Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Dragon Ball Super vol. 2 – December 2017 (Viz Media)

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TITLE: Dragon Ball Super vol. 2

YEAR: December 2017 (US Release)

COMPANY: Viz Media

Story by Akira Toriyama

Art by Toyotarou

It’s the continuation of the Universe 6 and 7 Invitational Fighting Tournament as Beerus team takes on his twin, Champa’s team for the Super Dragon Balls.

But Goku must take on Frost, someone that looks exactly like Frieza and what happens when Vegeta takes on a fellow Saiyan?

Also, things are looking bad for Future Trunks as there is a new menace that has been decimating the planet.  Now Future Trunks must go back in time for help, but will he be able to escape in time?

All this and more in Akira Toriyama’s “Dragon Ball Super” vol. 2!

What is “Dragon Ball Super”?

A new “Dragon Ball” series?

It was something that fans knew was a possibility but whether or not it would be accepted, that is a different story.

As “Dragon Ball GT” was created but not considered canon, because series creator Akira Toriyama was not involved, “Dragon Ball Super” is considered canon as the anime series credits Akira Toriyama for the original story and character design concepts.

As the “Battle of the Gods” and “Resurrection ‘F’” films are considered canon and take place before “Dragon Ball Super”, one may want to watch those two films before jumping onto this manga series, but fortunately, it is not needed as the first volume of the manga series gets readers caught up of what has transpired with the characters after Son Goku had defeated Majin Boo.

Written by Akira Toriyama and featuring artwork by Toyotarou (who did the manga adaptation of “Resurrection ‘F’”, an artists that Toriyama highly approves of, we begin a new chapter in the “Dragon Ball” manga series with the first volume of “Dragon Ball Super”.

As peace has taken place after Son Goku had defeated Majin Boo, for the next four years, Son Goku has become a radish farmer to support his family.

As Beerus, the God of Destruction and his assistant Whis destroy a planet in Universe 7, he had a dream of taking on a Super Saiyan God. And is in search of him.

Meanwhile, Beerus’ twin brother Champa, God of Destruction of Universe 6 has secretly visited Universe 7 along with his assistant Vados to find the final Super Dragon Ball.

As Beerus pays a visit to the planet of the Lord of the Northern Worlds where Kaio-ken resides, Goku is training. And when Beerus allows Goku to try and defeat him, Goku is beaten quickly.

This leads Beerus to interrupt Bulma’s birthday part on Earth (as featured in the “Battle of the Gods” film).

Needless to say, with the Dragon Balls and a ritual performed, Son Goku is transformed into a Super Saiyan God and challenges Beerus and it ends in a stalemate. As Vegeta also acquires significant power, the two are trained by Whis. And all was going well until Champa and Vados shows up to visit Beerus and Whis.

The two have a disagreement of which universe has better food and when Beerus introduces Champa to Cup Ramen, Champa proposes a challenge. A fighting tournament featuring Universe 6’s best fighters vs. Beerus’ choice of five of Universe 7’s best fighters. Whoever wins gets access to the Super Dragon Balls and Champa’s goal is to switch Earth’s and have Beerus’ Earth switch places with the barren/devastated by war Earth of Universe 6.

All agree to have this tournament take place and now Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Boo and a fighter of Beerus’ choosing will need to take on Champa’s top five fighters.

Let the tournament begin!

Vol. 2 focuses on the tournament and the final conclusion to the tournament is showcased.  Also, a second storyline featuring Future Trunks whose world is ravaged by another enemy which forces Trunks to retreat to the past via time machine.

I was very skeptical when “Dragon Ball Super” was announced. Having enjoyed “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z”, “Dragon Ball GT” was no doubt a series cashing in on the “Dragon Ball” characters and a storyline that was more or less geared to attract younger viewers (as it focused on Son Goku turned into a child, his granddaughter Pan and Vegeta and Bulma’s son Trunks).

I was not excited about the two newer films because I felt that Akira Toriyama ended “Dragon Ball” and that should have been it. Afterall, the first two “Dragon Ball” series are a big part of younger years and I didn’t want to see a new terrible series marring the original Toriyama work.

And with over 120-episodes of “Dragon Ball Super” having aired in Japan and not having seen one episodes, I figured I would read this manga and see if if I would enjoy it.

And to my surprise, this series manages to capture all the fun, laughter and action that the original had and more. Suffice to say, I loved reading this first volume!

Not only do we get new characters but you get to see characters who have been featured in other Akira Toriyama series such as “JACO: The Galactic Patrolman” make an appearance and also, we see all characters reunited for the next biggest test for the Son Goku and friends.

And while the first half of the manga series focuses on character introductions and the power of Beerus and Whis, we also learn that there are other powerful Gods of Destruction of other universes and for Son Goku, getting stronger and beating his opponents has always been a big part of the storyline.

And now, Son Goku and friends will need to take on the top warriors of Universe 6. In some ways, it’s kind of an Akira Toriyama nod to DC Comics with Superman and the heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-2 and the differences of similar universes but different outcomes for various planets in the universe.

And with volume 2, the tournament between Beerus team (which includes Goku, Vegeta and Piccolo) vs. Champa’s team (which includes Frost, who looks like Frieza; a saiyan; an assassin and a killer robot) kicks off in high gear and what an entertaining and exciting battle. More importantly, where battles last for so long in “Dragon Ball Z”, I’m glad these battles and the tournament is done with this second volume.

Seeing how Kubo Tite had carried on that long continuous storyline with “Bleach” for many years, I’m glad Toriyama was able to conclude things by volume 2.

And just when you think things will get more uplifting after the tournament, Toriyama brings back another fan favorite with Future Trunks. And this time, Future Trunks comes into contact with his younger version of himself and everyone else.

So, it’s no doubt going to make a for another exciting storyline arc as a new nemesis has wreaked havoc in the future (or parallel world).

Needless to say, this second volume has cemented the fact that I want more DBS. The humor and action are fantastic and is consistent with previous “Dragon Ball” series but most importantly, it’s entertaining and so much fun!

And I can see why Akira Toriyama has so much faith in Toyotarou, with an interview featured at the end of the chapters, you can tell that Akira working with Toyotarou is somewhat of a passing of the torch. Toyotarou’s similarity to Akira Toriyama’s work is fantastic and this collaboration between the two shows their admiration as their work is fantastic.

Overall, if you loved “Dragon Ball” and “Dragon Ball Z”, I can’t highly recommend enough of how awesome “Dragon Ball Super” truly is. I was just as skeptical, being a hardcore DB and DBZ fan but I was quite pleased with the overall manga and it has now become one of my favorite manga to read. I can’t wait to read more!


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