Bleach manga volume 55, The Blood Warfare, has been released in Japan! It officially hit retailers last week on June 4, 2012. The volume contains the beginning of the final Bleach arc, covering chapters 480 to 489. As you can see below, the volume features the sinister-looking Vandenreich Leader on the cover.
As for the North American release of volume 55, well, it hasn’t been announced yet. The manga is extremely behind as volume 42 is expected to be released on July 3, 2012. North America may or may not see the print copy of Bleach 54 until next year as Amazon lists Bleach volume 53 with a December 4, 2012 release date. Of course things can change so we’ll have to wait and see what publisher Viz Media has in store as the year progresses!