Captain Marvel Visual Artist Explains How Dragon Ball Influenced Carol's Fiery Look

Dragon Ball has influenced all sorts of series since its debut decades ago, and fans are always down to hype projects which give Goku respect. This is why so many felt called to praise Captain Marvel’s fiery CGI outing earlier this year as her power-up mimicked Goku’s Super Saiyan form. But as it turns out, Dragon Ball was not the primarily influence between Carol Danvers’ look.

The number one inspiration boiled down to science, and one staffer behind Captain Marvel is breaking down that connection.

Recently, Inverse was able to speak with Christopher Townsend, a visual effects supervisor who works with Marvel Studios. It was there the artist opened up about what inspired Carol’s live-action look, and her fiery final form was based on hard science.

“We wanted her to feel incredibly powerful,” he said.

“We wanted it to feel it wasn’t her suit that was energized, it was her,” Townsend continued. “The energy was coming from her, and that’s difficult when she’s wearing a full body suit. So we talked about ideas. Maybe the suit should be perforated so you can see the energy through. We had visual tests.”

According to the artist, everything from Tesla coils to fireballs and even photon energy helped Townsend’s team bring Captain Marvel to life. And as for Dragon Ball Z? Well, the artist says he was certainly aware of the anime going into this project, but Super Saiyan Goku was not a primary influence on Captain Marvel.

“We did look at anime, certainly, but it wasn’t the strong influence. I’ve seen Dragon Ball, I know what it looks like, but it wasn’t the intent,” Townsend explained.

Goku might not have been the hero who directed Carol's look in Captain Marvel, but fans cannot deny how close the heroine's binary form looks to Super Saiyan. Her power-up proves Hollywood has the technology to give Goku the makeover he deserves should Hollywood ever get another live-action go at Dragon Ball, and Townsend would be the guy to call for such a project's visual effects.

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So, which form do you like the best? Super Saiyan Goku or fully powered Captain Marvel? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!

Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block on Saturday evenings. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese-language release of the series is complete, and available to stream on FunimationNOW and Crunchyroll. The manga has chapters that can currently be read for free thanks to Viz Media, and Dragon Ball Super: Broly is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.

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