Based on the first leaks and scans, One Piece 1074 will feature Luffy and his right-hand man Zoro teaming up again. Within the crew, their bond as brothers-in-arms is the greatest and most spontaneous.
Luffy and Zoro make a formidable duo as they are the only two members of the Strawhat Pirates to share outstanding strength-related achievements. Their connection strongly resembles the one between Gol D. Roger and Silvers Rayleigh.
With Admiral Kizaru and Five Elders member Saint Jaygarcia Saturn being on their way to Egghead, Luffy, and Zoro will face quite the challenge.
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to Chapter 1074 and reflects the writer's personal views.
Even before the latest chapter, One Piece has often highlighted Luffy and Zoro as a duo
The first meeting in Shells Town
Despite Zoro being known as a frightening bounty hunter, Luffy, seeking a powerful fighter as the first member of his crew, wanted to recruit him at any cost. However, Zoro refuted Luffy's offer.
To protect the life of a little girl called Rika, Zoro previously made a deal with Marine Captain Axe-Hand Morgan. After learning that Morgan wouldn't have respected the deal, Zoro agreed to Luffy's offer.
Luffy and Zoro easily beat Morgan, marking the beginning of the adventure of the Strawhat Pirates. Zoro made it clear that, despite joining Luffy, he would kill him if he ever hindered his dream. However, he soon became sincerely loyal to him.
The connection with Shanks and Mihawk
Shanks and Mihawk are two of the strongest characters in the series. They have shared a world-renowned rivalry that even Edward Newgate acknowledged as legendary. However, Mihawk lost interest in fighting Shanks after losing an arm.
Since the beginning of the series, Shanks and Mihawk have been established as two primary benchmarks for Luffy and Zoro to reach and surpass. Zoro's goal is to beat Mihawk, while Luffy aims to overcome Shanks.
With One Piece having entered its endgame, the moment of the final confrontation between the two most ambitious members of the Strawhat Pirates and the two former rivals is drawing closer.
Luffy vs Zoro, the heated fight in Whiskey Peak
Not even Law and Kid, Luffy's so-called rivals, ever clashed on par with Luffy. A few Strawhats confronted the captain, but he either didn't want to fight them back, or he beat them relatively easily. Only Zoro was able to fight Luffy on equal grounds.
The two fought for real, challenging themselves to see who was the strongest between them. During the battle, Luffy and Zoro used some of their strongest attacks, the Gom Gom Bazooka and, respectively, the Three Sword Style Onigiri.
The issue emphasized that Luffy and Zoro had a similar level of strength. A testament to their effort in the fight, they angrily wiped out the Baroque Works agents who tried to interfere with the battle.
Interestingly, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda purposely left the fight's outcome ambiguous. He used Nami as a plot device to interrupt Luffy and Zoro from clashing.
Luffy and Zoro's first meeting with the final villain of One Piece
The introduction of Blackbeard, who may very well be the final villain of the series, is one of the most iconic moments in One Piece. Blackbeard first appeared in Jaya. Among all the Strawhats, only Luffy, Zoro, and Nami met him.
In Jaya, a pirate called Bellamy the Hyena ridiculed Luffy and Zoro's dreams. However, considering him worthless, they didn't fight back, not even when he and his crew beat them up.
Subsequently, Luffy, Zoro, and Nami met a man who praised their previous behavior, claiming that "people's dreams will never end." The man was later revealed to be Marshall D. Teach, better known as Blackbeard.
Zoro enforced Luffy's rights as the captain
Acting as the first mate, Zoro assists Luffy in battle and gives him insightful support. This was highlighted in Water Seven and Enies Lobby, where the Strawhat Pirates faced a compelling issue with Usopp.
Zoro advised Luffy on how to lead the crew more maturely, bearing the burden of being the captain and reprimanding crewmembers when needed. Zoro also urged the other Strawhats to respect Luffy.
Zoro's actions were aimed at maintaining the wholeness of the crew. Believing that accepting Usopp's return would tarnish Luffy's authority as captain, Zoro convinced the latter not to let him return until he apologized first.
Gom Gom 300 Pound Cannon against the Aqua Laguna
Luffy and Zoro are fearsome fighters as the strongest members of the Strawhat Pirates. Moreover, their bond of mutual trust allows them to team up flawlessly.
Luffy and Zoro used a common technique called Gom Gom 300 Pound Cannon to destroy a huge wave of water. This attack combines Luffy's Gom Gom Cannon, and Zoro's 108 Pound Cannon performed simultaneously.
As such, the move should have been named 216 Pound Cannon, but Luffy decided that the name was too long and difficult to pronounce. Zoro expressed amused indifference and accepted the new name for the attack.
In Thriller Bark, Zoro risked his life to save Luffy's
After the battle with Gecko Moriah, Bartholomew Kuma arrived in Thriller Bark to take Luffy's head. After a brief fight with Kuma, Zoro offered the Warlord to trade his own life in exchange for Luffy's.
Impressed by such determination, Kuma accepted his offer. In return, Zoro agreed to bear all of Luffy's injuries and pain at once, and Kuma used his Devil Fruit power to materialize in a gigantic paw of energy.
Zoro survived the tremendous challenge but risked his life in the process, which emphasized his selflessness as well as his devotion to Luffy. Honoring the word that he gave to Zoro, Kuma left Thriller Bark without harming Luffy.
To let Luffy have a chance to survive and fulfill his ambition of becoming the King of Pirates, Zoro didn't hesitate to give up his dream and sacrifice his life. Even Bartholomew Kuma admired such an attachment.
Luffy and Zoro are revealed to be part of the Worst Generation
The rookie pirates who received a bounty of over 100 million Berries before entering the New World are declared Supernovas. Most Supernovas are part of the Worst Generation, a group of pirates whose actions shook the world.
The infamous Worst Generation includes a group of Supernovas who reached the Sabaody Archipelago before the Paramount War, plus Blackbeard. Within the Strawhat Pirats, only Luffy and Zoro are members of the Eleven Supernovas.
Among these eleven super rookies, only Luffy, Zoro, Law, Kid, and Killer were selected to fight Kaido and Big Mom on Onigashima's rooftop. They were portrayed as the five strongest members of the group and the leaders of the entire new generation.
Zoro scolded Luffy for not taking the New World seriously
During the Punk Hazard Arc, Zoro reprimanded Luffy after he let his guard down against Caesar Clown, causing him to end up defeated by such a weak opponent.
Feeling frustrated that they had just entered the New World and were already struggling, Zoro admonished Luffy not to lose his focus anymore. With a confident smile, Luffy listened to him and beat Caesar.
Luffy and Zoro reunited in Wano
After establishing the Samurai-Pirate-Mink Alliance, Zoro, and Luffy temporarily divided their paths. Zoro accompanied Kinemon and the others in Wano, while Luffy headed to Whole Cake Island to rescue Sanji.
Sometime later, the two reunited in Wano. A testament to their great friendship, Luffy and Zoro were overjoyed at seeing each other again. They hugged and greeted themselves while smiling spontaneously.
They immediately started making a mess. First, Zoro overpowered fellow Supernova Basil Hawkins, who became a subordinate of Kaido. Luffy and Zoro then went to Bakura Town, further wreaking havoc among Kaido's underlings.
Luffy and Zoro fought back-to-back against the Emperors
Luffy and Zoro were the only members of the Strawhat Pirates to fight against the mighty Emperors, Kaido and Big Mom. During that battle, Zoro and Luffy also proved themselves to be stronger than the other Supernovas.
When the Emperors launched a powerful combined attack, Zoro blocked it. He saved the others but suffered severe injuries. Later, Kaido knocked down Luffy and was about to attack him again, but Zoro fought him head-on to protect his captain's life.
In the ensuing clash, Zoro managed to severely wound Kaido, leaving him with a deep scar but wearing out his last energy. Luffy would later defeat Kaido in a heated battle after surpassing his limits and achieving a new level of power.
Luffy and Zoro unleashed their ambitions as Supreme Kings
Conqueror's Haki is a natural-born ability to impose one's own will on others, intimidating and overwhelming them. This skill can't be learned. It is only available to the few chosen ones born with it.
Those born with Conqueror's Haki have a "kingly attitude," possessing the willpower and the potential to rise among the strongest. While the basic Conqueror's Haki is rare, the upgraded version is even more extraordinary.
Only a few mighty individuals can coat their bodies, attacks, and weapons with their Conqueror's Haki. This allows them to damage others or defend themselves, through a Haki barrier, without even making physical contact.
This power grants the users an enormous boost, enabling them to reach a new level of strength. Despite being accomplished fighters, most of Conqueror's Haki users weren't powerful enough to achieve this superior stage.
During the Wano Arc, Luffy and Zoro unleashed the Advanced Conqueror's Haki. The Strawhat crew and the entire new generation of pirates, including the Eleven Supernovas, were the only ones able to accomplish such a feat.
The connection between the top two Strawhats is special. Zoro is a loyal right-hand man for Luffy and the only individual in the crew who is comparable in strength to him. If Luffy is in danger, Zoro supports him, even putting his life on the line to protect him.
To Zoro's devotion, Luffy retaliates with complete trust in the former's abilities. This partnership makes them akin to brothers. Unsurprisingly, fans always enjoy them taking action together.
Resuming the narration after a break week, One Piece 1074 showed Luffy and Zoro separating themselves from the rest of the crew. While the others are going to search for Vegapunk, Luffy, and Zoro stayed behind.
They are now keeping watch on the unconscious Lucci and Kaku. However, with Kizaru and Saint Jaygarcia Saturn approaching Egghead, Luffy, and Zoro may be about to face a notable showdown.
Poll : Will Luffy and Zoro fight against Saturn and Admiral Kizaru?