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Shichibukai of One Piece

The Shichibukai (七武海 Shichibukai, literally meaning "Seven Military Seas"), the full title being Oka Shichibukai (王下七武海 Ōka Shichibukai, literally meaning "Royal Seven Military Seas"), are seven (though this number fluctuates throughout the series) powerful and well-known pirates who have allied themselves with the World Goverment.
The Shichibukai is an organization of seven pirates turned privateers in the service of the World Government. Although they work for the World Government, the Shichibukai do not care about or respect the Government (excluding Bartholomew Kuma, who was transformed into their puppet) or even other Shichibukai, and are often considered by the Marines to be no different from any other pirate. On the other hand, they are known as "government dogs" and are despised by other pirates, but are still feared and respected for their infamous reputation and strength before, and even after they become Shichibukai.
The Shichibukai seem to be a mixture of the more chaotic Yonko and the more orderly Marines. The majority of the Shichibukai are composed of New World veterans; those who have met the Yonko or even confronted them.
There is an enormous range in the bounties between the members due to differences in circumstances under which they were recruited, with Doflamingo, who has a former bounty of former Bsymbol.gif340,000,000, and Blackbeard, with no former bounty at all. It should be noted that these are their former bounties, and doesn't represent the current threat they could achieve as active pirates. Jinbe, for example, after his resignation his bounty jumped to over Bsymbol.gif400,000,000. Another example is Sir Crocodile, who was imprisoned in Level 6 of Impel Down, while Luffy with a bounty of Bsymbol.gif300,000,000 at the time put him only at Level 5.
The terms that the Shichibukai are on with each other is best described as very unstable. They have very little (if any) respect for each other and will for the most part not accept help from one another, apparently from a firm sense of pride. During the battle meeting for the Shichibukai where only two members are absent (Hancock and Jinbe), it is even stated that the very notion of them working together as a team is entirely unthinkable. However, Kuma and Doflamingo don't disregard the notion of teaming up with another Shichibukai: Kuma offered Moriah help defeating the Straw Hats and Doflamingo offered Crocodile a chance to team up. Both offers were refused due to pride.
During Boa Hancock's visit at Impel Down's Level Six, Jinbe stated that he didn't know much about her, possibly suggesting that only some of the Shichibukai are familiar with each other or even have personally met all the other members. Despite this, as of chapter 575, all of the Shichibukai (including former) fought at the war between the Whitebeard Pirates and the Marines.
Most of the Shichibukai have a jaded attitude of the world, as their vast amounts of experience have disillusioned them. Crocodile and Moriah both disregard Luffy's arrogant behavior, saying that he is too inexperienced to know what the world is truly like; Mihawk behaved in a similar fashion in his duel with Zoro, though he hopes that he'll be successful. Doflamingo believes that there is no true justice in the world, and that both the Marines and Pirates are foolish if they think that they are upholding it. Hancock, through her horrid experience as a slave, considers all men of the world to be scum, outside of Luffy, with whom she is in love (and anyone who Luffy is on good terms with); Rayleigh, who is her "benefactor"; and Fisher Tiger, who was responsible for freeing her from slavery. 
A pirate may choose to join the Shichibukai if a space becomes vacant (which means that at least one Shichibukai must resign or be expelled from the group, the former being Jinbe's case and the latter being Crocodile's case). However, in order for one to become a Shichibukai once this position opens up, one must be able to show their strength against other pirates while choosing to pledge loyalty to the World Government (this ironically encourages pirates to gain infamy to become a Shichibukai) by making a pact with the Gorosei. If the pirate in question can be used as intimidation, the position may be offered to them, if no other pirate has accepted the position or proven to be more of an asset to the World Government. As expected, most members were already notorious pirates with high bounties, but even relatively unknowns can be admitted if they accomplish a feat to prove their strength. Blackbeard's victory over Portgas D. Ace is one example of this. 
They do not offer open opposition to the rule of the World Government, but are not guaranteed to follow its orders either. They are only allowed to attack other pirates and must also pay the Government a tenth of their loot, though this rule is not usually followed at the very least. Each member of the Shichibukai must also have strong intimidation skills and a fearsome representation to put off others becoming a pirate and make them fear them. In addition, given the dialogue between Bartholomew Kuma and the Gorosei, it can be assumed that once someone becomes a member of the Shichibukai they must be undefeated to maintain their position, or at least are not allowed to have a widely known loss that affects their reputation.
Some of the members do various tasks for the government, such as taking over new islands for the World Government (described as "liberating") and guarding nations, but their ultimate purpose is to keep other pirates in check. Most importantly, the Shichibukai serve to help keep the balance of The Three Great Powers.
Theoretically, the Shichibukai are allies of the government, and in war time would fight alongside the Marines. Still, many Marine officers (for example Vice-Admiral Smoker, Admiral Kizaru and Fleet Admiral Sengoku) dislike them and think of the Shichibukai as any other pirate. Several high-ranking Marines expressed surprise that even two of the Shichibukai actually bothered to show up when summoned for the meeting about Crocodile's removal, and they were very shocked when a third arrived. Tellingly, of the others besides Kuma that showed up, Doflamingo came out of sheer boredom (passing the time before the meeting by nearly forcing two marines to duel each other), and Mihawk came only to hear about the pirates being discussed in the meeting. When they are not under orders of the World Government, they have no commitment to aid the efforts of the Marines. Most of the Shichibukai appear to show general apathy towards the World Government and in some cases even hostility. During the battle with Whitebeard, Moriah stated he doesn't care who wins and Boa Hancock openly attacked both Marines and pirates. 
In exchange for these services, the Shichibukai are pardoned for their former actions and any existing bounties are rescinded.
As the Shichibukai are no longer outlaws, they can make money through legitimate business, as well as bounty hunting. Some, however, are content to simply float around the sea on their ships. The government does not seem to mind, and the Shichibukai are granted a great deal of autonomy in how they operate, at least thus far. Other benefits include access to resources normally out of bounds to normal citizens and pirates, such as the use of Kairoseki equipment.
Boa Hancock, in particular, has a treaty that acts as a restraining order for all ships that come near Amazon Lily. Jinbe and his entire crew were given a pardon for their captain, Fisher Tiger's attack against the World Nobles, and their status as slaves nullified. Donquixote Doflamingo also managed to operate the Human Auctioning House with the government fully ignoring it before passing it to Disco.
Crocodile, abused the privilege of being no longer monitored so closely to build himself a large and powerful covert organization, and Blackbeard took advantage of the access the rank grants him to get into facilities that would otherwise have been unreachable to a pirate.

Even if they violate the law, the World Government and Marines may choose not to take any notice. Doflamingo used to own the Human Auctioning House before giving it to Disco. Crocodile seemed to have gone unsupervised for an extremely long period of time, as he had created a large, malevolent organization that the World Government seemed to be completely unaware of. Because of the risk involved with maintaining the three great powers, the Government tolerates the illegal activities of any Shichibukai and attempts to protect them if possible (or at least maintain their fame).
That is not to say they would not dismiss a Shichibukai for such actions. There are several Shichibukai who have been dismissed from their positions for several reasons. Crocodile's actions in Alabasta left the World Government with few options other than his dismissal, although in fact Luffy dealt with him (and his bounty was raised for that).
Moriah's defeat was met with horror by the World Government as they had only just replaced Crocodile's loss. Fearing what would happen if another fell, the World Government attempted to cover up his defeat by killing all of the survivors of Thriller Bark before word got out. Even though Kuma (the one sent to deal with the problem) chose to go against the command of the Gorosei, Moriah was able to retain his status for a time, later answering the call to fight Whitebeard. After the war, the government finally deemed Moriah to be too weak to continue as a Shichibukai, and decided to strip him of his status and eliminate him, under the cover-up of Moriah dying in the war so as to preserve the Shichibukai's reputation of strength.
Jinbe has forfeited his position as Shichibukai for his refusal to assist in the war against Whitebeard and was incarcerated in Level 6 of Impel Down. After Monkey D. Luffy helped him escape, he assisted the young pirate in breaking free from Impel Down and traveling to Marineford and sided with Whitebeard's faction during the battle choosing to abdicate his position permanently and again became a willing enemy of both the Marines and the World Government.
Blackbeard only wanted to be a Shichibukai so as to be able to reach Impel Down in order to free Level 6 prisoners and create a stronger crew. As soon as he achieved this goal, he was no longer interested, and resigned from his Shichibukai title.
Dismissal from the Shichibukai holds not only one's loss of title, but in cases also the breakdown of possible politics linked to the Shichibukai. As Boa Hancock was warned, while she obeyed the World Government, her peoples' treaty with the World Government would be respected. However, if she did not heed the call of the World Government, then the treaty with her home island of Amazon Lily would be made void. Smoker has hinted that Hancock and her people will suffer repercussions for helping Luffy during the war, however throughout the war events related to her were often interpreted incorrectly by the Marines and others, thus her status as a Shichibukai seems to not have been brought into question. 
The Shichibukai seem to have only limited knowledge of each other, such as Jinbe never meeting Hancock before her visit to Impel Down. However, some others, such as Doflamingo and Crocodile, converse as though they are familiar with each other. In fact, Doflamingo is knowledgeable of Kuma's participation in the Pacifista program, yet does not know of his past relationship with the Revolutionaries. During these interactions, most of them are hostile, such as Jinbe and Crocodile snarling at each other over matters with Whitebeard. At times, however, they might be benign, such as Kuma offering to help Moriah in fighting against the Straw Hat Pirates, though the latter angrily refused. 
The Shichibukai are a group of seven of the strongest pirates in the world and one of the Three Great Powers, the others being the Yonko and the Marines.
In terms of power, the exact relationship between the Shichibukai, Marine Headquarters and Yonko is unknown. However, considering that these organizations are stated to be in balance and the fact that the loss of Crocodile threatened said balance, the most reasonable conclusion is that each organization is approximately equivalent in strength. At least two of the Shichibukai (Gekko Moriah and Dracule Mihawk) are said to have been rivals of Yonko members Kaido and Shanks, respectively. Bartholomew Kuma has also allowed himself to become part of the Pacifista project. The strength of at least one Shichibukai, Boa Hancock, has been acknowledged by Fleet Admiral Sengoku himself. This, in addition to the fact that losing a single member of the Shichibukai can throw off the balance of the world powers and cause distress to the World Government, indicates the extreme power each individual has. The strength of a Shichibukai is so great, that should they be imprisoned for any reason, they would be sentenced to Level 6 of Impel Down, the lowest and most secure level of the prison (as both Crocodile and Jinbe were sentenced).
Because of their deal with the World Government, the Shichibukai are considered "Government Dogs" by other pirates. At the same time, they are also feared by them because all of the Shichibukai are insanely strong, each capable of destroying an average pirate crew on their own with no effort as seen with Mihawk and Crocodile. They have such a fierce reputation that even other powerful and famous pirates are unnerved by them as seen with the captain of the Kid Pirates, Eustass Kid, actually seemed heavily disturbed when he witnessed the arrival of a Pacifista cyborg (mistaking it for the real Kuma) on the Sabaody Archipelago, close to where his crew were, despite the fact that his bounty was higher than Kuma's former bounty, demonstrating how their strength is even greater than that implied by their frozen bounties in the eyes of others.
Each member has some ability or power, the majority of which are Devil Fruit. These abilities can often times vary depending on the Shichibukai's theme. Some of their abilities appear to conflict with each other: for example, Blackbeard's power involves drawing people to him, while Kuma's involves rejecting people away from him; and Doflamingo's power allows him to control the motion of other people to his will, while Hancock immobilizes them by turning them into stone. In the case of Crocodile and Jinbe, this opposition also extends to the environment where their abilities reach their full zenith (i.e. being a Fishman, Jinbe's fighting abilities are at their peak in the deep and open sea, while Crocodile, having consumed the Suna Suna no Mi, favors the dry desert).
In relationship to each other, it is not entirely known how they compare in strength. However, during the Whitebeard war several members and former members fight each other and none manage to defeat or significantly harm each other in any fight. Although while most appeared evenly matched Moriah was outfought by Jinbe, and adding to his defeat by Luffy, was deemed too weak to continue to be a Shichibukai and Doflamingo was ordered to kill him along with a group of Pacifista. 
For many years, Mihawk dueled his rival swordsman Red-Haired Shanks in great battles that shook the Grand Line. Mihawk joined the ranks of the Shichibukai at a currently unknown point in time.
Moriah and his rival, Kaido, also fought at some point and while Moriah escaped with his life, his crew was no more. Moriah would also join the ranks of the Shichibukai. Ten years ago, he set up an organization called Thriller Bark recruiting Dr. Hogback into his ranks. While Thriller Bark sailed around in the Florian Triangle they began to amass an army of zombies using Moriah's powers. While fulfilling his duties of controlling pirates, they also took Marines and civilian ships. However the World Government, though appearing to know of his actions, allowed this to go on.
After acquiring his bounty of Bsymbol.gif250,000,000, Jinbe was recruited some eight years before the start of the series, following the death of Fisher Tiger and the breaking up of the Sun Pirates into smaller groups like the one Arlong led to the East Blue. His recruitment was an attempt to strengthen the bonds between the species, and it allowed the members of the Sun Pirates who did not want to become pirates in the first place to return to Fishman Island, and given a pardon for Tiger's attack on Mariejois.
Crocodile set up his Baroque Works organization four years prior, recruiting the criminal Nico Robin into his ranks. For the next four years, Crocodile would work to make the kingdom of Alabasta view him as a hero while he secretly gained power to bring down the royal family of Alabasta and take control of a weapon known as Pluton.
Sometime after escaping slavery, Boa Hancock went on a single pirate campaign so great that, combined with the existing fearsome reputation of the Kuja Pirates, she was visited by the World Government with an offer. Hancock made a treaty with the World Government that protected her people from them in exchange for becoming a Shichibukai.
Two years ago, when Portgas D. Ace was gaining fame as the captain of the Spade Pirates, he was invited to join the Shichibukai, meaning there was an opening for him, but he refused.

Interest in the Rising Swordsman

The first Shichibukai to appear was Mihawk, having hunted down Don Krieg and his men from the Grand Line. He followed Krieg in a small coffin-like ship as he destroyed Krieg's entire armada. His excuse was that they woke him up from a nap.
When he sliced up Krieg's last remaining ship, Zoro of the Straw Hat Pirates challenged him his title of "World's Greatest Swordsman". He told Mihawk he was the swordsman he was looking for in his travels. Mihawk accepted his challenge, using a knife smaller than a pocket knife to fight. Without any apparent effort, he was able to block and repel all of Zoro's attacks and stabbed him in the chest.

Mihawk gives Zoro a near-fatal strike.
Zoro realized the gap between their abilities and surrendered, asking to be finished off properly. Mihawk honored him by drawing his sword and with one slash, broke two of his swords and ended the fight. Mihawk explained to Luffy he held back to leave the young swordsman injured but alive so they can fight again some day. Mihawk told Zoro to become strong and live, to one day surpass him. 
After the Straw Hats raided the Human Auction House, Doflamingo told Disco, a worker there, that he could have the organization as the future was becoming much clearer; the Shichibukai were to fight against the Whitebeard Pirates. Kuma arrived at the Sabaody Archipelago while an attempt to bring the Straw Hats to justice for their actions was being made. He interfered with Kizaru's battle with them as they were about to be defeated and instead of Kizaru bringing them in, Kuma "wiped" out the crew one by one by sending them away to other islands, scattering the crew. He interrupts the battle between Rayleigh and Kizaru and whispers into his ear.
He revealed himself to be an officer of the Revolutionary Army, who came to Sabaody Archipelago to save Luffy and his crew from being killed. The Dark King questions Kuma's motives, who responds by saying that he can choose whether to believe him or not. Kizaru demands to know what he told Rayleigh but he refused and then left.
Luffy arrived at Amazon Lily a few days later. The Pirate Empress, Boa Hancock who was arriving home was stopped by the Marines demanding an answer to the call of the Whitebeard War. She turned the crew to stone with her Mero Mero no Mi. She told Vice Admiral Momonga that she refuses to acknowledge the Marines demands and left for her home. When she arrived home from her raids she was greeted with a large celebration of her people welcoming their empress home. During her bathing session, Luffy, having given the Kuja warriors on the island the slip while they attempted to kill him, fell into her bath. He witnessed something familiar on her back and she attempted to turn him into stone. Luffy not phased by her a bit, attempted to run away and got caught.
Afterwards Hancock held a public execution to punish him for intruding on the sacred isle. She had her younger sisters fight him, but they were defeated with Luffy covering the mark on Sandersonia's back since they would rather die than let anyone see it. Hancock ordered her audience to evacuate as she broke into tears of shame. Taken aback by Luffy's surprising selflessness and hearing of him striking a World Noble, Hancock divulged her painful past to him showing the slave mark on her back. She befriended Luffy and even fell in love with him. Upon Luffy learning of Ace's fate, he asked her to take him to Impel Down where he was being held. She agreed, answering the call of the Shichibukai to gather at Marineford. Before going to Marineford, she requested to pay a visit to Impel Down and see Ace. She sneaked Luffy on board the Marine ship venturing to Impel Down.
Jinbe refused to aid the Marines against Whitebeard, who was a man he respected and also friend of Ace. Because of this he was imprisoned in Impel Down along with Ace and his status as a Shichibukai revoked until he chose to cooperate. Meanwhile, the Shichibukai Bartholomew Kuma, Gecko Moriah, Blackbeard, Doflamingo, and Mihawk all met in at a dinner apparently held at Mariejois. Meanwhile, Hancock and Luffy arrived at Impel Down with Hancock sneaking Luffy in under her robe.
After Luffy snuck away, Hancock was taken to see Ace, yet also encountered Jinbe in the same cell. Another cell in the same floor held Crocodile, who was taunting both pirates for their defiance and to reaffirm the power of the world. After delivering an enigmatic message regarding Luffy's arrival, Hancock departed to make her way to the other Shichibukai, hoping that Luffy will be safe from harm.

Jinbe, Luffy, and Crocodile breaking free.
Luffy broke into Level 6 of Impel Down and freed both Crocodile and Jinbe, both of who were imprisoned there, as they would be valuable assets in his breakout of Impel Down and his attack against Marineford to save Ace. As they made it to Level 4, Blackbeard stole a Marine ship with his crew and infiltrated Impel Down for reasons of his own.
After a short battle with Luffy, Blackbeard and his crew were severely poisoned by the Devil Fruit ability of Impel Down's Chief Warden, Magellan. At the same time, Crocodile and Jinbe left to Level 3 along with Luffy. Crocodile and Jinbe made it outside of Impel Down, trying to take control of a Marine ship.
They managed to conquer the battleship, and along with 239 other prisoners, they managed to enter the Gates of Justice and fled Impel Down, approaching Marineford. At the same time, Blackbeard and his crew were saved from poison, thanks to death row prisoner Shiliew, who was recruited into the crew in the process. 3 hours prior to the execution of Portgas D. Ace, only five of the Shichibukai were present: Bartholomew Kuma, Boa Hancock, Donquixote Doflamingo, Gekko Moriah and Dracule Mihawk.

Whitebeard Pirates vs. The Royal Shichibukai

After Sengoku revealed that Ace's father is none other than Pirate King Gol D. Roger, the Whitebeard Pirates and their 43 New World pirate allies have arrived. At the same time, the Gates of Justice opened, allowing Jinbe and Crocodile to leave the Tarai currents and prepare to join the war, along with their comrades.
Mihawk made the first move among the five Shichibukai by sending a massive slashing shock wave at the Moby Dick, Whitebeard's flagship, to test out their differences in abilities, but Jozu intercepted it with his diamond body.

The five Shichibukai survey the war unfolding before them.
When Oars Jr. appeared, Moriah declared that he wanted his corpse, and Doflamingo made a remark at how the battle was about to get interesting. The Shichibukai then began their assault. With the combined efforts of Bartholomew Kuma, Donquixote Doflamingo and Gekko Moriah, Oars Jr. was wounded and collapsed.
During Oars Jr.'s rampage, some pirates were able to penetrate the lines of defense. Boa Hancock defended herself from oncoming pirates by turning them into stone with her Devil Fruit abilities and shattering them. She also managed to get some of the Marines in the crossfire, which made them question whether or not she was going to betray them. She simply stated that she does not define herself as an ally of the World Government but she has agreed to fighting along with them against the Whitebeard Pirates.
Luffy's arrival in Marineford prompts comments from the Shichibukai with Moriah showing anger, Mihawk and Doflamingo showing amusement, Kuma remaining silent, and Hancock blushing and being relieved that Luffy managed to get out of Impel Down. Jinbe then declares directly to Sengoku that he abdicates his position. Crocodile attempts to kill Whitebeard, but is stopped by Luffy. Kuma also fired a mouth laser at Luffy and Ivankov, but it is dodged. Moriah uses his powers to raise an army of zombies and sends them after Luffy, but Jinbe purifies the zombies with a blast of sea water. When Sengoku reveals Luffy's heritage of being Dragon's son to the public, Moriah is shocked, Mihawk and Jinbe are not surprised, Hancock remains blushing, Kuma stays silent, and Doflamingo laughs.

Jinbe using Fishman Karate on Moriah.
Moriah and Jinbe proceed to fight, Moriah claiming he'll take Jinbe's shadow and augmenting himself with shadows. Jinbe, however, evades Moriah's attacks with ease and deals him a severe blow with Samegawara Seiken. Hancock then attacks and threatens Commodore Smoker for pinning Luffy to the ground and declares Luffy as her beloved. Meanwhile, Ivankov deals with Kuma, though Doflamingo says it's useless to talk to Kuma as the Kuma Ivankov knew is already dead.
Hancock proceeds to give Luffy the keys to Ace's handcuffs (which she obtained through unknown means), and when he hugs her, she collapses, mistaking the hug for marriage. She then attacks Smoker when he goes after Luffy, breaking his jutte and effectively initiating a battle between them, with Hancock not worrying about any of the consequences. Meanwhile, as Luffy confronts Kuma along with Ivankov, Doflamingo tells the story of Kuma being slowly modified into a Pacifista by Dr. Vegapunk, until the final modification (of the head) turned him into little more than a puppet of the World Government.
It is also revealed that the "Tyrant" Kuma hated the World Government and only agreed to become a weaponized human under some sort of deal; the first completed Pacifista Kuma is known as PX-0. Kuma then proceeds to attack Luffy, Ivankov, and Ivankov's men and Ivankov decides to pound Kuma's fear into him, using a dropkick and powerful winks to temporarily knock Kuma to the ground. Ivankov then tells the others to go on.

Mihawk goes all out as he attacks Luffy.
Meanwhile, Crocodile and Mr. 1 began making their way back to Whitebeard when Jozu charges at Crocodile and slams into him with his diamond forearm. Crocodile is launched back, but before Jozu can attack again, Doflamingo stops his movement, suggesting to Crocodile that they team up. As Luffy continues his charge to Ace, Mihawk appears and unsheathes his sword, stating that he will not hold back against him. Right after that, Mihawk attacks Luffy, stating that he was within "range." Luffy tries to escape because he has no time to fight strong guys like him. Luffy realizes he can't fight him, because if he gets close to him, Mihawk will just cut him. Seeing he is unable to continue, Marco, commander of Whitebeard Pirates 1st Division, tells Vista the Flower Sword, commander of Whitebeard's 5th Division, to help him out. Vista, also a swordsman, manages to hold Mihawk back, so Luffy breaks away.

Doflamingo clashing with Crocodile.
As Whitebeard is stabbed by a deceived Squard, Moriah and Doflamingo look excited, Jinbe looks shocked, and Mihawk looks indifferent. Crocodile, shocked to see that Whitebeard got struck so easily, wonders how Whitebeard could be so weak. Later, Crocodile strikes down the executioners who tried to kill Ace, due to him being unable to accept the smug looks in the Government's faces. This results in Doflamingo getting jealous that Crocodile would choose Whitebeard and the two clash.
When Luffy is injured by Aokiji, Hancock attempted to jump in to avenge him, but Marco struck first. Later, when Luffy is blocked by a Pacifista, Hancock stood in between. As the Pacifista recognized her as a comrade, it ceased its attack. However, when it told her to move, she broke its head and proceeds to annihilate the rest, in order to prevent them from giving Luffy chase. At the same time, Jinbe has decided to fight to the death on behalf of the Whitebeard Pirates.

Crocodile protects Luffy from Mihawk.
Mihawk attempted to attack Luffy again, but Mr. 1 intervened. Mihawk easily defeated Mr. 1, who is then saved by Crocodile. Crocodile and Mihawk clash with each other. Meanwhile, Boa Hancock crushed more Pacifistas, causing Sentomaru to question her allegiance.
After Ace died, and Luffy suffered a mental breakdown, Hancock stated that she was extremely worried. As Whitebeard kept suffering damage, Doflamingo made a sudden claim that things keeps getting interesting, as the Blackbeard Pirates returned to the battlefield, with several legendary criminals from Impel Down as new recruits.
Blackbeard revealed his sole reason for wanting the title of Shichibukai: to have access to Impel Down, which normal pirates find impossible, in order to recruit powerful prisoners to increase his crew strength exponentially. After this goal is achieved, he resigned from his postion, having no further use for it, much to Sengoku's fury and the terror of the Marines. Blackbeard is then attacked by Whitebeard, but then retaliates with his crew and assaults Whitebeard with bullets and blades, ultimately killing him.

Blackbeard welding his original power in his right hand and Whitebeard's in his left.
After witnessing Whitebeard's death, all those still active in the war then witnessed Blackbeard then proceeds to absorb the Gura Gura no Mi's power from his former captain's corpse, through unknown means hidden under a black cloth. When Blackbeard emerges with his power of darkness and earthquake, he announces worldwide that it is now his era, and entered into combat against Sengoku and Monkey D. Garp.
Jinbe continues to carry an unconscious Luffy to safety, to which results him being injured by Akainu, but is saved by Crocodile, and then is seen being carried by Buggy to Trafalgar Law's submarine. When the Red Hair Pirates arrived to end the war, Mihawk departed as he agreed to war against Whitebeard, not his comrade Shanks. Hancock took over a Marine ship to chase after the submarine, under the claim that she wanted Luffy's head. Blackbeard and his crew left, as they got what they wanted.

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