Who Is Stussy? This ‘One Piece’ Character Has a Surprising Origin Story
And who the hell is [SPOILER SPOILER]?!
There are so many badass women in One Piece. But the series often reveals the true extent of someone’s badassedness slowly, blooming like a beautiful, frightening flower. In the post-time skip world, the best example of this phenomenon is probably Stussy.
Who is Stussy in One Piece? We meet Stussy in the Whole Cake Island arc as one of the esteemed guests at Big Mom’s tea party. Even though the tea party devolves into absolute mayhem, and even though she’s presented at the same time as a giant bird/reporter named Big News Morgans, Stussy sticks out. Despite everything happening, she made a huge impression on fans. As we’ve learned more about Stussy, that impression has somehow gotten even bigger.
Plus, given recent events in the manga, there’s a sub-headline here. There’s someone else it would be useful to get to know. We’ll get to her at the end. But take this as a warning not to scroll directly to the bottom of this piece—unless you want spoilers.
Everything we know about Stussy from Wano
When we first meet Stussy, we’re told she’s a major force in the Underworld of the Grand Line and is referred to as one of the “Emperors” of the Underworld. Previously, the most important figure in the Underworld we had met (and perhaps the most important figure in the Underworld, period) was Joker, the alias of Donquixote Doflamingo. Joker used the shady undercurrents and back alleys of the Underworld to sell weapons, but the Underworld is shown to be even more nefarious than that; it’s also the alley through which human beings are sold into slavery.
Stussy is first introduced as the “Queen of the Pleasure District.” We don’t know anything more than that about the Pleasure District, but … it sounds fascinating. However, given the existence of human trafficking in the world of One Piece, it might be quite dark.
Stussy’s role as Queen of the Pleasure District is soon revealed to be a cover. As it turns out, she was dealing in the Underworld as an undercover agent for CP0. This puts her in the company of “old friends” like Rob Lucci and Kaku. We begin to suspect she’s probably involved with Cipher Pol when she whips out a Finger Pistol, which is one of the organization’s signature attacks.
CP0 is the highest-ranking organization within Cipher Pol. Cipher Pol does the World Government’s dirty work—espionage, assassination, good old-fashioned intelligence gathering, ominous looming in conspicuous places, etc. But CP0 works directly for the Celestial Dragons and—I assume based on the Egghead arc—the Five Elders. Their very existence is supposed to be secret. CP9 is also supposed to be secret. But CP0 is … like … super secret.
CP0’s strongest agents wear masks to conceal their identity. (And, I assume, to make them even more intimidating.) Stussy, Lucci, and Kaku are part of this group of “Masked Assassins.”
Stussy is not emblematic of the first time the World Government has meddled with the Underworld. Like many corrupt and greedy regimes, the World Government has a disturbingly healthy presence there. Recall Mother Carmel, the figure who took a young Charlotte Linlin in and raised her among other orphans. In reality, Mother Carmel was a dealer from the Underworld, selling orphans directly to the World Government to become Navy soldiers or Cipher Pol agents.
What we learn about Stussy on Egghead
MAJOR spoilers for the One Piece manga below!!
Remember what I said about the layers of badassery, the beautiful and frightening flower? Like the world’s most formidable onion, Stussy has even more layers.
Stussy is a double agent. While undercover, she was undercover. What a legend. What a badass.
Also, it turns out she’s a clone. Surprise!
Up until 22-ish years before One Piece‘s present day, Vegapunk was the head of a team of “pacifist” scientists he called MADS. “Pacifist” is in quotation marks because, while I don’t doubt Vegapunk sincerely wanted to use science for peace, the other members were violent maniacs: Vinsmoke Judge, Caesar Clown, Queen, and Buckingham Stussy. Yes, Buckingham Stussy. Stussy is, indeed, a clone of this Buckingham Stussy, a former member of the Rocks Pirates.
Stussy was Vegapunk’s first successful clone. As Yonji tells us in the Whole Cake Island Arc, “Vegapunk’s great discovery was the presence of bloodline elements in living things.” This research resulted in the creation of human life, which in turn threatened the World Government. So the Government hunted down and arrested the members of MADS they could get a hold of—which was just Vegapunk and Caesar Clown. Those two scientists subsequently began working for the Government.
Now that we know Stussy is the first successful clone ever made, it’s worth noting that we’ve seen clones in One Piece before. The entirety of Germa 66’s army is made of clones. There are also Vegapunk’s six “satellites”—Shaka, Lilith, Edison, Pythagoras, York, and Atlas (RIP?).
It seems that the World Government does not know about Stussy in particular, which enabled her infiltration of CP0. When asked if the Vegapunks had a spy in “the top secret intelligence agency,” Shaka replies, “Not by design … but that’s how it ended up.” Stussy wasn’t created for the sole purpose of being an agent. It was more of a happy (?) accident. But Stussy blew her long-standing cover in order to protect the Vegapunks from Kaku and Lucci. Throughout her (potentially) two decades of covert work for the World Government, her ultimate allegiance remained with Vegapunk.
Stussy also has some kind of power which allows her to sprout bat-like wings and put people to sleep if she sucks their blood. This seems like a Devil Fruit power, and many fans have put their money on “succubus.” But—notably—Stussy was able to handle Sea Prism Stone without being affected herself.
Who is Buckingham Stussy, then?
Ah, now that’s the big question, isn’t it? Buckingham Stussy is a former member of the Rocks Pirates, a legendary and threatening crew which existed about 40 years ago. The Rocks Pirates famously hated each other, but each member was terrifying in their own right. Big Mom, Kaido, and Whitebeard were all members under captain Rocks D. Xebec. They were defeated 38 years ago in an epic battle at God Valley, after they attacked Celestial Dragons and their slaves. Fascinatingly, they were defeated by the unlikely allied forces of Monkey D. Garp and Gol D. Roger. The Rocks Pirates, the so-called God Valley Incident, and the existence of God Valley itself has all been wiped from history. That’s all we know for now.
After the dissolution of the Rocks Pirates, Buckingham Stussy joined MADS. However, she’s said to have merely been a “freeloader” and a “self-styled scientist; i.e., she didn’t do much, which, if I may, really bummed me out. Once I determined who Buckingham Stussy was, I knew she would be selfish and eccentric. But I was hoping the only female member of MADS would be some kind of actual contributor. I hope that, like the clone Stussy, Buckingham Stussy is revealed to have secret layers of badassery.
We actually have known Buckingham Stussy for a while. We just didn’t know that we knew her. Until Stussy’s big reveal, we merely knew her as Miss Buckin, the weird little old lady who claims to have had a son with Whitebeard. Now that we know she and Whitebeard were former crew mates, this claim has become (marginally) more legitimate. But I don’t see Whitebeard as the kind to bang a lady who symbolizes a part of his past that he hates. And I see him even less as the type to ditch a son. Still, any lady going around saying she’s “Whitebeard’s lover” has some guts.
Miss Buckin is an overbearing type who simply appears to be after money. She’s always shown trailing behind her son, Edward Weevil. While Weevil’s never shown to have a crew, he’s powerful enough as a one-man pirate to have earned the title of Warlord of the Sea during the time skip. Miss Buckin’s main goal is to find Whitebeard’s fortune, which is rumored to be on his home island, Sphinx. This is the same place where Marco has established himself as the island’s sole doctor and is trying very hard to chill the hell out in early retirement.
While Marco left Sphinx to fight alongside the Straw Hats on Onigashima, the Navy swooped in to try to take the treasure. Since Sphinx is not part of the World Government, no inhabitant of the island is considered to have human rights. So they were real assholes about it. In a fun moment of triumph, Edward Weevil defended the town. In a less fun defeat, Admiral Ryokugyu (the same asshole who attacked Wano) showed up and arrested Weevil. Miss Buckin is now trying to solicit Marco’s help with a promise to prove, once and for all, that Weevil is Whitebeard’s son. For real.
We’ll probably find out way more about both Stussy and Buckingham Stussy in the coming chapters of One Piece. It’s a twist only the most imaginative fan theorists saw coming. Now that we’ve opened this Pandora’s Box, more and more bonkers history is bound to come pouring out.
(Featured image: Toei Animation)
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