If you were a kid growing up in the 90’s then you’re pretty much familiar with any, and everything Dragon Ball. From the action figures to the video games this anime series is one of the most recognizable top-tier titles to ever make its way onto our VHS and DVD players. We’ve watched Goku as he grew from a powerful saiyan child, to one of Earth’s mightiest heroes. He and his friends fought against evil humans, namekians, surviving saiyans, alien warlords, androids, and so much more. Each and every villain was unique in their own way; from Cell being able to use techniques and abilities from both the Z-Fighters and past villains, to Majin Buu turning everything he hated into a cookie.
Nevertheless there have been some killer battles that have come from such villains as they square off against our heroes. Although many of them have a back story behind them as to why they became evil to begin with, one villain in particular has a rather unique backstory that has something to do with everyone’s favorite saiyan…or not. Once mysterious to us within the last three years, this dangerous villain is one of the main villains in the Dragon Ball Super ‘Future’ Trunks Arc. His name…is Goku Black.
One of the biggest questions one might ask if they’ve never seen Dragon Ball Super (before) would be this: ‘Who is Goku Black?’ Although the backstory behind this rather sadistic foe can be a difficult one to follow, we’re gonna try and break it down as much as we can – for those who are just seeing him for the first time. Even though he looks like and heavily resembles Goku in every way, shape, and form, Goku Black is not really Goku. (Let that sink in for a moment.)
Goku Black was originally in fact a God, or to put it mildly, a Kai in training. His real name was Zamasu, and he was once a good guy who was taught the ways of the Kais by his master and mentor, Gowasu. However something happened that triggered his inner rage and thus killed his master and started down a dark path of despair and destruction. Somewhere along the line he found out about the power of the Super Dragon Balls and collected all seven of them (FYI, these balls are the size of planets). He then wished to swap bodies with Goku due to the fact that he was one of the strongest warriors on the planet. What happened afterwards was nothing more than a sheer trail of carnage, death, and destruction.
Not long after destroying the Super Dragon Balls he pretty much succeeds in killing about 98% of the population in Future Trunks’ timeline. This of course leads Black on a wild goose chase after Future Trunks as the two jump from one timeline to the next. Why the two always come to a stalemate whenever they clash against one another, we’ll never know. Even though he can jump from timeline to timeline thanks to his Time Ring (that’s supposed to be used to observe a particular timeline), interference from devices that can travel through time (such as Trunk’s Time Machine) can cause Goku Black to be sucked back into his own timeline via distortion.
Goku Black was indeed a threat to anyone that dared oppose him (especially in his Super Saiyan Rose’ form), however when he crossed paths with Future Zamasu, the two decided to fuse into one and thus become an even greater threat than before. Future Zamasu was now ‘Fused Zamasu’ after fusing with Goku Black using the Potara Fusion technique that Goku and Vegeta once did to fight against Majin Buu. Because Goku Black was actually a mortal and not a God like Future Zamasu, the stabilization of their combined form fell apart right before their eyes. This gave Super Trunks the game-winning blow he needed to end Goku Black once and for all, and upon doing so gave him the “Mecha Frieza Treatment”. That move did end Black for good, but not before releasing Future Zamasu’s spirit upon the world (which was quickly short-lived thanks to Future Zen-Oh).
Thus ends the backstory and tale of the once mysterious saiyan/kai hybrid who wished nothing but death, destruction, and despair against mortals and other gods who opposed him. Goku Black was indeed the ‘evil twin’ trope that Akira Toriyama was going for, and it actually made for a rather nice arc. Will he return in a future story arc? Well, that’s up to Toriyama to decide.