The Dragon Ball franchise has been around for decades with the manga debuting in 1984. since then it has delivered some of the most iconic villains in Manga/Anime history.
From the original Dragon Ball’s Red Ribbon Army and King Piccolo to Z’s many evil villains like that of Vegeta, Freiza, and many others. Great villains have always been a large part of Dragon Ball’s success and longevity. And in recent history, yet another powerful villain has made an impact on the iconic series that being Dragon Ball Super’s very own Goku Black.
Even though it has been a few years since his debut his origins and character are something that might be hard to grasp. And so, for the unaware here is everything you need to know about Goku Black.
What Inspired Goku Black and Why the Name Goku Black?
Before we can understand Goku Black’s character we must first take a look at what inspired his creation. Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama takes inspiration from all sorts of media when creating his characters and storylines. So, it is not surprising that the concept for Goku Black was inspired by a piece of Japanese media.
In an interview for volume 4 of Dragon Ball Super’s, Toriyama shared the fact that the character and name of Goku Black came from the series Kamen Rider. He always wanted to make a “false” or evil version of a character like how within the Kamen Rider Black series there was a “false” Kamen Rider. An evil version of the heroic protagonist and so this is how he came up with the premise and name for Goku Black.
Goku in name only? Goku Black and Zamasu’s Origin
So, if Goku Black’s inspiration stemmed from Toriyama wanting an evil version of a hero does that mean Goku Black is just evil Goku? Fortunately, it is not that boring since besides their shared appearances and abilities Goku Black and Goku are worlds apart.
The reality is that the character known as Goku Black is the result of Zamasu a former North/Supreme Kai from universe 10 stealing the body of his universe’s Goku. His reasoning for taking control over Goku’s Saiyan body well that’s simple to destroy all mortal life in the universe. He sees mortals as the primary cause of everything wrong with the universe. And so, believes ending all mortal life in the universe will bring peace.
This is the most ambitious evil plan that a Dragon Ball villain has had so far and Zamasu has done a lot to make it happen. Starting with killing his supreme Kai master Gowasu. He did that to get the mantle of a supreme kai and be able to wield the time ring. He used the ring to gather the Super Dragon Balls and have his body switched with Goku’s which led to the creation of Goku Black.
The History and Importance of Goku Black’s Earring
One of the most memorable aspects of Goku Blacks design was that of his singular green Potara earring. To the unaware this may look like it was for aesthetic purposes, but veteran Dragon Ball fans recognized that the earring is, in fact, a Potara.
The Potara are accessories worn by the Supreme Kai and hold immense power. Power that includes the ability to fuse with another person. With the introduction of Goku Black, it was also revealed that they grant the user the power to wield the time ring. The Potara have been a crucial tool in the Dragon Ball universe used in several battles.
It was definitely important in the battle between Goku Black and the Z fighters. The fusion aspect of the Potara was used by Goku and Vegeta to stand a chance against Goku Black. But it too was used by Goku Black when a future version of Zamasu engaged in fusion via the Potara with him. In a final attempt to defeat Goku, Vegeta, and the rest of his allies.
Goku Black’s Time Ring
The other notable tool that Goku Black utilized to enact his evil plan to destroy all mortal life is the time ring. An ancient accessory used by supreme Kai like Gowasu to observe future events within their timelines. The time ring is not the first instance of time travel within the Dragon Ball franchise.
Since the time machine used by Trunks was created in Capsule Corporation way back in the original Trunks Saga. Even though both the time machine and time rings share similar purposes they differ in the way they are used and their potential. Especially when it comes to impacting the timelines. The time machine only can send the user back and forwards through time but creates diverging timelines.
The time ring used by Goku Black, on the other hand, does not create diverging timelines and protects the user from changes to their past. Thus, it is far more powerful, as seen within the series it even allowed Goku Black to not affected by the God of destruction Beerus killing a past version of Zamasu.
Goku Black and Future Trunks’ Relationship
There is a good explanation on why Goku Black’s appearance falls under the “Future Trunks Saga” and not one named after himself. That being the fact that Goku Black was the one who doomed Future Trunks world and made him go back in time in the first place.
The relationship between Trunks and Goku Black is one based on revenge. Since Goku Black killed Trunk’s mother Bulma and brought havoc into his timeline. Future Trunks’ only hope to save his world was going back in time and enlisting the help of the Goku, Vegeta and the rest of the Z fighters.
On the other hand, Goku Black seeks to end Trunks for messing with the timelines and keeping him from completing his goal of ending all mortal life. This duality made for an incredible arc that had the future of the many timelines at stake.
Goku Black’s Black Kamehameha, Sickle of Sorrow, and Other Abilities
Compared to other notable Dragon Ball villains Goku Black probably has the widest array of attacks which made him one powerful foe. Since Goku Black has the body of Goku and the mind of Zamasu it is not surprising that they have access to both of their abilities.
Ranging from Goku’s instant transmission to Zamasu’s telekinesis. Goku Black even has access to the iconic Kamehameha attack. But instead of it being a concentrated blue beam of energy it takes on the form on an ominous pitch-black beam. Yet the Black Kamehameha is not their deadliest ability that crown belongs to the sickle of sorrow. This attack is an elevated form of Zamasu’s God Split cut that he used to kill Supreme Kai Gowasu. The attack takes the form of a large magenta scythe composed of pure energy that can be used in a variety of ways.
From opening rifts in space and time to allowing Goku Black to create clones of himself and number of other powerful abilities.
Super Saiyan Rose’s Power Level
Since Goku Black possesses the body of Goku and all his powers he also can turn into the fabled Super Saiyan. Normally this form provides the user with a major boost to their base power level and is accompanied by the user now dawning a spikey golden hairdo.
In recent times Goku and other Saiyans have gained access to Super Saiyan God and Super Saiyan blue forms. Which see their hairs turn red and blue respectively. But in the case of Goku Black instead of his hair turning gold, it changed to a bright pink hue that gave way to the name Super Saiyan Rose.
In terms of his power level, it too saw a dramatic change as this rose form brought Goku Black to a level even higher than that of Super Saiyan Blue Goku who had a power level of almost 100 quintillion. This officially made Goku Black the strongest villain the Z fighters have faced up to that point by a huge margin.
What is even more impressive is the fact that Super Saiyan Rose is not Goku Black’s ultimate form. That form of Fused Zamasu takes him to a power level that made his Rose form look like regular Super Saiyan 1 Goku.
Goku Black’s Demise and Trunk’s Revenge
The demise of Goku Black consisted of one of the biggest and oddest battles in Dragon Ball history. Since Goku, Vegeta and others were incredibly outmatched by Goku Black and Future Zamasu’s combined form of Fused Zamasu their battle was not fought in the traditional way.
The battle went back and forth with the Z fighters using every technique they had. From Super Saiyan Blue Goku using the Kaio-Ken technique to Vegeta and him fusing into Vegito and even going Super Saiyan Blue on top of that. In the end, it literally took the combined strength of everyone on earth to aid Future Trunks to victory. By way of their energy taking the form of a giant blade he used to slice Fused Zamasu in half.
The fact that it was Trunks alongside all mortal life on earth who defeated Goku Black was poetic as it saw him get his revenge for what Goku Black did to his timeline and gave him peace.
The Future of Goku Black within Dragon Ball
Even though Goku Black was defeated it does not mean that he cannot come back. It is almost a staple of all past major Dragon Ball villains to make their return in a future installment of the franchise in one way or another. For instance, Freiza has come back as a cyborg and even resurrected multiple times via the Dragon Balls.
He has made plenty of appearances within other manga or anime installments after his initial death. Goku Black has already made his case for one of the deadliest and evilest villains in franchise history and is a fan favorite. So, it is no stretch to say that Dragon Ball Super will not be the last time we see Goku Black or maybe even Zamasu. Whether that be in the form of a stand-alone anime movie or an energy new anime series we will just have to wait and see.