Spoilers for One-Punch Man, Japanese chapter 165
The ever-rising power levels of One-Punch Man characters are a fundamental part of its Shonen action satire, but the latest power-up that Garou wields has already hit the point of being one of the most dangerous forces in the universe.
Since the assault on the Monster Association headquarters began in One-Punch Man, Garou has seen a phenomenal increase in power, despite this arc having only covered a few hours worth of real-time. He first began to take on more monstrous characteristics, followed by a type of jet-black natural armor. His form for battling Saitama featured demon wings and copious amounts of spikes, and now, having been touched by One-Punch Man‘s malicious God, Garou’s black armor has become a space-like void, dotted with stars and galaxies.
With this latest power-up, Garou has gained access to some truly incredible abilities, even considering his previous absurd feats, like karate chopping Centisennin, One-Punch Man’s towering centipede monster, in half. His new most powerful trick is the “All Life Eradication Fist,” which explicitly unleashes the full power of the natural phenomena known as a Gamma-Ray Burst. Fans of Western comics are likely familiar with Gamma Rays in a general sense, as these were the original source of the Hulk’s powers, but not everyone knows that these rays are based on a real thing.
In reality, a Gamma-Ray Burst is a massive outpouring of gamma radiation energy from a star, believed to be the result of a star turning into a black hole or neutron star at the end of its life cycle. While “burst” gives the impression of a short release, they can actually last for anywhere from milliseconds to hours–brief for a star’s lifetime, certainly, but not in human terms. Gamma-ray bursts are also exceptionally deadly–as high energy radiation, it would cause the complex molecules that makeup lifeforms to break down, potentially wiping out all life on a planet in an instant, even from thousands of lightyears away. Garou literally has the most destructive force in the universe in his hands now, and it’s only thanks to Saitama redirecting Garou’s powerful attack that he didn’t accidentally kill everyone else. While granting him this power certainly fits with the evil God’s end goals of eliminating humanity, it does seem like something Garou–or at least, the old Garou–wouldn’t want to use.
It’s probably a safe assumption that Garou doesn’t know much about astrophysics, so he may not be aware of just how lethal his newest attack is. Still, given how set he is on defeating Saitama, even finding this out seems unlikely to change his mind. Garou’s new power definitely comes at a heavy price, but it remains to be seen if that price includes the life of everything on One-Punch Man‘s planet Earth.