Dragon Ball Super – Volume 4 Review
Dragon Ball Super’s fourth volume features Chapters 21-24 of Toyotaro’s manga, but don’t let that number fool you, that’s a lot of content as the chapters of Super are longer than your average Jump! property, thanks to originating from the monthly V-Jump magazine instead of the standard weekly effort. At the end of the previous volume Goku and Vegeta had been defeated by corrupted God Zamasu from Future Trunks’ timeline and… corrupted God Zamasu from another timeline that had stolen Goku’s body (and is therefore often called Goku Black). They rushed back to our timeline/world in order to heal and for Goku to learn the Mafuba technique, an old move from the original Dragon Ball era that sealed people away in jars, which is needed because the Zamasu that isn’t in Goku’s body has been granted an immortal body. Are you following? What’s that? No? Don’t blame you…
These are all things that happened in the anime adaptation as well, meaning it was written in Toriyama’s original outline, but the manga does once again split from the anime in various ways. The most obvious thing to me is that Toyotaro often has characters talk about possible contradictions or plot holes and fill them in, like Goku asking why Whis isn’t around in Future Trunks’ timeline, or a more detailed look into the different Super Saiyan God forms and their mechanics. Gowasu, the Supreme Kai of Universe 10 (in all three timelines) and the former master of Zamasu, gets a lot more to do here as well, directly confronting one of his corrupted former students (even if it is one from another timeline) and trying to convince him to change his ways. Lastly Future Trunks is given a new power in the manga that he didn’t have in the anime, and while I won’t spoil it, it’s certainly the first properly big difference between the two versions of Super.
Toyotaro’s artwork continues to impress, not just keeping people on-model, but the action scenes especially. The Zamasus of the manga have a lot more interesting and varied moves than their anime counterparts, with the possible exception of Goku Black’s odd (and cheesy!) energy scythe that he has in the animated version, sadly missing from the manga… Seriously though, Toyotaro paid more attention to the fact that Zamasu was a former Kai and gave him moves like summoning heavy objects and using portals; the former we’ve seen Kais do on many occasions.
Dragon Ball Super Volume 4 pushes on with the Future Trunks arc, and we’re nearly at its end. In some ways it has less story than the anime, but in others it’s added a lot more to it, so it’s actually very interesting to read the manga now I’m fully familiar with the anime version. All these different timelines and versions of characters might get confusing for some, but in reality it’s a rough backdrop for a bunch of action, and the action is well drawn and often quite innovative. Recommended, if that’s all you’re looking for!