The Galactic Patrol Prisoner arc of Dragon Ball Super is raising up the stakes as the series takes us back to its roots in its latest chapter. Written by series creator Akira Toriyama with art by Toyotaro, Chapter 44 of Dragon Ball Super continues the hunt for the escaped prisoner/ancient sorcerer named Moro.
In the previous chapter, Goku felt Moro's chi but the ram-looking villain also detected that Goku is trying to sense him. The opening pages of the manga develop Moro's terrifying presence as Goku describes his chi nature as a "whole lot of people screaming in pain."
Now that the Tournament of Power is over, Dragon Ball Super's latest arc can focus more on the franchise's classic plot device: the quest for the seven Dragon Balls and one scene in this chapter reveals the villain's mission to find the MacGuffins with his crook companion.
Knowing that Moro is at least 10 million-years-old, it's easy to see the villain as an overpowered sage who's probably more powerful than either Jiren or Broly. There's even a theory that claims that Moro could be the evil entity who killed Jiren's parents but there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the new villain. His grumpy-faced and cloaked figure give a sense that his strength and intelligence are superior compared to Goku's previous villains but the chapter doesn't develop his imposing power by showing us his raw power or his mastery in wizardry.
The chapter does a fine job keeping the pace suspenseful as it switches between Goku and Vegeta's investigation and Moro and his minion's plan to get the Dragon Balls from the newly-found Namekian planet. The revelation that Moro only needs one of the three wishes that the Dragon Balls can grant is a mix of mystery and terror. It makes you wonder what he's planning to wish. It looks like Moro is just using the crook to help him find the Dragon Balls. Hearing Moro say that he'll no longer require his services after finding the Dragon Balls suggests that he might kill him after they accomplish their mission.
There's an adventurous sense of seeing Moro and his comrade travel through space but it's quickly ruined by Goku's Instant Transmission to the new Namekian planet. Goku's means to travel makes him look more overpowered than the villain in this chapter. It just showed that Goku can pretty much go anywhere he wants with ease, and in this chapter, he was able to bring Vegeta with him. This made Goku and Vegeta's encounter with Moro too fast, which kind of spoiled the adventurous hunt for the escaped prisoner.
The fight against Moro came earlier than usual but this chapter shows Moro on the more defensive side. Toyotaro does a fantastic job showing the intensity of Vegeta's attacks. Moro has unleashed some of his powers but it's clear that he still has a lot of magic in his sleeves.
Final Verdict: Dragon Ball Super Chapter 44 is a welcome return to the franchise's roots thanks to how it uses the classic plot device. Moro is not your traditional Dragon Ball villain and as expected, he's probably more powerful than anyone Goku and Vegeta have faced before and the mystery makes him an intriguing character. The biggest question, of course, is how the heroic Saiyans will defeat him. The new arc promises an exciting adventure with the hunt for Moro and the seven Namekian Dragon Balls but this chapter just went as fast as Goku's Instant Transmission, spoiling the fun that we loved from the old Dragon Ball episodes. The next chapter will probably show us more of Moro's power as the end of this chapter showed off his uncloaked form but this arc is far from over.