WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "The Ultimate Enemy Approaches Goku!, Now, Let Loose! The Killer Spirit Bomb!," the 109th episode of Dragon Ball Super, which debuted Saturday on Adult Swim.
As the various realities of the Dragon Ball Multiverse battle for survival during the Tournament of Power, the most powerful fighter in the entire multiversal martial arts content takes center stage in the latest episode of Dragon Ball Super... and it isn't Goku. At least, not yet.
Jiren, the Pride Trooper from Universe 11, returns to the fray after spending the past several episodes largely watching from the sidelines, intervening only when he feels his participation in the ongoing battle royale justifiably necessary. As Goku's fight with Universe 2's champion Ribrianne begins to intensify, prompting a powerful transformation from the love goddess, Jiren is contacted telepathically by the God of Destruction from his universe, Vermoud.
As Goku unleashes his Super Saiyan Blue form and proves more than a match for Ribrianne, he reveals himself as the strongest fighter of all the champions active on the battlefield. Seeking to demoralize the other realities with Universe 11's own superior display of power, Vermoud encourages Jiren to re-enter the fight and take down Goku. Jiren's challenge is answered in kind, with Goku powering up to the most powerful state he has used thus far: Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-Ken, multiplied by a factor of 20. Despite this, Jiren is completely unimpressed and continues to easily overpower the Universe 7 Saiyan.
Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-Ken x20 had first been used by Goku during the Tournament of Destruction against Universe 6's Hit to turn the tide of battle. Augmenting Goku's already incredible power levels beyond their natural limits, and the subsequent the ineffectiveness of the enhanced state against Jiren reveals that the Pride Trooper is leagues stronger than anyone Goku has ever faced thus far -- and significantly more powerful than Goku himself.
Desperate, Goku decides to charge his strongest attack, the Spirit Bomb, to use against Jiren. As Goku draws upon his teammates' strength to generate the massive energy ball, a completely unfazed Jiren allows Goku to power it to its maximum potential, waiting patiently in the arena. Goku launches the fully-charged projectile, only for the Universe 11 champion to redirect it towards Goku with a single hand... even after the longtime protagonist had powered-up to Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-Ken x20 once more.
The Spirit Bomb has long been Goku's ultimate attack, used to defeat Majin Buu in the climax of Dragon Ball Z and numerous other foes across the non-canonical animated spinoff films. Due to the time it takes to charge, it is often used as a last resort. In fact, Jiren is the first canonical Dragon Ball antagonist to allow Goku to take all the time he needs to gather power and launch it against him.
Able to not only outmatch Goku as he pushes past his physical limits using Super Saiyan Blue Kaio-Ken x20, but also take control of the Spirit Bomb himself, literally singlehandedly, the Universe 11 Pride Trooper has firmly cemented himself as the strongest antagonist the series has shown thus far. Unfazed by Goku in his amplified state, he is even stronger than the new opponents introduced in Dragon Ball Super including Beerus, Zamasu and Hit, placing him in a league of his own. Goku will have to miraculously discover new depths of power within himself if he hopes to survive the ongoing battle and his own redirected Spirit Bomb.
Newly translated episodes of Dragon Ball Super air on Saturdays at 11 pm ET/PT on Adult Swim.