An Overview of Broly
An overview of Broly will give you plenty of perspective into one of the most powerful villains our favorite Dragon Ball charcaters have squared off against.
Toei Animation pulls no punches when creating antagonists for the Dragon Ball series. Series protagonist Goku has gone toe-to-toe against a God of Destruction, a giant from a separate universe, and a green man with antennae.
There's a special kind of dynamic, however, when Goku faces the evil warriors of his own race. Finding out his ancestors' murky history wasn't pleasant for him, and being attacked by others of the Saiyan race probably don't help him mitigate his feelings about the origins of the Saiyans.
Vegeta, in the very early days of Dragon Ball Z, was one such opponent, and the first fight between him and Goku was an explosive one, to say the least. Nappa and Raditz are also two Saiyan characters from the old Dragon Ball Z episodes, and he fights Saiyans from Universe 6, like Cabba and Caulifla, in Dragon Ball Super.
None of them, however, are quite as formidable an enemy as Broly, the legendary Super Saiyan. He appears in several movies: The Broly Trilogy consisting of Dragon Ball Z: Broly—The Legendary Super Saiyan, Dragon Ball Z: Broly—The Second Coming, and Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly, as well as the more recent Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
He's one of many Saiyan characters, and he doesn't necessarily have the cleanest of pasts. Worst yet, the Broly trilogy, in which he originally appeared, are not considered part of the Akira Toriyama's main canon. He wasn't brought into the main storyline until Dragon Ball Super: Broly; and that's why it can get a bit confusing as to where he fits in in the Dragon Ball universe. So, in order to clear things up a bit, here's an overview of Broly.
The Stuff of Legends
A myth circulating that the Saiyan society on the Planet Vegeta was that of the Legendary Super Saiyan, an overcharged individual only appearing once every thousand years.
As it happens, Broly turned out to be that individual.
Broly was the son of a relatively unimportant Saiyan named Paragus, so it came as a surprise when his battle power, as an infant, was high enough to break the measuring device, and high enough to even rival that of Prince Vegeta, who was kept in the same nursery. King Vegeta, upon finding this out, decided to have Broly sent away to the Planet Vampa.
In the argument between King Vegeta and Paragus, there were two main explanations brought up for King Vegeta's behavior. The king insisted that Broly's power levels will render him unstable or otherwise unable to control himself, and that he was a threat to all Saiyans everywhere. Paragus believed that he was intimidated by Broly's potential and that he would usurp the throne.
As Paragus stole a ship to be with his young son on Vampa, it seemed as though the latter were the sole truth.
Broly's power, already absurdly high, only continued to grow from the time he was an infant. Between plotting his revenge on King Vegeta and surviving on such a desolate planet, nurturing Broly and giving him the ability to control himself proved to be too much for Paragus. The only solution he was able to conjure up was to place a collar on his son that would shock him when he got out of control, making little more than a slave out of him.
In their alliance with Frieza in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Paragus and Broly were determined to defeat Goku and Vegeta, and the fight went back and forth for a long while. In possibly the hardest fight of his life, Broly's power reached new heights. He lost all control over himself, and as Paragus had lost the collar's remote, he was unable to stop his son from reaching this insane level of power. Broly's physical form swelled up into an unrecognizable, roaring beast while his consciousness faded away. The result? He attacked whomever was in front of him—and it became apparent that King Vegeta's point was made with confidence.
Though they are both powerful Saiyans, Goku and Vegeta had to rely less on brute force—a fight they'd probably never win, even working together—and use the calm focus that Super Saiyan Blue form allowed them. In his berserker state, they had an easy time outsmarting him. They turned Broly on Frieza, and left the area for a short time to fuse into Gogeta.
Yet, even being overwhelmed by Gogeta Blue, Broly kept pressing forward in what may have been courage, but was more likely pure animal instinct.
In the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly—The Legendary Super Saiyan, before Goku and Vegeta had learned to reach the heights of Super Saiyan transformations, Broly beat Goku, Vegeta, Trunks, and Piccolo to a pulp. Vegeta, Trunks, and Piccolo were face down on the cold stone, and Goku looked more like a zombie than one of the proud Saiyan warriors facing Broly at the beginning of the confrontation. To defeat him, Goku absorbed the power of his three comrades, much to Prince Vegeta's chagrin.
The Non-Canon Story and the Canon Story
There are plenty of differentiations between the canon plot and Broly's original plotline. Toriyama made changes in order to better fit the character into the timeline, but the main difference is Broly himself; more specifically, his personality before he was placed under Paragus's mind control.
As Paragus explained in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Broly—The Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly was wild and reckless as a child, only growing more malicious as he got older. Paragus was forced to use the mind control device on him for his own safety and the safety of others. In Dragon Ball Super: Broly however, Broly was naturally kind-hearted and shy, never having had a chance to fully develop his personality on his own. He went so far as to beat up a Frieza Force member who was harassing his friend, and to carry around a piece of his animal friend's ear that his father had cut off. It's a little gross, but it came from a place of compassion.
The latest rendition of Broly certainly opens up possibilities for more character development and an interesting relationship with the protagonists of Dragon Ball Super. Regardless of if he becomes an antagonist or protagonist though, he will pose an interesting challenge to Goku, forcing our hero to become stronger before the next time the two meet.
Broly is one of the strongest of the Saiyan race, and it looks like this isn't going to be the last time Broly and Goku meet. If nothing else, this overview of Broly should help you understand his past; but those of you who are fans out there should definitely expect, and maybe even look forward to, his next appearance as either friend or foe. Regardless of whose side he's on though, he'll be sure to be one of the strongest Dragon Ball characters.