Chapter 553 is titled "Conflict at the Summit".
The war finally begins with Whitebeard creating two tsunamis converging from both sides of Marineford, but Aokiji quickly freezes both tsunamis, causing great relief. He then goes on to attack Whitebeard, who counter attacks and demolishes Aokiji, causing him to start falling into the ocean. Aokiji freezes the ocean before he is submerged, immobilizing the ships but also creating some footing. All 14 commanders then rush out of the ship and charge into the war, leading the rest of the allies. The pirates start to open fire onto Marineford, but their attacks are blocked by the Vice-Admirals. Dracule Mihawk decides to test his strength against Whitebeard, but his attempt is stopped by Jozu, revealing his power. Kizaru also comes into play and aims for Whitebeard, but is also stopped by Marco, revealing his power.
The Marines are in panic as two tsunamis advance towards them. Doflamingo laughs at the "Legendary Pirate", meaning Whitebeard, while the great pirate himself also laughs. Soon, Aokiji evaporates out of his chair and uses Ice Age on the two tsunamis, freezing them entirely. Whitebeard calls Aokiji a "little rascal", while the Marines are relieved. Aokiji sends Ice Spears towards Whitebeard, who stops them and snaps Aokiji in half, cracking the air to do this. Aokiji crumbles into ice, but reforms near the water and freezes the bay entirely, creating an icy battlefield. The Whitebeard Pirates look out, observing the new foothold but the fact that they no longer could move. The Marines fire upon the ships, when Whitebeard's allies jump out, getting ready to fight.
The vice admirals have Marine Headquarters jump down and line up, all holding swords. The opposition comment on their line up, stating that this rarely happened and looked like a Buster Call. Tsuru is warned to stay back, but states that even if she was to retreat to the end of the Seas, she would never be safe.
Mihawk pulls out his legendary sword and tells Doflamingo that he was going to test the strength between a certain man and him. Mihawk sends a gigantic flying strike towards Whitebeard but is suddenly stopped by Jozu, or better known as Third Division Commander, "Diamond" Jozu. Next, Kizaru prepares to take his strike, sending a shower of light bullets towards Whitebeard. The old pirate comments that the light was bright and as the shower comes, someone jumps up into the fray, stopping the shower. The Marines look up and see Marco, the First Division Commander in blue flames. Marco states that he could not take the king on your first turn, possibly referring to chess, while Kizaru states that the Whitebeard Pirates are frightening people.
- Marco and Jozu are both revealed to have eaten Devil Fruits. Jozu's gives him diamond coating while Marco's is able to stop an attack from Kizaru with blue fire.
- Onigumo, a vice admiral, has recently been seen with six arms sprouting from his back. Using this and his original two arms, Onigumo is capable of holding eight swords.
- This chapter and Chapter 555 have the most double pages with eight.