Review: Ben 10 #1
Who knew vacation could be this exciting? Ben Tennyson and his teammates kick off a maelstrom of action when an ocean cruise brings Ben in the cross hairs of Ssserpent, who’s out to find a long-lost underwater society. But does Ben’s new, slightly oddball love interest harbor dark secrets of her own? Aliens, superpowers, ships and swimsuits: the perfect ingredients for high-seas adventure.
The third comic book series to come out of IDW and Cartoon Network’s partnership launches this week. Ben 10 #1 is written by Jason Henderson and features art by Gordon Purcell. Scott Macrae handles inks, Jason Lewis provides colors, and Neil Uyetake tackles lettering. Does Ben 10 keep IDW’s current streak of great new series based on cartoons going?
The story takes place during the Ben 10: Omniverse timeline. Ben, Gwen, Kevin, Grandpa Max, and Ben’s new partner Rook are going on vacation. While on the plane ride over, Ben comes under attack by Sunder. Ben makes quick work of his attacker and then it’s time to get on the boat for their two week cruise. Everyone is ready for a break even though Rook finds two weeks of doing nothing very odd. When Ben meets a girl obsessed with a mermaid ice sculpture, things start to take a weird turn. The ship comes under attack and Ben and his allies must go on defense. What is Ben’s familiar foe trying to accomplish with his attack? Does it have anything to do with the mysterious new girl in Ben’s life?
Henderson writes a good story. This is one show that is still actually on the air, so Henderson finds himself in a unique position compared to some of the released and upcoming comics. This isn’t a perfect introduction, so if you don’t have some sense of familiarity with the cartoon and characters you may find yourself a little confused. It fits seamlessly into what we see in the cartoons though. Purcell’s pencils and Macrae’s inks do a good job of translating the cartoon to comics with a few added flourishes. It’s a very clean and crisp style. There’s not a lot of action but there are several transformations for Ben. This is mainly about presenting the characters and the duo do that well. Lewis’ colors are bright and vibrant, very much fitting in with the source material.
Bottom Line: If you’re a Ben 10 fan you’re going to get a great new adventure. If you’re a casual viewer, much like myself, you’ll still get enough to enjoy here. This isn’t the cleanest jumping on point, but you’ll be able to follow along. 3/5