Their captain was originally a member of the Whitebeard Pirates (and Portgas D. Ace's subordinate), until he killed one of his crewmates  over a Devil Fruit and defected, heading out on his own and forming his own crew. Blackbeard was Crocodile's replacement among the Shichibukai, having turned in Ace to obtain this position, but resigned after forfeiting the privilege by raiding Impel Down  and recruiting notorious prisoners for his crew from Level 6. During the timeskip, Teach usurped the status of the deceased Whitebeard as one of the Yonko.
The first time the crew is mentioned, they are said to have ransacked the kingdom of Drum Island. Upon seeing their immense power, the cruel and cowardly king, Wapol, fled without even fighting back. In Alabasta, when the Straw Hats meet up with Portgas D. Ace, it is revealed that Ace is hunting down the captain, Blackbeard, for killing a crewmate as a Whitebeard Pirate and fleeing.
Sky Island Saga
Laffitte marks the first official visual appearance of the crew by appearing at Mariejois to recommend Blackbeard to replace Crocodile as one of the Shichibukai. The other crewmembers are first seen in Mock Town on the island of Jaya, playing several "games" to see how their fate works out. When Luffy meets Blackbeard himself in a tavern, they at first seem to have the exact opposite opinions on the bar's food and beverages. While Luffy hates the bar's pie, Blackbeard loves it, and while Luffy loves one of the bar's drinks, Blackbeard hates it, which leads to them challenging each other to a fight, but they decide not to go through with it when Nami points out that they are fighting for no reason.
Later on, after the Bellamy Pirates taunt them for believing in Sky Island, Blackbeard assures the Straw Hats that it does exist and in response to the notion of the "New Age", states that people will never stop dreaming. Because of this, Blackbeard's true motives are a mystery. When Blackbeard finds out about Luffy's high bounty, he and his crew try to capture him, but the Straw Hats are launched into the sky by the Knock Up Stream before they can make an attempt.
Water 7 Saga
Post-Enies Lobby Arc
Blackbeard learned that Luffy had "destroyed" Enies Lobby which resulted in his bounty being increased. Since Blackbeard is plundering an island close to Water 7, he decided to hunt down Luffy and bring him to the World Government to prove himself as a worthy candidate for Crocodile's vacant Shichibukai position. However, Ace finally catches up with Blackbeard on Banaro Island, and after learning Blackbeard's intentions to harm his little brother, engages him in a fierce battle from which Blackbeard finally emerges victorious. Blackbeard then turns Ace, instead of Luffy, over to the Marines in order to acquire the position in the Shichibukai. This event also triggers the start of the war with Whitebeard, as the Marines publicly announced Ace's execution.
Summit War Saga
Amazon Lily Arc
During the preparations for the war, Blackbeard is seen sitting along with his fellow Shichibukai.
Impel Down Arc
However, roughly five hours before the execution, he and his crew steal a Marine ship from Marineford and set off to Impel Down, where they break in to recruit several inmates from Level 6. After encountering former chief guard Shiliew (mistakenly identified as Magellan), they appear on Level 4, where Blackbeard eliminates Hannyabal's backup team before crushing Hannyabal personally. The five then face off against the breakout crew that includes Jinbe, Crocodile, Inazuma, Daz Bones, Bentham, and Luffy.
As time is running out for Ace, the breakout army simply runs around Blackbeard, who allows them to pass through. The Blackbeard Pirates are then confronted by Magellan, who proceeds to drench them in poison with his Hydra attack. They are saved by Shiliew, who presents them with an antidote. Shiliew, who was only released temporarily because the jailers required his help in managing the chaos in Impel Down, cites that he had been waiting for a person like Blackbeard and accepts the proposal to join his crew in order to avoid being imprisoned once again by Magellan.
After the battle has reached its pinnacle point, the Blackbeard Pirates returned to Marineford with several of the most legendary and feared prisoners from Impel Down as their new recruits. Teach informs Sengoku that he only wanted the Shichibukai title so he could break into Impel Down, and is then assaulted brutally by Whitebeard. The Blackbeard Pirates then attack Whitebeard all together, defeating and brutally killing him. After that, the Blackbeard Pirates cover Blackbeard and Whitebeard with a black cloth, inside which Blackbeard somehow steals Whitebeard's Gura Gura no Mi powers by an unknown method, and then declares that the new era belongs to him with his powers of darkness and earthquakes.
Some time later, on a burning island in the New World, Blackbeard defeated the Bonney Pirates and kept them as compensation for their transaction with the Marines. The deal was to hand Jewelry Bonney to them, in exchange for a Marine battleship to replace their raft, which was on the verge of breaking down with Sanjuan Wolf's weight being at fault. They taunt the Bonney Pirates. When Blackbeard asks Jewelry to be his woman, she kicks him causing Blackbeard to get angry while the rest of the Blackbeard Pirates laugh. The crew waited impatiently, with the newer members complaining over trivial matters. However, when they discovered that the Marines were not interested in dealing with them as they sent Admiral Akainu after them, the Blackbeard Pirates quickly fled the island, leaving the Bonney Pirates to be arrested.
During the Timeskip
During the timeskip, Blackbeard had arrogated the vacant Yonko position formerly held by Whitebeard, as the Gorosei had feared. Teach, knowing his former superior's territory all too well, annexed his territory with ease. According to rumors, the Blackbeard Pirates have also been searching for people with strong Devil Fruit powers, in order to absorb them.
Pirate Alliance Saga
After the battle royale of Block A in the Corrida Colosseum tournament for the Mera Mera no Mi had ended, it was announced that a participant called Mr. Store had won. It was quickly revealed that Mr. Store was in fact Jesus Burgess, and was now one of the four qualifiers.
During the battle between Luffy (as Lucy) and Chinjao, Burgess goes to the observation deck and comments that Block C has gotten interesting. He then wonders who Lucy is. After witnessing his victory in his group's battle royale, Burgess realizes that the man is in fact Luffy and gets excited.
After Block C ended, Burgess converses with Blackbeard via Den Den Mushi. Teach was discussing the possibility of recruiting Kuzan to join their crew, but Burgess asserted that the former admiral cannot be trusted. When Luffy stopped by, Burgess handed the Den Den Mushi to him, allowing him to speak to Blackbeard. Teach then greeted the young pirate and voiced surprise that he was a combatant as well. Knowing why Luffy entered the tournament, Teach assured him that Burgess would be the victor and obtain the Mera Mera no Mi and that it would be the same as having Ace join his crew, since the latter rejected his previous offer. When Luffy declared that he would not allow the Blackbeard Pirates to get Ace's power, Burgess merely laughed.
The Blackbeard Pirates' flag is that of three skulls: one looking left, one looking forward, and one looking right. Behind them there are cross intersected set of bones, in addition of the classic two.
While it has never been stated by Oda where the influence of their flag comes from, the image of the 3 heads appears as a classic depiction of Cerberus. The three heads of Cerberus are supposed to see the past, the present and the future and Cerberus was also the guardian of the gates of Hades. It may also be a depiction of the Moirae, the three goddesses of Fate. They also happen to tie in with the crews views of fate and destiny as well as their often deadly methods for seeing how fate plays out and may be the reason behind the three skulls. The four crossbones on the flag resemble the popular eight-pointed Symbol of Chaos, which suits their theme of chaotic destiny.
|Marshall D. Teach|
Ten Titanic Captains
|Jesus Burgess||Shiryu||Van Augur||Avalo Pizarro||Laffitte|
|Catarina Devon||Sanjuan Wolf||Vasco Shot||Doc Q|
|Pinkbeard Pirates||BIG Pirates ≠|
The Blackbeard Pirates are much stronger than most normal pirate crews that have been shown so far. Even their first appearance, an attack on Drum Island, was overwhelming, to the point that the island's selfish king, Wapol, fled without even attempting to fight back. Also, the fact their captain took a direct attack from Ace and managed to get up afterward is a good measure of the crew's unusual strength. They were also able to break into Impel Down's Level 4 without much difficulty (though Impel Down was, at the time, admittedly strained due to multiple riots). Great endurance and strength aside, each member possesses a special crew position (discounting the new recruits - it is unknown what positions they hold), though how well they perform such jobs is unknown.
In addition they took a direct hit from sengoku in buddha form and got up easily and with only very small amount of trouble.
In a way, they are a malevolent version of the Straw Hat Pirates - both crews are abnormally strong despite their respective sizes, and recruit only highly specialized members. The Blackbeard Pirates, Sanjuan Wolf excluded, dealt the final killing blows to the legendary pirate Whitebeard, taking advantage of Whitebeard's grievous injuries with a nine-against-one attack. Additionally, they captured Jewelry Bonney, one of the Eleven Supernovas, who was then deemed too weak to join their crew and was instead given the option to become Blackbeard's "woman."
Van Augur, the sniper, has incredible eyesight and speed, being able to shoot a flock of seagulls from a distance so far the Straw Hats could not even see the island he was on. He is able to predict where a bullet is going to hit, and can run at an amazing speed to avoid it.
Jesus Burgess, the helmsman, is a wrestling champion who possess incredible strength and won every fight while he was in Mock Town. He is also able to throw buildings with much ease and at impressive distances. Furthermore, Burgess has now (post-time skip) become the captain of Blackbeard's first ship.
Laffitte, the navigator and a former policeman, is very stealthy, and was able to sneak undetected into the World Government headquarters of Mariejois during a meeting between several high-ranking Marine officials and three Shichibukai members despite having tap-dance shoes on. He also seems to possess a Devil Fruit ability that allows him to transform his arms into wings that are capable of flight, as well as possessing the power of hypnosis.
Doc Q, the doctor, and his horse Stronger have yet to show any notable abilities, and for that matter appear to be weak with sickness. However, Blackbeard himself stated that he does not desire weaklings in his crew. Indeed, despite their illness, Doc Q was still able to help row their raft and wield a double-bladed scythe in combat, and Stronger was still able to carry Doc Q.
The former chief Guard of Impel Down, "Shiliew of the Rain" is a very powerful swordsman, said to be equal to the extremely powerful Warden Magellan, who was strong enough to take care of Monkey D. Luffy, hundreds of prisoners, and the Blackbeard Pirates alone (though Shiliew noted that the crew had been careless against Magellan's poisonous powers).
After their break-in of Impel Down, excluding Shiliew, the crew recruited four other pirates, their crimes so terrible that their existence was actually erased from history, who had been locked in the Level 6: Eternal Hell of the prison. The ones seen are Sanjuan Wolf, the "Colossal Battleship"; Vasco Shot, the "Mighty Drinker"; the worst female criminal in history, Catarina Devon, the "Crescent Moon Hunter"; and Avalo Pizarro, the "Corrupt King". Though they have yet to show their full powers, they are some of the most feared legendary criminals in the world. The Marines even said that even just one of the prisoners walking free again is unthinkable. In fact, during the riot at Impel Down, Blackbeard selected them in a "survival fight" among the Level 6 prisoners, stating thus that they are the most powerful prisoners of the entire Impel Down at that time.
However, the true strength of the Blackbeard Pirates lies in their fearsome captain, Marshall D. Teach, better known as "Blackbeard". Initially a relatively unknown name, Blackbeard has performed the incredible feat of landing a permanent scar on Red Haired Shanks, who is famed as one of the Yonko, reputed as the four strongest pirates in the world, prior to eating a Devil Fruit, as well as defeating two of the top four Division Commanders of the Whitebeard Pirates, Portgas D. Ace and Thatch. He also ate one of the most powerful known Devil Fruits, the Yami Yami no Mi, and held the position of a Shichibukai, until he forfeited the title after he used it to reach Impel Down and recruit the prisoners mentioned above. With the assistance of his crew, Blackbeard ganged up on Whitebeard with a barrage of gunshots and killed him in a rather cowardly fashion. He somehow acquires the power of the Gura Gura no Mi from Whitebeard's corpse, the most powerful Paramecia Devil Fruit, allowing him to be the only person to wield two Devil Fruit powers at the same time. Along with his extensive knowledge of Whitebeard's sphere of influence, the Gorosei has deemed him the closest pirate to fill in Whitebeard's place in the Yonko; a prediction which came true.
After the timeskip it appears they have gotten much stronger. According to Jinbe, they have been hunting and stealing Devil Fruit Powers to increase their strength, heavily suggesting each member of the crew could have multiple abilities (although it is also possible that this is limited to Teach). The crew has also grown in such numbers that it has been organized into divisions.
The raft is made up of gigantic trees possibly wound together. Around the sides of the raft are gunports. A large mast is posted in the middle, bearing the flag of the Blackbeard Pirates and three sails. Another sail is placed at the stern of the raft, behind the main sails. The other means of propulsion, other than the wind, seems to be that the crew uses paddles or oars to move the raft along. Jesus Burgess and surprisingly Doc Q were seen paddling.
The raft was first seen in the Jaya Arc, when the Blackbeard Pirates were chasing after the Straw Hat Pirates. It was broken up by the Knock Up Stream. The raft was eventually repaired by either them or someone else, but they used a stolen Marine ship to sail to Impel Down, as opposed to their own ship.
After the war, the ship was nearly broke down, due to the extremely large giant, Sanjuan Wolf. Because of this, the Blackbeard Pirates were trying to exchange the prisoner Jewelry Bonney for a Marine battleship; Shiliew commented that it was foolishly impractical for the crew to travel through the New World with the raft alone, but Burgess claimed that they were rather attached to the raft. They were, however, surprised by Admiral Akainu's arrival and fled. Since the exchange did not take place, it can be assumed that they used the raft to flee from the Marines.
They believe heavily in fate and luck, often using cruel measures to see how destiny plays out. One example is Van Augur, who shot a group of seagulls just to see the ones destined to die slow and painful deaths. Doc Q handed out explosive apples in Mock Town to see who was unlucky enough to eat the ones that exploded. Even after Luffy escapes via the Knock Up Stream, they believe their capture was not fated.
All members of the crew appear to be massive humans, like Aokiji, Kizaru or Whitebeard. Teach, Burgess, Pizarro and Shot are big characters, while Augur, Laffitte, Doc Q, Shiliew and Devon are quite tall as well. Finally, Wolf is a giant of such size that Little Oars Jr. and even Oars pale in comparison and is thus said to be the largest being ever to walk the world.
An interesting aspect of this crew is that, although the initial members display loyalty to Teach, the former prisoners from Impel Down do not hesitate to manifest their opinion when things do not go as they expect or so desire. Avalo Pizarro even once asked to replace Blackbeard as the captain and the only cooperation they have shown so far is the combination attack of killing Whitebeard. However, this impressiveness is downplayed by the crew taking advantage of Whitebeard being severely weakened in a rather cowardly nine-against-one attack. Contrasting this, the Straw Hat Pirates exhibit intense loyalty towards one another, despite occasional arguments. The Straw Hats' even show a sense of honor for their opponents, enhancing the "evil counterpart" aspect of the Blackbeard Pirates.
After the timeskip, the "counterpart" comparison seems less likely, as the Blackbeard Pirates have grown in size, to the point of dividing their crew into various units, as the Whitebeard Pirates once have.
Early One Piece
The Concepts in One Piece Green: Secret Pieces show the Blackbeard Pirates have appearances and names different from their finished counterparts. Marshall D. Teach was originally named Everysong D. Teach. Van Auger was originally named Van Wagot. Jesus Burgess was originally named Lapaix Jesus. Vasco Shot had more of a Viking-like appearance and was named Basurero Shot. Catarina Devon was shown to be more beautiful in appearance. Three original characters, a jester-like man named King Joker (キング・ジョーカー Kingu Jookaa?), a man named Last Lion (ラスト・ライオン Rasuto Raion?), and a fox-like woman named Kitsune (キツネ Kitsune?) was to be a member, but this idea was scrapped and King Joker's appearance passed on to Vasco Shot.
- All of the crew members (except for Doc Q and Stronger) share their names with real world pirates, sailors, or piracy related places.
- A model of the Blackbeard Pirates' raft is presented in One Piece Super Ship Collection.
- Jesus Burgess is the first Blackbeard Pirates' member who appears after the timeskip.