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One-Punch Man: Will King ever become a truly strong hero?

Noah
King Engine (Image via Screen Rant)
King Engine (Image via Screen Rant)

The world of One-Punch Man is full of strong heroes looking for every opportunity to prove themselves. The same goes for fearmongering monsters who want to build their reputation. However, there are humans that can shred away the confidence of any monster just by staring them down.

One rare example of this is Class-S hero, King. The man widely regarded as the "strongest man on Earth" owns the legendary "King Engine". A thunderous beating noise that no monster has heard and lived to speak about.

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Fans of One-Punch Man know that this image is merely a facade. King has never himself spread rumors of his power to anyone. His status as a Class-S hero is mostly due to the uncredited work of Saitama.

King has simply happened to be around when Saitama decimates monsters. Once the caped hero takes off, King is left with the remains of the monster and people passing by draw their own conclusions. In fact, King is actually a powerless coward. The famed sound of his "King Engine" is nothing more than his terrified heart beating out of his chest.

Class-S Hero King's true colors https://t.co/62UNNp6qFk

This article will discuss whether or not King will eventually become a truly strong hero befitting of his One-Punch Man Hero Association rank and public image.

Note: This article reflects the opinion of the writer.


Will King ever stop being a coward and develop true strength in One-Punch Man?

King eventually meets Saitama and reveals to him the secret about his reputation.

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During a later conversation, Saitama criticizes King for hiding behind a reputation made up of lies. He asks him why he doesn't just become strong and live up to his name. Perhaps Saitama's blunt nature cuts deep into King's heart, or even seeing the mighty hero in action inspires him.

Regardless, it seems that his relationship with Saitama in One-Punch Man is beginning to have an effect on him. At the end of season two, King agrees to be used as bait for Elder Centipede. The King, who we knew at the beginning of the season, would have never agreed to participate in such a high-risk situation.

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Yet, King manages to stand his ground and play his part in helping the One-Punch Man protagonist defeat the Level-Dragon monster. Although King didn't actually fight, this is a notable development in his character.

As their friendship blossoms, King even lectures Saitama on what it means to be a hero. This conversation shows the audience an admirable side of King that hasn't been displayed before.

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King steps up to the plate in the One-Punch Man Monster Association Arc

In the current One-Punch Man manga arc, King is unwillingly roped into a coordinated hero attack on the Monster Association. Despite his reluctance to join the infiltration team, King winds up being of use.

While wandering the monster hideout, King discovers Tareo. The young hostage is lost and scared, but feels relief at recognizing King's face. The two stage an escape together and King's cowardice takes a slight backseat. Although he is clearly scared, the hero prioritizes Tareo's safety and the two reach the surface.

King rescues Tareo (Image via One-Punch Man manga)
King rescues Tareo (Image via One-Punch Man manga)

Tareo is safely evacuated by the heroes on standby, but King is expected to stay and fight. Unsurprisingly, he hangs back for most of the epic battle. Black Sperm, Golden Sperm, Homeless Emperor, and Evil Natural Water close in on Genos and Tornado who are badly wounded. Seeing nobody else around to help, King rises to the occasion.

He presents himself to the One-Punch Man Dragon-Level monsters and villains in an effort to distract them from their prey.

King confronts the monster association (Image via One-Punch Man Wiki)
King confronts the monster association (Image via One-Punch Man Wiki)

He doesn't make a move, relying on his reputation and "King Engine" to instill fear in the monsters. Through a sequence of comical dialogue, King discourages the monsters from attacking recklessly and buys time for Zombieman to swoop in and take down Homeless Emperor.

King tells Homeless Emperor to check his footing (Image via Reddit)
King tells Homeless Emperor to check his footing (Image via Reddit)

Is this enough to make King a true hero?

The answer is definitely no. However, since King met Saitama he has made marked leaps in his development. One-Punch Man fans have yet to see King use an attack, but it is implied that he lacks physical strength. However, the combination of King's blossoming courage and the absence of him ever attempting to fight should give viewers hope.

Perhaps the creator of One-Punch Man, ONE, is sitting on an exciting reveal for the cowardly hero. The author personally thinks that King will eventually live up to his name. Whether or not that development will come anytime soon is up in the air.

Poll : Will King ever become a true hero?

Eventually.

No way.

107 votes

Edited by R. Elahi
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