Chapter 999 reveals that the Whitebeard crew found out about Oden’s death several years after it happened. They talked about going to war with Kaido, but Whitebeard never approved as he feared the loss of innocent lives.
Anyone who complains about Whitebeard’s motives seems strange. It’s been said before that Whitebeard isn’t the type of man who immediately goes to war when a member of his crew or family is killed. Look at Thatch’s situation. It was Ace who decided to go get revenge on Blackbeard, not Whitebeard who made the decision.
And honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Whitebeard is shown to be a pragmatic leader who prioritizes the lives of his current crew over trying to exact revenge for lost lives. If he wasn’t ready to go after Blackbeard who was apparently alone, why would it make sense for him to go and declare war on Kaido. A man who (from Whitebeard’s perspective) had beaten Oden. Oden had faced Whitebeard before, so Whitebeard understands the power Kaido must have to defeat Oden and understands that it wouldn’t be a simple skirmish, but an all-out war between the great powers of the world.
We think this board really shows a lot about how Whitebeard is thinking about his decision. Even though Whitebeard is strong enough to beat Kaido (without saying he was or not), he points out to Ace that it’s not one person’s business if they face Kaido. Clearly Whitebeard sees this as more than just revenge, and that’s why Oda mentioned before this board that the crew discussed several times before making the move to go attack Wano, for yet another time to give real meaning to a revenge and not be guided by too many emotions.
We consider this Whitebeard scene to build on the general theme of leadership that has been consistent throughout Wano and we found it appropriate. She provided us with another perspective on how one can be a leader, in contrast to the leadership styles of Oden, Luffy, Orochi, and Kaido (who were most exposed in this arc). In our opinion, this is a great addition to the Whitebeard character and makes him much more complex than a single-minded character who values his strength over everything. This proves to the reader that being powerful (or portrayed as such) isn’t the only thing Whitebeard values when leading his crew.
What we’re trying to say is that the character of Whitebeard is developed more than just the legend we’ve heard casually throughout history, and not only do we think that’s good, but that gives it an incredible touch. It really builds a big theme in One Piece, as mentioned earlier, that people are so much more than their appearances.