Recently, a bonus chapter of the Dragon Ball Super manga series made the big reveal that pieces of Dragon Ball Z villain Cell (specifically his Cell Jr. minions) are still alive and active in the Dragon Ball Super continuity. It was treated as a little aside in the manga, but as fans have quickly realized, Dragon Ball Super has set up Cell to make a return.
Of course, not everyone is happy about that possibility; n fact, an entire sector of Dragon Ball fans seem to be against the idea of bringing back Cell. However, we here at Comicbook.com/Anime see the massive potential in Cell coming back in the context of the Dragon Ball Super era -- read below for the breakdown of why!
Not Your Typical Villain
The biggest argument you hear for Cell NOT being brought back comes from the very vocal fans who simply view Cell as a weak character. Some just don't like the villain they met in the Dragon Ball Z story arc, while others like to accuse him of being nothing more than a rehash of Freeza. However, whatever impression of Freeza you may have gotten from DBZ, it doesn't change the rich potential built into Cell's character.
Other villains in Dragon Ball (or storytelling in general) are usually defined by their personalities and character, but Cell is a unique case. Cell isn't just a villain in and of himself - he's the composite of many other characters from the series. As Dr. Gero's most nefarious android creation, Cell was designed to steal the abilities of the world's greatest fighters, and came form a future timeline to battle and absorb the Z-Fighters of Earth. That origin is probably one of the easiest to extend into the Dragon Ball Super lore, since:
- Cell coming from an alternate timeline means there alternate versions of him out there.
- Cell's arrival in the post-Dragon Ball Super era means that his mission would've just be absorbing the best fighters on Earth - but the best fighters in all of the universes we seen introduced to the series!
Indeed, if "Perfect Cell" was the end result of the villain's evolution on a Dragon Ball Z scale, then "Super Cell" or "Universal Cell" would be the result we got, if the villain were to absorb the most powerful fighters from the Tournament of Power. Unlike Freeza, who was simply given a golden makeover to put him on the level of Super's warriors, "Super Cell" would be essentially like getting an entirely new villain! The character design would have to be different, as absorbing characters like Jiren, or Toppo, Frost, or the Universe 6 Saiyans would result in a very different look than "Perfect Cell"; the personality would also be different, for the very same reason.
As stated, this is a unique opportunity for villain to get a reboot - one that will keep the essential core of his character intact, while still injecting a lot of refreshing novelty into a new version of the character.
A New Android Saga
Bringing back Cell in Dragon Ball Super isn't just a great possibility for the character himself - it's also a large opportunity for Dragon Ball to incorporate a lot of new mythos surrounding the character into official canon.
The biggest and most obvious case would be the saga of Android 21, from the recent Dragon Ball FighterZ video game. No. 21 has become a quick fan-favorite, and her backstory of being another one of Dr. Gero's secret projects, is invariably tied to Cell. Dragon Ball Super could easily refit a new "Super Cell Saga" to segue into a new "Super Android Saga" introducing No. 21 to canon - or vice versa. Given the response that FighterZ's storyline has gotten, the Cell/Android 21 story would be big enough to occupy a considerable chunk of the next Dragon Ball anime series.
How would you feel about Dragon Ball Super (or its sequel series) bringing back Cell? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!