'Dragon Ball' Illustrator Gives Raditz a Makeover

Thanks to the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie releasing in theaters, fans are getting to see some classic characters from the series' past making a return as Broly examines the last days of the Saiyan homeworld, Planet Vegeta. One of those characters is Goku's brother Raditz, who shows up in the film as the younger version of himself working as an interplanetary marauder alongside a young prince Vegeta.

With Raditz once getting some time to shine in Dragon Ball, artist Dragon Garow Lee thought it was the perfect opportunity to give Raditz a nice little Saiyan-style makeover!

As you can see above, this revised concept for Raditz gives Goku's older brother a Saiyan battle armor design that would definitely mark him as being down with "Team Vegeta." If anything, it's the visual connections between Raditz and Vegeta in this artwork that may be its biggest flaw: Raditz's face and smirk look an awful lot like he's Vegeta with Super Saiyan 4 hair. In fact Dragon Garow Lee admits as much himself in the photo's caption (translated from Japanese):

"I thought I'd try to draw a nice brotherly Raditz, but it only looks like Vegeta with long hair."

Raditz has become one of those characters who was conceived of and introduced at a time when Akira Toriyama had little idea just how expansive and interconnected his Dragon Ball world would get. He started out as villain Vegeta's first emissary to Earth in one of the initial Dragon Ball Z arcs, and was famously taken out when Goku and Piccolo teamed up to hit him with the latter's Special Beam Cannon attack, which carried the dire consequence of also killing Goku. That led to one of Dragon Ball Z's most infamous filler storylines, as Goku spent a ridiculous number of episodes running the Serpent Road in the Other World. That subplot was stretched out for quite some time as Goku's mission was set against the ticking clock of Vegeta traveling towards Earth, with no living fighters strong enough to oppose him. Luckily for Earth, Goku gets the training and power-ups he needs to defeat Vegeta -- and luckily for fans, Vegeta became an important component of the series thereafter.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly officially releases in Japan this December, so fans will get to see more of Super Saiyan Blue Goku in action soon enough. Funimation will be bringing the film to theaters in the United States on January 16th. Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block Saturday evenings at 9:30 p.m. 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, VRV, and Crunchyroll.