'Dragon Ball' Bardock Samurai Artwork

Dragon Ball fans have been loving the work of fan artist Kenji893, who has been envisioning a bunch of more iconic Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super characters as Samurai and/or ninja versions of themselves.

Today, we move to a Dragon Ball icon who has recently sprung back into the limelight: Bardock, father of Goku!

Dragon Ball Samurai Badock by Kenji 893

(Image Credit: Kenji893)

This version of Bardock sits on the line somewhere between Samurai noble and violent Ronin, which is pretty much Bardock. The armor style is cool, as is the big thick rope belt - but what fans are going to probably love the most are the Yakuza-style tattoos all over Bardock's arms and chest! The piece also capture Bardock's primary place in the series: a bloodied warrior making a noble sacrifice to defend his people.

As stated, Bardock recently made a big Dragon Ball comeback thanks to Dragon Ball Super: Broly. The successful Dragon Ball Super movie did a major retcon on Broly's origin story and place in the franchise mythos - get the full breakdown on that, below:

The Minus Version - The major retcon that Dragon Ball Super: Broly makes to Bardock is using the Dragon Ball Minus manga version of his origin story as official canon. Broly changes the context of Dragon Ball Minus' story to connect it with Broly's, but the overall events are the same.

Bardock starts as a warrior of Planet Vegeta when it falls under Freeza's rule. Years later, Bardock and all his fellow Saiyans marauders are out conquering worlds, when they get an order from Freeza to return to Planet Vegeta. Bardock is suspicious of the decree, and some asking around reveals to him that Freeza is afraid of the legend of the Super Saiyan God and its threat to his rule. Bardock surmises that the entire Saiyan race is in danger because of Freeza's fear of the prophecy, so he plans with his wife Gine to steal a space pod to smuggle their son Kakarot off to another world.

Despite Gine's initial reservations she and Bardock enact the plan, sending Kakarot to earth. Soon after, Bardock is seen leading an attack on Freeza's mothership in space, and trying to block the evil emperor's Supernova blast - only to be disintegrated along with all of Planet Vegeta. Another minor scene from Minus added to Broly reveals that Vegeta and Goku's brother Raditz are off-world on a mission together when Planet Vegeta is destroyed, as they ignored the order to return home.

Now that Bardock is an official part of the Dragon Ball canon, there's room for more tales of his exploits throughout the universe. In the meantime, if you like the samurai version of Bardock, you check out these Dragon Ball Samurai Saiyans designs, or this Ninja Future Trunks rendition.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is out now. Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami block Saturday evenings. It is also available to stream on Funimation and Amazon Video. The Japanese language release is available to stream on FunimationNOW, VRV, and Crunchyroll.

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