May 8, 2005
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Some of you here are probably aware of the FF/Kirby-influenced cartoon series that debuted on Cartoon Network recently called BEN 10.
The show is about a young boy who discovers a mysterious wristband that falls from space that gives him the ability to transform into 10 different alien creatures. A lot of these creatures have the look of classic Kirby FF, as do many of the bad aliens he fights, and a lot of the machinery and spaceships and stuff. Also, Ben's grandfather bears more than a passing resemblance to a late 40-ish Jack Kirby. Not surprisingly, the show was co-created by Joe Casey, popular comics writer and big FF fan. More about his work later.
As for the Kirby influence, just a glance at the logo and promo image and most of you will see what I mean. There's even "Kirby Krackle" behind the logo:
Anyway, BEN 10 just started airing its second cycle of 13 episodes this past week, and among them was an episode titled "Big Tick." This installment turned out to be a really inspired homage to the great FF Galactus Trilogy that we've been discussing so much here lately. (This episode re-airs twice on Tuesday, June 6th.)
In the episode, a giant purple (!) alien creature lands in Yellowstone Park, sinks its fangs into the Earth and begins "feeding," discoloring the landscape and killing the trees, as its fangs turn into an intricate energy-sucking root system that begins to burrow into the Earth's core. (You get the picture.) Also, arriving along with the "Big Tick" are a trio of alien beings on hoverdiscs (!) whose home planets were all destroyed by the space tick. These guys decided to worship this "God-like" destroyer, and serve to both herald his arrival and protect him from any threats while he does his space tick thing.
The episode re-airs this Tuesday (June 6) on Cartoon Network at 5:30 eastern/4:30 central, then again that same night at 10:00 eastern, 9:00 central.
I really had fun watching this obvious homage. (I watched it with my 5-year old son, who is also named Ben - imagine how much he adores the show!:) )
It made me yearn for a well-animated version of the Galactus story in authentic Kirby style. Something we'll probably never see, unfortunately.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what other FF fans think about this Ben 10 episode, especially in light of current developments for FF2.

Also of Note: Ben 10 co-creator Joe Casey is currently writing Marvel's First Family, a mini-series that details some of the the more personal moments of their very early days, kinda "filling in the blanks" stuff. I think it's a very decent FF read. This is a link to a 5-page excerpt of next week's issue. It's set on page 2, but you can click on the other pages, of course. This page mainly depicts the reactions of New Yorkers to the strange news of this "Fantastic Four":
Thanks for the info! I wasnt aware of this series.

I'll have to check it out before i can comment.
CaptainStacy said:
Thanks for the info! I wasnt aware of this series.

I'll have to check it out before i can comment.

I just read that Cartoon Network is going to start running it on a more regular basis: Monday-Friday at 5:30 PM Eastern/4:30 PM central.

It's definitely aimed at 7-13 year-olds, but there's an energy in it that reminds me so much of what I loved about Jack Kirby's work, especially on Fantastic Four. Whenever I can make myself sit through an episode with my son, I'm glad I did. I've seen about 4 episodes all the way through, and they were all very well-done, I thought.
I can certainly understand why my boy's gone so bonkers for it. He can't stay in his seat during the theme song.
I used to be the same way about the 1960's Spider-man theme.

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