In most versions of Dragon Ball, humanity is quickly outclassed by other, more powerful species in the universe, leaving even the most powerful humans in the dust. But what if humanity had actually been able to keep up with those other races -- and had actually managed to survive? Dragon Ball Multiverse, an ongoing, fan-made webcomic, presents Universe 9's Earth as a place where humanity and its champions rose to become the galaxy's most powerful fighters -- no Goku necessary.
Dragon Ball Multiverse imagines a variety of different worlds, often deviating from the core Dragon Ball timeline (designated in canon as Universe 7, and in the fan-created Dragon Ball Multiverse as Universe 18) in unexpected ways. One such world is Universe 9. As with many similar timelines, Planet Vegeta and most of the Saiyan race were wiped out by Frieza. In most realities, one last infant Saiyan escaped the destruction, later growing up to become the warrior Goku on Earth. However, in Universe 9, Frieza's brother Cooler decided to not spare the ship and destroyed it -- killing Goku long before he could become the universe's greatest fighter.
Frieza and Cooler bickered over Cooler's interference in Frieza's plans, and Frieza ended up aggravating his brother so much that Cooler decided to simply kill him and blame it on the Saiyans. Cooler takes over his brother's territory, expanding his personal control over the galaxy. Meanwhile, on Earth, the elder Gohan -- having never found Goku and raised him -- survived far longer than he did in the core timeline. He was even still alive when Bulma began her search for the Dragon Balls and accompanied her on her quest for them instead of Goku. He took on Yamcha as his pupil, helped defeat Emperor Pilaf and even helped find the Dragon Balls. By the present day, the defenders of this world are a completely human group of warriors who've endured massive threats on their own.
The core heroes of this world are led by Krillin, who became Master Roshi's star pupil. Without Goku as a rival, Krillin ended up endearing himself so much to Roshi and Gohan that he eventually even took over the role of Turtle Hermit. Yamcha continued to grow as a fighter far more than in the core reality, even eventually being augmented into an Android by his world's Doctor Gero -- making him more than an equal in power compared to the likes of Android 17 and Android 18 from other worlds. He also married Bulma in this timeline, leading to the birth of a unique version of the character unlike any other Trunks. Tien remains by their side -- having also eventually learned under Roshi and Gohan -- and even trained under King Kai alongside Krillin after the pair died in an undisclosed battle.
The final member of the Universe 9 team is Videl, who in this reality eventually met and fell in love with Trunks (who was born at roughly the same time as Gohan was in the core-Dragon Ball timeline) and had a son with him. Training intensely and even learning techniques like the Kaio-Ken, Videl eventually gained the strength needed to wield the Z-Sword, a Kai-created weapon -- and arguably becoming the strongest version of Videl ever introduced.
The human warriors of Universe 9 have notable dislike for specific aliens. It's implied that the humans have had to contend with all the threats that came for the other universes, including King Piccolo, the remaining Saiyans, the expanding Cooler galactic empire, and the destructive schemes of Babidi. Each one of these foes was defeated in turn by the humans, who through a mixture of unique techniques, advanced technology and sheer determination survived. However, it's left them with a general distrust of alien races, with the Universe 9 Krillin having a cold opinion of various versions of Goku from across the multiverse. Considering his and Tien's deaths, it's possible they fell during their version of the Saiyan Saga -- explaining why Krillin only sees the Saiyans as a murderous and monstrous race.
Despite featuring uniquely powerful versions of the most notable human warriors in Dragon Ball, Universe 9 didn't make it very far in the Dragon Ball Multiverse tournament. However, the warriors displayed a common sense and pragmatism that allowed them to recognize their losses coming in the second round and instead forfeited -- meaning they're still alive when Babidi's machinations turn the tournament to chaos. This has allowed the human heroes to fight alongside their unlikely allies, and hold their own against the corrupted villains.