In Chapter 1018 Who’s-Who brings up a legend he heard while imprisoned about the Sun God Nika, who was said to come and liberate slaves from captivity.
Who’s-Who states the guard who told him about the legend was “erased” from duty by the World Government, implying that knowledge about Nika was not meant to be shared.
Nika’s title of “Sun God” probably ties in with all the sun motifs and references we’ve seen throughout the series, especially with Alabasta, Shandorians and the Sun Pirates.
Here is a dialogue of Mother Carmel deceiving them by playing on their beliefs of worshipping the sun as there have been a lot of references to that when they keep their winter solstice fast.
There have probably been more of them which I’m missing out here, but the one thing all of these motifs/references have in common is that they were all probably part of the Ancient Kingdom which opposed the 20 Royal Families centuries ago.
Which raises the question if this Nika figure is Joy Boy or not.
I am of the opinion that this Nika figure is in fact Joy Boy and is just another name for this very important figure. From what little we know of Joy Boy it seems to be a title and not an individual. We also know from Oden’s flashback that Roger was expecting Joy Boy to return as was Oden and Kaido. Given that Joy Boy was such a prominent figure in ancient times it would not be surprising if he has multiple names with Nika being one of those names.
Joy Boy is also connected with the coming of the Dawn and this Nika figure also has sun symbolism as he is referred to as the Sun God in this chapter. And it is very important to note that Who’s-Who specifically asked a Fish-man to try and find out more about this legend. We know from the Fish-Man Island Poneglyph that in the past Joy Boy had made a promise with the mermaid princess which he had failed to keep.
In the upcoming chapters the citizens of Wano have to see this new “Joy Boy” foreshadowed by Oden 20 years ago in the form of Luffy’s comeback into the fight against Kaido.
Speaking of references to the Sun, it’ll also be interesting to see if bigger picture will tie in to all the moon references we’ve gotten throughout in the form of Enel’s cover story, history of Shandians migrating from the moon, the suffix of -Tsuki in all of Wano’s clans (barring Kurozumi), Sulong, etc…