Dragon Ball’s Goku and Superman are two of the most important superheroes ever put on the screens after human imagination went wild. Numerous movies and TV series have the two superheroes in the main roles. While Goku first appeared in a Dragon Ball manga back in 1984 after being created by Akira Toriyama, Superman was first “given life” by the Canadian-American comic artist Joe Shuster and the American comic book writer Jerry Siegel and first appeared in 1938 in a comic book.
Although the Superman character was created much earlier than Goku from Dragon Ball, the two superheroes have some pretty interesting similarities. Let’s cut to the chase:
Goku vs. Superman: What are the similarities?
1. Both are aliens
Both Goku and Superman came to Earth from other planets. Both of them are aliens, which partially explains their superhuman strength. Furthermore, both of them have some supernatural techniques. Goku, for instance, is known for his instant transmission technique, which allows him to teleport himself, or his Spirit Bomb move, which is a huge ball of energy obtained from the powers of many life forms that exist nearby. Superman, on the other hand, can shoot laser beams from his eyes and see through walls, among other supernatural techniques.
Both Superman and Goku were sent to Earth in a spaceship by their family when they were only babies. Superman is from planet Krypton, while Goku is a member of the Saiyan Race from planet Vegeta. The two characters were taken care of by Earthlings when they were babies, so they’ve established a new family on Earth. That’s one of the most striking similarities between the two superheroes.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that Goku finds out about his true origin as an alien only in early Dragon Ball Z. Until that moment, throughout the entire Dragon Ball series, when Goku was a child, he had no idea that he was not from planet Earth.
2. Both have superhuman strength
As we said, both Superman and Goku are known for possessing superhuman strength. It would be almost impossible to say which one of these two beloved superheroes is stronger, as that is one of the most burning debates among the fans. Both are strong enough to lift planes, buildings, and more.
3. Both can fly
Goku and Superman both have the ability to fly without any exterior help. It’s hard to tell which one of them is able to fly faster, but they generally never have a problem defying gravity if they need to.
4. Both have the goal to protect the innocent
The very definition of a superhero is to protect the good people, and both Goku and Superman fit for that role very well. The two characters often need to protect the innocent from exterior threats such as aliens, robots, and so on.
Goku vs. Superman: What are the differences?
1. Goku always aims to become stronger
Goku often trains and reaches new heights and transformations when it comes to his power level, and we can’t say the same about Superman. Dragon Ball adds a strong focus on the protagonists’ predilection for always becoming stronger and trying to ascend even more.
2. Goku has powerful allies
Throughout the Dragon Ball franchise, Goku is sometimes in the shadow of his allies, such as Vegeta, Piccolo, his son Gohan, and others. In many situations, Goku receives crucial help from his allies in order to take down the major threat. We can’t say the same about Superman, who acts almost completely alone in his quest to protect the innocent.
3. Superman has weaknesses
Superman can easily be defeated if he gets exposed to Kryptonite, which is a substance from his home planet called Krypton. Additionally, the American superhero is also vulnerable to red sun radiation, which can depower him.
As for the Japanese character Son Goku, the beloved Saiyan doesn’t have any weaknesses once he becomes an adult. When he was a child, his weakness was when someone grabbed his tail. That caused Goku to completely lose his powers and be as useless as a very old and feeble man. But that was only during the first Dragon Ball series when Goku was a child. Later on in the Dragon Ball Z series, Goku got rid of his tail and his weakness automatically. However, even in the first Dragon Ball series, Goku learned at some point to control his weakness. Goku was a lot more important for mankind in Dragon Ball Z/Super/GT, when he didn’t have a tail anymore.
In other words, we can say that Superman is much “weaker” than Goku, although the Saiyan isn’t perfect.
4. Different origins for their powers
The powers of Superman came as a result of the Earth’s yellow sun. Therefore, Superman is capable of super strength, super vision, X-ray vision, flying, and more. Very rarely could you find someone who can go toe to toe with Superman. As for Goku, his powers come from regular training in martial arts, as the beloved Saiyan had plenty of masters who helped him become stronger: Master Roshi, Kami, King Kai, Whis, Elder Kai, and others. As a member of the Saiyan race, Goku also has the ability to become stronger after each battle, especially if a battle causes him near-fatal injuries.
There’s no denying that both Superman and Dragon Ball’s Goku have their charm, and it would be nice to find out an irrefutable answer to the age-old question “Can Goku beat Superman or viceverse?”.