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 ABED » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:03 pm

It's also what happened to Lucifer on Supernatural. He was an amazing antagonist in season 5 which was the end of the five year mytharc the creator had (albeit loosely) planned. For a while he was left trapped in Hell, but he came back and stayed for several seasons. I like the actor who played him a lot, but Lucifer lost his luster after a while. Sometimes less is more.

Turning Freeza into Skeletor was one of the most ridiculous decisions modern DB ever made.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:07 pm

ABED wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:31 pm
Both Tao Pai Pai and Freeza were back for a cup of coffee prior to Super. Pilaf is such a mook, he's not the equivalent of a supervillain. His coming back is more of just an annoyance to the heroes, if that. The ones that come back and stay eventually become protagonists. That's not the same as The Riddler or Lex Luthor constantly coming back and being presented as a threat. It wasn't until Super and its insistence on keeping Freeza around.
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.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by KBABZ » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:12 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.
Which IMO is an inherent flaw of comic books being a mostly disposable medium where the characters are intended to last literally forever. Since they struggle to go forward, you can only go backward, which is why so many characters just get brought back to life. The best comic book stories are almost consistently the one-off tales like Kingdom Come, not a specific Spider-Man line that went on for 60 straight years and knarled itself into the Clone Saga.

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

Post by ABED » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:20 pm

I don't blame the structure of the medium as much as placing undue emphasis on continuity. Continuity has its pluses and minuses, and for me it's all about the individual stories. One of the reasons I think superhero comics aren't nearly as good anymore is because the tail is wagging the dog. The people reading comics are generally hardcore fans (i.e. generally the types that LOVE continuity and canon for its own sake, instead of as a means to some end). Continuity inevitably collapses under its own weight. Either end it before it does, or don't put that much emphasis on it.
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.
Yeah, that's not remotely the issue. The problem is superhero comics have a beginning and an infinite middle.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:45 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:12 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.
Which IMO is an inherent flaw of comic books being a mostly disposable medium where the characters are intended to last literally forever. Since they struggle to go forward, you can only go backward, which is why so many characters just get brought back to life. The best comic book stories are almost consistently the one-off tales like Kingdom Come, not a specific Spider-Man line that went on for 60 straight years and knarled itself into the Clone Saga.
There's just as much cash grab in Dragon Ball's infinite escalation of power levels as there is in the 100th time Joker escapes from Arkham. Besides, my point is that both series reuse old characters but because western comics don't tie themselves to linear progression there's no insentive for them to only use them as lesser fodder. Look at what Dragon Ball (or any other anime/manga that isn't so strictly tied to power levels) did with villains once an upper limit was established via the Gods of Destruction. Freeza came screaming back. That's just the way any long running series will treat its villains when it can.

It's actually really hard work to come up with new villains, work them into the plot, and give him fresh/dynamic personalities. So obviously writers will back to the well whenever they can get away with it.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by ABED » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:58 pm

You're hung up on the superficial. This has nothing to do with power levels and everything to do with what the fundamental aim is of those stories. DB was structured to be a story with an eventual end. Toriyama could afford to get rid of his villains after each arc because he didn't need to keep the manga going on infinitely. Yes, it's very hard to come up with new villains month after month and keep readers interested especially for forever. Hell, not having an ending results in the characters being in a state of stasis. They always go back to the status quo.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by KBABZ » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:40 pm

ABED wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:58 pm
You're hung up on the superficial. This has nothing to do with power levels and everything to do with what the fundamental aim is of those stories. DB was structured to be a story with an eventual end. Toriyama could afford to get rid of his villains after each arc because he didn't need to keep the manga going on infinitely. Yes, it's very hard to come up with new villains month after month and keep readers interested especially for forever. Hell, not having an ending results in the characters being in a state of stasis. They always go back to the status quo.
To further expound on this point, both superhero comics and shonen manga are associated with characters fighting each other. But shonen, to me at least, is much more associated with development, the protagonists growing in strength and mind to overcome the next obstacle. And as you said, the idea of coming to an ending at some point rather than trying to rise up to the ranks of Superman and Captain America also means that that growth means a lot more, because it's far less likely to be reversed or scuppered in some way later down the line.

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

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:57 pm

ABED wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:58 pm
You're hung up on the superficial. This has nothing to do with power levels and everything to do with what the fundamental aim is of those stories. DB was structured to be a story with an eventual end. Toriyama could afford to get rid of his villains after each arc because he didn't need to keep the manga going on infinitely. Yes, it's very hard to come up with new villains month after month and keep readers interested especially for forever. Hell, not having an ending results in the characters being in a state of stasis. They always go back to the status quo.
Dragon Ball has been doing a pretty shit job at ending...
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by KBABZ » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:13 am

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:57 pm
Dragon Ball has been doing a pretty shit job at ending...
At the moment yes, but for eighteen years we had a conclusion to the story with just a revised ending in 2004 to shake things up (and IMO the Buu arc is so madcap because Toriyama was let loose and was very tired of writing the story by that point). It wasn't until 2013 that we even got new stuff to take more seriously than GT and various What Ifs thanks to Toriyama's involvement with them (due to Evolution of course), but ultimately it's been Toei who's decided to restart the engine. Dragon Ball was done since the mid-90s.

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

Post by Polyphase Avatron » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:25 am

Is it bad to have an iconic, recurring villain? As long as the stories are interesting, and everyone enjoys seeing the villain.

I mean, when people heard Freeza was coming back yet again for the ToP there were a lot of complaints, but then a lot of people changed their mind and said that it was done really well.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:04 am

Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:25 am
Is it bad to have an iconic, recurring villain? As long as the stories are interesting, and everyone enjoys seeing the villain.
It's not and many fantastic mangas have them. Berserk has its Godhand. Devilman had Psycho Jenny. Recurring villains can be a huge benefit to a long running story if handled properly.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Zarely » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:05 am

It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:11 pm
Dragon Ball constantly brings back past villains. Piccolo, Tao Pei Pei, Freeza, Cell and the androids are a throwback to the R&R Army. They all get a repackage or reskin but if one arc presents a villain you can practically guarantee that in two arcs they'll be back
No nothing like that. A comic series like Batman or Spider-Man has a set amount of classic villains that they have rotated with for decades.

Take even the smaller Ultimate Spider-Man. The main antagonists were Green Goblin, Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Chameleon, Venom, Geldoff, Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, Carnage, Nightmare, Hobgoblin, Kingpin, Silver Sable, Deadpool, Doctor Octopus, Kingpin, Green Goblin, Venom and Magneto .

Dragon Ball is nothing like that at all. Piccolo wasn't brought back as a past villain, everything from King Piccolo to Piccolo Jr was a continuous story. Cell and the Androids are linked to an old organisation but are new characters. Frieza is the only one like it and from the canon story he was brought back as a main villain only the one time.

Piccolo, Vegeta, Cell, Buu, Beerus, Zamasu and Jiren have only been a main antagonist one time.

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

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:31 am

Polyphase Avatron wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:25 am
Is it bad to have an iconic, recurring villain? As long as the stories are interesting, and everyone enjoys seeing the villain.

I mean, when people heard Freeza was coming back yet again for the ToP there were a lot of complaints, but then a lot of people changed their mind and said that it was done really well.
No it's not herently bad to have iconic recurring villains. It depends on so many factors, but I can't help but feel bored by such a naked attempt of giving the audience a nostalgia fix. I like Freeza, but having him over and done by the end of his story arc would not make him any less iconic.

I like superhero stories and I accept the structure of a never ending middle, but forcing that on DB doesn't work. It's forcing stasis on a story that was constantly about moving forward.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:06 pm

If Dragon Ball had, instead of being a Japanese manga, been a western comic, then aside from the artwork being left to right (probably a different art style too), then assuming it was under one of the big banners like Marvel or DC, the main thing I imagine is it would have had a cartoon TV show, but that probably would have only begun in the '90s, and it would've been produced far more "kids friendly", but under DC it probably would've been part of the DCAU, so it would've been free to go some fairly dark places, and it would've had an excellent voice cast. Under Marvel, it would've had a '90s show with some iffy, cheap animation, and it would have some concessions made for "kids friendly" TV, but it would've had a rather great voice cast, the writing would've been very strong, and it'd still hold up today as a solid show, just as much as if it was a DC show.
Under Marvel or DC, it may have had a movie sometime in the '00s, maybe the '90s, but under DC it wouldn't have had a movie in the DCEU yet, though it would have been in various stages of development at various points. Under Marvel, it would have either already been made part of the MCU, or we'd be about to get it as a movie.
Possibly at some point in the '00s or more recently, it may have got a live-action TV version, particularly if it was under DC.

Regardless of what you think about Dragon Ball as we know it, if it was released as a western comic, particular if it was under DC or Marvel, it would be considered a superhero comic. That'd just be the best way to market it, and the easiest way to categorise it. And thus, it would be treated as a superhero comic.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:14 pm

I don't know why there's so much hate for "superhero" stories. V for Vendetta was a superhero story and that's an all time classic.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by KBABZ » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:33 pm

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. V for Vendetta was a superhero story and that's an all time classic.
I think it's more that comic books have significant challenges to the storytelling compared to the manga industry, and superheroes are simply far more common and thus provide bountiful examples. Plus we're sick and tired of the whole "Goku is Japanese Superman" thing.
Last edited by KBABZ on Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:36 pm

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.
It's just snobbery. Pay it no mind.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:52 pm

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. V for Vendetta was a superhero story and that's an all time classic.
It's a comic book, but not what I would call a superhero story.

Anyway, superheroes is just a genre. There's no inherent reason why a superhero comic can't be one with a beginning, middle, and end. It just so happens that the most prominent companies (DC and Marvel) use the infinite middle as their business model.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:02 pm

ABED wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:52 pm
superheroes is just a genre
It's not even that. It's more like a category like anime or manga.
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Re: What if dragon ball was a comic book series?

Post by ABED » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:12 pm

Robo4900 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:02 pm
ABED wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:52 pm
superheroes is just a genre
It's not even that. It's more like a category like anime or manga.
Incorrect. Anime and Manga are mediums. Superhero stories are most definitely a genre. Genre categorizes art forms by similarities in style and subject matter. Superhero stories can exist in multiple mediums (e.g. TV shows, movies, and comic books).
The biggest truths aren't original. The truth is ketchup. It's Jim Belushi. Its job isn't to blow our minds. It's to be within reach.
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