For years, humans have gazed at the stars, contemplating the possibilities of first contact with an alien race; will we exchange gifts of peace, or weapons of war? The answer: weapons, definitely weapons like these ones.
In the next outing of season six, two newcomers enter this famed arena: protectors of the cosmos who operate through accessories that grant them an immeasurable wealth of powers. Two earthbound heroes with gifts from the stars, a device which turns its owner into more than they could imagine against one which makes its owner greater than themselves, Ben 10 and Green Lantern, meet for the first and last time to claim victory a death battle.
There is always one combatant who must go first in the analysis stage, and here this honor goes to Benjamin Kirby Tennyson, a strapping youth from the all-American town of Bellwood. For the first ten years of his life, Ben had as mundane an upbringing as any child could hope for. That tenth year, however, would set him irrevocably on the path towards heroism when the time came for his summer vacation, when grandfather Max and cousin Gwen would whisk him away on a cross-country road trip. Ben's career as an intergalactic peacekeeper started the very first night of this trip when an alien device plummeted from the heavens at the Tennysons' camp site. This device, a wristwatch-sized supercomputer labeled an Omnitrix, was found by Ben as he investigated its crash landing, and permanently affixed itself to his arm. After a debacle as a fiery humanoid, Ben started to understand the workings of the Omnitrix and the lifeforms inextricably tied to it. As it turns out, the Omnitrix, and more specifically, the genetic codes of countless extraterrestrial species stored within, were central to the ambitions of the alien warlord Vilgax, who sought to conquer the universe through an alien army developed using the genes stored inside the Omnitrix; his failed raid on the spacecraft carrying it was also the catalyst for its arrival on earth. Having lost this chance to acquire the Omnitrix, Vilgax deployed a plethora of henchmen to retrieve it on his behalf. Ben and his family were then forced to juggle what was once a leisurely trip across the country with the greater galactic conspiracy unfolding around them and Vilgax's forces in pursuit every step of the way.
Fortunately for the Tennysons, to acquire the Omnitrix once it became linked to Ben would prove to be a difficult task indeed. The Omnitrix's very attachment to Ben is a defensive measure by nature, and it can create a blast of feedback energy to ward of anyone that tries to strip it off the holder. Although it equipped with several other features, such as a universal translator and holographic map projector, its storage of alien genetics gives way to that most signature of its programs, the ability to transform its wielder into any alien it has archived. Over a million aliens are known to be preserved within the Omnitrix and each has their own array of powers; these range from bulky muscular forms like Four-Arms to mobile aliens such as Fasttrack and XLR8. Elemental manipulation is another specialty of the Omnitrix's vast collection of extraterrestrial beings, as earth, water, lightning, ice, fire, even universally fundamental forces like gravity can be bent to the will of some alien or another. Should the situation call for more esoteric choices, Ben can also transform into aliens inspired by horror movie monsters and tokusatsu heroes, with all the strengths one would expect. The Omnitrix's plethora of aliens, it should be clear by now, have as wide an array of skills as the foes that threaten Ben, and it can automatically shift Ben into whatever form is needed in times of mortal peril, but none surpass in power and scope the mighty Alien X. Alien X is sampled from the Celestialsapiens, a race of reality-warping aliens from outside the walls of the multiverse. Celestialsapiens such as Alien X can create duplicates of himself, manipulate the flow of time, erase individuals from existence, essentially reshaping reality to their whim.
The Omnitrix, and by extension Ben, have become known the universe over due to tapping into beings that can perform feats of a truly cosmic scale; as an example, one of his aliens, Feedback, was able to absorb energy equivalent to the power of the Big Bang and subsequently weaponize it. Alien X, in particular, bears some of Ben's greatest feats during his tenure as a hero. His Celestialsapien persona withstood the four duovigintillion-joule destruction of the universe and went on recreate it perfectly. Likewise, Alien X has enough power to generate galaxy-size black holes that consume other Celestialsapiens by flying at a rate that surpasses lightspeed seven quadrillion times over. That said, for all his versatility and the near-limitless potential the Omnitrix grants him, Ben is hindered by a number of flaws. The Omnitrix can only access the abilities of one alien at a time, and even if Ben can swap between species on the fly, their powers do not transfer to his human state. Each form has their own strengths, but they have their share of weaknesses as well, some being unfit for combat altogether. There is also a noted tendency for the device to turn him into alien forms ill-suited for the task at hand. The boy behind the Omnitrix, meanwhile, can be flippant and naive, which itself leads to scenarios where the Omnitrix may backfire on him. Thankfully, Ben became mature and wise, gaining more experience with the workings of the Omnitrix; even into the future, where the celebrated hero has a wider pool of aliens to choose from, he still chose to fight for the side of good, the creatures of the cosmos always by his side.
From one combatant to the other the episode must go, and on it goes to the Green Lantern, just one member of the similarly-titled intergalactic peacekeeping corps; several earthlings have bore this title, but this episode focuses on the one of the more well-known incarnations of the hero, Hal Jordan. Following in the legacy of his father Martin, Hal enlisted in the Air Force the very day he was eligible to, and earned a partnership with the Ferris Aircraft aviation business. Years passed as Jordan developed a reputation as a sterling test pilot, but his true destiny would come when a starship crashed in the deserts of California. The ship's pilot, the Ungaran alien Abin Sur, was critically injured by the events leading to the crash and sought an heir worthy to his power. This power told Abin that Hal was a suitable successor to his legacy, due to his fearlessness as a pilot; in his dying moments, Abin relented and gave his power to Hal. This power, an emerald green ring, and the scope of its might, were explained by Abin before he passed away. Hal donned the ring and was inducted into the Green Lanterns, the universe-spanning police force active for billions of years. Since then, Hal underwent training on the Lantern's central hub world Oa in preparation for his duties of protecting countless worlds, from his mother planet to those farther out amidst the stars.
The ring used by the Green Lanterns is in fact one of the most powerful weapons in the DC universe, and Hal in turn one of its greatest wielders. Though a Green Lantern's ring has an assortment of features ranging from gifting its owner with invisibility and intangibility to standard-issue force fields and laser blasts, easily its most iconic power would be using hard light to construct anything that the ring-bearer's imagination can conceive of; the only caveat being that they must have a basic knowledge of whatever they wish to create. On a defensive front, the ring grants its owner immunity over mind control, enhanced regenerative capabilities, and can also teleport them away from danger; so great are the protective features of a Green Lantern ring that they can withstand even the destruction of the entire multiverse. The source of such a formidable device stems from the user's willpower. Specifically, the rings of all Green Lanterns, plus other similar corps, tap into the energy spectrum that generates all emotional aspects of the universe; willpower in particular manifests in green energy. While Hal already had willpower of a scale unheard of by the corps, upon facing Parallax, and by extension, overcoming the physical embodiment of fear, Hal's willpower and thus the energy he can send into his ring was amplified tremendously.
One of the most accomplished Green Lanterns, Hal has done much to earn his reputation among the corps. With his ring's might, he has survived supernovae and enough force from attacks that send him through planets. His speed while using willpower is such that he can cross the universe at a rate quintillion times lightspeed, but the man himself was once able to maneuver a spaceship at a similar speed using only his own reflexes. The array of foes the Green Lantern has bested include the embodiments of the emotional spectrum and reality-warping threats like Superboy Prime, and he can theoretically measure up to other Green Lanterns who perform feats like containing the energy of the Big Bang. In short, Hal is an accomplished cosmic guardian thanks to the strength of his willpower and the ring it fuels. Alas, as the ring is the lynchpin of his capabilities as a Green Lantern and as such, can be undone if given the proper shortcomings. The ring runs on a finite energy source, and as such, it is possible for Hal to run out of power and be forced to recharge. Should Jordan's willpower or confidence in himself be damaged, the ring will deprive him of its powers. Likewise, his sheer willpower makes him cocky and prone to overestimating his strength; it was by this arrogance that Parallax was even able to take control of him for a time. Such willpower, however, may prove to be a stronger asset than anything else Hal has to his name, and Abin Sur's ring has found a worthier master through it, perhaps none greater.
- Green Lantern: (using his ring's power to construct a pistol) Give up? Please say no.
Ten: You'll never catch me, Lantern! (attempts to fly off on a giant playing card)
Green Lantern: Bang. (fires a round from the pistol and knocks Ten off the card; he then constructs a slide to redirect her into a birdcage)
Both combatants have been analyzed and their assortment of powers condensed yet still done justice. One advertisement for RoosterTeeth's RTX convention later, and now, it's time for a death battle!
A lone street, just one of many within an urban metropolis, is the current whereabouts of a wheeled raptor-like alien. The Kineceleran's journey down the asphalt is halted by a bubble that lifts him upward; in confusion, Ben 10, the hero of the Omnitrix, drops his guise as XLR8 and regains his human form. Any peturbance Ben has is cleared as from the heavens descends Hal Jordan, the local Green Lantern. Hal recognizes the destructive capabilities of the Omnitrix and insists it be handed over; the tension is set as Hal's willpower-crafted sticky hand is blasted away from the Omnitrix. As the Green Lantern takes a moment from being launched into a wall, Ben shifts into the muscular Four-Arms to defend his own weapon.
The Tetramand-shifted Ben leaps towards Hal and begins throwing punches, only for the barrier erected by the galactic officer to harmlessly deflects them. In between blows, Hal flies behind Ben and wraps him inside a lasso. The Green Lantern launches his younger foe into the path of a fire hydrant, but his insistence that Ben stand down is met with defiance. Torrents of water erupting from where the hydrant stood are instantly evaporated, as in its place stands the magma-based Heatblast. The pilot darts around the fire erupting from Heatblast's palms before taking to the skies; Ben flies after him in turn. Heatblast takes the initiative and presses his hands together to unleash plumes of flame; Hal, meanwhile, reacts by conjuring a fire extinguisher from the ring. The two streams collide, solid viridian vapors clashing against the cinnabar conflagration, until Ben withdraws his inferno. With Hal off-guard by this change in tactics, Ben chooses them to unleash a ring of fire in an explosion that rocks the cityscape. This, however, fails to catch the Lantern before he surrounds himself in a second barrier. The two superpowered humans touch back down onto the road, Heatblast more forcefully as he eyes Jordan attempting to catch his breath.
Tennyson goes about boasting of his self-assured superiority, declaring that even the miniscule and physically-lacking Grey Matter would be sufficient to defeat Green Lantern. Unfortunately for him, the Omnitrix takes the suggestion literally, transforming Ben from Pyronite to Galvan. Hal looks at the diminutive form of Gray Matter and primes an energy blast, only for Ben to shift to the opposite extreme in scale. Erupting through the skyline as Way Big, the colossal alien stomps Hal into the pavement. The confidence expressed by Way Big is soon shattered as Hal flies out from underfoot and shapes an enormous pair of spiked gloves for his convenience. Both fighters engage in a bout of gigantic-scale fisticuffs, with Ben's To'kustar persona struggling to land a hit on the much smaller Hal. The Lantern, meanwhile, has little difficulty in pummeling Way Big until the alien is flat on the ground. Poised for a killing blow, Hal takes the opportunity as he sees it, combining the gloves into a moon hovering above his foe. A hurling gesture sends the satellite rocketing towards Ben without any awareness that the Omnitrix's heaviest firepower lie in wait. A sharp glow of emerald light radiates in the area before fading out; Hal may have tossed the moon at Way Big, but it is Alien X who catches and subsequently dissipates it.
Once again, the Green Lantern taken by surprise from this latest development in the fight, and once again does he pay for it, courtesy of Alien X flicking him out through the exosphere and into the void of the cosmos. Hal forces himself to stop and float within space, but Alien X pushes the assault. Another series of punches and kicks follows as Jordan is sent careening aimlessly until the Celestialsapien catches Hal in a chokehold. Slowly, the Green Lantern begins vanishing into nothing. As Ben proceeds to condemn Hal to oblivion, he telepathically lays out the scope of Alien X's might to his hapless foe. It takes Hal literally willing himself back into existence to carry on the fight, breaking free from Ben's grasp with an overhead hook. Ben reacts by summoning an innumerable horde of clones, surrounding Hal from all angles. The army of Celestialsapiens charge in en masse, and Hal meets their response with another force field shielding himself from the onslaught of attacks that threaten to shatter his defenses. Yet, the Green Lantern falters not. Grabbing his ring's power battery from a pocket dimension, Hal begins to recite his corps' mantra, his voice serene yet rife with inner strength. With every line of the mantra spoken aloud, the barrier's viridescent sheen glows with a brighter intensity, even in the face of the Celestialsapien swarm that continues to pummel at it. The Lantern's ring regaining its full power is heralded by both Hal's completed invocation of the oath and Ben's Alien X clones dissipating into cosmic dust.
Summoning a two-headed spear out of nothing, Jordan soars at Ben and impales the Celestialsapien on the polearm. Fortunately for Ben, the blow proves to be nonfatal, giving him enough of an opportunity to reverse the flow of time to the very moment Hal saved himself from obliteration. This time, the chain of events unfold differently, with Alien X striking the Lantern into an asteroid. Hal comes to realize that the Celestialsapien's mastery of reality includes that of time, something the pilot gives a try himself. The ring surrounds Hal in a green aura as he disappears from the area and returns to the point in time where Ben prepared to fend off Hal's approach. Unaware to Ben, a pair of green scissors hover in front of him and proceed to shear his arm off, thus taking the Omnitrix with it. The cosmic hero's agonized yell proves to be the final noise he ever makes as Hal watches the events from behind; slamming his fist upon the ground, Hal summons a giant boot that crushes Ben into viscera coating the street in blood. The Green Lantern takes a moment to savor his victory and bemoan his injuries before claiming the Omnitrix as his own and bid his past self farewell, leaving only one confused Hal Jordan present at the scene.
After Boomstick takes a moment to mourn Ben's passing, the post-match analysis lays out the components leading up to his loss. While the Omnitrix and the assortment of aliens it held gave Ben numerous powers, he could ever use one form at a time; meanwhile, the ring and its numerous abilities would all be available to Hal at all times, giving him a sharp edge in versatility. Even then, each form may have performed outlandish feats that play to their own strengths, but even the most specialized aliens have been outclassed by the feats Hal has demonstrated. The only alien Ben had that would have stood anything resembling a chance against the Green Lantern would be Alien X, but even then, there are a number of factors that lean heavily in Hal's favor. For all of Alien X's might and reality-warping power, the Green Lantern ring had precautions against whatever the Celestialsapien form may be able to throw at him. Meanwhile, for all the powers Hal could use with the ring, even Alien X had no suitable counter for them, giving the Lantern another point in his favor. In the end, for all the versatility and might of Ben's forms, Hal had an answer for that more than exceeded their capabilities.
- Boomstick: Guess you could say Hal was definitely the ringer for this fight. (Wiz groans in annoyance) Oh, Wiz, don't be green with envy; that fight was ten outta ben!
Wiz: The winner is Green Lantern!
Ben 10 vs. Green Lantern contains examples of:
- Always Someone Better: Hal just completely overpowers all of Ben's aliens in every category... except for Alien X, who proved to be a strong challenge for the Emerald Knight. Unlike Ben's other aliens, Hal couldn't kill Ben in this form and had to resort to time travelling to before the fight started and kill his opponent before he could react to win.
- Artifact Title: Wiz points out that the title of Ben 10 doesn't make sense once it was shown that the Omnitrix contains a lot more than 10 alien species; 1,000,912 to be exact. However, Boomstick finds that "fixing" the title with the correct number is a lot less catchy.
- Beyond the Impossible: Both Ben and Hal have done incredible things with their abilities that leave the hosts expressing sheer disbelief.
- As Alien X, Ben not only survived universal destruction without a scratch, but then proceeded to create an identical universe to the old one. The hosts even call Alien X "pretty OP".
- Hal once defeated the literal embodiment of all willpower in the universe with his own willpower.
- Either they themselves or someone they scale to have contained explosions of energy similar to the Big Bang.
- Black Comedy: Hal killing Ben is played for all the dark humor that can be milked out of it, from his ridiculous method of doing the dirty deed to throwing Ben's own one-liner back into his demolished face before coughing and complaining about his various injuries to simply telling his significantly less battered past self "Don't Ask." before leaving him behind, confused and lost.
- Body Horror: Boomstick tries his hand at screwing around with an Omnitrix of his own, but his repeated transformations result in a horrendous mishmash of about a dozen aliens that supposedly pees out of its face! Thankfully, the form isn't on screen for long and the next time we see Boomstick, he's back to normal.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: During the fight, Ben (as Heatblast) attempts to intimidate Hal by asking if he's ever seen a supernova as he builds up heat. Hal wasn't impressed, as a Green Lantern, he sees supernovas almost every day. Even Alien X, Ben's most powerful transformation, isn't something Hal hasn't seen before. Hal's victories over Krona and Mandrakk the Dark Monitor prove that he could survive anything Alien X could throw at him.
- Colony Drop: Hal creates a construct of the moon and drops it on Ben during the fight. Ben responds by turning into Alien X, erasing the construct, and flinging his opponent into space.
- Crippling Overspecialization: The key factor in Ben's defeat. Each of his alien forms had strengths and weaknesses, whereas Hal was more all strength all the time.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Having your arm severed before being squashed into paste by a giant boot is definitely not a pleasant way to go out.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: Despite Hal having enough advantages that it was ultimately in his favor from the start, Ben gives the Green Lantern the fight of his life. As Alien X, he pushes him to his limits and beats him to a bloody pulp. It's telling that Hal decided that overpowering his enemy wasn't viable and that the best way for him to succeed was to travel back in time and kill Ben at the beginning of the fight.
- David vs. Goliath: Ben transforms into Way Big and attempts to crush Hal, who survives the attack and constructs a pair of spiked fists to defend himself. Because of Hal's smaller size and greater speed, Way Big is unable to land a single hit while Hal punches him into the ground.
- Determinator: Both characters have pretty strong wills, which is noted to come with the consequence of being incredibly stubborn. Ben's naturally pales in comparison to Hal's, which is so overwhelming that it literally surpasses the living embodiment of willpower itself. This was also why Alien X couldn't simply erase him from existence, as Hal and Lanterns lesser than him have withstood universal retcons. In the fight itself, he tries, but Hal just wills himself to keep existing.
- Ear Worm: Boomstick gets the Ben 10 theme song stuck in his head. However, he does admit that it becomes a lot less catchy if you correct the show's Artifact Title from Ben 10 to Ben 1,000,912.
- Explaining Your Powers to the Enemy: Ben inadvertently gave Hal the idea to go back in time to before the fight started by mentioning that as Alien X, he could also control time. This ended up being his demise, since a less merciful Hal killed him there before he could use the Omnitrix.
- Giant Foot of Stomping:
- Ben, as Way Big, stomps on Hal in the fight. It doesn't work and Hal just flies up and pummels him into some buildings.
- The killing blow of the fight is a giant green boot that flattens Ben in such an abrupt way that it would make Monty Python proud.
- Hour of Power:
- Averted. While this is typically a weakness Ben has thanks to the Omnitrix's time limit, the battle gives him the Master Control from the start, so this wasn't an issue.
- Hal's ring has to be recharged every 24 hours and the recharge usually takes 10 seconds. During the battle, the ring is about to run of out of power just when Alien X moves on to the offensive, but fortunately, he constructs a barrier to hold Alien X off, granting himself enough time to recharge his ring and fight back.
- Ironic Echo: Ben's attempted usage of a Bond One-Liner when he crushes Hal as Way Big doesn't stick. It gets a better take when Hal adopts it after squashing Ben."Ew, I stepped in loser!"
- Noodle Incident: Boomstick somehow managed to get his hands on an Omnitrix. Wiz asks where the hell he got it.Wiz: Where did you get that?
Boomstick: Don't worry about it.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Wiz has to emphasize that the DC universe's emotional spectrum being embodied by intangible spirit animals is in fact a real thing in the comics.
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: When discussing how Hal used his own willpower to overpower the manifestation of the entire universe's willpower, his own included, the hosts debate on if that's impressive or impossible. They split the difference, hence, the term impressible.
- Reality Warper: Part of what made Alien X so powerful is that reality was under his complete control, and he could do fundamentally anything. In this form, Ben pushed Hal to his limits and even beat him within an inch of his life. Still, it's noted that Hal has fought and even bested reality warpers on par with, if not superior to, Alien X. So it wasn't like the Celestialsapien brought anything that Hal hasn't already dealt with or didn't know how to defeat.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: As Heatblast, Ben tries to make a Badass Boast and Pre-Asskicking One-Liner about supernovas before blasting Hal, but Hal just confusedly replies he has seen them before shielding himself from the attack.Heatblast: Hey, ever seen a supernova?
Hal: Several, actually. I...!
- Talking Is a Free Action: Zigzagged. Both combatants are fairly confident and do talk with no consequence, to the point where Hal is able to recite his Badass Creed while being attacked by duplicates of Alien X. Then Alien X gets Impaled with Extreme Prejudice and turns back time so that he can heal himself and attack Hal while Hal is in the middle of talking but then he plays the trope straight and allows Hal to go back to the start of the fight and kill Ben while he's in the middle of talking to past Hal.
- Tempting Fate: Twice.
- First, after briefly holding off Hal with Heatblast's supernova, Ben says he can beat the Green Lantern as Grey Matter. Sure enough, the Omnitrix transforms Ben into Grey Matter, briefly leaving him at Hal's mercy. Fortunately, Ben transforms into Way Big.
- Later, Alien X boasts that he can control all aspects of reality, including time. This gives Hal the idea of travel to the past and kill Ben before the fight even starts.
- Time Travel: Hal's ring and Alien X can manipulate time. First, Alien X rewinds time to a point before Hal can recharge his ring, but later, Hal creates a portal to the past and travels to a point before the fight and kills Ben before he can even activate the Omnitrix, winning the fight.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: The fight starts because Hal tries to take the Omnitrix from Ben, thinking that a child should not possess such a powerful weapon. Rather than talk his way out, Ben immediately attacks Hal, forcing the Green Lantern to defend himself.
- Vocal Dissonance: Ben's voice (provided by Nicholas Louie), sounds more in line with his teenage self voiced by Yuri Lowenthal. The sprite used for Ben is that of his ten year old self, so it can be a bit jarring hearing a teenage voice out of a ten-year-old body.
- Would Hurt a Child: This being a Duel to the Death, Hal has no qualms against fighting Ben Tennyson, a ten-year-old, even after being aware of his non-alien identity, though in fairness he gives Ben a good amount of opportunities to surrender peacefully and only fights when Ben makes it clear he won't give up the Omnitrix and transforms to attack him first. Unlike previous committers of the trope, Hal's superior statistics mean he gets off scott-free (if one considers so wounded that laughing hurts to be scott-free).