Artist Chris Samnee gives brings the Japanese world of manga to North American comic books with a new piece of art depicting Dragon Ball’s Goku.
Marvel and DC comics artist, Chris Samnee, tries his hand at Dragon Ball Super’s Goku. Created by Akira Toriyama, the beloved Japanese media franchise began as a manga before spawning several anime series and films. Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball Super (sorry, GT) remain some of the most popular anime of all time, focusing on the iconic character, Goku.
Goku, born Kakarot, was sent to conquer Earth as an infant right before the destruction of his Sayian homeworld. Thanks to a fateful head injury, which purged him of his destructive nature, Goku grew up to become the universe’s greatest hero. For reasons including his status as a member of an extinct warrior race, Dragon Ball’s Goku has drawn many comparisons to DC’s Superman. In particular, comic and manga fans have debated ad nauseam who would win in a fight. This sort of argument is part of a larger fascination with/desire to see the Japanese world of manga crossover with North American comic books.
Marvel and DC artist Chris Samnee recently shared a piece of art depicting Son Goku on Twitter. Samnee has brought to life superheroes including Captain America, Daredevil, Thor, and Superman himself. His interpretation of Goku is an intriguing representation of East meets West.
To clarify, there’s nothing official about Samnee’s piece, and it does not allude to any future projects. Fans have yet to see Goku blast a Kamehameha in the Marvel Universe. However, his signature move was referenced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe courtesy of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Marvel and the world of manga have crossed paths before, with characters from Attack on Titan going toe-to-toe with members of the Avengers and Guardians on the Galaxy years back, and Deadpool recently met My Hero Academia’s All Might. Obviously, the page facilitates crossovers better than live-action, especially considering the Dragon Ball franchise’s lack of success in the arena.
Marvel Studios’ MCU is currently dominating pop culture’s lexicon, and Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe is doing its best to keep up. As for Goku, the Dragon Ball Super anime—which takes place after Dragon Ball Z’s Buu saga—went off air following the conclusion of the Tournament of Power. However, the Super universe returned to theaters in 2018 with Dragon Ball Super: Broly and a follow-up film, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, was announced earlier this year. On top of that, the Dragon Ball Super manga is still going strong, which bodes well for the return of the flagship series.