Super and GT aren’t the only Dragon Ball sequels. Dragon Ball Multiverse may be a fan creation, but it captures the charm of the original story.
For many people growing up during the 90s and 2000s watching Dragon Ball Z was their first introduction to the world of action anime. Akira Toriyama’s martial arts manga may have begun as a lighthearted parody of “Journey to the West” but it quickly evolved into one of the most successful action series of all time and a cornerstone of modern anime.
When DBZ was finally given an official sequel in the form of Dragon Ball Super, fans were ecstatic for a chance to expand the world of Dragon Ball and see what happens next. But diehard DBZ fans will be pleased to know that there’s another unofficial sequel to Dragon Ball Z that deals with the same concept of parallel universes fighting in a tournament that was introduced in Super. And amazingly this comic actually predates Super by 7 years.
Dragon Ball Multiverse is a long-running webcomic that first appeared on the internet in March 2008 and has been going strong ever since. The comic was originally made by the French writer/artist duo of Saligar and Gogeta Jr., but Gogeta Jr. left the project in 2012 and was replaced by a new artist named Asura. The plot of the webcomic is eerily similar to the tournament of power arc from Super as it features Goku, Vegeta, and friends discovering there are many different parallel universes alongside their own and then being invited to join a multiversal tournament against the other universes. Unlike Super’s tournament of power this tournament is being held purely for entertainment purposes so unlike the Tournament of power, there are no stakes in losing-at least not until the various villains from the parallel worlds start meddling with the tournament that is. Along with the main story, Dragon Ball Multiverse also features several Special chapters drawn by various guest artists that showcase the history of the various alternate universes and how they diverge from the “main” universe of DBZ.
Speaking of art, the art for Multiverse is the most striking thing about the webcomic since the series manages to imitate Toriyama’s iconic style down to a T. Because of this, the main story of Multiverse ends up looking like some of the best Dragon Ball fanart out there. Like the original Dragon Ball the biggest strengths of Multiverse comes from the well drawn and surprisingly creative fight scenes that lets characters fight people they never got to face in canon.
The biggest difference between Multiverse and Super is in how the two of them handle their alternate universe premise. Out of the 20 different universes fighting in Multiverse’s gargantuan tournament, most universes are alternate history takes of the original Dragon Ball. The “main” universe in the story (Universe 18, not Universe 7 like in Super) is contrasted with several “what-if” scenarios based on the plot of Dragon Ball. What if the Namekians had united together to defeat Freiza? What if Cell killed Gohan? What if there was no Goku and Earthlings managed to fight off Saiyins on their own? Dragon Ball Multiverse takes the idea of parallel universes (a staple in comic books) and applies it to the rich world of Dragon Ball. By contrast, most of the universes featured in Dragon Ball Super have little to do with the original timeline, and this can make fights between characters seem less interesting.
What separates Dragon Ball Multiverse from other, similar fan projects and webcomics is the sheer dedication and attention to detail from the creators. While Akira Toriyama himself is somewhat infamous for his forgetfulness Multiverse has been able to consistently balance official continuity with its own ideas and concepts for over a decade now. The webcomic shows no signs of ending anytime soon, and it’s already been translated into over 30 different languages for easy accessibility. Any fans of Dragon Ball Z owe it to themselves to check out Dragon Ball Multiverse, one of the most ambitious fan projects in Dragon Ball history. The comic can be easily found on its official website right here.