WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece, Chapter #1,001 by Eiichiro Oda, Stephen Paul and Vanessa Satone, available in English now from Viz Media.
Thanks to his haki training with Hyogoro in the Udon Prison, Luffy can now successfully damage Kaido. This is a huge step forward, but just because Luffy has the potential to defeat Kaido, it doesn't mean Yonko will let him. One Piece Chapter #1,001 shows that the five Supernovas (Luffy, Zoro, Law, Kid and Killer) will need to work together effectively if they have any hope of defeating Kaido and Big Mom.
The Supernovas may be the strongest rookie pirates in The New World, but that might not be enough to face two Yonkos at once without some cooperation on their side. It's serious business, but Oda manages to fit in some of his trademark humor effectively into the chapter along the way with an incredible Luffy, Law and Kidd gag.
Chapter #1,001 opens on Kaido still processing how Luffy was able to damage him as Big Mom denounces the rubber man's constant prattling about him becoming King of the Pirates. As he looks in disbelief towards Luffy, he's reminded of the only other five individuals who've ever been able to damage him this effectively: his former adversary Kozuki Oden, fellow Yonko Whitebeard and Shanks, The Pirate King Gol D. Roger and his former captain, Rocks D. Xebecs.
Taking his club, Kaido quickly charges at Luffy, using the same technique that knocked him out before, "Thunder Bagua." But in Chapter #1001, things aren't like last time. With his observational haki, Luffy sees the attack coming and narrowly dodges out of the way. However, Big Mom isn't going to let him off so easily, as the Yonko approaches him with Prometheus.
Luckily, Zoro's also there in time to deflect the attack, as out of nowhere, he uses Kin'enmon's flame-cutting sword style, FoxFire, to cut Prometheus in half. While this is a bit out of nowhere, as it's the first time we see Zoro use a different swordsman's technique, he cheekily replies by saying "he stole it." Zoro wants to be a swordsman who can cut anything, so it's not unlikely that he could have watched Kin'emon in action so that he could copy this technique.
Just as Kaido's about to swipe at Luffy again, Law uses Shambles to teleport the rubber man in front of him, which leads to a very hilarious argument. Law goes out of his way to clarify to Luffy he was already going to teleport the Scabbards out of harm's way before Luffy told him to, so he doesn't want to give the impression he was following Luffy's order. Yet, Kidd sees it as exactly that, to the annoyance of Law.
As the three captains continue to bicker, Big Mom launches another blast of fire at them, which Luffy uses as an excuse to play chicken. Neither Law nor Kidd is going to let Luffy one-up them so they stand perfectly still for the fire to hit them, only to move their heads narrowly out of the way at the last moment, encapsulated in one of the funniest series of panels in all of One Piece. It's some welcome and genuine levity during a fight that carries serious weight and consequence behind it.
With their captains are busy acting like immature children, Zoro and Killer both go after Kaido themselves. Unfortunately, neither of their attacks seem to have any effect on the Yonko at all. Luckily, the three captains follow up the two first mates with their own finishing moves. Luffy smashes Kaido with Gear Forth; Kidd tries to crush him with a horde of metal and iron, and Law finally bombards him as he teleports stone to fall on top of Kaido. As they wait for something to happen, all we hear is Big Mom's laughter echo around them as Kaido emerges from the rubble in his dragon form with barely a scratch.
Kaido reaffirms that who will win this bout will claim all the treasure and manpower of the other side. This battle will go down history in One Piece, as whoever comes out on top will no doubt be that much closer to the title of King of the Pirates.