The following article contains spoilers for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.
The newest movie in the Dragon Ball franchise is here, as the follow-up to Dragon Ball Super: Broly, Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, has finally arrived in theaters. The film features the return of the Red Ribbon Army, as Piccolo attempts to stop them from achieving their evil goals while getting Gohan to fight again after he abandoned his training.
Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero makes many references to the Dragon Ball franchise, especially to the events in the Cell Saga in Dragon Ball Z. With Gohan donning Piccolo’s Demon Clothes again, and the newly created androids causing chaos for the fighters, we can’t help but wonder: does Cell return? Let’s take a look at the events of the film, and explain how Cell may or may not have returned.
Is Cell in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero?
Around halfway through Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero its revealed that Magenta, the leader of the Red Ribbon Army, ordered his new employee Dr. Hedo to create not only a few androids, but a new Cell as well. But does this mean that Cell is in the new film? Well, not exactly. Cell died when Gohan used the Father-Son Kamehameha at the end of the Cell Games Saga.
While Cell does not return in Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero, an upgraded version of him did. This version, created by Dr. Hedo, is dubbed Cell Max. Cell Max assumes the appearance of Semi-Perfect Cell, which might mean he absorbed an android before he was unleashed. He is much larger than the original Cell, probably around the same size as a Great Ape. Cell Max probably would have been stronger than Perfect Cell if he had managed to achieve that form. Ultimately, he was killed by the fighters before he could get the chance.
While Cell Max is made by Dr. Hedo to be more powerful than the original Cell, he creates him with one weakness. Should his head be destroyed, Cell Max would die and let off a large explosion as he did. And that is just what the fighters did. Piccolo matches Cell Max’s size and holds him down while Gohan achieves a new form — Gohan Beast. Gohan Beast proves to be much more powerful than Cell Max and, using Piccolo’s Special Beam Cannon, Gohan Beast destroyed Cell Max’s head. Funnily enough, the original Cell probably would have survived the attack, considering he could have come back as long as some part of his nucleus remained intact.
Ultimately we will never know just how powerful Cell Max could have become, as he is beaten quite easily by Gohan Beast. It is heavily inferred in the film that when Gohan takes on the form he becomes the strongest being on Earth, perhaps even rivaling his father Goku, or Vegeta. While they made it clear that Cell Max would die if his head was destroyed, they could easily bring back the character by tying his survival back to how the original Cell survives. If they did this it would be interesting to see what would have happened if Cell Max had absorbed someone else.
Furthermore, a large part of Cell’s origins in the original Dragon Ball Z revolves around the fact that he is created using DNA from Goku, Piccolo, Frieza, and Vegeta among others, and therefore he could use the Kamehameha technique and heal quickly and easily. It would have been interesting to see what a Cell would have looked like if he was made from the DNA of Beerus, or someone even more powerful from Dragon Ball Super.
So that is the short-lived run of Cell Max. Just like the original Cell, he is defeated by Gohan while Goku was off-world. It is great that they decided to create a new version of Cell for Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero as they already brought back Frieza earlier in Dragon Ball Super. Bringing back all of the dead villains of Dragon Ball Z would feel like a cop-out. Although if they had, it would have only ben a single blemish on an otherwise brilliant entry into the Dragon Ball franchise.
Catch Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero while it is in theaters now.