Goku is Anime’s Doomsday:
Dragon Ball has given us anime’s greatest warrior of all time. Son Goku is the greatest Saiyan to have ever existed. He is Universe 7’s strongest mortal. No matter what is thrown at him, Goku always manages to find a way to train his way out of it. Since many moons, Goku has been compared with the power of another fictional character. Just like Goku is invincible in the anime world, Superman of the comic book world is also considered to be a God amongst men. There have been many discussions as to who would win in a fight – Goku or Superman? Many fans even compare Goku to be similar to Man of Steel. Both represent the last remnants of a lost civilization and alien race. Truth be told; Goku has characteristics that are more in line not with Superman but his mortal enemy – Doomsday.
Superman and Goku are both known to have several similar elements. Consider their origin stories. Goku was sent to Earth in a space capsule. Superman was sent from Krypton to Earth in a rocket pod. Both Superman and Goku ended up being raised by benevolent mentors. Kal-El grew up under the careful tutelage of the Kent’s. Jonathan and Martha Kent were pivotal in teaching Clark Kent the human values of compassion, mercy, and honor. Son Goku was raised by Grandpa Gohan. Under his watchful supervision, Goku learned what it meant to be human. Both alien warriors realized they were better than all human beings in terms of physical attributes. Both were superior in strength, speed, and agility that far surpassed human limits.
And before we knew, both Goku and Superman ended up saving the world more than a couple of times in the Manga/Anime and in the comic books respectively.
Superman had always been someone who was a notch above the rest. Sure DC Comics had the Justice league with members like Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman, and The Flash. But Superman was still Superman and whenever he showed up, things were pretty much going the way the good guys wanted to. That was Superman’s level of stature and the respect he commands in the DC Universe. In the Dragon Ball Universe, Goku is the world and the universe’s ultimate savior. He fights and defeats a countless number of foes. Whomever he is not able to defeat, Goku trains himself and works hard to overcome the obstacle. In the end, the Z Fighters consider Goku to be their final pillar, like the Justice League view Superman as theirs.
So why are we even comparing Goku not with Superman but with Doomsday? The similarities are pretty much endless between Goku and Superman. Many people claim that Akira Toriyama created Goku after being inspired by Superman. That itself would settle the debate. So why are we dragging this even more? There are multiple reasons for us to do so. Doomsday, ladies, and gentlemen, is much more akin to Goku’s origin story and is more aligned with the Lead Z Warrior’s tale.
Who is Doomsday? Doomsday was created by the alien scientist Bertron, who wanted to create the perfect killing machine. To do so, he took a Proto Kryptonian subject and experimented on him. The subject was killed in all sorts of ways imaginable. He was burned, eviscerated, disemboweled, hacked, thrown from great heights, and went through all sorts of torture. Every time the subject died, he was brought back by Bertron but with the immunity from whatever killed him the last time. After being killed a countless number of times and then brought back over and over again, Doomsday literally became immune to death. He then hopped from planet to planet, killing countless civilizations and leaving a trail of death and destruction along its way,
It was in the year 1992 that Doomsday was first introduced to the DC Universe. In Man of Steel #17, the beastly Doomsday appears and quickly dispatches the entire Justice League like a piece of cake. Doomsday’s only true equivalent turns out to be Superman. The more the two fight, the more did Superman realize that it will take every ounce of his strength to defeat this unstoppable-force! The entire Metropolis shook as the Man of Steel and the Un-Killable Alien Tank traded fists and kicks. The battle was almost a stalemate till Superman finally delivers the killing blow. But the strain of sustaining so many injuries during his battle with Doomsday is too much for even Superman, who succumbs to his wounds and dies in the aftermath of the fight, termed the infamous Death of Superman arc.
It is Doomsday’s ability to return back stronger every time he encounters death is what makes him very similar to a well-known Dragon Ball Z concept called Zenkai or Full Recovery. The ability is accessible only to members of the Saiyan Race. Zenkai basically is how a Saiyan gets stronger in Dragon Ball Z. Whenever a Saiyan is faced with a threat that leads to a near-death experience and manages to recover from the fight, they come back stronger than ever.
The more a Saiyan encounters such experiences, the more powerful he gets every time. The ability was first revealed by Vegeta, who easily takes on Zarbon during the Frieza saga. Zarbon was Frieza’s most loyal right-hand man who once beat Vegeta to a pulp but after Vegeta recovered from a previous fight, he had enough power to beat Zarbon to an inch of his life. That was no easy feat.
When Krillin sees Vegeta blasting a hole through Zarbon’s back, revealing the handiwork of Zenkai which makes Saiyans stronger after each fight, he reveals that even Goku has shown similar traits right after a battle. Whenever Goku recovered from a near-death experience after a fight, he came back stronger. Zenkai and Doomsday’s Death Immunity are strikingly similar.
The entire Frieza saga saw Zenkai in action. Gohan, Goku, and Vegeta received huge power upgrades all thanks to Zenkai. Vegeta was so sure of the ability that he even asked Krillin to grievously injure him and then let Dende heal him so that he could come back stronger than ever and defeat Frieza. While the latter part did not work out for Vegeta since Frieza beat the living daylights out of him anyways, it did end up making Vegeta stronger.
Doomsday is a being of pure rage. He was born and bred in it. He only lives to destroy, seeing anything and everything as his enemy. Saiyans may not be the way they used to be back in ancient times. Goku is certainly no longer a savage conqueror like his ancestors. But he is still a Super Saiyan. In case you forgot, the power of a Super Saiyan is basically based on the foundation of accessing, embracing, and manipulating one basic primal emotion – rage.
Considering the fact that both Goku and Doomsday have similar evolving powers with one core emotional foundation, the final conclusion that could be drawn is one simple fact – the argument that Goku is more powerful or less powerful than Superman is no longer significant. What fans should be debating over is the fact that whether Goku could defeat his DC Counterpart Doomsday in a fight!! It certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense to pit these two against each other. The debate is finally over.
The last Dragon Ball arc to have been featured in the Manga is the Galactic Patrol Prisoner Saga. Released in the year 2018, the Manga is still on-going and again sees the Dragon Ball Universe in grave danger from an ancient enemy that has broken free of its prison. The official synopsis for the arc reads:
Galactic Patrol Kidnapping. Following the ordeal surrounding Broly, Goku trains with Vegeta in the Gravity Training Room. … Vegeta asks why he needs Buu and Merus explains that a dangerous criminal has broken free of the Galactic Prison and in order to recapture him they need the assistance of the Grand Supreme Kai.