What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by MasenkoHA » Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:29 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:13 am
Regardless of design, I think putting superheroes in the same world is inherently easier than something like other properties whose worlds are so vastly different in feel. It makes a lot of sense that superheroes would live in a world with other superheroes. In fact, I would argue that it would be silly if they didn't.
I mean you had the Nolan Batman films which went as far as getting rid of the Zorro stuff entirely.

Because a Opera house being located in the slums made so much sense....

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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by ABED » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:33 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:29 pm
ABED wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:13 am
Regardless of design, I think putting superheroes in the same world is inherently easier than something like other properties whose worlds are so vastly different in feel. It makes a lot of sense that superheroes would live in a world with other superheroes. In fact, I would argue that it would be silly if they didn't.
I mean you had the Nolan Batman films which went as far as getting rid of the Zorro stuff entirely.

Because a Opera house being located in the slums made so much sense....
I've seen seedy alleyways of even nice upperclass establishments.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by MyVisionity » Wed Jan 29, 2020 8:27 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 3:29 pm
I mean you had the Nolan Batman films which went as far as getting rid of the Zorro stuff entirely.
The Zorro stuff was only added to the Batman mythos during the 1980s I believe, so it's not like it was established from the beginning.
Because a Opera house being located in the slums made so much sense....
From what I understand that's how it is in many large cities. The front entrance will be facing a nicer upper-class neighborhood while the backdoor opens up into the slums.

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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Super Sonic » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:34 pm

Not so much like a Western comic, but I kinda wonder how the DB cast would look like if drawn by Alex Ross. For those not familiar, he's a really good artist who has worked on a few comic series. This link below to the tvtropes article on the series "Justice" shows an example of his work:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ ... ok/Justice

Matching his style is why that series or the one "Kingdom Come" haven't had animated adaptations, but it is good art.

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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Hellspawn28 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:24 pm

funrush wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 pm
The main difference would be the introduction of inconsistency. American comic books are (in?)famous for constantly changing writers and artists really often.
That's mostly with Marvel and DC. A lot of other comic book companies do have titles share by the same author and artist from day one. Spawn and Savage Dragon are the longest running American comic books that are owned by their creators. Even Todd Mcfarlane have entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the "longest-running creator-owned comic book series" (The previous record went to Cerebus the Aardvark from Dave Sim).
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:47 pm

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:07 pm
Because western comics don't build themselves around the protagonist growing stronger. The protagonists start the story about as strong as they're ever going to get and the drama comes from how the villain will be neutralized instead of depicting the new ways the hero will grow from week to week.
You realize of course then that without the main focus of Dragon Ball being the growth and development of Goku as a martial artist that it would then cease to be Dragon Ball, right? It wouldn't then be a martial arts fantasy story about the main character's lifelong quest to be the greatest fighter he can be: and at that point, why even have it be Dragon Ball at all anymore?

You're literally asking the series to warp itself into something so fundamentally different and disconnected from its narrative core that it ceased to have any remote connection whatsoever to its own identity and reason for being.

What is Dragon Ball? Its a martial arts fantasy serial about a character named Son Goku (heavily influenced by JTTW's Sun Wukong) growing from a young boy to a man and following his growth as a fighter from one martial arts teacher to the next, from one opponent and rival to the next, and tracing his development as a martial arts master. That's the series. That's the core hook. That's what this whole enterprise fundamentally is.

Without that central conceit, it isn't Dragon Ball anymore. Goku's lifelong path as a fighter is THE constant, its THE throughline upon which everything else hangs together.

By making the story less about Goku and his development as a fighter and more about him forever playing musical chairs fighting against the same rogues gallery over and over endlessly from one story to the next with his fighting ability stuck in perpetual stasis and the focus of the narrative more on the villains themselves... you've basically gutted almost everything that makes DB what it is. Its not even a martial arts or Wuxia story anymore at that point.

Martial arts stories are, at their heart, stories about competition and personal growth. They're about a fighter rising above escalating challenges from greater and greater opponents and tougher and stricter teachers as they develop and blossom into better and more talented fighters: and maybe someday become teachers themselves and pass along their skills onto a new generation of students.

This is the LONG tradition of martial arts narratives that Dragon Ball is firmly a part of. Without that, its no longer Dragon Ball at all anymore: in which case, why even bother? Why even have the Dragon Ball title and imagery anymore? To what ultimate end? At that point, it makes FAR more sense to just make it something entirely new and unrelated to DB wholesale.

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:57 pm
Dragon Ball has been doing a pretty shit job at ending...
It had a perfectly fine ending that stuck for over 20 years. The series ran its course for over 11 years, going through countless dozens of new permutations and drastic status quo shifts, and developing itself until it eventually ran out of steam, as all things eventually and inevitably do, and came to a final conclusion. It remained dead, finished, and over with for literally decades with almost no complaint from anyone.

The idea that the series NEEDED to come back, that Dragon Ball - with its 500+ anime episodes, 40+ manga volumes, and kajillion video games spanning across more than a decade - was somehow some "cut down before its prime/gone too soon" series with heaps of "unfulfilled potential" just waiting to be mined is a total fabrication from largely the Western fanbase post-Toonami who've typically shown ZERO semblance of perspective whatsoever on how old DB truly is, how long it went on for, and how exceedingly thoroughly it was wrung of original material, to say nothing of how burnt out the anime/manga consuming public had gotten on it by its (original) end.

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:14 pm
I don't know why there's so much hate for "superhero" stories.
Just so we're clear: I don't in any way hate superhero stories. Never have. I've been reading superhero comics literally since the 1980s and the heyday of Watchmen, Frank Miller's Daredevil, and Chris Claremont's legendary Uncanny X-Men run. I was a diehard Marvel zombie all throughout my childhood, and I can wax poetic on great Batman comics every bit as much as I can my favorite Hong Kong Wuxia flicks.

The issue here is... none of that's REMOTELY tethered to Dragon Ball one iota. Dragon Ball ISN'T a superhero story, and never was. The idea of it being one is a complete and wholesale invention of both FUNimation (back in their original late 90s/early 2000s "reversioning" years) and the Western fanbase post-dub and post-Cartoon Network.

Making Dragon Ball, an Eastern martial arts fantasy serial, into a Western superhero story would totally rob it of what makes it unique, different, and interesting within the realm of Western media. We already have a TON of superhero stories and franchises. We're not running low on Justice League or Avengers material and the like.

What good exactly does it do Dragon Ball to remake it into a Western superhero series? How would the Western geek media landscape benefit from having this be one more superhero franchise to throw onto an already overstuffed pile? At what point did conformity and homogeneity become laudable attributes worth specifically aiming for?

Just as Western media is overstuffed to the gills with superhero franchises, so too is Eastern media overstuffed with Wuxia franchises. Dragon Ball doesn't stick out nearly as much in the context of Eastern pop culture as it does in Western pop culture: so what point exactly is served that benefits DB here in the West by bending and warping it into something that FURTHER blends it in with what we already have more than plenty of?

Put simply, when I want a superhero story, I'll go to Marvel, DC, Image, and the like. There's no END to the options out there for that stuff when I'm feeling in the mood for it. That's NOT what I've been going to DB for for all these many years (more than 25 years now!). Dragon Ball is made to scratch a COMPLETELY different itch, one that's more of a kind with stuff like Dragon Tiger Gate and Zu Warriors than it is X-Men or Green Lantern.

So I'll just come right out and say what I think this whole "make DB more like a superhero story" thing (which has been a longstanding trope of U.S. DB fandom since at least the early 2000s) has always actually been about:

I think that its a combination of the fact that we originally got DB in a dubbed format that warped the series into more resembling a superhero action show, that the audience has largely been one that's totally ignorant of Eastern martial arts fantasy media, and is over-exposed and over-primed to superhero media instead, that COMPLETELY robs them of any context to appreciate what the series actually IS and always has been, rather than the skewed misappropriation of it that's been inside their heads all these years.

That combined with the notion that DB was somehow some short-lived series that never got a chance to fully grow or develop into its "full potential" as if this were the anime equivalent of the Joss Whedon show Firefly (an idea which is flat out fucking ludicrous on its face) has given the Western fanbase one GIGANTIC case of geek blue balls.

It leaves so many people with this nagging notion that "If ONLY DB did such-and-such like Batman or Justice League Unlimited or Ultimate Spider-Man, then it could've REALLY been something!"

Which is both TOTALLY antithetical to the fact that DB had gotten EONS of time and material with which to do and explore all KINDS of different storylines and concepts throughout its decade+ long run, and moreover the fact that... this franchise isn't and never has been fucking anime Justice League or Avengers.

This is and always has been the anime and Dr. Slumpian equivalent of something more like Fung Wan or The Force of Buddha's Palm, or something drawn by Wong Yuk-long. Dragon Ball is and always has been what happens when a Ma Wing Shing kung fu epic ingests an acid tablet made up of Toriyama's Manga Theater shorts.

Removing that entirely away from DB and replacing it with Marvel or DC would mean that what you'd have is no longer recognizably Dragon Ball in any meaningful way... at which point, why even bother to have it be VAGUELY tethered to DB at all?

I've said this plenty of times before, but it always bears repeating: the FUNimation dub hoodwinked a LOT of folks into operating under the false assumption that DB is, at its core, something ENTIRELY unconnected from what it actually is.

If an irreverently whimsical martial arts fantasy doesn't sound like something remotely appealing to you, then you really HAVE to ask yourself the uncomfortable and unfortunate question of whether or not this franchise was ever the right fit for you at all in the first place, and ponder the possibility that whatever it was that most hooked you deepest in the dub (which is the form that most folks here had first been exposed to DB under) is something that was in fact a total and complete invention and fabrication of exclusively the FUNimation dub and has ZERO presence whatsoever in the original Japanese series (or any other incarnation).
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by funrush » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:59 am

Hellspawn28 wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:24 pm
funrush wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:38 pm
The main difference would be the introduction of inconsistency. American comic books are (in?)famous for constantly changing writers and artists really often.
That's mostly with Marvel and DC. A lot of other comic book companies do have titles share by the same author and artist from day one. Spawn and Savage Dragon are the longest running American comic books that are owned by their creators. Even Todd Mcfarlane have entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the "longest-running creator-owned comic book series" (The previous record went to Cerebus the Aardvark from Dave Sim).
Great point. Image and other indie publishers tend to be much more hands off and allow creators to do their own thing. Saga is a great example of this, as are the Image series you mentioned. So I guess my post would depend on where an American DB would wind up published.

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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Yuli Ban » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:35 am

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:47 pm
Snip
A lot of this is the reason why I'd prefer if Dragon Ball did do a shared universe thing. It's clearly not dying, but in its current form, it's going to devolve into a story where Goku becomes a more generic pseudo-superhero (just with wuxia rules). So why not create a new series following some other character to start the process over again? Goku's story can only go on for so long and his story IS "Dragon Ball," but it's not impossible to make a new story in the same universe that's more than just gags like Neko Majin. Actually, Neko Majin and Jaco are both rough examples of what I'm referring to, but not perfectly. A more accurate shared universe would be one that keeps the same long-form wuxia story going on. Excpet perhaps now, when the main character trains with Muten Roshi, the latter is fully aware of Super Saiyans and godly ki and alien warriors.
That, or just do The Case of Being Reincarnated As Yamcha again. I really don't care at this point, as long as it's not more Heroes.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Matches Malone » Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:00 am

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:47 pm
The notion that DB was some short-lived series that never got a chance to fully grow or develop into its "full potential" has given the Western fanbase one GIGANTIC case of geek blue balls.
The Funimation/Toonami only fans are right when they say it didn't reach its full potential, not because something was missing after Z, but because something was missing before, the part they not only missed, but refuse to watch, the original DB anime. I think the number of those fans who wanted a never ending continuation would've been significantly less had they watched DB the way it was supposed to be watched, DB, followed by Z.
Yuli Ban wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:35 am
A lot of this is the reason why I'd prefer if Dragon Ball did do a shared universe thing. It's clearly not dying, but in its current form, it's going to devolve into a story where Goku becomes a more generic pseudo-superhero. So why not create a new series following some other character to start the process over again? Goku's story can only go on for so long and his story IS "Dragon Ball," but it's not impossible to make a new story in the same universe.
DB was never written with the intent of going on forever or spinning off into new series following other characters. The problem with other characters taking over is that their adventures will be very close to Goku's that we might as well just re-watch his. If it follows the old ones any longer then things are just going to keep going in circles with no real reason to exist beyond $$$.

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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by ABED » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:03 am

Even limiting DB to just DBZ, that's still an incredibly long series. Not even Cheers had that many episodes.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Yuli Ban » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:42 pm

Matches Malone wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 5:00 am
DB was never written with the intent of going on forever or spinning off into new series following other characters.
I might've said this to Kunzait some other time too: I'm not saying I WANT it to go on forever or that this is ideal under the best circumstances. Just that we're not in the ideal timeline and Toei is clearly intent on milking it indefinitely (with Toriyama giving such milking his full blessing since it's always been a cash cow for him anyway), so I'm operating along that reality. And if that's the reality, that Dragon Ball's going to go on until it's no longer profitable like the Simpsons or Superman (rather than simply being ultra-long like One Piece or any typical 2,000-chapter wuxia or litRPG webnovel), then the option of following different characters— even if it means basically retreading Son Goku's story— is more preferable than continuing with Goku, but with new rules that essentially keep him in a state of stagnation perpetually but with new glowy forms ever so often.
If this is the hand we're dealt, I'd rather follow Pan or the U6 Saiyans or even Yamcha for 100 chapters each than keep on with Goku, whose story was essentially finished 25 years ago and has to be shoved into every new piece of media like a mascot more than a proper protagonist. Right now, it's tolerable, mainly since Toyotaro is aware that people don't like the status quo of things (and it wasn't supposed to be a status quo since the story's supposed to be over), hence all the callbacks and attempts to make side characters relevant. But that's never going to matter because of how Dragon Ball operates. It's Goku's story at the end of the day, and his growth has placed him so far beyond everyone else save Vegeta and the divine that to get anyone up to his level, you need a lot of bullshit and "oh, wait, here are opponents we didn't see before who are actually 10x stronger than the last ones" and characters established as being low-level suddenly being thrust into areas of power millions or billions of times above where we knew them to be, over and over again (and as we've seen with the Universe 6 Saiyans and their less-than-stellar reception due entirely to this, it's not something sustainable).
Going back to wuxia/xianxia webnovels, that's basically the mark of a bad one. You can keep escalating for a long period of time, but the good ones know how to keep it within the realm of sense. Bad ones do it like how Dragon Ball has done in the past 10 years, where Muten Roshi (who was surpassed halfway through Dragon Ball and would've been turned into a red mist by Raditz) is somehow able to surprise Jiren with his speed or how technique used to not matter once you faced strong-enough opponents but now the majority of Earthlings are better suited to the ToP than Goten and Trunks because they're more experienced (e.g. early Z had Nappa overcoming the senshi's techniques & tactics through raw strength, and late Z would've made it a joke that the most skilled Earthlings imaginable are easily trounced & made irrelevant by Super Saiyan children). It all comes across like it was written by writers who are aware of Dragon Ball's flaws but are constantly at odds with each other as well on how to fix them and build off them. It comes off that way because that's exactly what happened.

That's just the nature of the beast once you reach the more esoteric levels of power in this genre. At some point, it becomes godly power fantasy where warriors are casually dual-wielding dimension busting swords and throwing galaxy-shattering punches and pulling off feats that sound closer to schoolboys constantly escalating over each other about the most ridiculous things their godlike character can do. And just like that, if you're not careful, you can easily lose control of that yourself as a writer more easily than wrathful super-warriors can lose control of their chi. Grounding it closer to what we can comprehend is easier to do. You definitely need a good grip on things and a way to control it.
Toriyama isn't even in control of it at this point. The most he's done is offer outlines and advice to other writers, which is the bare minimum imaginable. Heroes, the main thing driving Dragon Ball right now, has entirely yielded to the most fanfictiony power level/new super form wankery aspects of the series and it's just a matter of time before we're dealing with "Super Saiyan God 4 Gogeta Ultra Instinct + Kaioken x20".

That's the path we're on right now keeping it chained to Goku. That's the reality of the situation. Ideally, the series would end gracefully while it still can. That's not what's happened.

Naruto, at the very least, switched it off to Boruto, and despite the old guard still intruding often, the series is supposed to be about the new generation, with powers reset to a more appropriate level. We can argue all we want about the quality of Boruto, but doing something like that would only be that much healthier for Dragon Ball.

As mentioned, if this is the timeline we're living in, then I'd love nothing more than for a series set in the future when even the likes of Goten and Trunks would basically be cranky old martial arts masters, the abilities and techniques of the DB era are known but far beyond the protagonists (giving them goals and potentially alternate variations), and the action can build up again, with the option of not following DB and Z's explicit story progression either (that is, Not!Goku doesn't come from the woods, fight Not!Pilaf, engage in a tournament, fight the Not!RRA, and so on and so forth until he/she fights Not!Kid Boo in that exact order; it could develop much differently).
Imagine Not!Goku following a different martial arts school, going to the demon realm, learning of the dragon balls and the chaos that revolved around them hundreds of years ago, learning kaioken while still a child (but not able to spam it like Goku did), just a wild variety of different things in the Dragon World that we'll never get to see. I'd vastly prefer that over an arc where Goku discovers he can use Super Saiyan Blue + Ultra Instinct + Super Saiyan 4 to defeat a wannabe Megazord from the never-before-seen Universe Zero (after Vegeta achieves Super Saiyan Blue 3 first, of course, and accomplishes nothing with it). Not to mention that was the arc after Goku went to Universe 21, which was hidden by the Angels for reasons, and fought some a super evil demon that was imprisoned inside a universe constructed entirely to contain him (so I guess that's the reason). It might be hype to see that at first, but we get the point.
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