WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Boruto: Naruto Next Generations #38 by Masashi Kishimoto, Mikio Ikemoto and Ukyo Kodachi, on sale now.
Readers of Boruto: Naruto Next Genrations have speculated for some time about the main villain of the story. Jigen, the leader of Kara, has dictated the pace. However, when he was revealed to be part of the Ōtsutsuki clan fans began to question whether he was in control or merely a vessel, as hinted when Sasuke visited his space-time dimension and found him, not only changing into a beast form, but also holding a Ten Tails monster hostage.
But in the latest chapter of the manga, we learn Jigen is indeed nothing more than a pawn, and he's possessed by an Ōtsutsuki threat yet to be seen called Isshiki. Judging from the battle so far, this new enemy is far more powerful than Kaguya from Naruto.
After brawling in Konoha, Jigen teleported Naruto to his alien realm to finish him. He needs the Hokage out the way so he can take Kawaki back to his lair and complete possession of the boy, the perfect vessel he created with his Kara terrorist cell. But luckily for Naruto, Sasuke intervenes, and a massive battle ensues. Still, despite the two heroes maxing out their powers, Jigen's beast form is simply unstoppable.
Anything the duo throws at him, he evades or absorbs, in a manner befitting the fabled god of chakra often teased in the Naruto series. Kaguya was seen as the goddess of chakra on Earth, but as Jigen bests his opponents, it's clear he's more formidable, and the legend the Sage of the Six Paths mentioned in the past. But in the brawl, Jigen actually feels his body deteriorating as he has to expend a lot of chakra of his own and at this point he name-drops Isshiki, admitting Kawaki's frame is better for hosting the villain.
It's a stunning moment because neither Naruto nor Sasuke knows anything about this new enemy. With the likes of Kinshiki and Momoshiki defeated in the past, there were clues recently more clan members from their alien world were infiltrating Earth, so it could be that Isshiki is either their general or the leader of Kaguya's planet. Hopefully, we find out more soon because the franchise has never shed light into this world, apart from its royals sending soldiers on excursions across the galaxy.
Isshiki even calls Jigen a failure after he wins the fight, laughing at how unworthy and defective he is, which draws parallels to how the Black Zetsu possessed Madara Uchiha back in the day as the will of Kaguya. This also has fans wondering if the Karma mark be the essence or will of Isshiki? Fans believe it's a war mark which makes Kawaki worthy and it's also why Isshiki now has a new obsession -- Boruto. Following the boy's victory over Kinshiki and Momoshiki, he got a Karma of his own, so it appears that it wasn't to power him up, it was to create another host for Isshiki. This revelation also ties into the beginning of the series where we saw Kawaki fighting Boruto and boasting how he took Naruto out. It's more than likely that Kawaki was possessed by Isshiki and he was speaking of this battle where he defeated Naruto and Sasuke.
The pieces are falling into place and Isshiki's arrival sticks to the series' links to Japanese folklore. Kaguya was influenced by the story of a little girl found in a bamboo tree who was actually a celestial being from the moon, banished to Earth to live a mortal lifespan. In this story, she became "the Mother of All Shinobi," and in the Japanese tales, Isshiki was an inch-tall boy who fought a demon from inside using a needle for a sword, then stole its magic hammer that could make things shrink or grow. The villain exhibits these powers so it remains to be seen what his full story and overall goals will be.
Boruto #38 will be released on Oct. 20.