Blackbeard was originally a member of the Whitebeard Pirates (and Portgas D. Ace's subordinate), until he murdered 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 captured the wanted pirate 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, after clashing with the remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates led by Marco the Phoenix and emerging victorious, Blackbeard usurped the status of the deceased Whitebeard as one of the Yonko.
The Blackbeard Pirates' flag is that of three scowling skulls: one looking left, one looking forward, and one looking right. Behind them there are cross intersected sets of bones, in addition to the classic two.
|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 one of the most powerful 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 who is a former member of the Whitebeard Pirates and also single-handedly fought the Yonko Shanks and even scarred him across an eye is a testament of their power. 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). Every member has also taken a direct hit from Sengoku's shock wave attack except Sanjuan Wolf and got up easily and with only very small amount of trouble. 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.
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". The crew also managed to overwhelmingly defeat Marco and the remaining members of the Whitebeard Pirates (who had come at them with their full forces) in a ferocious battle a year after the Battle of Marineford. Most recently, Blackbeard and his crew attacked the Revolutionary Army's island base of Baltigo, resulting in it being completely devastated and the status of the revolutionaries currently unknown, followed by doing battle with the Cipher Pol and the Marines before retreating.
Van Augur, the sniper, has tremendous skills in marksmanship, 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 and he is now so infamous that everyone in the Colosseum recognized him immediately and was shocked by his presence. Burgess is now strong enough that he was able to take down all the contestants in Block A without getting a single scratch and be cheered on. He was able to blow away a full grown Fighting Fish with just a blow from his elbow while showing off his new ability of being able to utilize Busoshoku Haki which he used when fighting "Lucy".
Laffitte, the navigator and a former policeman, is a master of stealth and infiltration, 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 sprout wings on his back that make him capable of flight, as well as possessing the power of hypnosis. Laffitte has now (post-time skip) become the captain of the fifth ship of Blackbeard's fleet and has earned the infamous name "Demon Sheriff".
Doc Q, the doctor, and his horse Stronger despite being stricken with chronic sickness are a highly powerful duo. Being exceptionally skilled in cavalry combat, Doc Q and Stronger relied on perfect teamwork and coordination with Stronger galloping towards enemies at high speed while carrying Doc Q who struck enemies down with his double-bladed scythe.
Shiliew of the Rain, the former chief Guard of Impel Down, is a fearsome master swordsman, said to be equal to the extremely powerful Warden Magellan, a Devil Fruit user 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). Shiliew has now (post-time skip) become captain of Blackbeard's second ship.
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 "Heavy 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 in the world, prior to eating a Devil Fruit, as well as defeating two of the Division Commanders of the Whitebeard Pirates, Portgas D. Ace and Thatch. When asked why he had not become one of the commanders of his old crew, Teach claimed that he did not have that "ambition". Teach 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 stabs and killed him in a rather cowardly fashion.
He somehow acquired the power of the Gura Gura no Mi from Whitebeard's corpse, the most powerful of the Paramecia Devil Fruits, 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 have deemed him the closest pirate to fill in Whitebeard's place in the Yonko; a prediction which came true following Blackbeard's devastating victory over Marco and the remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates.
After the timeskip it appears they have grown much stronger and more powerful. According to Jinbe, they have been hunting and stealing Devil Fruit Powers to increase their strength. Indeed, Jesus Burgess has shown knowledge on this mysterious method of obtaining powers after death and attempted to do so against Luffy to extract his Gomu Gomu no Mi powers.
The crew has also grown in such numbers that it has been organized into divisions. According to Gatz, Blackbeard is supported by Ten Titanic Captains (10人の巨漢船長 Jū-nin no Kyokan Senchō?), with Jesus Burgess, Shiliew, and Laffitte being among them.
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 broken 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.
After the time-skip they obtained numerous ships, as Burgess is now captain of the Blackbeard Pirates' first ship, Shiliew the second, and Laffitte the fifth. Currently two ships have been seen, and they now resemble actual battleships, although they have a large log on each side, which resemble the original raft.
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 met up with Portgas D. Ace, it was revealed that Ace was 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 crew members 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 planned to break in to recruit several inmates from Level 6. After dispatching several guards and 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.
With Shiliew on their side, the crew make their way to level six where Blackbeard had the inmates fight to the death with the survivors becoming part of his crew. It's not known how many inmates were killed but the Blackbeard Pirates gained four new members before they fled the prison while not knowing or caring there were some inmates who survived and escaped as well.
After the Battle of Marineford 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 also taunted the Bonney Pirates for being beaten so easily.
When Blackbeard asked Bonney to be his woman, she kicked him, causing Blackbeard to get angry while the rest of the Blackbeard Pirates laughed. 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
A year after the Battle of Marineford, Blackbeard and his crew engaged Marco and the remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates in a ferocious battle that has been referenced as the "Payback War", which ended in an overwhelming defeat for the Whitebeard Pirates. Due to this victory, Blackbeard successfully 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.
The crew's size has expanded being increased to ten divisions, led by warriors known as the "Ten Titanic Captains". Jesus Burgess is currently the captain of the first ship of the Blackbeard Pirates and has become a very notorious pirate known as Champion and is powerful enough to take down a block full of competitors in the Dressrosa Colosseum.
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 got 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 champion 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.
After Lucy acquired the power of the Mera Mera no Mi and demolished the arena, Burgess fell into the underground trade port. Burgess then noticed that Lucy was not Luffy and was frustrated that he was deprived of his opportunity to acquire the Devil Fruit.
During the final battle between Luffy and Doflamingo, Burgess is on top of the royal palace watching as the events unfold while wondering what to do next. After Luffy's Gear Fourth wore off, Burgess took an opportunity to kill him for the Gomu Gomu no Mi. He jumped down from the palace and pursued him. But, before he could strike Luffy, Sabo intercepted him.
Sabo then informed him of his relationship to Luffy and Burgess realized that Sabo was the Lucy who fought in the colosseum final. With Sabo standing in his way, Burgess decided to take his Devil Fruit and the two subsequently clashed.
Despite his efforts, Burgess was eventually defeated by Sabo. The Blackbeard Pirate attempted to goad the Revolutionary into killing him, but was unsuccessful. As Sabo walked away, Burgess taunted him about Ace's final words before being handed over to the Marines. Sabo subsequently lost his temper and grabbed Burgess by the head, telling him that he's spent every night thinking about how Ace felt when he died. Burgess then attempted to stab Sabo with a combat knife hidden behind his back, scoffing that Sabo must surely feel regret for not being there to save Ace. Sabo angrily replies that he won't have any more regrets before finishing off Burgess with a fiery point-blank attack.
The newest associate of the Blackbeard Pirates was later revealed to be Kuzan, during the meeting between the Gorosei and Sakazuki. His status within the crew is unknown.
Fifth Division Captain Laffitte and Second Division Captain Shiliew received a call from Burgess, who had stowed away on a ship and had reached Baltigo, the location of the Revolutionary Army headquarters. Burgess told Laffitte to tell Blackbeard to bring everyone and attack, as they could obtain a lot of weapons. The Blackbeard Pirates later attacked the Revolutionary Army's base and destroyed it before the Marines and Cipher Pol arrived, but the Revolutionary Army was able to escape. The crew retreated after briefly clashing with Cipher Pol.
As the news of Luffy's exploits at Totto Land spread across the world, Teach read the newspaper at some unknown location and laughed while commenting that it was too soon for Luffy to be called a Yonko. The other members of the Blackbeard Pirates stood nearby as they listened.
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 Everything D. Teach. Van Augur 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?) were to be members, 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.
- When the Blackbeard Pirates are shown in silhouettes in Drum Island Arc, Van Augur is the only character to keep his character design.
- A model of the Blackbeard Pirates' raft is presented in One Piece Super Ship Collection.
- During the Impel Down Arc, Emporio Ivankov describes Level 6 prisoners to Mr. 2, aside from Avalo Pizarro, those described join the Blackbeard Pirates.
- One of the fans asked Oda why he drew Blackbeard Pirates not beautiful, and Oda answered that they correspond to "pirate themes".