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Goku Became Dragon Ball’s ‘Spider-Man’ in a Disgustingly Literal Way

Goku’s origin makes him eerily similar to Superman, but it’s his transformation into Spider-Man that is impossible to forget.

While Goku has long-been compared to Superman because of the two heroes’ incredibly similar origin stories and shared purpose on Earth, Goku traded in his fan-given title of Dragon Ball’s Man of Steel to become ‘Spider-Man’ in a disgustingly literal way.

Goku is a Saiyan who was born on his home world of Planet Vegeta and was sent to Earth as an infant after his parents learned that their planet would soon be obliterated. Similarly, Superman aka Kal-El was born on Planet Krypton and was also sent to Earth as an infant after his parents learned that their planet was on the verge of total annihilation. Once both heroes were on Earth, Goku and Superman became the prime protectors of their respective new worlds. Because of these similarities, Goku has constantly been compared to Superman by fans, but the truth is, the two are actually incredibly different. Superman and Goku share almost none of the same powers beyond flight, and Goku is an air-head who loves fighting above all else while Superman has never sought battle and only fights to save the lives of others. Despite the obvious differences, fans maintain the connection between the two heroes due to the loose parallels in their origin–though Goku’s subtle connection to Spider-Man is arguably just as strong, and way more literal.


Related: Dragon Ball Has A Hulk Even Scarier than Marvel’s

In Dragon Ball chapter 132 by Akira Toriyama, Goku is fighting in the Tenkaichi Budokai against the villainous Tien–a fighter who doesn’t care about killing his opponent as he was training to be the world’s greatest assassin. Since Tien wasn’t holding back and delivered blows that were threatening to Goku’s life, Goku decided to return the favor and shifted his fighting style from ‘tournament’ to ‘combat’ and let loose his most powerful moves. In an effort to make himself even more deadly, Tien grew two extra arms out of his back so that he could literally hit Goku twice as hard. In response, Goku said, “If you’re gonna have 4 arms, I’ll have 8!!” and proceeded to move his arms so quickly that it appeared as though he literally grew six more arms from his side just as Tien grew two more from his back.

When Goku seemingly had eight arms, he literally became a spider-man as it looked like he had eight arms growing out of his humanoid form. This is a hilarious connection to Spider-Man as it gives Goku his own spin on the moniker held by the widely popular Marvel Comics hero. Just as Peter Parker became Spider-Man after gaining the powers of a spider, Goku became a more literal spider-man after ‘growing’ the same amount of limbs as a spider, just in the form of a man. However, despite the fact that Goku literally became a spider-man, he shares no other attributes with the webslinger aside from the clever play on the Marvel hero’s name–which actually makes him just as much like Spider-Man as he is like Superman.

Superman and Goku don’t really have anything in common aside from their origin, and in the same vein, Goku and Spider-Man don’t really have anything in common besides the perceived extra appendages Goku sported in this chapter. However, while their origins make Superman and Goku comparable, Goku becomes Dragon Ball’s ‘Spider-Man in a much more literal way–with the only similarity being the fact that each of them became spider-men in their own unique (and in Goku’s case, ridiculous) ways.

Next: Dragon Ball Already Has its Own Superman (And It Isn’t Goku)

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