Death Battle: Goku vs. Superman - The Super Underpowered Saiyan Problem
This blog is now considered fully finished.
I will show why Goku was severely underpowered in the Death Battle video from the viewpoint of even a Superman fan. Here's a summary of the blog:
-Goku's durability and potential power output; why the Gero bomb calculation is completely wrong
-Goku's lifting strength with and without ki, and actual striking strength.
-Goku's battle and traverse speed
-The error on Goku's inability to use Instant Transmission in a fight
-Goku's fighting style and intelligence
-Why the Gravity Formula used by Death Battle is wrong
-Character cores as a deciding factor
(Blog completed on 5/2/2013)
There has been so much hype about the official Screwattack Death Battle: Goku vs Superman that we won’t be hearing the end of it for at least a year, and that’s just giving a low estimation. People have been bickering about a duel between the two for years already. Superman fans everywhere saw the Death Battle video as a definitive sign Goku was nothing to Supes; Goku fans everywhere cried out that Goku was severely underpowered in the match, and some of them want a more accurate rematch.
I am a big Superman fan. He’s super, man! But Goku is also amazing. But the Death Battle seems to show definitive proof Supes can crush Goku with his boot. Does this mean Goku sucks?!? No, even if Goku loses to Supes, that does not make him weak, stupid or a loser. Goku remains a lovable character and very powerful in his own right.
Just because I like Superman and my name is in his honor, it does not mean I am biased – no, I am going to be fair to Goku. In essence, this blog is about giving Goku fans some consolation, and for any fellow Superman fans reading this, hopefully you will understand a bit more about why Goku fans are outraged by the Death Battle conclusion.
I completely agree with Goku fans on the fact he was underpowered. To a degree that made even me pretty annoyed. Did Wiz and Boomstick ever watch Dragon Ball Z at all? Or did they just watch a few YouTube clips to draw the conclusion they wanted? With Vegeta vs Shadow the Hedgehog, they would not grant Vegeta the power to reach Super Saiyan 4 because he did not have a tail, and could not reach the transformation without Bulma’s aid of a blutz-wave amplifier, meaning outside help. Then they use Buu Saga Goku and grant him the ability to reach Super Saiyan 4. The question is, how? Goku had no tail, and thus had the same predicament as Vegeta against Shadow in this time period! Some people say giving Goku SS4 was being generous, but that does not excuse being illogical and inconsistent with their decisions. It was just the first of many mistakes they made.
The only logical things to do would be to either completely ignore Dragon Ball GT and anything it involved, or use GT Goku. They claim they wanted to use Goku in his prime – but the Buu Saga Goku was not his true prime. GT Goku trained with Uub for years, and if Uub was the reincarnation of Kid Buu with all his powers, that means Goku’s base power is at least equal to his SS3 power in the Kid Buu Saga.
Goku even claims to be more powerful than Buu now.
So all Wiz and Boomstick had to do was multiply all of Goku’s base stats that they used in the video, multiply it all by 400, then multiply those results by 4000 (SS4 is 4000x base power) to calculate Goku’s maximum power. Even with the video’s errors on Goku’s stats, this would have given Goku 400x more power than they actually gave him. In fact, those upgraded stats would have put Goku’s maximum speed far above Superman’s.
So let us analyze Goku's potential fairly.
We see all across Dragon Ball history that people are capable of destroying moons and even planets. Master Roshi instantly destroyed the moon in the first season of Dragon Ball with a Kamehaemha. Piccolo destroyed the moon again, instantly, with a simple blast in the first season of Dragon Ball Z. Frieza’s power in his base form was enough to blow up planet Vegeta without much effort.
Frieza’s final form at 100% was 240x stronger than his base form power (going from the official readings of his base power being around 500,000 and his highest power being 120 million). He shot a giant purple energy ball at Super Saiyan Goku – about equal to the size of the ball he used to destroy Planet Vegeta – and Goku knocked it away with one hand; that ball is shown going off into outer space and reducing a nearby planet to rubble instantly. Meta-Frieza used the same type of ball he used to destroy Planet Vegeta and tossed it at Trunks with intent to destroy him and the Earth, then Trunks picked it up effortlessly.
Trunks also survived that same death ball when it exploded at Frieza’s behest, without a sweat. We will return to this instance later to determine the matter of how much Goku can lift while using ki.
In the manga, Frieza clearly has greater durability than a planet the size of Earth or Namek. After being sliced in half, and having part of his face blown off by Goku...
He still survives Namek's explosion. Goku blasted him into Namek's core and he survived that, while being on the verge of death. That means his durability even with almost no energy in far greater than a planet's. Goku's one ki blast blew his face off while the planet's explosion did nothing.
Trunks defeats King Cold, who is more powerful than Frieza, with one ki blast.
This means even the first stage of Super Saiyan - even in the manga - easily could destroy a planet. This were also Goku and Trunks' lowest known feats as Super Saiyans - they later handle far more powerful foes.
There are those that claim this is hyperbole, an exaggeration. Let’s not start claiming randomly that what these people say is hyperbole, unless the people stating whatever having no way of calculating their estimation by any regard – such as ChiChi saying Goku’s strongest Kamehameha could not be blocked by anyone or anything and that Goku can move at a million light years per second; ChiChi has no way of measuring that. If we start hyperbole arguments, Goku fans can say this or that scientist speculated, exaggerated or even lied about how much Supes was lifting, or how fast he was going, and then we will get into more never-ending debates that are products of fanboying rather than fact.
Beyond that, we can easily see that Cell is not exaggerating – if base form Frieza was blowing up planets with his finger, and he became 240x stronger at the height of his powers, it would stand to reason that even Frieza could potentially destroy the solar system. Super Perfect Cell was clearly several times more powerful than Frieza – he may have even been under-exaggerating, but let’s not push it. Let's take a look at other manga feats to further demonstrate this.
Vegeta's Final Flash was easily seen from outer space, and as Trunks says, Vegeta made the blast smaller at the last second so it would only hit Cell. So the blast was going to be much bigger, easily capable of destroying the Earth, thus allowing it to potentially destroy other planets as well. Cell, who was dominating Vegeta in his Perfect Form, had his whole side blown off by this.
Now, if we use Newton’s Third Law as Wiz and Boomstick did, we can assume Goku’s max durability is equal to his max power output. When Goku and Vegeta fought in the Majin Buu saga, both being at Super Saiyan 2, Vegeta said Goku had even greater power than when Gohan fought Cell.
We do not know how much stronger Gohan was compared to Cell, nor do we know how much stronger Goku and Vegeta were compared to Gohan back then, so I will refrain from overestimating in any sense, by using Cell’s calculation exactly.
Now let me address an important but very long point! People call Cell's solar buster claim hyperbole because he is never shown actually doing it! No one in the manga is shown blowing up more than one planet at once, and though this doesn't mean they cannot do more, people say that is all theory because it is never outright shown.
However, biased Superman fans and some silly DBZ fans even will accept calculating Goku's durability off Android 16's bomb, while dismissing Cell's solar buster claim. The numbers for the bomb are taken from an anime filler scene (and the numbers there are nearly unreadable, Death Battle actually overlapped those fuzzy digits with readable numbers and then added their own assumption as to how many megatons it was) to start with, but also note this!
Goku continually progresses in far greater leaps as an adult than he did as a child, multiplying his power millions of times over and reaching 3 stages of Super Saiyan in the 11 years after Gero stopped keeping track of him (naturally including the years following his death into the Majin Buu saga). Dr. Gero actually was researching Goku as if he were human; he thinks he has completely grasped Goku's abilities and he thinks Goku would not have increased his power much more because he has already fully matured.
Also note Dr. Gero admits his calculations were wrong:
Even after this, he thought he could beat Vegeta - but he couldn't even beat Piccolo, despite having just absorbed tons of energy from Vegeta and Piccolo himself. Piccolo trained for 3 years beside Goku, so chances are he was Dr. Gero also calculated that Perfect Cell would be the most powerful being in existence, essentially invincible, but he was also wrong there. He wasn't so "brilliant" if he willingly did not pay attention to the feats on and after Namek. His miscalculated again and again. And lastly, the claim of the bomb killing Goku or Cell is also hyperbole! No Android's bomb is ever shown going off and killing anyone, or blowing up the earth - thus it's no different than Cell's Solar buster claim, because it's never shown doing what it supposedly can do. (Cell did not blow himself up with a bomb, he used his ki to explode himself much like Chaozu did against Nappa).
So if anyone actually believes Gero’s calculations were accurate still, they should remember Gero also tutored Cell in his growth stage through recordings and imparted his knowledge and will to him. This means Cell might know from Dr. Gero how much power it could theoretically take to blow up the solar system. Now you either believe that Gero’s calculations for the bomb were right at one point, and also Cell’s solar system busting calculation – in which case, you have to go with the most recent calculation to determine Goku’s durability – or you ignore both as hyperbole, in which case we really have nothing to go on to determine what Goku can handle.
Just for the sake of it, let’s do a walk-through of how Death Battle analyzed this bomb from the filler scene:
These are direct screenshot from the Death Battle video. Please note the zoom-ins of the digits in the center of the shot were done by Death Battle themselves; the figures at the top and bottom of the screen are exactly how they are shown in the show: completely unzoomed.
You see here they had to overlap the writing because it’s so fuzzy (though in this instance with the TNT, it’s decently readable even when it isn’t zoomed in). This bit of information is taken from the top of the shot, just to the side of the pie-looking circle. Note they completely ignore all the informative digits to the right and left of the “TNT” notation, thus potentially taking the entire reading out of context.
Death Battle then zooms in on the digits just below the bomb. These digits are semi-readable, but you can’t be entirely sure…
Again, they overlap the fuzzy digits with their own easily readable digits. Now the 579-657 is understandable, the digits do look like those exact numbers or pretty close; however, the “mt” part is way too fuzzy, so they are definitely assuming this is notation for a megaton. In fact, it looks like it could be an exponential function notation (e^1 maybe?) since the graph next to it appears to be depicting a somewhat exponential function. It also should be noted they grab the 657 and use that number; they completely disregard the three leading digits (579) despite the fact they went through the trouble of overlapping the blurred digits. And no one seems to notice this at all! Tons of people just take these numbers as Death Battle arranged them. And before even the 579 part, there are more digits or some type of notation that’s unreadable, which again may have been important information, so this is also taken out of context. Also, the TNT readings at the top of this scan; why then is the megaton magnitude at the bottom? It could be that they were being done in different places, but this is too much of an assumption to be making accurate calculations. Furthermore, there's a table on the lower left side of the bomb's scan; these readings, whatever they are, were completely ignored by Death Battle's analysis.
Boomstick states: “Bulma says this could destroy the Earth, so this is likely measured in quadrillion megatons.”
He says it is “likely measured in quadrillion megatons.” Again, assumptions! There is no proof of this; it could be a higher magnitude than this. And again, the numbers show “579-657” followed by what they assume to be “mt”, yet they definitively write the magnitude of the bomb as precisely “657 mt” times quadrillion.
Let us summarize this error: they had to zoom-in, overlap the blurred digits they found, completely disregard the parts they couldn’t read, assume the digits they could read as megatons, assume that megaton magnitude to be in quadrillions, and then cut off the three leading digits that they could read! What kind of math is this? Your math teacher would never allow this kind of selective grabbing of figures and assumptions to solve a problem.
This was a completely unreliable method of analyzing Goku’s durability, and beyond that, as said earlier, the fact this bomb could hurt Goku or anyone is completely hyperbole because it is never shown being triggered. People call Cell’s Solar Kamehameha claim hyperbole but at least that was in the manga; this bomb is from an anime filler scene, so some people consider the entire scene with Bulma analyzing it to be non-canon. I would be willing to overlook that it's a filler scene if the bomb's scan were all completely readable and gave a full figure of all the figures of the bomb, but it's far from it.
Conclusion: this scene should never ever have been used at all to draw a definitive calculation for what Goku can handle because it is flawed from start to finish and completely littered with assumptions.
Don’t bother messaging me or commenting on this blog saying “Yeah well I think Death Battle was totally right on the bomb, but Cell was just boasting to scare Gohan, blah blah” because you are clearly biased and you have no intention of being fair or reasonable about this discussion. If you say anything of the sort, I will ignore it, plain and simple.
Cell had no reason to boast to Gohan, the one who nearly killed him, and the one who was then just standing there with his will to fight gone. It would serve no point. Furthermore, the claim is confirmed here:
Red words: "Everything's super!! Declare this invincible Saiya-Power!!"
Black words: "Super Saiyan Grade Five (Strongest Form). An aura with sparks like flashes of lightning and an upright, combative hairstyle are the distinguishing features of this, the strongest Saiyan warrior! One's personality also becomes aggressive; even the ordinarily gentle Gohan started to enjoy battle! Its power is enough to push back even Cell's energy bullet, which had enough force to blow away the Solar System!"
Going by all that, Super Saiyan 3 Goku’s maximum power output could destroy 4 Milky Way-sized solar systems. This isn’t too hard to believe, since the initial Super Saiyan 3 transformation made the entire Earth shake, and his power was felt throughout the cosmos. So in the manga - using Newton’s third law as our basis - that is Goku’s true limit in both power output and durability; at least, as far as we can calculate considering there is so little in the latter DBZ seasons that we can use to calculate anything about the fighters’ true capabilities.
If we add Super Saiyan 4 into the mix as the Death Battle video did, that raises Goku’s maximum power and durability to the amount of force it would take to destroy 40 solar systems.
If we add Super Saiyan 4 into the mix as the Death Battle video did, that raises Goku’s maximum power and durability to the amount of force it would take to destroy 40 solar systems.
If we use GT stats, Goku’s base form could destroy 4 solar systems. At Super Saiyan 4, Goku could destroy 16000 solar systems. This is further evidenced by that the fact SS4 Goku hit Omega Shenron with a Super Dragon Fist that nearly killed Omega (it would have if Omega did not have regenerative powers).
Elder Kai stated that Omega had the power to destroy the whole universe. Omega Shenron ended up being killed by a universal Spirit Bomb. Durability = Potential.
Now, let us analyze how the video portrayed Goku’s lifting strength. They used an excerpt from Goku lifting weights in otherworld, preparing for the World Martial Arts tournament. He was lifting 2 tons on each arm in base form. The thing is, he was on Grand Kai’s planet – we know King Kai’s planet had 10x gravity, so this means Grand Kai’s planet was probably at least as much, so Goku was lifting at least 20 tons on each limb. Is that speculation? No, we can calculate this. If Vegeta was training at 400x gravity before even reaching Super Saiyan in the pre-Android Saga, and his given weight is about 125 lbs., then at 400x gravity his body weighed about 25 tons. His power was about equal to Goku’s in the Android Saga, and by the Cell Games, Goku had to have approximately tripled that power to go toe-to-toe against Perfect Cell – who had the base power of Android 16, then added on the power of 17 and 18 by absorbing them. So before Goku would have been pummeled by 18 – now he had the strength of 16, 17 and 18 combined. So by now his base form body should have been able to lift 75 tons. He trained for 7 years in Other World, so it means that probably means he got a good deal stronger. It stands to reason he could lift 20 tons on each limb. Does this mean he could match the Man of Steel? Nope, that lifting strength is nowhere close to Superman’s, but it again proves Goku was underestimated. But we have to account for Goku’s ki which boosts his striking power and maybe even his lifting strength.
Let’s go back to where Trunks lifts up Frieza’s death ball that was meant to destroy the Earth. Note this ball was NOT a core busting ball like the one used on Namek, which was roughly the size of a basketball – on Trunks Frieza was using the same death ball he used on Planet Vegeta to just blow it away, and this ball was at least the size of a house. Trunks lifts the death ball effortless with one arm.
For Frieza to destroy Earth with this death ball, it needed to have at least the same mass-energy magnitude as Earth. This means with ki, Trunks could lift the equivalent of Earth one hand! That’s 66.6 quintillion tons. And Goku, who had the same level of power as Trunks at this time, could do the same. Goku’s power increased way more after this, so this is just the low-end calculation, but it completely changes the story on Goku’s max lifting strength. This is just going by math and physics, you don’t even need to account for power levels anymore.
Going back to a bit earlier in the blog: “Frieza shot a giant purple energy ball at Super Saiyan Goku – about equal to the size of the ball he used to destroy Planet Vegeta – and Goku knocked it away with one hand; that ball is shown going off into outer space and reducing a nearby planet to rubble instantly.”
So that’s more proof that Goku himself can knock aside planet-busting energy attacks with one hand.
Furthermore, we can show how powerful striking power with ki can be. Since Death Battle was clearly allowing GT and movie content, then they should have taken into account instances such as this feat in Fusion Reborn:
Gohan in his base form, killing Frieza - who tanked the destruction of a planet while chopped in half with his face also blown in half – with a single ki-charged punch. Goku is stronger than Gohan in his base form by this time, so he could do this as well. In fact, this same concept is applicable in the manga because Gohan at SS2 also destroys the Cell Juniors with single ki-powered punches; Cell and the Cell Juniors inherited Frieza’s durability, so clearly ki-powered hits can break through the durability of titans that could tank exploding planets even while on the verge of death.
It just makes sense – if you can lift or throw aside planet-busting attacks with one hand, you can probably kill planet-destruction-tankers with one hand as well.
The video clocked Goku’s speed by his feat of flying across Snake Way on the way to fight Vegeta and Nappa, then compensated by using a gravity formula. First off, that gravity formula still grossly understates Goku’s base speed by the Buu Saga, let alone GT. They were comparing an early Goku who could barely use Kaio-Ken x4 to a Goku who was a Super Saiyan 3 and adjusted with a flawed formula (I will show why it is flawed later). Secondly, Toriyama was never concerned about being accurate with his speeds and travel times – the only reason Goku took so long was for the plot, allowing all fighters but Gohan and Krillin to die so that there was a reason to continue the story and head to Namek.
Even if you want to leave out plot induced stupidity as an excuse, you can still reason that this was done wrong. They didn’t clock a definitive speed for Goku, they merely calculated his average speed over a day. Why? Because he started out his trip flying and then had to resort to running, and while it was all non-stop and Goku was putting his best foot forward, he still got tired out and couldn’t maintain a constant maximum. This is evident by the fact he has to use a Senzu bean on his return to Earth before fighting Nappa and Vegeta; he was hungry and low on energy after flying and running for a day straight. So Goku’s top speed in the beginning could have been significantly faster than his ending speed. As Goku’s power went up after this, his endurance probably did as well, so he could maintain his highest speeds for a longer time. Since Goku and Superman would just be battling and not having a race across Snakeway, what should count is his immediate top speed, and not his average speed over a very long trip from one part edge of the universe to another (Snake Way spans a quarter of the universe on the map of Other World)
Just for the sake of noting, Goku’s base power level from the Saiyan Saga to the Frieza went from 9000 to 3 million! That means in a matter of weeks, Goku’s power multiplied by over 333 times! That includes his speed as well. This isn’t assumptions or power scaling – Goku’s given power level against Frieza in his base form was 3 million, and at Super Saiyan, it was stated to be 150 million: this is exactly a 50x multiplication, the given multiplier for Super Saiyan. It is said that the multiplier increases all powers by that same amount (even Death Battle does this), so in this instance at least, increase in power level does reflect an increase in all other stats for Goku. However, this power level increase check cannot be done beyond this point, because these were the last officially stated power levels.
That right there blows the gravity formula used in the video out of the water. You can also see in the Namek saga that Goku crosses half the planet in an instant while still in his base form, clocking his speed at way higher than what was calculated before, confirming his exponential traverse speed increase. If you want to use traverse speed, this is the instance that should be used, since it demonstrates a fair usage of Goku’s speed and it doesn’t use averages or a low-energy Goku; this instance is his traverse speed in an instant and he was fully energized from the healing chamber.
Outside of traverse speed, Goku also has a battle speed – short but amazing fast movements for dodging and attacking. Even back in Dragon Ball, Goku was dodging ki blasts and outrunning a solar flare, showing he could move faster than light for brief instances.
Another thing that Death Battle slipped up was on Instant Transmission. While they surprising did enough homework to figure out the original Funimation anime dub of Goku describing what it can do was wrong (it is actually instant, it doesn't travel 186,000 mi/s, even though that is essentially instant for nearly any destination on the planet) – it didn’t fit with the manga said, with Goku saying that it instantly transports you to your destination if you can lock onto a ki – they entirely dismissed its usage in a fight by using this one instance:
This was not because he was under pressure – he was trying to lock onto his sons, Trunks and Piccolo, all of whom were likely drained of their ki after having it used by Buu. This is demonstrated by the fact that Gohan - who had dominated Super Buu and even went toe-to-toe with him after he absorbed Gotenks (essentially doubling his power) - was killed by Kid Buu’s attack here. Furthermore, Kid Buu’s attack was exceptionally big, easily capable of ripping Earth apart – this means the amount of ki he was generating was tremendous enough to block out everything else, thus Goku couldn’t lock onto any other ki.
And even if that reasoning doesn't hold, this instance should be considered an outlier that at worst was a product of plot-induced stupidity. Read on to see why this is so.
Goku uses Instant Transmission in battle rather regularly. He did it to evade Cell’s Kamehameha, used it again to surprise Cell with a Kamehameha of his own, used it to evade Pikkon’s Thunder Flash attack, used it to evade Kid Buu’s blast at the last second:
He’s also seen using Instant Transmission to keep up with Meta-Cooler, Nova Shenron, and even in the canon movie Battle of the Gods to keep up with Bills after losing the Super Saiyan God state. That’s seven examples of him doing Instant Transmission in battle, under severe pressure: 3 of which are in the manga; and five of which are considered to be true canon (Meta-Cooler is in a movie, Nova Shenron is in GT). Death Battle, plain and simple, took the singular instance Goku couldn’t tap this ability out of context, while ignoring every other instance he was able to do it just fine. Thus they stripped Goku of one of his most useful and versatile techniques.
Death Battle also downplays Goku’s intelligence and display him as a simpleton, or even a bit of an idiot. Goku may be simpleminded and innocent in many ways, but when it comes to fighting, Goku is a genius. He quickly finds weaknesses other people fail to see, such as realizing nearly instantly that Frieza couldn’t sense ki and using this to his advantage; he frequently copies a move he sees only once (such as the Kamehameha and the solar flare), and if you try a particularly dangerous technique on him once, he will find the flaws in the second time around and avoid it. Even Vegeta didn’t try to do this and he’s depicted as being quite clever and devious. If Krillin had realized this, he could have killed Frieza with a series of destructo disks after blinding him with a solar flare.
And one place Goku beats Superman without question is fighting skill. Despite everything he has learned from the endless knowledge of the Kryptonian library, he still charges headfirst into fights all the time thinking his super strength means he is invincible – while Goku analyzes his opponents carefully. We also see fairly little variation in Superman’s fighting style – he punches rather clumsily like a boxer rather than like a balanced martial artist, and he doesn’t use kicks very often either. Superman actually has a lot of fighting experience, because in Action Comics Issue #761, Superman fights for a thousand years in a demon world. He trained with Mogul as well, and even Batman, but we still don’t see Superman’s fighting style improving that much. Can Superman fight better than we see him doing? Yes! But we don’t see him doing it and we can’t assume just because he was taught different styles that he outclasses a martial artist who uses a huge variety of skills and styles on a constant basis. Even so, if Superman outclasses Goku in all other aspects, this lack of a complex fighting style wouldn’t be an issue to the Man of Steel at all – if a super-stylish martial artist can outdo a tank in style it means nothing, the tank can blow him away with one shot of its cannon.
A lot of people say power level scaling is flawed and shouldn't be done, but some of those same people will accept gravity scaling (which is exactly what the gravity formula does). Power scaling means that if you can blow up a building with a power level of 10, you can destroy a building twice its size with a power level of 20, and if you can run 50mph at power level 10 you can run 100mph at power level 20. Thus linear growth, x = y.
A bad instance of power scaling is the fact that Master Roshi was a power level of around 200 can blow up the moon, thus the farmer Radditz met with a power level of 5 could blow up a mountain with this logic. But this is an outlier (I will show many other power scaling instances that make sense) and should not be used to definitively damn the usage of power scaling. I blame this on Toriyama’s inconsistency and lack of planning ahead…
This is seen when Popo comes to Bulma to bring her to Kami’s ship; he uses a flying carpet to bring Bulma to a place on Earth she says is on the other side of the world, and they get there in an instant. Why didn’t Popo use this to speed Goku to the fight with the Saiyans? They also show King Kai panicking because he forgot to factor in the time it would take for Goku to get back to Earth to fight the Saiyans, and Goku said he thought King Kai could just bring him back instantly but King Kai says he can’t; Goku goes to King Kai’s planet before the Cell Games to figure out where the Nameks moved to and King Kai shows he can use Instant Transmission as well! Well why didn’t he use it to bring Goku to Earth during the Saiyan saga?!
Simple answer: the author doesn’t plan ahead and he doesn’t look backward to remain consistent with what he wrote in the past. Toriyama outright admitted he forgot Launch in Dragon Ball Z which is why she is entirely absent from the Saiyan saga onward (and the part she is in is anime filler), and he didn’t plan on making Goku or Piccolo aliens; despite popular opinion, Goku was not based on Superman, his initial concept was based on the Monkey king from Journey to the West. His alien heritage was invented during Dragon Ball Z. This is just one of those things that you find out by research or whatnot, sort of like why Superman can “leap buildings in a single bound.” Who cares?! Superman can fly, that’s way more useful! The reason this “bound” line is around is because the initial Superman idea had it that he just traversed by leaping over buildings; the writers later decided this was an awkward way of travel and replaced it with the more sensible ability of flight but wanted to keep the concept of how high he could jump if he wanted.
Now back the power scaling thing… Various people will accept power scaling and others will not due to the Roshi/farmer comparison I mentioned, and again, that instance is an outlier; an outlier is considered a rare instance that defies the average occurrence. However, these same people will accept the gravity scale done by Death Battle using the gravity formula.
The thing is, gravity scaling and power scaling are basically the same thing! Let’s justify this with evidence. After Goku finishes his training on King Kai's planet, his power level is "over 9000" but for the sake of accuracy, let's say exactly 9000.
On the way to Namek he masters 100x gravity and his base power level is said to be 90000 at this point. That's exactly an increase of 10x in both gravity tolerance and power level, showing that power level and gravity tolerance should roughly scale upward on an equal level: essentially x = y = z (x is potential, y is power level, z is gravity).
Goku's base form when he fights Frieza has a given power level of 3 million. If you use the power/gravity scale concept, that should mean he can now handle 3330x gravity (100x gravity at 90000; 3 million divided by 90000 = 33.3, so that means 100 times gravity x 33.3 = 3330x). That's way higher than what Death Battle said he can do even in the Majin Buu saga!
They say the best he could handle was 586x gravity going off the weights he lifted in Other World (which by the way was never given a definitive gravity level so they have to assume he’s on a world with gravity equal to Earth’s; another assumption in the line of many already), but if you apply to the power/gravity scale chart that is applied with his training from 10x to 100x gravity on the way to Namek, that means Goku's base power level in the Majin Buu saga is less than 600,000 (power level of 90000 at 100x gravity; 586/100 = 5.86; 5.86 x 90000 = power level of 527,400). WHAT?! How did Goku's base power in the Majin Buu saga get cut to less than 1/5 of his base power back in the Frieza saga?! Either the gravity he was in was a lot higher than normal or this was done as a product of plot induced stupidity, or again, Toriyama’s trait of being unable to remain consistent with his writing. It also should be noted Goku went from handling x10 gravity to x100 gravity in about a week; it makes no sense that he could multiply his gravity tolerance by 10 in seven days, yet he couldn’t even multiply that 100x gravity tolerance by 6 in the next ten years of constant training.
And again, using Frieza saga Goku stats that were given out (given – so not assumed or calculated with hyperbole or whatever), his power level in base form is 3 million and it’s 150 million at Super Saiyan, an exactly 50x greater. And all of his stats, such as his speed, durability and potential power all go up by 50x, this again shows that x = y and thus y = z. By the Majin Buu saga, Goku’s base power has to be at least equal to his power as a Super Saiyan in the Frieza saga. Why you ask? Supreme Kai states that all of the original Supreme Kais had enough power to defeat Frieza in one blow; Gohan in his base form is shown defeating Frieza in one blow in Fusion Reborn and Goku’s base power is greater than Gohan’s; Goku is shown to be able to swing the Z sword when the Supreme Kai couldn’t remove it from its resting place. Thus:
Majin Buu saga, Goku base form >= Frieza saga, Super Saiyan Goku
That’s low-balling it still, since Goku didn’t seem to be strong enough to beat Frieza with one blow yet back then, he just had an advantage that was sufficient to outclass Frieza.
So if power level and gravity tolerance grow about equally on a linear scale during Goku’s trip to Namek, they have to do the same at all points to be correct and consistent mathematically and physics-wise. Death Battle’s formula thus demonstrates a total lack of correctness by the laws of math and physics they claim to be following.
It should be noted just because you master a particular gravity level doesn’t mean you can’t still grow stronger in it. Goku masters 100x gravity, and Vegeta masters 450x gravity; yet both train in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber which has a mere x10 gravity, yet their one year of training there brings them up from being below Android 18’s level to above Semi-Perfect Cell for Vegeta and going toe-to-toe with Perfect Cell for Goku. Training in higher gravity just makes your training more effective because you are doing all that exercise with your body multiplied by the gravity multitude; but this doesn’t mean it’s your body’s gravity limit.
In fact, even using the power/gravity scale detailed above low-balls the character still.
When Goku fought Radditz, his power level was under 500, and it was even lower than that while he was wearing his weighted clothes. So Goku took around 6 months to cross Snake Way (183 days or so) and reach King Kai; he leaves with a power level of 9000. That’s 18 times greater than before, and yet he only trained in 10x gravity, which shows that mastering a particular magnitude of gravity doesn’t mean you can’t grow stronger while training in it.
Now by Death Battle logic, if you train in 10x gravity, your stats all increase by 10x but no more than that. Now this might be true if you just master x10 gravity and then leave, but Goku mastered 10x gravity awhile before he left King Kai’s. If Goku’s stats increased by 10x exactly, his base level against Nappa would have been under 5000; and it would have taken him 18.3 days to get back to Earth from King Kai’s but it took him about a day. That means his speed increased 183 times or so; if he increased his power by exactly 10x he would have needed a bit over 18 days to get back to Earth. Granted, Goku flew a lot of the way home, thus skipping a lot of loops and twists on Snake Way, but he ran part of the way home too when he was getting low on energy; and he also flew and jumped about part of the way to King Kai’s planet. Even factoring in the loops, which is impossible to do accurately considering there is no definite pattern, there’s no way bypassing them should have cut off 17 days of his journey. There is also no need to compensate for Goku’s weighted clothes, since he wore them both ways.
So using this example, Goku’s power level increased about 18x over and his speed increased roughly 180x over; thus the formula here appears to be x = 10y (where x is speed increase and y is power level increase).
One way or another, all these bits of evidence prove that the gravity formula used by Death Battle was wrong and by a fairly big margin.
Even after using all these flawed numbers, Death Battle claims they are pointless because the deciding factor was how the characters were designed. This is just plain ridiculous – going through all those calculations and then write them off as meaningless. If they were meaningless, they shouldn’t have been done in the first place.
Going off the character’s core doesn’t get a definite victor either. Even the reasoning they used was flawed.
“So what happens when you pit a man able to break any limit against a man who has no limits in the first place? Well only one has limits to give at all.”
This is wrong. Superman is NOT limitless. If he was, he would be Superman Prime already – completely invulnerable to everything, even Kryptonite, and he isn’t. Superman nearly died in his battle against Doomsday; he was knocked out by Hawkman with the Glove of Horus. He’s been knocked out by a supernova. A man who is limitless doesn’t show these kinds of limits, however amazing those limits are. Superman is also depicted by Death Battle as defeating his opponents with ease – and yet we see him frequently struggling with his opponents and he has even had minor defeats. Superman even admits he is limited and seems a bit envious of Green Lantern for being limited only by his imagination:
Now analyze the line “Goku can break any limit.” Did Wiz even consider what this means? It means Goku, by this logic, is also essentially limitless. If he met his limit and couldn’t beat Superman, he would just break that limit too. No matter what happens in the storyline, if Goku needs to defeat his opponent, he always finds a way in the end.
So in essence, if we go by what these characters are meant to be with their respective universes, both characters are limitless at their core. This would mean a tie. This is why you don’t go by plot devices to determine a victor for characters from different universes, it just doesn’t work.
So basically they defeated their own argument with their own words before they gave the conclusion. Epic fail.
I have just showed that the Death Battle video - time and time again - used very outdated, vague, incomplete, unreliable and outright wrong methods to determine Goku’s potential. And I’m not even doing research – I remember all of this from watching the show. The manga scans are just for reference.
So, if you are a Superman fan, you should understand the big deal about Goku's underpowered problem. If people used Superman's feats from Smallville Season 1, when he could barely outrun a bullet, and then used some choppy formula to compensate for his speed increase, you'd be pretty mad too. Or someone could abuse Superman Volume 2 #9, when the Man of Steel is knocked out by a 50-megaton nuke. Even base form Goku in the Frieza Saga could brush that off like nothing. Someone could easily grab these instances to underpower Superman so bad that Goku could defeat him without becoming a Super Saiyan. Admit it, you would be furious!
If you still believe the Death Battle was accurate after reading this far, it is clear you never had any intention of giving Goku a fair shot. These new, more accurate statistics do not guarantee Goku a victory, but it does show Goku was so underpowered in the Death Battle battle that it’s rather laughable. Especially considering the calculations of Goku’s solar system shattering powers had to be underestimated due to ambiguity as to how strong he really is.
As it is though, it’s very difficult to put numbers to Goku’s feats because of the inconsistences that plague the Dragon Ball universe. By the time Super Saiyan Goku was fighting Frieza, they need an entire planet as their battle field; later on, the Cell Games take place in so small an area that the other Z Fighters never seem to lose sight of them. Goku’s transformation into Super Saiyan 3 causes the entire planet to shake; his transformation into Super Saiyan 4 doesn’t even cause a tremor. The characters are getting stronger all the time, and yet we don’t seem to be noticing a major change in their feats, because their feats were already so amazing we’re not surprised anymore. The same could be said of Superman.
This claim is entirely fan-based. Toriyama never officially discounted GT to date, so at this point, people should fairly consider the manga the super-canon (something that takes precedence above all other publications, such as movies, anime, GT, etc.), the entire anime series to be canon, and the movies to be semi-canon. You are either a fan, a hater, or a person who could not care less about the Dragon Ball universe. No matter which of those you are, you have absolutely no authority over what is or is not canon, so stop speculating about it, because it is completely meaningless.
Now at this point, I am going to leave any further calculations to you.
Again, be fair, whoever you are rooting for.
Say we start the battle with both Goku and Superman at their best stats without outside aid. That means we start with Goku at Super Saiyan 4 with GT stats.
Perhaps seeing Goku’s incredible power output and durability, a Superman fan would say “Well fine, since Goku is so overpowered, we will give Supes a sundip before the battle to compensate.”
No – that’s cheating and you know it. That is like giving Goku a universal Spirit Bomb at the battle’s beginning. Furthermore, we don’t truly know how much more powerful Supes becomes with a sundip, so we are going outside the scope of what we do know and we wander into the unknown, and that gets us nowhere.
You can scale down back to the manga-only Goku, if you wish, but give the anime and/or GT version a look.
Also, do not grab feats and stats from various versions of Superman, then mix and match them as you please. Stick with a consistent version of Superman, and a consistent version of Goku. If you want to be truly thorough, get the stats of every version of Superman and pin them against Goku. You may have Supes winning some battles while Goku wins others, so make a table of the combatant versions and the victors.
I am not going to give you that. If you want to see my conclusion on Goku meets Superman, read my very first blog entry, and if you do not like that conclusion, you are not a true fan of Goku or Supes. What I have done is give you food for thought, so that you should walk away from this blog with a more open mind. If you want conclusive analyses on the battle, see the blogs by Heart Of Steel and Last Son of Krypton, and the blog by Kakarot88. As of the current date when this blog was written, Kakarot88 could be considered the most reliable and accurate analysis of the battle on the site – considering he has done way more research than Wiz and Boomstick, utilizing dozens of manga/comic scans to draw his conclusion. Heart Of Steel and Last Son of Krypton have a great understanding of Superman’s feats and powers, however, so you should still definitely give that blog a look.
Hoped you enjoyed the read,