fantasy and science fiction book reviewsBen 10 by Gordon Purcell and Jason HendersonBen 10 by Jason Henderson (author) and Gordon Purcell (artist)

Ben 10 by Jason Henderson is a fun comic book for younger kids who like the TV show, but it’s not for older kids or adults, and I don’t think it would be that interesting to any children who aren’t already familiar with the show. This particular story takes place in the summer, while Ben and his fellow Plumbers are on a cruise ship for a vacation. The Plumbers, in case you don’t know, are a group that defends the earth. Ben is the hero because he wears the Omnitrix, a watchband-like device that allows him to change into various alien forms. He works with a group of kids: Rook, Kevin, and Gwen. Max is the adult who looks over them.

Ben 10Obviously, the vacation won’t last long. Ben meets Lorelai, a cute girl who turns out to be a Princess Mermaid who is part of a group of Mermaids originally from an Alien world. They defend the seas on Earth, and in this story, they get help from Ben and the Plumbers in their fight against the alien Serpent and his henchmen who want to take over all of Earth’s oceans.

The storytelling is visually confusing at first, but it gets better after about the first twenty pages. Overall, this comic is just an action story with no thematic depth. Kids might enjoy seeing Gwen use magic, Ben turn into different alien forms, and Rook and Kevin use their powers. Lorelai’s city looks cool, but we aren’t given too many visual details. I was most impressed with some of the humorous dialogue, but even it wasn’t consistently great.

Overall, I found it fairly dull reading as an adult, and I’m an adult reader who is already a fan of the Ben 10 animated television show and I like many comics for kids. This particular comic just didn’t impress me. The TV show is very witty, and I’ve watched several seasons of Ben 10 with my kids. They think it’s fun and funny, as do I. But this comic book is not up to the high standards of the animated series. So, if you have a child who has seen all the Ben 10 episodes and still wants even more Ben 10, buy him or her this comic. Otherwise, you can give this one a pass.


  • Brad Hawley

    BRAD HAWLEY, who's been with us since April 2012, earned his PhD in English from the University of Oregon with areas of specialty in the ethics of literature and rhetoric. Since 1993, he has taught courses on The Beat Generation, 20th-Century Poetry, 20th-Century British Novel, Introduction to Literature, Shakespeare, and Public Speaking, as well as various survey courses in British, American, and World Literature. He currently teaches Crime Fiction, Comics, and academic writing at Oxford College of Emory University where his wife, Dr. Adriane Ivey, also teaches English. They live with their two young children outside of Atlanta, Georgia.