Khyber - just how good a villain was he?

  • As someone who watched UAF first I remember being very sceptical of Omniverse when it came out (even though I grew to enjoy it over time) However amongst the newly integrated humour and lighter tone, one character really stood out to me and that was Khyber. I think that an independent hunter persona was a pretty novel idea for a villain. Yes Khyber was working in conjunction with Psychobos and Malware at times but ultimately he has little loyalty to them and no personal beef with Ben. He's the greatest huntsman in the galaxy and he sees capturing Ben (and by extension the Omnitrix) as the ultimate accolade of his merit - why wouldn't it be? The wielder of the Omnitrix is the most difficult of "prey" because of the sheer variety of different lifeforms which Ben has at his disposal to adapt to almost every situation and problem thrown at him. Of course capturing him would be the ultimate prize for a hunter.

    While the use of the Nemetrix did raise a few questions, I think that Khyber himself in early Omniverse was pretty well done. He even shared a couple of similarities with Original Series Vilgax: lurking in the shadows, sending others out to do his bidding while he waited and watched. I liked how he behaved like a proper hunter by studying Ben without direct confrontation before setting his plans into motion. His motivations were never really revenge driven like some of Ben's villain roster (eg. Zs'skayr, OS Kevin, any of Ben's other long time villains who want payback for Ben handing their butts to them every time) which I think made him unique. I think that his voice actor did a great job as well.

    However I think that with the sheer number of episodes which Omniverse spanned, they ended up overusing Khyber to the point where he lost his unique traits and personality. He ended up having more direct and generic confrontations with Ben rather than continuing to carry out his operations like a huntsman, and he eventually got turned into a bit of a joke and lost a lot of his menace and presence as an antagonist - such as when he got scared by Pesky Dust's species (granted I think that this could've been valid if done right) or used the Nemetrix on himself with the help of Skurd, and so on.

    I think that the premise of Khyber was great but the execution especially in later seasons was a bit lacking. The way that I'd fix him is to elaborate more on his antagonist arc and the groundwork which Omniverse laid, and have him put Ben into very different situations in which Ben needs all his wit to elude from Khyber. I would make him a real challenge for Ben to face because he's just so different to any other major villain that Ben has faced in the way that he fights, plans, thinks and adapts. If anyone has watched the original 2003 Teen Titans, you'll know what I mean when I say that I would have Khyber share some similarities with Slade - frequently showing his intelligence and cunning while always maintaining a cool and calculated air about him. And ultimately that would make it all the more satisfying when Ben's creativity and sheer perseverance is what defeats Khyber

  • @coreofthesun I feel like another possible suggestion here is to just not have Khyber show up in Omniverse anymore. He certainly felt overused and became a more generic villain in the later seasons and he was pretty good in the earlier seasons for the very reasons that you stated. It felt like Khyber overstayed his welcome in that show and it hurt him as a character. I always prefer ending things on a high note and not let things drag on and on to the point where they lose their value. I think having Khyber make a permanent exit in some form would favor him. He's made a good run and that's it. Sometimes, one good run is all you really need out of a character/story/series/etc. and there's little to no reason to go any further than that.

  • @Tactical-Ochoa Perhaps I should've made it more clear - I certainly would not intend Khyber to constantly return in Omniverse, quite the opposite actually. I'm just saying that if I were the one implementing Khyber into Ben 10 I'd take the basic aspects which were seen in Omniverse and use them to further develop him and give him a proper run as a villain, with his defeat leading to his permanent exit from the series.

  • @coreofthesun I see.

  • Adding from my original post, I think that Ben as a character is ultimately Khyber's foil. As a hunter Khyber's entire character is revolved around observing his prey or opponents carefully before striking. He wants to find patterns in their behaviour, he wants to learn everything about who they are, and then catch them when they are least expecting it. But Ben's unpredictability and fun loving nature which is so often seen as a flaw may actually work to his benefit and ultimately help him prevail in the end. This combined with him being the wielder of the Omnitrix may make it just as frustrating for Khyber to defeat Ben as it would be for Ben to defeat Khyber (for the reasons I outlined in the first post) which I believe would lead to a really interesting conflict between them despite the lack of personal or malicious intentions from Khyber.

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