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We called ourselves the Plumbers. Officially we didn't exist. We were the guys who fixed the problems no one else could: extraterrestrial, extrasensory, extraordinary.

– Max describing the Plumbers.[1]

The Plumbers are an intergalactic law enforcement organization that makes use of high-tech gadgets and weapons to protect the universe from various threats and attacks. The name has also been used by an independent and secret government organization that protects the general public of Earth.

History

Main Timeline

The independent Earth-based Plumbers were first established by the Founding Fathers in the 1700's. George Washington was one of the first members.[2][pop-up 1][3] They were created to "plug the leaks" (hence their name) in the normal everyday world like extraterrestrials, monsters and ghosts,[pop-up 2][3][DJW 1] making sure alien life and other oddities were not discovered or encountered by humans. Operating in secret, the Plumbers took on anything too tough or weird for normal law enforcement to handle.[pop-up 3][3]

The Plumbers' main adversary was the alien warlord Vilgax, who was ultimately defeated by a Plumber named Max Tennyson. Most of the Plumbers eventually disbanded over the years; however, Max and a few other members remained in a semi-active capacity.

During this period, Max's family learned of his experiences as a Plumber. His son Carl was especially conflicted about his father's line of work.[4]

Ben 10

At some point prior to the original series, Max heard rumors of a powerful device known as the Omnitrix through his Plumber connections. Though he initially dismissed them, they were eventually proven true when his grandson Ben obtained it during a road trip with Max and his cousin Gwen. Effectively forced out of retirement, Max uses his Plumber experience and various related gear and weaponry to aid his family.

In Secrets, Max and Gwen visit the Plumber base at Mt. Rushmore to collect a special weapon after a returning Vilgax captures Ben to remove the Omnitrix.

In Truth, the Null Void Projector stored at Mt. Rushmore is stolen by Max's former partner Phil Billings as a part of a scam to profit from catching aliens he himself had released. However, his plan was thwarted by Max, Gwen and Ben.

In Big Fat Alien Wedding, it is revealed that the Plumbers had a generations-long feud with the Lenopans. However, when a close relationship was formed between Max's nephew Joel Tennyson and a Lenopan named Camille Mann, a truce was forged and their wedding was meant to put an end to years of fighting. Camille's parents and ex-boyfriend tried to stop the wedding; however, they were defeated by the efforts of Camille and the Tennysons and thus the two were married. Though Joel's parents were against the marriage at first, they realized how unfairly they had treated Camille and finally accepted her as their daughter-in-law, thus putting an end to the feud.

In Ben 10 vs. the Negative 10, it is revealed that there are Plumber bases located within Fort Knox and the Space Needle, and the Mt. Rushmore base also contains the Sub Energy.

5 Years Prior to Omniverse

At some point between Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens and the Omniverse flashbacks, the independent Earth Plumbers joined the larger intergalactic organization of the same name.[5][6][DJW 1]

The Rooters were a secret branch of the original Earth Plumbers retained as an "experiment in cultural sensitivity".[7][8] Unfortunately, the experiment was discontinued when their leader Servantis became paranoid over Ben's possession of the Omnitrix. He began conducting illegal activities in the extradimensional Null Void. Using captive aliens such as Argit as genetic donors, Servantis had Ben's rival Kevin Levin infuse a group of young humans with alien DNA, creating a specialized strike force that could hopefully destroy Ben.[9]

However, Servantis declared the entire project a failure after Kevin went insane from absorbing the Omnitrix's energy. Wiping his subjects' memories, he released them into the Null Void[10][6] while also planting false memories in Max's mind.[8] The Rooters created Aggregor as a replacement, but memory-wiped and released him as well once Ben suddenly stopped using the Omnitrix.[DJW 2]

Max had Victor Validus discharged for treason and illegal possession of advanced technology, sending him out of Bellwood along with his daughter Elena to Ben's dismay.[11]

Alien Force

Max discovers that the Highbreed and DNAliens are up to no good and warns Magister Labrid, who quickly discovers he has gone missing.

In Ben 10 Returns: Part 1, Labrid mistakenly tries to capture Ben and Gwen, believing they were stealing the Omnitrix. Upon learning who they are, he asks for their assistance in discovering the reason for Max's disappearance. The three of them manage to interrupt an arms deal between the Forever Knights and DNAliens with Kevin as the middleman. After a brief battle, they capture Kevin and convince him to help them find out what was going on; Kevin decides to as he was not paid. They tracked the weapons back to one of the Forever Knights' castles.

In Ben 10 Returns: Part 2, Labrid is fatally wounded during a battle with the Forever Knights. His dying wish is for Ben and his friends to finish the mission and he thus charges them with protecting Earth.

In Everybody Talks About the Weather, it is revealed that Plumbers possess special badges. All of these bear the intergalactic peace symbol that is also the symbol of the Omnitrix. There is also a practice where alien Plumbers who have interbred give their offspring a badge to prevent them from being arrested for interplanetary trespass.

In Darkstar Rising, Ben, Gwen and Kevin are forbidden to fight the Highbreed by Magister Prior Gilhil, who doubts they are a threat. However, his opinion changes after he, Ben, Kevin and a Highbreed are captured by Michael Morningstar to feed his powers. With the help of some DNAliens, Gwen frees them and Morningstar is arrested while the other villains escape. In gratitude, Gilhil makes the team honorary Plumbers so they can legally defend Earth.

A Plumber badge in Alien Force and Ultimate Alien

In War of the Worlds, all of the Plumbers' kids and Max participate in the final battle against the Highbreed. Notably, Gwen, Kevin, Cooper and Professor Paradox warp into the Plumber base in Mt. Rushmore to free Morningstar for his help.

At the end of War of the Worlds, Max recruits a team of Plumbers-in-training with himself as their leader and mentor. Max's team later fights and is defeated by a newly-resurgent Vilgax in Vengeance of Vilgax: Part 1.

Ultimate Alien

During the flashback portion of Escape from Aggregor, Gilhil answered a distress call from Galapagus aboard Aggregor's Ship, only to be told by the roaming Aggregor that the distress call was an error. After demanding a search, he locates Aggregor's prisoners only to be murdered by him.

In Fame, it is revealed that all governments on Earth secretly recognize the Plumbers in dealing with alien threats. This explains the existence of the secret bases within Mt. Rushmore, Fort Knox and the Space Needle, as they were likely set up with the help of the United States government.

In Escape From Aggregor, Aggregor disguises himself as a Plumber using the suit and ship he stole from Gilhil to recapture Galapagus.

Plumber ships coming out of hyperspace

In Too Hot to Handle, it is revealed that Plumber Badges can act as radiation detectors. When Aggregor attacks the Plumber ship carrying P'andor, the Plumbers onboard are thrown into space where they suffocate to death.

In Ultimate Aggregor, a squadron of Plumbers attempt to arrest Aggregor and liberate Ra'ad only to be killed by the villain's ship. Fortunately, the lead Plumber was able to inflict enough damage to prevent Aggregor from leaving Earth.

In Deep, there is a Plumber Central Command and a Plumber named Magister Pyke stationed on Piscciss.

In The Enemy of My Enemy, a Plumbers Academy made an appearance and Magister Coronach runs it, though he does not approve of the place being a prison or battlefield.

In Basic Training, Ben, Gwen and Kevin are sent to a different Plumbers Academy where they were trained by Magister Hulka, the toughest Plumber of all.

In The Purge, Pierce Wheels comes into conflict with the Forever Knights, only to be quickly dispatched by them.

In A Knight to Remember, a squadron of Plumbers helps Ben, Gwen and Kevin fight the Flame Keepers' Circle in an attempt to capture Vilgax but fail.

Omniverse

The Plumber Headquarters beneath Max's Plumbing in Bellwood is where most villains are imprisoned if they are not sent to the Null Void.

In Vilgax Must Croak, the Plumbers attempt to transport a captured Vilgax to the Edge of the Galaxy Incarcecon. However, Attea and the bounty hunters SixSix, SevenSeven and EightEight attempt to assassinate Vilgax so her father Milleous can conquer Vilgaxia. However, Attea's party fails and Vilgax escapes in the chaos.

In The Rooters of All Evil, the Rooters assault Plumber HQ upon realizing that Ben is using the Omnitrix again. During this period, Servantis removes Max's fake memories while accidentally restoring Kevin's. However, they depart once they learn Kevin escaped. Kevin begins locating and restoring the memories of those also involved with the Rooters, starting with Argit.

In Universe vs. Tennyson, the Plumbers are repeatedly stymied by Chadzmuth, who exploits numerous loopholes to have criminals released or reduce their sentences.

In Weapon XI: Part 1, Kevin and Argit locate Alan Albright and restore his memories while Gwen and Rook Blonko locate Helen Wheels and Manny Armstrong. However, when everyone is brought together into the Null Void, Servantis subjects Kevin, Alan, Helen and Manny to brainwashing, turning them on Ben, Gwen, Rook and Argit.

In Weapon XI: Part 2, Kevin reveals that he has been ignoring Servantis's control before defeating him and freeing the kids. The intergalactic Plumbers' Magistrata then arrives to strip Servantis and his crew of their ranks and equipment, effectively leaving them stranded in the Null Void and at the mercy of its inhabitants, specifically the incarcerated Way Bads.

In The Final Countdown, after capturing Yetta, the Plumber HQ in Bellwood is launched into space with the core ejected during an attack by Kundo.

Alternate Timelines

Regardless of the timeline, the Plumbers have many secret bases hidden in ordinary and public places.[pop-up 4][12] Throughout the United States, at least one base has been built in every state, including almost every major military base in the country.[7][13]

Original Future

Future Plumbers

In Ben 10,000's timeline, the Plumbers wear armored suits as their standard uniforms.

Kevin is assigned to keep the Rooters at bay in the Null Void, lest they escape.[14][DJW 3]

In The End of an Era, the Plumbers and various individuals throughout the galaxy are having a celebration of Max's retirement and the passing of his position to Rook.

Ultimate Alien Future

In Ben 10,000 Returns, another version of Ben 10,000 is a member of the Plumbers in another future.

Dimension 23

Dimension 23 Plumbers

Dimension 23's Plumbers have different members. Their uniforms also have a blue color scheme, much like everything else in that dimension.

Race Against Time Timeline

RAT Plumbers

This timeline's Plumbers had been fighting against mostly supernatural threats up until Eon appeared on Earth in the 1800's,[pop-up 5][12] at which point they made it their main objective to protect the Hands of Armageddon from him over the next 200 years.

Over time, the Plumbers kept the Hands hidden in an underground base. They did not make the connection between Eon and the Omnitrix until earlier in the summer due to similar energy signatures.[pop-up 6][12]

Known Plumbers

Honorary Members

Future Timeline

Dimension 23

Race Against Time Timeline

Former Members

Legislations

There are restrictions on the advancements of technology allowed in certain areas of the universe, as well as classifications for said technologies.

The Plumbers have an equivalent of Human Resources called Inhuman Resources (IR for short),[15] which is a bureaucratic department within the organization that does a lot of tedious things like filling out forms, taking complaints, and filing. The Payroll Department is also part of IR.[DJW 4]

Plumber Rankings

  • Magistrata/Magistratus
  • Proctor
  • Magister
  • Alpha Squad

Locations

All closed Plumber bases across the United States, with Seattle, Washington highlighted

Organizations

Equipment

Etymology

The Plumbers are named after the real-life White House Plumbers, a group tasked with stopping or preventing the leakage of classified information to the public during Richard Nixon's presidency.[AC 1]

Trivia

  • The Plumbers built garbage trucks, station wagons and a riding lawnmower with weapons and gadgets like the Rust Bucket.[pop-up 7][3]
  • Jetpack repair is a basic skill taught to Plumber cadets.[pop-up 8][16]
  • Impersonating a Plumber is an interstellar-class felony.[17][18]
  • Regardless of the timeline, not all Plumbers are fighters. Many current and former Plumbers are scientists, researchers, explorers, teachers and technicians.[pop-up 9][12]
  • Among a few others, the Incurseans, Area 51 and most of the Anur System do not recognize or acknowledge the authority of the Plumbers.
  • Plumbers have the authority to take other Plumbers into custody.[MW 1]
    • In Ultimate Alien, the Plumbers were primarily forbidden from arresting humans[19][20] apart from Aloysius Animo.[ES 1] This has been changed by Omniverse, as Plumbers can arrest them if they have proven themselves significant threats and/or involved with alien-related matters.
  • The Plumbers work for officials such as Judge Domstol.[DM 1]
    • Despite being a trusted advisor, Azmuth has no authority over the Plumbers.[DM 2]
  • Even though there are other interplanetary and intergalactic law enforcement organizations besides the Plumbers and Galactic Enforcers,[DM 3] the Plumbers are the only such organization recognized by all signatories of the Milky Way Treaty.[18]
  • In the Race Against Time Timeline, the Plumbers took up jobs in Bellwood so as to not cause suspicion.[pop-up 10][12]

References

Crew Statements

Derrick J. Wyatt

Eugene Son

Dwayne McDuffie

Matt Wayne

Pop-ups

Audio Commentary

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