Dragon Ball has a habit of bringing back former villains for new story arcs, but there's been one notable exception in that lineup: Cell. Dr. Gero' ultimate creation gave us one of the best story arcs in Dragon Ball Z, but unlike Vegeta, Freeza, and Buu, Cell has not had a returning role in Dragon Ball Super... at least not yet.
Recently there have been a lot of developments in and around Dragon Ball Super that lay groundwork for a Cell return, and even the anime itself has been dropping some subliminal nods to the villain, that have fans talking about Cell all over again. See for yourself:
So Could Cell be making a comeback in the Dragon Ball Super universe soon? Here's why it could happen:
The Timelines Are A-Changin'
The fact that we have different versions of Future Trunks in both Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super easily proves there's room for more versions of Cell. With the amount of timelines that exist in Dragon Ball Lore, this isn't even a debate: it could happen!
But doing things like character comebacks just for the sake of it isn't how good stories are made. However, in this case, there's already groundwork being laid around the Dragon Ball franchise to pave the way to an epic Dragon Ball Super Cell Saga...
New Games, New Opportunities
The Dragon Ball FighterZ video game is about to hit stores, bringing with it a new story mode that is directly tied to Dragon Ball Z's Cell saga storyline. In fact, FighterZ is a non-canon sequel (or epilogue?) to the Cell Saga, in which we see fan-favorite Android 16 resurrected by a mysterious new franchise villain, Android 21. Android 21 has a line of new Super-Androids that are dopplegangers of the Z-Fighters, and that's where the battle ensues.
Again: all of that is non-canon material. But Dragon Ball FighterZ will inevitably make The Cell saga storyline and its characters popular again, and the new context of Dragon Ball Super gives those same characters and storyline a new opportunity to shine...
New Fighters, New Cell(s)
Dragon Ball Super has literally opened up a new universe of fighters that have become franchise hits - one of them is actually named Hit!
The introduction of so many new fighters in the Dragon Ball universe also means the introduction of so many new cells - what fan wouldn't want to see the cellular combination of all the DBS warriors into one of Dr. Gero's androids? The result would be version of Cell that makes the DBZ version look like a rank amauteur! What if Cell extracted material from a God and/or an Angel? Cosmic Cell!
After the Tournament of Power, there's perfect opportunity for a future storyline in which a version of Cell emerges from a timeline where he's absorbed many of the DBS warriors, looking to incorporate whatever power characters like Goku and Vegeta have amassed at that point. There's also one big bonus to all this...
That soulful Android soldier man based on Dr. Gero's dead son has been an enduring icon in certain circles of the fandom, and Dragon Ball FighterZ is about to bring him back in a big way.
If Dragon Ball Super introduces a new version of Cell from a new timeline, then there's just as much room for new versions of the other Cell Saga characers like Android 16 and Dr. Gero, as well. That same doorway is also open to officilaly bringing Android 21 into the series canon, if she proves popular with fans. Dragon Ball canon isn't exactly overflowing with female villains right now...
Do you want to see the Dragon Ball Super version of cell make his debut?
Dragon Ball Super's "Universal Survival" arc is part of the recent simulcast agreement that sites like Crunchyroll and Funimation have scored. Dragon Ball Super airs on Crunchyroll Saturday evenings at 7:15 p.m. CST. Adult Swim airs the English dub during its Toonami block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m, and is now available to stream on FunimationNOW and Amazon Video