'Dragon Ball' Illustrator Gives Goku, King Piccolo A Go

Beloved Dragon Ball artist Dragon Garow Lee posted some amazing takes on young Goku and King Piccolo on Tuesday, reminding fans of the early days of the series.

Dragon Garow Lee -- as he is known online -- is known for his distinctive and reverent renditions of Dragon Ball stories and characters. The artist often posts work online, but his fan-made manga has even made it so far as to be be published by Shonen Jump. On Tuesday, he hit long-time Dragon Ball fans with a blast from the past, showing the original evil King Piccolo in stunning full color as well as a young, Dragon Ball-era Goku.

Goku's outfit seems to be something of Lee's own design. He wears the formal fighting gear that Tien Shinhan and Chiatzu often wore while training in the Crane School, though it has a different Kanji on the front. In fact, the symbol appears to be the same one over Oolong's hideout in the early days of the series, perhaps indicating that the drawing does not show Goku at all, but merely Oolong in disguise.

Meanwhile, Lee rendered King Piccolo at his absolute most menacing. The demon king wears a full-length orange robe in his drawing, with a horned helmet, a horned skull amulet and he sits on a throne adorned with horns and skulls. King Piccolo sat on a similar throne in the series, mostly in his older form, before he wished for eternal youth using the Dragon Balls.

King Piccolo was one of the first major villains in the Dragon Ball series. He was something between a supernatural being and an alien, as the series often tends to straddle the two genres. King Piccolo was the evil foil to Kami, Earth's guardian. Goku just barely managed to defeat the menace, but before he died King Piccolo produced an egg so that he would live on in some form. That egg became "Piccolo Jr.," who slowly became an ally to Goku and his friends.

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Lee's work is well-known in online fandom circles. His most popular manga is titled "The Case of Being Reincarnated as Yamcha," and it follows a Japanese teen who is obsessed with Dragon Ball. After falling and hitting his head, the young man wakes up within the Dragon Ball continuity as Yamcha, living out the former bandit's life. The story is a gripping meta-narrative told in three parts, all of which have circulated widely online.

Meanwhile, in terms of official releases, most fans are preoccupied with the upcoming Dragon Ball Super film. Dragon Ball Super: Broly hits theaters on Dec. 14 in Japan. It is expected to reach the U.S. sometime in January of 2019, though an exact date has not been set.