Punk Hazard Island Arc
ONE PIECE Ch. 673 - Vergo and Joker
As Caesar Clown goes to retrieve the children ha had been experimenting on. An incredibly truth is revealed about the mysterious Vergo. Luffy and his gang may have been locked in a cage with Smoker and Tashigi, but the lighthearted hero sure doesn't seem to let that get him down.
If it wasn't a big enough shock to find out that mysterious Vergo introduced two chapters ago is a Vice Admiral for the Marines. He's actually a pirate who infiltrated their ranks as a spy 15 years ago. All as part of the will of his captain, Donquixote Doflamingo. Color me intrigued.
I should probably slap myself for not realizing who this "Joker" actually is. The name has been tossed around quite a bit recently. It was a nice feint in story telling. Code names aren't common in ONE PIECE. Joker is in actuality Donquixote Doflamingo, a member of the Shichibukai. Now that I look at how Doflamingo always has that creepy grin and controls his own men and government officials through fear of his powers. I wouldn't be surprised if he was partially based around the Clown Prince of Crime. Oda's based characters on Michael Jackson and ROCK HORROR cast. I wouldn't put it past him.
I was sensing some deja vu with the whole scene of Luffy locked in a cage with Smoker. It's funny that Robin is the one who points it out. Seeing how last time something similar to this happened, Robin was on the outside looking in. It's a nice touch of Oda to add. Anyone who's followed this series would make the same comparison. It also highlights the kind of protagonist Luffy is, as well. All this deep drama going on around him. A big new villain revealed, trapped with enemies, wrapped in chains that takes away his powers, and no apparent path of escape. And Luffy has a big grin, and he's laughing at the irony of his situation. Poor, self-serious Law trapped in the middle. Add that to the list why ONE PIECE is always a fun read.
The early pages do serve a purpose, but feels a bit off place. It just seems to hammer home that to most of the world Vergo is a trustful and loyal man to the Marines. All this to hide his part in a grand conspiracy. It's just the introduction of such a random character as Yarisugi in the middle of it was overkill - pun intended**
It's also a little frustrating that we still aren't even clear on why Luffy suddenly passed out while fighting Caesar a few chapters back. The conventional wisdom is that the gas got to him, but I'm not so sure.
The plot is thickening to an almost head spinning degree. No one can claim that Oda is slowing down or going in circles. Here I was ready for just another fun adventure on a strange island of fire and ice, but it's turning into a deep and meaningful plot with some incredible twists. One that's using some of my favorite characters in amazing ways. I just home we get a bit more action soon.
**See character Yarisugi character page for explanation of that joke.