Dragon Ball Z #2
Viz Comics (1998)
originally published by Shueiha (1985)
produced by Bird Studio
“Something Saiyan This Way Comes”
WRITER/ARTIST: Akira Toriyama
ADAPTATION: Gerald Jones
TRANSLATION: Mari Morimoto
TOUCH-UP ART/LETTERER: Wayne Truman
EDITOR: Trish Ledouz
The alien, calling himself Raditz, proclaims that Goku is actually his little brother Kakarot, and that they are both Saiyans from the doomed planet Vegeta. Kakarot was sent to Earth to destroy it, since during the full moon Saiyans turn into the giant ape that Goku turned into years ago (unknowingly killing his grandfather, little Gohan’s namesake, some time before the original Dragon Ball series began). Now he and the other two surviving Saiyans need his help to conquer a planet and wipe out the inhabitants for new inhabitants, because that’s what Saiyans do. However, a blow on the head as a kid and his friends removing Goku’s tail to keep him from transforming under a full moon means he’s not going to be much help. So Raditz kidnaps Gohan, demanding Goku become Kakarot and wipe out 100 humans, and then help conquer the other planet. Then Piccolo arrives, probably still mad Raditz brushed him off, and offering to help Goku because he has his own plans for Earth. Using the Dragon Radar to track the Dragon Ball on Gohan’s hat, the duo head off.
What they got right: I wasn’t expecting to write a summary that long. I ended up with 29 pages of story for less than you pay for 22 pages of story today. So unlike some attempts to translate manga into the US printing style it still works. The origin of Goku/Kakarot is so well done you wouldn’t realize Toriyama was making this up as he went and never had plans for Goku to have an origin, much less involving space aliens.
What they got wrong: None are really coming to mind outside of more spoilers for later Dragon Ball stories that are kind of required to understand some of the references. We got that with the TV release as well since originally we only got one season of Dragon Ball before shifting to Dragon Ball Z. The original anime was only finally translated when they ran out of Z episodes and fans demanded more.
Recommendation: The arc is starting off very well. Worth checking out for people curious about the manga or the franchise.