Thanks to the cover of issue #42 of Weekly Shonen Jumpfans of One Piece are finally able to see the first official colored illustration of Luffy‘s most powerful form, Gear Fifth. Until now, this bizarre and amazing power-up only appeared in black and white in the manga, and in color on the cover of volume 103. Now, Weekly Shonen Jump dedicates the entire cover of its issue #42 to Eiichiro Oda’s best-selling manga, and Luffy’s Gear Fifth takes center stage.
One of the biggest surprises in One Piece‘s recent years was the revelation that the protagonist, Luffy, has not actually eaten the Gomu Gomu no Mi Devil Fruit, as readers were led to believe since the very first chapter of this 25-year long series. Luffy’s powers actually come from a mythical, godlike creature called Nika (of which not much is known), and he was able to fully access them for the first time during the battle against Kaido, when he awakened his Devil Fruit and debuted his Gear Fifth form. Like the majority of manga, One Piece is in black and white, so fans could only speculate about the exact colors of this bizarre but incredibly powerful version of Luffy, which also brings major changes to his body.
The first official look at Gear Fifth’s colors came from an unlikely source, a leaked action figure made by Bandai, an official Shonen Jump merchandise that showed Luffy’s hair and clothes as completely white, while his eyes take on a peculiar red color. This was later confirmed by the cover of volume 103 of the manga, released in August 2022, that shows Luffy in his Nika form in the background. However, to have a clear look at Gear Fifth in all its colored glory, fans had to wait until issue #42 of Weekly Shonen Jumppublished in September 2022, which you can admire below.
Being featured on the cover of Weekly Shonen Jump that is a privilege One Piece, as the best-selling manga of all time, enjoyed several times. On this occasion, fans can also get the clearest and most complete look at Luffy’s mysterious new form. Gear Fifth indeed turns the Straw Hat captain’s clothes white, except for his blue/purple sash. His hair also becomes white and takes on a wispy and smokey appearance, similar to the white cloud that floats around his neck, while his eyes turn red. Luffy’s drastic change of appearance (something that also happened in his Gear Fourth form) remains mostly a mystery, just like Nika’s true nature and the extent of his abilities.
This is the perfect time for One Piece to take center stage in Weekly Shonen Jump. The manga just celebrated its 25th anniversary and the franchise has never been more popular, as proven by the global success of the movie One Piece Film: Red, and by the upcoming live-action show on Netflix. Readers of the manga also have plenty of reasons to be excited, as well One Piece has entered its final saga and is kicking into high gear in terms of revelations and exciting developments. Hopefully, more details on Luffy’s Gear Fifth will be disclosed soon, but for now One Piece fans can be happy to enjoy this full-color illustration on the cover of Weekly Shonen Jump.