In chapter 81 of Dragon Ball Super, Gas notes a major difference between Goku and his father Bardock proving fans have been wrong about his retcon.
Warning! Spoilers ahead for Dragon Ball Super chapter 81!
Although his father died a long time ago, Goku is fighting against a Heeter Force member named Gas who battled against Bardock before the Saiyan’s untimely death. Gas, therefore, knows a thing or two about Bardock, and since he’s currently exchanging blows with the Saiyan’s son, he’s able to make some comparisons. Fortunately for fans, Gas shares one of them to Goku in chapter 81, noting that Goku doesn’t have the same fire in his eyes as his father did nor does he share the same resolve, one so fierce that Gas has been unable to attribute it to any other warrior since then.
What’s important is what Goku says next. Goku explains that he lost all memories of his father and fellow Saiyans when he sustained severe head trauma as a child. Fans have always known that Goku’s destructive tendencies disappeared when he hit his head, but the fact that the distinction was strong enough for Gas to take notice proves just how much of a typical Saiyan Bardock actually was. This is crucial since many fans erroneously believe that Dragon Ball Super‘s retcon of Bardock makes him weaker than how he was originally portrayed in the 1990s film Bardock: The Father of Goku.
Most of the backlash derives from how Bardock actually saves the Cerealians Granolah and his mother when Frieza had tasked him with wiping out everyone on planet Cereal. Up until that point, fans never saw him slaughter his victims as he did in Bardock: The Father of Goku. Instead, his retcon saves the first enemies readers see him engaging with. To add insult to injury, it’s heavily implied that Bardock shows them mercy because they reminded him of his own wife and son when the original Bardock not only avoided Goku when he was first born but only expressed disgust at his low level when he first laid eyes on him. Then in a later chapter of Dragon Ball Super, Bardock starts fighting Gas but only to protect Granolah.
What these critical fans want is a more bloodthirsty and unempathetic version of Bardock. Even though mangaka Akira Toriyama has only shown a select few moments of this retconned character, these fans somehow came to the conclusion that this must mean that Bardock has always been this forgiving and soft. But now Toriyama has proven that Bardock not only possessed the same fire and bloodlust as typical Saiyans before his death but that he was the complete opposite of Goku who is nothing like most Saiyans. Additionally, these upset fans need to realize that even the heartless Bardock from the 1990s film ended up changing his ways right before he died. He even articulated regret as a spirit about having never held Goku in his arms when he was still alive. All versions of Bardock are capable of love and, as Dragon Ball Super just showed, they are also just as brutal and violent.
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