What happened to Vilgax after the original series?

  • I believe that the three sequel series did a good job at introducing their own villains into the story, such as the Highbreed and DNAliens, Aggregor, Malware and Khyber. However, I believe that one villain in particular was mistreated greatly by the writers after the original series, and that was Vilgax: the main villain of the OS.

    The presence of Vilgax was felt from the very first episode when he was pursuing the ship carrying the Omnitrix, and throughout season 1 he is a constant presence lurking in the shadows, biding his time until he recovers from his injuries. The S1 finale "Secrets" was the climax of this with Vilgax, his abilities and intentions finally fully revealed. He was one of the most intimidating antagonists that I had ever seen, and still remains to be to this day. From his cybernetically enhanced appearance, his menacing voice portrayal by Steve Blum, and his strength combined with his intelligence made him genuinely scary and the whole episode showed that Ben was in fact, not invincible. His return appearances in "Back with a Vengeance" and "The Secret of the Omnitrix" while not having the novelty of "Secrets" still do a great job at portraying his ruthlessness and fear factor and making the audience feel genuinely scared whenever he was on screen, and seeing Ben defeat him was incredibly satisfying as a result.

    So what happened? Well originally Vilgax was not meant to appear in the sequel Alien Force with Dwayne McDuffie and the crew planning to continue the Highbreed arc into S3 had it not been for interference of Cartoon Network. And so Vilgax was introduced back into the series, but he had changed. Gone was the cybernetically enhanced body, the ventilator, and even Steve Blum's voice acting. It was replaced by a Vilgax who was portrayed very differently from what he was. Yes he still was a vengeful person after the Omnitrix, but was now more of a warlord character. He had collected weapons from across the universe from defeated heroes and had now come to Earth to apparently kill Ben Tennyson and take the Omnitrix. Safe to say this version of Vilgax while ok on paper was far more underwhelming than the original. Giving him a sword, a rip-off Infinity Gauntlet, laser eyes etc. was too much in my opinion - he worked far better with just raw strength. While I don't think that James Remar did a bad job as Vilgax, he did not have the menace that Blum brought so well to the role. This version of Vilgax was also notably less intelligent than the original version, the most infamous instance of this being him finally acquiring the Omnitrix and then having no clue how to use it, leading to him being outsmarted by Ben of all people. Wasn't Vilgax a master of the Omnitrix in the original? Surely if he wanted it so badly he wouldn't have just forgot how to work it?

    Vilgax then becomes a servant of the Diagon in UA, and for me it felt so wrong to see Vilgax yielding to the will of someone else, however powerful. Even though he ended up betraying Diagon in the end it still felt out of character for him. Oh and despite acquiring god powers he is an absolute pushover for Ben who runs up and simply stabs him with Ascalon.

    In Omniverse they brought Blum back to voice Vilgax but not even he could save the role. Tbf this version of Vilgax was more ambitious with his plans especially with the use of the Chronosapien Time Bomb to wipe out all the Bens, but like many things in Omniverse, he was unfortunately turned into a bit of a joke (I mean , can you seriously see OS Vilgax being scared by Ma Vreedle?)

    TL;DR - I thought that Vilgax's portrayal after the original series was underwhelming and doesn't do justice to the character who was built up as the main villain from the start. If I were to re-implement him after the OS I would have him voiced by Steve Blum again and give him his cybernetically enhanced appearance back, though perhaps without the ventilator. I personally believe that a "less is more" approach works with Vilgax - he doesn't need lots of different weapons and gadgets but just his strength and cunning. However, just because he was the big bad of the OS doesn't mean that he has to stick around forever like he did in the original continuity. I can definitely see a Vilgax arc with an older Ben culminating in either the death (like we saw in the original Ben 10,000 timeline) or permanent imprisonement of Vilgax so that he is no longer a threat.

    Anyway what does everyone else think?

  • @coreofthesun Yup. Pretty much agree with everything here. I wouldn't say that Vilgax mastered the Omnitrix though. At the very least, he's done enough research on it to have some of an understanding of how it worked and what it does. It bothers me so much that the people behind UAF seemed to have so little of an understanding of the Original Series source material because of the many moments like Vilgax, for some reason, being completely stumped on how the Omnitrix worked in Alien Force despite his knowledge of it in the Original Series.

    And yes, I'm going to pull up Little Moments again as an example here. I like how that series approached Vilgax. I felt that Vilgax didn't need an origin story but I was genuinely surprised with how well Warlord Ascending handled that very origin story. It added a lot to Vilgax as a character. Did a really good job of explaining why he ended up as the villain that he is. The chapter where Vilgax attacked Phoenix, Arizona really did his portrayal quite well too. There was a lot of fear and tension that was going on in that chapter. Even though Ben was able to successfully kill him, it felt like Vilgax won that day. What happened in Phoenix really left quite a significant and traumatic impact on Ben and Gwen. It acted as a proper stepping stone that would eventually lead to Ben becoming the version of Ben 10,000 that future Gwen was trying to prevent. I think Little Moments really handled Vilgax quite well.

  • @Tactical-Ochoa Yeah I think that I exaggerated when I said that OG Vilgax was a master of the Omnitrix lol, but at the least he’d be able to use it as well as Ben.

    I think that Vilgax’s entrance after the original series should’ve been built up a lot more, with an actual plan rather than announcing his arrival on Earth to kill Ben. And when Ben does finally defeat him, I think that the temptation stuff that was used at the end of UA could work. Only here it wouldn’t be Vilgax tempting Ben with ultimate power once he has been defeated, but goading Ben to kill him. At that moment we’d see Ben hesitate and struggle with his emotions. On one hand he has the opportunity to destroy Vilgax forever. On the other hand, he has seen firsthand what his future self was like and doing this would set him on the road to becoming that heartless and cold version of himself, and would be giving Vilgax the last laugh even beyond the grave.

    So yeah, taking some elements from Little Moments would work but I’d flesh them out a bit more.

  • @coreofthesun I always found it stupid how Vilgax tried to tempt Ben with ultimate power...because Ben already has ultimate power. It's in the form of Alien X, the same alien that later in Omniverse recreates an entire destroyed universe.

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