Warning: Contains spoilers for Chapter One Piece No. 1053.
One of the main characters of One Piece could have just been killed off-screen. A hidden detail in chapter #1053 of One Piece gives a hint of the fate of Sabo, Luffy’s adopted brother, whose whereabouts were unknown after a dangerous confrontation with two Admirals of the One Piece Marine Patrol. There is a high probability that Sabo was killed, which means that after Ace’s death, Luffy lost another brother at the hands of the Admiral of the Marine Patrol.
Luffy, Sabo and Ace grew up together as children in the kingdom of Goa, sharing a dream of one day sailing as pirates, but Sabo was supposedly killed trying to escape from his aristocratic and violent family. In fact, Szabo was saved by Monk D. Dragon, Luffy’s father and the leader of the Revolutionary Army, who took him on after being impressed by his hatred of the nobles. Sabo, however, lost all memories of his past, but regained them after learning of Ace’s death. Not anymore. 2 of the Revolutionary Army, Szabo decided to protect his remaining brother Luffy and honor Ace’s legacy. He helped Luffy defeat Doflamingo at the Dress Rose, and they reunited after more than a decade. After the emotional reunion of Sabo and Luffy on the Dress Rose, their paths parted. Sabo and other Revolutionary Army commanders infiltrated Mari Joa during the Level, the pinnacle of world monarchs, to rescue their friend Kuma, enslaved by the Heavenly Dragons. They were opposed by two admirals, Ryokugyu and Fujitora, and although neither the battle nor its outcome was shown in the manga, Eiichiro Oda teased that Sabo was actually killed, despite the fact that he had recently received the powers of Ace’s former Devil fruit, Measure Measure no Mi.
Readers wondered if this was true, and chapter No. 1053 seemed to give confirmation. Against the background of the panel on the wall of the building there is a large poster with the face of Sabo. Judging by the small details, this place seems to be one of the kingdoms liberated by the Revolutionary Army, so the poster may be their way of remembering the fallen commander.
At the moment, it’s mostly speculation, and most readers haven’t even caught this little detail, but the Revolutionary Army would have no reason to hang posters of the giant Sabo if he wasn’t dead. One of the fan theories suggests that during the Level, the World Government actually framed Sabo and accused him of killing King Cobra and Princess Vivi from Alabasta (who opposed the power of the World Government), so when news of the Level spread around the world, Sabo’s world friends were seen crying in disbelief. Whatever really happened, the most likely explanation is that Sabo was captured (possibly by the same Admiral Ryokugyu who is now hunting Luffy on Vano) and then executed.
The only silver lining to this theory is that if Sabo had actually been captured and executed, it would have been the same fate as Ace, which would have caused history to repeat itself, which is unlikely for Eichiro Oda. Losing Luffy another brother in the same way would be too cruel, but at the moment the author wants readers to think that way. Perhaps Ryokugyu will inform Luffy about Sabo’s status, or maybe it will be a chance for a fateful first meeting between Luffy and his father, Dragon. Unfortunately, readers will have to wait a whole month before One Piece resumes serialization. At this point, fans can only assume the worst and think that Van Pease really killed Luffy’s remaining brother, Sabo.