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Most people who watched Cartoon Network are familiar with the Ben 10 franchise. Boy finds watch called the Omnitrix. Boy turns into aliens. Boy becomes superhero. I covered the extraterrestrial aspect of this series before. In Ben 10: Interesting Aliens of the Franchise I covered some of the aliens that were used by Ben to save the world or defeat the villains in the series. Here, I will cover aliens from this series that were interesting because of all of the design changes and reboots this series experienced.
Ben 10, as one of Cartoon Network's more popular franchises, constantly had changes in its animation in an attempt to appeal to new viewers. Or because of changing staff. As a result, some of the aliens underwent changes to their design.
Some of these changes resulted in new powers or physical appearances. Some changes served as a way to prevent scaring younger viewers. And some changes even served narrative purposes.
Humongousaur first appeared in Ben 10: Alien Force. First appearing in Ben 10 Returns: Part 2, Humongousaur was Ben's primary physical fighter. In addition to superhuman strength, Humongousaur also had the ability to grow into an even larger form that also changed his appearance whenever this ability was used. This size altering ability was usually used for intimidation purposes.
Humongousaur in Ben 10: Omniverse did not experience any severe changes when the animation changed. Mostly because he was not used much in earlier episode. Not that Ben did not try to use this form. But once Ben changed into Humongousaur, one of the changes was the addition of actual clothes. And a noticeable lack of Humongousaur's size changing ability.
Humongousaur in the 2016 version of Ben 10 underwent a full reboot on Humongousaur's abilities and appearance. Gone was the ability to grow into a giant. Now, Humongousaur gained a new spiked tail to use as a weapon against enemies. And more spikes on his body.
Humongousaur's new design basically took a very simple alien with a unique power that was not frequently used, and rebooted the current incarnation to have an ability that was not as spectacular, but could be used more frequently and in more situations. Which also helped make the reboot more enjoyable for viewers who watched older Ben 10 episodes.
In regards to Ben 10: Omniverse, another interesting aspect about Humongousaur was the introduction of a predator that preyed-on Humongousaur's species. This predator had the ability to shoot out webs that could ensnare Humongousaur easily. And since Ben 10: Omniverse ignored the fact that Humongousaur could become giant, this predator was portrayed as a very serious threat.
Stinkfly first appeared in the Ben 10 episode Washington B.C. As Ben's primary flier, or only flier in the original series, Stinkfly was used to perform aerial feats while fighting enemies. Another ability that he had was the ability to shoot a liquid that could immobilize enemies. And smell bad.
Stinkfly's appearance in Ben 10: Omniverse did not do anything major in regards to abilities or design. Stinkfly just had more more colors on his outfit. And a newly introduced predator that was resistant to Stinkfly liquid shots.
Stinkfly's appearance in the 2016 reboot of Ben 10 was a major contrast compared to its past incarnations. Rather than look like an insect, Stinkfly adopted a more humanoid appearance. He could still shoot out its green liquid, though. But just from holes from the side of its neck.
Stinkfly's design could be seen as Cartoon Network's way of sanitizing the more freakier aspects of the Ben 10 franchise for younger audiences.
Appearing in the Ben 10: Alien Force episode Ben 10 Returns: Part 1, Swampfire was the first new alien that Ben used after regaining the Omnitrix. As a callback to another alien called Heatblast, Swampfire had the ability to shoot fire out of his hands. Fortunately, since Ben 10: Alien Force was about an older Ben 10; nothing got accidentally burned.
One extremely unique ability Swampfire had that made him somewhat overpowered was his ability to regenerate or regrow any damaged or destroyed body parts. Which came in handy when his first transformation had him lose an arm.
Predictably, as a plant-based alien, Swampfire could also control plant life by firing seeds into the ground. And turn into a plant himself to help escape dangerous situations.
In Charmed, I'm Sure, Swampfire undergoes a gradual change because of puberty. Now stronger, Swampfire's powers became even stronger. For example, instead of needing to fire seeds to grow vines from the ground, Swampfire could automaticaaly spawn vines from anywhere he decided.
In Weapon XI: Part 2, another power was introduced. By using vine whips tipped with fire as long-distance weapons with an incendiary effect.
As one of Cartoon Network's more popular cartoons, Ben 10 as a franchise is going to most likely be around for a long time. And with the current attitude of rehashing old aspects of previous continuities, this may mean getting reintroduced to old aliens. Fortunately, there may be some changes that will keep whatever character or plot point introduced from becoming repetitive.