Eighteen years after Akira Toriyama concluded his original Dragon Ball series, the best-selling manga maestro returns to pen a sequel. Should he have done? As with the BBC’s attempt to reboot classic sitcoms that have been off the air for decades, there’s the risk that a subpar revival could cheapen the original.
Dragon Ball Super picks up four years after the events of the original manga and anime. After saving the world from the evil Boo, uber-powerful martial arts exponent Son Goku has finally settled down and become a farmer …although he’s not exactly thrilled by the prospect. So when God of Destruction, Lord Beerus, comes to Earth to match his strength against a ‘Super Saiyan God’, our hero is more than ready to step up. However, when the pair duel, even the mighty Goku finds he can’t beat Beerus; cue more wish-granting Dragon Balls, more spectacular battles and – of course – more training sequences.
Although Toriyama is only writing the manga, with illustrator Toyotaro taking over drawing duties, the quality of the artwork remains as good as always and the fight scenes are still wonderfully over-the-top. But while we enjoyed this first volume, the writing is a bit more suspect, skipping over large chunks of plot to make the story move quicker. As to the bigger question of whether Dragon Ball should have been brought back at all – Super is off to a strong start; here’s hoping that the quality holds. Reviewed by Ian Wolf
Credits: Akira Toriyama (story) and Toyotaro (art)
Publisher: Viz Media
Release Date: Out Now
Copyright: © 2015 Bird Studio, Toyotarou/Shueisha Inc.