Dragon Ball Super's Zombie 'Apocalypse' Does What Marvel/DC Won't
Dragon Ball Super is introducing zombies into the series canon in the same way Marvel and DC have done in the past, but DBS is doing something no one else will.
Warning! This article contains spoilers for Dragon Ball Super chapter 88
Like Marvel and DC, Dragon Ball Super joins the ranks of non-horror superhero universes that introduce zombies — except Dragon Ball Super's version of the "zombie apocalypse" does something that Marvel and DC wouldn't.
Marvel introduced Marvel Zombies long before Dragon Ball came up with the idea of using zombies as villains. In that storyline, readers were thrown into an alternate universe within the Marvel Comics multiverse, where a zombie outbreak had occurred, transforming fan-favorite heroes into vicious, bloodthirsty undead. Likewise, DC Comics has released a number of Elseworlds games called DCeased, which use a corrupted version of the Anti-Life Equation to turn superheroes into Anti-Life (essentially zombies). In both cases, Marvel and DC have used zombies as an excuse to create mature and horrific content in which the usually family-friendly heroes actually tear each other apart in morbid and violent ways - which It's the difference between Marvel and DC and Dragon Ball that's excellent.
In Akira Toriyama and Toutaro's Dragon Ball Super episode 88, Goten and Trunks are high school students who decide to use their Saiyan abilities to become superheroes. Although they usually insist on Fighting armed robbery, or any other violent crime for that matter, the two actually face a pretty big mystery in their first panel adventure. According to some sources, Capsule Corp.'s robots are regularly stolen by walking dead-like strangers. Not only that, but Goten and Trunks also hear that something strange is happening in a seemingly abandoned convenience store, and these "undead" allegedly run a fairly successful sushi restaurant. While none of this was initially confirmed, the two heroes kept trying to find out the truth - until it was revealed to readers that Goten and Trunks were dealing with something that was the exact opposite of what people would think if Marvel or DC had By any indication, expect zombie stories.
Dragon Ball Super’s Zombies are a Comedic Relief from the Violence, Unlike Marvel/DC
When this chapter introduces zombies (actually robots built from random dead bodies), they are dumb, clumsy characters doing mostly harmless things like stealing little robots and making sushi. They're not attacking people or going viral around the world, and they're certainly not creating a scene where fan-favorite Dragon Ball characters like Goku or Vegeta, Will turn into zombies - which is exactly how Marvel and DC approach their zombie-centric storylines. Marvel Zombies was just a way to show the likes of Spider-Man and Captain America enjoying human flesh for its sheer shock value, and DCeased currently has Supergirl basically ripping off Green Lantern's head for the same reason. That's not to say these storylines are bad (as they are), it's undeniable that they're also an excuse to use zombies for ultra-violent books in an effort to change the generally family-friendly environment of most of Marvel's and DC's flagship comics .
Unlike Marvel and DC, Dragon Ball has always featured severe violence, as there are gruesome deaths and planetary genocide throughout the series. Dragon Ball doesn't need an excuse to show bloody murder the way Marvel and DC do, because the comics often do. So while Marvel and DC use zombies to enhance brutality, Dragon Ball Super uses the same villains to add some much-needed silliness to an already highly violent world -- effectively doing something Marvel and DC wouldn't: make zombies fun instead of horrible.
Dragon Ball Super Chapter 88 is now available for reading.