Bardock’s original design, Goku’s father, was recreated in Dragon Ball Super, which is a shame as his original Dragon Ball Z look held a brutal secret.
Bardock’s origin story is largely the same in both series, but he has some key differences, especially in his character design.
Despite the general plot points being the same, the changes Akira Toriyama made to Bardock’s aesthetic were frustrating for many fans, and one of the reasons is because the author took away the iconic red headband, which has a bloody history behind it.
In the episode Dragon Ball Z: Bardock – The Father of Goku , fans learn that Bardock had a squad, which were Frieza’s best soldiers, but when the tyrant learned of the Super Saiyan threat, he sent Dodoria to kill Bardock and his team.
Dodoria was responsible for killing Bardock’s team, and Bardock would find his bloodied dead teammates a short time later. There was only one survivor, who Bardock held in his arms as he dried his blood with a white cloth, and this would become Bardock’s headband.
Bardock’s headband is completely soaked in blood, hence why it’s red, something that was represented in the most hardcore of ways showing that Bardock’s original design was tougher and had a personal weight out of respect for his character.
Dragon Ball Super completely removed the headband after giving Bardock a new look, showing the Saiyan as a gentler man, which ended up robbing him of a significant part of his established lore, which was a cool appearance, important memento, and also a reminder of how brutal Dragon Ball can be.