Fans have been waiting for Dragon Ball to finally deliver the fight between Goku and Bardock

Goku vs Bardock_

 Goku and Bardock Come Face to Face in Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultra God Mission

Despite the recent attention given to Goku’s thoughts about his father Bardock in Dragon Ball, the pair have never really had a real moment with one another. Dragon Ball Super may have teased something along these lines with promotion for the Granolah arc, but ultimately delivered little more than Goku listening to some scratchy audio. Dragon Ball Heroes aims to rectify this by giving Goku and Bardock a chance to fight in person.

Meeting of Goku and Bardock:

Even with all the future timelines and alternate universe counterpart shenanigans that Dragon Ball Super has going for it, Goku and Bardock have still never met in the series canon timeline. Whether they really need to meet is an entirely different question, but Dragon Ball Super did try to tease a Goku and Bardock interaction within the Granolah arc and didn’t really deliver on it. Dragon Ball Heroes, however, is no stranger to Bardock guest appearances, and the Ultra God Mission arc grants readers a chance to see a fight between Goku and Bardock from an alternate timeline.

The Intense Battle:

In chapter 8 of Super Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultra God Mission, Goku asks Jiren to stand down while he fights the mysterious “Warrior in Black” on behalf of their timeline. Thanks to his scars and Saiyan transformations, it is very apparent that this Warrior in Black is, in fact, Bardock, the father of Goku. The two clash, and strangely enough, Bardock seems more powerful than ever before. He is able to go blow for blow with Goku using only Super Saiyan 3. This power is so intense that Goku feels pressured enough to use Ultra Instinct Sign just to stay equal in strength. Bardock is eventually overwhelmed by Goku’s Mastered Ultra Instinct and admits to his son that he is the superior fighter, granting him the ability to seek out a Time Fairy and escape the trap Aeos laid out for them a few chapters prior.

The Emotional Undercurrent:

Bardock and Goku actually fighting with each of their strongest forms is an interesting read thanks to some of the more dynamic panels, but ultimately falls flat. For what could have been a truly emotional moment between father and son, reuniting in circumstances that pit each other in a fight to the death, Dragon Ball Heroes instead opts for the ‘play it cool’ approach and downplays all previously established stakes. Dialogue in this chapter is also very sparse, and there is exactly one comment made by a fighter on the other’s power and technique.

In the end, even though Dragon Ball Heroes manages to give readers the Goku and Bardock moment Dragon Ball Super failed to deliver on, this scene still manages to come across as lackluster and unoriginal. Dragon Ball has such a unique set of interesting characters, and it’s a shame to see what could have been a truly emotional moment between Bardock and Goku more or less wasted. With the elimination of Bardock from Dragon Ball’s latest tournament, readers can only hope this isn’t the last of Goku’s father, the lone Saiyan warrior.