Monkey D. Garp's last stand against the Blackbeard Pirates on Hachinosu was one of the main moments featured in One Piece 1088. Garp, a man who was once in his prime and possessed great strength, arrived on the island to rescue Koby. Koby had been taken hostage by Teach, the Pirate King, and Garp was determined to fight on par with him.
Despite his old age, Garp single-handedly fended off all enemies, including former Admiral Kuzan "Aokiji", now allegedly a member of the Blackbeard Pirates, the vicious Shiryu, and more. Given the difficult situation, Garp decided to put his life on the line to save Koby and the other young Marine officers.
Boasting pride in his Navy membership but always acting in accordance to his own moral code, Garp is not only outrageously powerful but a complex character too. Follow this thread to learn why he is more than worthy to be the "Marine Hero".
Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1088.
Garp's last stand in One Piece 1088 is truly deserving of the "Hero" epithet
Prime Garp is the strongest Marine of all time
Several years before the present narration, Monkey D. Garp, along with Kong, Sengoku, Shiki, Silvers Rayleigh, Gol D. Roger, and Whitebeard, was one of the main figures of the One Piece world. It must be noted that Garp's overall might was no less than that of Roger, the legendary King of Pirates.
They fought relentless battles, nearly killing each other several times. Impressively enough, Garp was not only able to fight on equal grounds with Roger but even managed to corner him more than once. At one point, Garp assisted Sengoku in the fight against "Golden Lion" Shiki, whom they overwhelmingly beat.
Garp was repeatedly given the title of Admiral because of his combat prowess, but he always turned it down since he refused to become the Celestial Dragon's personal bodyguard. Thus, he remained a Vice Admiral permanently, despite his strength surpassing even that of the Admirals.
The Celestial Dragons, including the Five Elders, never dared to try to get rid of Garp despite his rebellious personality, which is another testament to his fearsome might. 38 years before One Piece's current narration, Garp and Roger teamed up against Rocks D. Xebec and his men, which included Whitebeard, Kaido, Big Mom, and Shiki.
The Pirate-Marine temporary alliance won the battle, leading to Xebec's death and the crew's disbandment. After this achievement in the so-called "God Valley Incident", Garp became famous as the "Marine Hero".
Garp, known globally as "The Fist," displayed his immense power by defeating Don Chinjao with a single Armament Haki-enhanced punch. Don Chinjao, a formidable pirate, possessed enough strength to split an ice continent with a headbutt, thanks to his combination of Haki and physical prowess.
During his training to face Chinjao, Garp destroyed eight mountains with his bare hands. He also used to exercise by employing warships as if they were punching bags, crushing them with just his raw physical strength, voluntarily refraining from using Haki to enhance his blows.
Even at the age of almost 80, Garp remains a top-tier fighter
Despite his old age, which reduced his physical prowess, Garp was among the strongest One Piece characters even many years past his prime. A 76 year old Garp could easily overpower a pirate of the caliber of Marco, Whitebeard's right-hand man.
After beating him at speed, Garp punched Marco, damaging him despite his regenerative abilities. Garp was holding back himself significantly, as, had he unleashed his real strength, he would have destroyed Marineford, just like Whitebeard did.
As seen in the recent One Piece chapters, a 78 years old Garp wreaked havoc on Blackbeard's Pirate Island, single-handedly engaging Kuzan, Shiryu, Pizarro, and the others. Upon arriving at the location, Garp ravaged an entire town with a single blow, the Galaxy Impact.
Showcasing exceptional usage of Haki, Garp destroyed the terrain despite not physically touching it, as he threw his punch a hundred meters away from the ground. Empowering his strike with the advanced versions of Armament Haki and even the all-powerful Conqueror's Haki, Garp unleashed thick black lightning trails which stretched for dozens of meters.
Garp demonstrated remarkable agility by swiftly shattering Kuzan's Ice Ball, which was intended to freeze him. He then utilized a rapid movement to surprise the former Admiral and deliver a powerful blow with Blue Hole. Grabbing Kuzan by the face, he violently slammed him into the ground, burrowing a deep chasm.
Empowered with Advanced Conqueror's Haki, this attack notably injured Kuzan, who needed several minutes to recover and could only do that because the other Blackbeard Pirates kept Garp busy in the meantime. The old Marine fought them at once and easily swept away San Juan Wolf.
The tables only turned when Shiryu used Koby as bait to stab Garp. With his Armament Haki-enhanced sword, Shiryu inflicted a nasty wound on the old Marine. Garp only started having trouble after receiving this injury, which left him greatly weakened, and it must be noted that it was Koby's naivety that caused him to suffer it.
From then on, Garp decided to give priority to Koby and the others' safety. Despite being significantly weakened, Garp's Haki-enhanced fist was able to match Kuzan's strike. Kuzan had enhanced his strike with both the Ice Glove, a special technique of his Logia Devil Fruit, and his Armament Haki.
With the impact wiping away both, Garp recovered faster than Kuzan, and once again outmaneuvered him. The old Marine performed an exceptional burst of speed and punched Kuzan so fast that he couldn't even react. Garp then jumped towards Hachinosu's enormous skull, which Pizarro was controlling with his Devil Fruit power.
Although weakened, the old Marine had enough power to split the giant rock into two halves, using a Haki-enhanced punch called "Galaxy Divide". The blow caused Pizarro to scream in pain and bleed from his head.
As Koby completed the work and reached safety together with the other Marines, Garp eventually succumbed to Kuzan and the others.
An all-powerful fighter, and a great man too
Garp is the father of Monkey D. Dragon and the grandfather of One Piece's main character, Monkey D. Luffy. He is also the foster grandfather of Portgas D. Ace, whom he adopted to fulfill Roger's final wish. Eccentric but caring, Garp oversaw Ace and Luffy's babyhood before entrusting them to the Dadan Family.
All three members of the Monkey D. Family are exuberant and free-spirited individuals who became top dogs of the One Piece world. Garp, Dragon, and Luffy all wish for freedom, it's just that each has sought it through a different path.
Always acting according to his moral code, Garp never came to hate Roger and eventually started respecting him, despite the latter being a pirate. The "Hero" has tried to be loyal to both his family of outlaws and his duties as a Marine.
Unfortunately, this dualism caused him much suffering.
His son and grandson became wanted criminals, and then his former disciple Kuzan allegedly took the same path. Unable to decide which side he had to take during the Paramount War, Garp regrets not having done more to save Ace.
Desperately asking him why he could not have just been a Marine, Garp could not help but cry when Ace was about to be executed. To make amend his past hesitation, the "Hero" did everything he could to help Koby become a valiant Marine. Under Garp's loving but firm tutelage, Koby improved immensely.
Upon hearing that Koby was being held hostage on Hachinosu, Garp immediately headed there to rescue his beloved disciple. Well aware of the old Marine's protective behavior towards Koby, Shiryu used Garp's selfless attitude to land an easy hit on him, knowing that he wouldn't hesitate to risk his own health to protect Koby's life.
Without any concern for his own safety, Garp put his life on the line so that Koby, forced to evolve, would unleash his true potential. Believing that young people have a limitless future ahead of them, Garp happily sacrificed himself for Koby, Helmeppo, Prince Grus, and the other young officers of the Navy.
What will be Garp's fate after One Piece 1088?
Despite his old age, which highly diminished his strength compared to the days when he was as powerful as Gol D. Roger, even at 78 years old Garp was overwhelming a fighter of former Admiral Aokiji's caliber. The tables only turned when Shiryu used a trap to inflict a serious wound on Garp.
Significantly weakened by the injury, the old Marine eventually ended up overwhelmed by the multitude of foes. Still, he accomplished his intent, as his heroic effort allowed Koby to reach safety, and even understand one last precious lesson. Undoubtedly, if there's anybody who is worthy of being called "Hero", that's Monkey D. Garp.
Luffy's grandfather is now in a terrible situation. The last time he was seen, he received other grievous wounds to add to Shiryu's, and Kuzan was about to completely freeze him. A narrator's box declared that the legendary Marine "disappeared".
Garp's death was not mentioned explicitly, and no final flashback of him was shown, which may hint at the legendary "Hero" surviving the predicament. It must be noted that Teach wanted to use a major Marine officer as ransom to blackmail the World Government into granting Hachinosu the status of a legitimate country.
Using Garp as a bargaining chip, the Blackbeard Pirates would force the World Government and the Navy to accept their demands. Moreover, Garp's involvement with Teach's crew would give Luffy an additional reason to fight the latter.
Regardless, Garp established himself as a true icon of the One Piece series. Given the exceptional speed, physical strength, and Haki that the "Hero" showed at the age of nearly 80 years, fans can only imagine how ravaging would be Galaxy Impact, Blue Hole, or Galaxy Divide if performed by a healthy Garp in his prime.