Why is Broly from ‘Dragon Ball Z’ so strong?

Dragon Ball Z was an action anime series that ran for nine seasons. It centered around the Sayian fighter Goku, who came to Earth when he was a baby. During the series, its spin-offs, and the multiple games, many worthy and powerful fighters were lined up to fight Goku. One of the most powerful of those fighters was a fellow Sayian named Broly.

Broly was first introduced in the film spin-off Dragon Ball Z: Broly — The Legendary Super Sayian, which was released in 1993 in Japan. However, Broly was not one of the main characters or a feature in any arcs in the main series therefore he was lacking in the original manga and anime. Due to Broly not having a mainline of continuity, his power level and abilities vary quite a bit, unlike other Saiyans, like Goku, Gohan, or Vegeta whose progression tended to be more linear. Because of that, Broly ends up at various power levels, becoming stronger the more he appears to match whoever he is fighting. Let’s take a look at why the muscled, green-haired Sayian is so strong.

The Legendary Super Saiyan

Dragon Ball Z: Broly — The Legendary Super Saiyan introduced Broly into the Dragon Ball Z timeline and took place during the Cell Saga. Goku was called to King Kai’s world to try and stop the massive power that was wrecking the galaxy. At the same time, a Saiyan man named Paragus arrived on Earth in a spaceship, telling Vegeta that he was a Saiyan who survived Planet Vegeta’s explosion. Paragus invited Vegeta to a new planet, claiming to have built up a new Planet Vegeta to honor Vegeta’s legacy as the prince. But to claim the planet, he had to stop the powerful force that was destroying the galaxy, The Legendary Super Saiyan.

Vegeta agreed, and so without knowing it, Goku and Vegeta had the same target. Before Vegeta could find the strong Saiyan, he met Paragus’s son, Broly. Broly was shy, unassuming, and didn’t look like the strong warrior type. It was revealed through flashbacks that King Vegeta attempted to kill Paragus and Broly, throwing them off the planet, because Broly’s power level was unlike any other child. As a child, training, and fighting with his father, Broly became increasingly strong and harder to influence. To protect the world, his father forced a collar onto Broly, one that would allow Paragus to control him, quelling his rage. But Paragus realized he could use Broly’s power, the power of the Legendary Super Saiyan, to focus his attacks, getting revenge on Vegeta for his father’s mistreatment of his family.

The plan Paragus had laid out for Vegeta was to let a comet impact this New Vegeta, killing Vegeta in the process. But Paragus did not plan on Broly’s latent energy being unleashed by Goku showing up. As a child, before he was sent off-planet, Broly lay next to Goku, then known as Kakarot, in the nursery on Planet Vegeta. Even though Broly’s power level was off the charts, he was a quiet baby. Kakarot on the other hand was weak for a Saiyan, and could not stop crying. His crying agitated Broly as a baby and hearing Goku’s voice as an adult infuriated him as well. 

Broly’s sheer power stemmed from his hatred and rage and this activated his true Legendary Super Saiyan form. The power was just strong enough to break free from the collar and bracelets that Paragus used to control Broly. Once he transformed into a Super Saiyan, Vegeta attempted to take him down and failed. Once he transformed into the Legendary Super Saiyan, things escalated. All the Saiyans are driven by different emotions, Goku was driven by his need to have fun with his opponents, to win. Vegeta was driven to be stronger than Goku. Broly was only driven by rage. Therefore, the more the team of Vegeta, Goku, Gohan, Trunks, Piccolo, and Master Roshi, fought against him, the seemingly more powerful he became, capable of and willing to destroy whole planets. 

Fortunately, Goku borrowing the energy of the rest of the group was strong enough to whittle down the hulking beast. Not before he took revenge on his father, destroying the pod Paragus was in, using it to flee the planet before it was destroyed by the comet. By throwing the pod into the comet, Broly killed his father and guaranteed nobody would control him again. After Goku managed to defeat him, Broly was presumed to be dead, and Goku used instant transmission to take everyone back to Earth. 

Second Coming

It wouldn’t be until the next film Dragon Ball Z: Broly — Second Coming, which was released in Japan in 1994, that we found out Broly had survived, escaped in a pod which crash-landed on Earth. Broly does not really exceed the powers he had in the original film in the sequel by much. But it is possible, and likely, that Broly increased his power because he was a Saiyan. Saiyan Power was well documented throughout the original series, with Goku becoming stronger after each near-death experience or in some cases after he had died. The same power would be activated for any Saiyan who had gone through a similar experience. In normal battles, if a Saiyan fighter, because of their warrior genes, were to be brought to death, their bodies would learn from the experience and become stronger for it. Presumably, this same latent power was brought out in Broly after his near-death on the new Planet Vegeta, at the hands of Goku.

Where a powered-up Goku managed to defeat Broly in the first film, the second film played out a little differently. Goku had recently died, before the events of the second film, giving up his own life to save the Earth from the self-destructing Cell, who was also able to grow stronger because of his latent genes. So Goku would again, be stronger, that and he was training while he was dead. Broly was dormant, lying in his pod until he heard Goten, Goku’s son. Broly ran into Goten and Trunks, and seeing and hearing Goten was enough to activate his anger, because Goten looked like Goku did when he was a child. 

In the end, it took Goku to come back for Broly to be defeated. Gohan, Goku, and Goten combined, all in their Super Saiyan forms, with Gohan in his Super Saiyan 2 form launched a devastating Combined Kamehameha attack. Even that did not prove enough as Broly defended himself against their attack. It took Trunks who fired a ki ball at Broly, which broke his defense and allowed the Kamehameha to reach him, blasting the overpowered Legendary Super Saiyan into the sun. So, Broly was no more. But it wouldn’t be the first time that Dragon Ball had resurrected somebody. 


Dragon Ball Z: Bio-Broly was also released in Japan in 1994. Broly is technically not in this movie, as the plot revolves around a rich man, Mr. Satan, who wants to get back at Hercule, and unseat him as the strongest fighter on Earth. To do this he employs scientists to create biologically engineered fighters, which look like monsters. These creatures were easily dispatched by Android 18, Goten, and Trunks, but when Goten and Trunks ventured into their laboratory, they found Broly. This biologically engineered clone of Broly is less powerful than the original which died in the second film. The biological improvements also led to his downfall, but he is also taken down by Krillin, Android 18, Goten, and Trunks. But even if he was stronger, he’s not Broly so let’s move on. It is worth noting that King Kai tells Goku, Goku is still dead at this point, that Broly is causing havoc in hell, so The Legendary Super Saiyan was dead, but still pretty strong.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly

The last and strongest version of Broly was not introduced in Dragon Ball Z. Instead the character was retconned for Dragon Ball Super. This version of Broly was introduced in the 2018 film Dragon Ball Super: Broly. This time Broly would go up against the Goku and Vegeta of Dragon Ball Super which took place after Dragon Ball Z. This version of the character had a completely different origin, retconning the Broly from The Legendary Super Saiyan. This time, Broly was sent to an inhospitable planet, to conquer it as a child. Paragus, his father, aware of King Vegeta’s jealousy with regards to just how powerful his son was becoming compared to his own, stole a ship to join his son and take him away from that planet.

At the same time, Bardock and Gine, Goku’s parents, were sending Kakarot off to Earth, so he could live a better life because Bardock knew that Frieza was about to wipe out the Saiyans. Therefore, Broly didn’t have the same anger towards Kakarot as his previous incarnation did. The film then jumped forward to Dragon Ball Super, after the events of The Tournament of Power. Goku and Vegeta prepared for the newly resurrected Frieza to come to Earth to fight. Frieza had dispatched some of the Frieza Force to collect the Dragon Balls, so they assumed that their fight had arrived.

Meanwhile, Cheelai and Lemo, two members of the Frieza Force had practically stumbled upon Paragus and Broly. Paragus was older, weathered, but Broly was strong, in his prime. Seeing that Broly was powerful, they delivered the pair to Frieza. Paragus, obsessed with getting revenge on King Vegeta for exiling Broly, was practically salivating at the chance to unleash Broly on Vegeta, once Frieza told Paragus that he was still alive. They made their way to Earth as the troubled Broly recounted a sad tale from his life to Cheelai and Lemo. 

This Broly was angry, but not toward Goku. Paragus had been rough on him his entire life, he made him fight, for one day Broly might have a chance to get revenge for what occurred on Planet Vegeta. So when he was unleashed on Earth, he attacked Vegeta after being commanded by his father. While Vegeta started the fight without feeling much pressure, he quickly transformed into a Super Saiyan, something which Broly nor Paragus had ever seen. After Broly matched his strength, Vegeta found it necessary to transform into a Super Saiyan God, sending Broly into a mountain. 

However, Broly was special. A Saiyan without a tail, Broly could somehow tap into the energy of a Great Ape, without the transformation, thus without the drawbacks. Normally, when Saiyans look into a full moon, they turn into a Great Ape and are at their highest power, but they are also slow because of their size. The only negative was that this Wrathful state could not be controlled. Goku joined the battle after Vegeta’s attempt to defeat the Wrathful Saiyan and eventually used his Super Saiyan Blue form against Broly.

Each step of the way, Broly got more powerful, but seeing him struggle against Goku made Frieza concerned. To power up Broly even further, Frieza executed Paragus and called out to Broly to make it seem like a stray blast. This worked and Broly became a Super Saiyan for the first time, which was more than Goku and Vegeta in their Super Saiyan Blue forms could handle. The pair managed to escape, biding time so they could perform the fusion dance to become Gogeta. It is important to note that at this point Broly was so strong that Golden Formed Frieza managed to hold him off for an hour, and Whis dodged his attacks as well. 

This version of Broly was stronger than the previous version because he could harness the Great Ape’s power while sustaining the Super Saiyan form. It took the amplified power of Goku and Vegeta’s Super Saiyan Blue fusion form to defeat Broly, but before they could Cheelai used the Dragon Balls to send Broly back to the planet they found him on. Broly was safe; his father was dead. He was back to his old life, but this time he had friends. However, Frieza made it known that his intention was to use Broly to get revenge on the Saiyans still. But Goku was the one that gave the three supplies, to keep Broly strong. Because Goku enjoyed fighting Broly, and Broly seemingly wanted to fight again too. That’s when Goku claims that Broly might be stronger than Beerus, The God of Destruction, and tells him that his name is Kakarot, a nod to Broly’s motivations in the first series of films.

There you have it. Broly’s strength comes from different places depending on his story. In Dragon Ball Z, it’s because of his hatred of Goku and his status as the Legendary Super Saiyan, and in Dragon Ball Super, it is because the character can harness the powers of the Great Ape and because he was treated harshly by his father, and therefore was filled with rage. There is always the chance Broly could come back though, stronger than before, in a new Dragon Ball Super film.