowhere near as personal as Kevin's so they would be more willing to trust her (though for Gwen it would take a while). Given her personality she could've worked similar to almost a female version of Ben as a character, which would make her character interactions with Ben,Gwen and the other characters pretty funny. But anyways, she has the demons of her past to contend with as well, most notably Hex who for some reason makes up with her by the time Alien Force comes around. I think that a better idea would be to have her running away from Hex ever since he turned into a toddler, but eventually she would need to stop running and face him which could be a character arc for her.
Kevin on the other hand, was a psycho in the original who was obsessed with Ben. Pretty similar to the Joker actually, and the explanation of how "the powers made him do it" is mediocre at best - if Cletus Casady and the Joker are held responsible for their actions despite their insanity, why shouldn't Kevin? I think that he could've worked either as a vigilante or a villain in this regard. In fact I think that him randomly switching from alliance to antagonization of the Tennysons would work given that he's not completely sane, and any teamups would have an undertone of mistrust. I think that having his own character arcs paralleling Ben's would be cool to make him more 3D as a character but fundamentally his character is tied to a personal hatred of Ben.
TL;DR - Charmcaster deserved better while Kevin should've been the one who went down a path to what she did in the main timeline.
@coreofthesun While Charmcaster did some evil things in the Original Series, she felt more like a victim of Hex's influence and abuse. Sure, you can say that Kevin is a victim of the unfortunate conditions that made him who he is. I guess the difference here is that in the Original Series, Kevin embraced what he's become or he's just too far gone or something of the likes. Charmcaster still has a chance to turn things around for the betterment of herself. She hasn't crossed that point of no return like Kevin has. In the Original Series, it felt like there's still hope (pun not intended) for her whereas it felt like Kevin was too far gone. And yeah, Cletus Kasady and Joker are victims of the circumstances that made them who they are, but it doesn't justify their actions. They still did horrible things and are rightly held accountable for them. Kevin tried to and did some horrible things himself. Therefore, whatever the reason behind why, he still needed to be held accountable for his actions.
I think there's also the matter of Kevin's son, Devlin. Something that I noticed is that it felt like Devlin and Charmcaster parallel each other quite significantly. That there's some elements about them that makes them similar to each other. I have this one idea of Charmcaster being Devlin's biological mother. I think that could be something that could be fitting to establish for both characters. I even incorporated that idea into the Devlin Levin redesign commission that I hired an artist to do for me almost a year ago.
If we do return to the original continuity after omniverse I think it's best for Ben to have a new love interest using a brand new character.
If we get a rebooted Original Series continuation then we should go for Julie only this time it's executed better.
Either way no matter what continuity this is in Gwen needs to have a new relationship that isn't Kevin and most certainly not Ben.
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@npzman I personally think that Elena is a good choice for an Omniverse continuation. If that show happens I think that she'd be a really interesting character - she cares for Ben deeply but the nanochips augment her personal desires to the point of her being violent. Seeing her move past her mistakes, have her own arc where she struggles to control the chips and maybe get involved with Ben romantically could work if done right. Plus Ken possibly being half nanochip is such a cool idea imo. The better part of the fanbase would riot if Gwen and Kevin split up in an Omniverse continuation so that won't happen.
As for a rebooted original continuation, I still think that Elena could in fact be implemented better than she was in the main timeline. But yeah Julie could also work well if they actually made her an interesting character rather than just Ben's cute girlfriend. As for Gwen...idk if she were to have a different love interest then they'd probably have to introduce a new character. As I mentioned before I don't think that a new series should focus too much on romance because that isn't really one of the key strengths of the franchise
@Tactical-Ochoa Err...personally I'm not too big a fan of Hope being Devlin's biological mother, but I think that she could very well work as a mother figure to him in the future at the time that Ben is Ben 10,000, especially given their similar experiences. Both have an evil older relative (Kevin or Hex) of whom they have been a victim of pain throughout their childhood, both have abilities which made the outer world see them as freaks, both having to fend for themselves at the same time as doing their best not to become like said older relative. It could be a very interesting future timeline.
@coreofthesun I don't really have that same sentiment with Elena. I never really found her to be an interesting character. I found her to be pretty forgettable and bland. She just doesn't feel like a good fit for Ben. Despite how her and Ben view each other, I don't really see them having a good connection with each other. I'm not fond of the idea of Ken being part nanochip either. That sounds like a repeat of Gwen being half Anodite and the issues that created.
I just don't see anyone else who would be any better of an option for Ben to be in a relationship with than Gwen. Ben and Gwen just have too much of a good connection with each other for them to be in a relationship with any other characters that are not them. As for Ken, I think it would be better for him to be a magic user than for Ken to be part nanochip. I think that's a more fitting approach to him. Have Ken be like a jack-of-both-trades of Ben and Gwen, as in Ken has his own Omnitrix, like Ben, while also being able to use magic, like Gwen. Pretty much like with this Ken Tennyson redesign commission that I had that same artist do for me as well.
As for Devlin, I kind of see Gwen as more of a mother figure to Devlin than Charmcaster; especially considering that Ben adopted Devlin at the end of the Ken 10 episode, therefore Devlin would be spending much of his life being raised by the Tennyson family. Something to take note of about Charmcaster is that much like how Kevin represented Ben's evil opposite, Charmcaster represented Gwen's opposite as well. Something that I can see is how Kevin and Charmcaster could have a bit of a connection with each other...or at the very least have a temporary allegiance with each other for the sake of going after Ben and Gwen. This is something that's going on in Little Moments after all. I think it would just be more interesting and fitting for Charmcaster to be Devlin's mother. I think the connection between them is there to make it seem fitting here.
@Tactical-Ochoa Fair points. It’s just that if there were to be an Omniverse continuation then a lot of options are ruled out. Julie and Ester certainly so, as well as Looma and Attea (who only really liked Ben for his prime alien forms). Which leaves Kai and Elena, neither of whom are great characters per se but I think that Elena has more potential even though she wasn’t implemented that well into UA. The half Anodite thing with Gwen was bad because it explained away her ability at magic as alien heritage rather than her earning it. Ken having the ability to control nanochips and technology to a degree doesn’t make him stupidly overpowered and differentiates him a little from Ben. But it’s just an idea and frankly a combination of the Ken whom we see in OS and OV would work out fine.
As I said in a new sequel literally any of the past love interests could work if they were implemented right.
I think that Charmcaster works as a parallel to Gwen but I think that this would be better seen if they were somewhat allies (and yet at the same time rivals) rather than being flat out antagonistical of each other like Ben and Kevin are. Also, I don’t know about anyone else but I don’t think that it is necessary for the children of villains to be a result of two major villains hooking up (even temporarily). I’m personally fine with Devlin’s mother being unknown and it doesn’t take away from who he is as a character.
@coreofthesun In the case with Omniverse, the series has pretty much established that Ben and Kai started a relationship with each other. Therefore, it's likely going to be Kai that would be Ben's love interest in an Omniverse sequel and not Elena. Meanwhile, Elena barely even appeared in the show. I think she was only there for one episode and that was it.
And if they decide to take this statement by DJW into consideration, I guess Elena is no longer half nanochip. Granted, this is an outside statement and Omniverse doesn't actually showcase this so take it with a grain of salt.
Being part nanochip wouldn't make him stupidly overpowered but I do think it would put Ken too much on the side of science fiction. Mixing science and magic together is something that I think would be more interesting and fitting for Ken. Like I said, balance.
And sure, Devlin's mother doesn't have to be Charmcaster. I just think it would be fitting if she is.
@Tactical-Ochoa Cool, I wasn't aware of Wyatt's statements, but then again they aren't 100% reliable since he was mainly the art director for Omniverse.
@coreofthesun True. A lot of statements from the teams that made these shows often conflicted with each other, and many statements from Wyatt tend to be taken by many with a grain of salt. It's one of the reasons why I rather prefer that creators don't make outside statements that establishes lore within their creations.
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Wyatt isn’t exactly that reliable when it comes to lore and often contradicts himself. So yes, I would not believe everything that he says. I appreciate him for being one of the only people still willing to answer questions about the franchise but he can come off as a jerk sometimes.
As for the topic...ngl I would absolutely love a new sequel to the original series to do it the justice it deserves in terms of continuity and tone. I wouldn’t mind an Omniverse sequel or Ken 10 so long as they are engaging shows, and an Omniverse sequel to give some kind of conclusion to the original timeline would be the most logical option I suppose