'Dragon Ball Super' Reveals Goku's Superman Side

Dragon Ball Super's English Dub just aired one of the opening chapters of the 'Universal Survival [...]

Dragon Ball Super's English Dub just aired one of the opening chapters of the "Universal Survival Arc", which sees Goku convince the Grand Zenos to hold an intergalactic fight tournament known as the Tournament of Power. However, before we got to the main thrust of the of the episode that introduced the ToP, we got a nice little aside that indulged one longtime fan debate: how would Goku measure up as a full-fledged superhero?

Well, after seeing this episode of Dragon Ball Super, it's pretty clear that Goku definitely has some Superman-esque qualities as a crimefighter!

Dragon Ball Super Goku Superman Comparisons

The scene in question comes at the beginning of Dragon Ball Super episode 77, ""Let's Do It, Zen-Oh Sama! The All-Universe Martial Arts Tournament!!" / "Let's Do It, Grand Zeno! The Universes' Best Tournament!" Goku is sent to a local farmer's market with the hefty produce from he and Chi-Chi's farm, which he sells for a nice bit of profit. On the way hom, Goku sees a vehicle broken down on the side of the road, and a distraught man looking for a fix. Goku gets out to help, but finds himself falling into a trap: the setup is a ruse, and the man is part of a gang of robbers, who hijack unlucky travelers along the road.

What ensues next is as hilarious as it is awesome: the robbers try to make Goku hand over his truck and earnings, and Goku, after trying to give them genuine advice on how to live a better life, puts a serious butt-whupping on the thugs. He leaves them with more positive advice about making serious life changes, and gets back on his way.

The parallels between Goku and Superman in this scene are just too close to ignore. First, Goku's level of power compared to the thugs forces him to dispatch them as Superman would have to: flicking them unconscious with a finger instead of punching them; using super speed (or instant transport) and super strength to disarm them; and an unyielding positive outlook while he thwarts the evildoers. All in all, it's a scene that shows that, with a slight tweak in destiny or personality, Goku would be every bit the icon and hero that Superman, or My Hero Academia's All Might would be - not just because of the power, but because of the childlike idealism in institutions like truth, justice, and the moral path of goodness.

Given where we know the "Universal Survival Arc" leads, fans shouldn't expect much more in the way of worldly superheroics from Goku: The Tournament of Power gives the Saiyan hero and his teammates something much bigger to worry about: getting strong enough to prove they are the best in the universe. In that sense, the exchange between Goku and the thugs does have a larger point: one of the thugs' bullets actually bruises Goku's skin, making him realize that he's gotten soft, and needs more training from Whis and Beerus to be able to compete in the Tournament of Power.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly will hit Japanese theaters in December, and is expected to arrive in the U.S. around mid-January 2019. Dragon Ball Super is currently airing 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 Funimation, VRV, and Crunchyroll.