One Piece: A Rare Worst Generation Team-up Evens the Odds Against Kaido & Big Mom

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece, Chapter #1,002 by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English now from Viz Media.

The biggest obstacle Luffy, Kidd and Law have facing Kaido in the One Piece manga right now may not be his overwhelming strength or the fact that he has Big Mom there to back him up. Rather, it's how effectively these three captains can work together against a common adversary. We've seen that these three can be very competitive, such as in their three-part bout against the marines outside the auction house in Sabaody, and in Chapter #1,001, we even witnessed them play chicken against each other when Kaido blasted a fiery breath in their direction.

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Our worries can be put to rest, though, as it seems in Chapter #1,002 of One Piece, they're ready to get both serious and coordinated -- creating combos using each other's attacks and looking out for their allies who get caught in the blast range. In fact, the Worst Generation really pulls together as a whole in this installment.

Chapter #1,002 demonstrates this right from the get-go with a perfectly choreographed combo between two of the captains against Kaido in his dragon form. Luffy strikes Kaido with his Gum Gum Kong Rifle, which sends the Yonko hurdling backward. Kidd, seeing this, rushes under Kaido with his junk mech and tosses him to the ground with Slam Gibson. Finally, Law finishes the chain by striking at Kaido's with his strongest attack, Gamma Knife. It's an impressive chain combo from the three captains, but Kaido still stands strong. However, he does acknowledge that the captains are "not just mindless fools relying on guts."

But it's not just these three pirate leaders the Emporer has to look out for. With his massive serpentine body, Kaido doesn't notice Kidd's first mate, Killer, climb up the length of his back. Killer uses Scyther Sonic to try and cut through Kaido's protective dragon scales, but before he can deliver another blow, he's struck down by a lightning bolt from Big Mom. With her former homie, Zeus the Cloud, back under her control, she seems to conduct a massive thunderstorm above Onigashima.

We see another effective use of teamwork later on when Kaido is about to chomp down on a fizzled Killer, prompting Luffy to knock him back. The aggressive Yonko tries to release another Blast Breath on Luffy, but with Law's teleportation, Zoro steps in to cut the fire in two, as we've seen him do before.

The swordsman then goes in to cut Kaido but his slash, unfortunately, misses. Yet, we can see Kaido is relieved the attack missed, as he recognizes Oden's presence within Zoro's katana, Enma. This causes Big Mom to unleash the full force of her thunderstorm, which strikes Zoro, Kidd, Law and Luffy, but the rubber man remains standing, unharmed. Just like when he fought Eneru in Skypiea, lightning has no effect on Luffy because of his Devil Fruit power.

Kaido tries to follow it up by striking Luffy with Blast Breath, but that doesn't work on him either. We also get a callback to much earlier in the battle, here, when Kaido assumed these rookies had no reliance on guts. And yet, it's Luffy's "guts" that enables him to endure Kaido's flames. He then unleashes the full brunt of his Gum Gum Kong Gatling on Kaido, ending the chapter on a gratifying barrage of punches on Kaido.

Despite their differences, Chapter #1,002 of One Piece proves that the Worst Generation can effectively work as a team when fighting a common foe. The captains play off each other's attacks; Luffy goes out of his way to protect Killer, and they have two veteran Yonkos on the back foot for most of this fight. How Kaido and Big Mom will retaliate could spell disaster for the five pirates currently fighting them. Big Mom is still generating a thunderstorm overhead and Onigashima is still flying closer and closer to the distracted Flower Capital in Wano. Luffy and his allies will have to hold their united front to have a hope of snagging victory in the end.

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