Dragon Ball Super chapter 52 sees Goku and Vegeta embark on some impassioned training regiments, in their mad dash to power themselves up to defeat evil villain Moro. The need to overcome their current limits as Super Saiyans (an energy that Moro easily consumes), has forced Goku and Vegeta to split up; Vegeta heads to Yardrat to learn mysterious new techniques, while Goku taps the Galactic Patrol's elite agent Merus, who reveals himself to be a much more powerful being than we originally thought. By the end of the issue, Merus brings Goku to one of Dragon Ball Z's Hyperbolic Time Chambers, in order spar with the Saiyan Warrior at full power.
However, if you pay close attention you'll notice that Goku's fight with Merus features a callback to a pivotal moment of battle in the Dragon Ball Super: Broly movie!
As you can see here, Toyotaro's artwork in Dragon Ball Super chapter 52 is a nice Easter egg homage to Goku's Snake-Style kung fu, which he unleashed against Broly during their initial battle in the Arctic, during Dragon Ball Super: Broly's climatic act.
In fact, Goku breaking out his Snake Style pose was a shining moment of Dragon Ball Super: Broly's very first teaser - long before we even knew that Broly was the central antagonist of the film! As you can see above, the first Dragon Ball Super movie teaser was basically a showcase of animation director Naohiro Shintani's game-changing re-invention of Dragon Ball's visual style, showing Goku warming up for a fight, and unveiling his new style of martial arts combat.
It's just a fun little visual ode, sure, but at the same time it helps to create solid continuity between the events of Dragon Ball Super: Broly and the continuing story of the manga's "Galactic Patrol Prisoner" arc. The manga clearly shows that Goku's combat style truly has evolved since the events of the Tournament of Power, which is fitting, since the true purpose of Goku's sparring session with Merus is to help the Saiyan hero further master Ultra Instinct - something Merus seems to know a lot about!
Did you catch this little reference to Dragon Ball Super: Broly in the latest manga issue? Let us know in the comments!
Dragon Ball Super currently airs its English dub on Adult Swim during the Toonami programming block on Saturday evenings, and 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's big movie, Dragon Ball Super: Broly, is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
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