We here at ComicsAlliance know a thing or two about loving (and obsessively analyzing) Nickelodeon’s groundbreaking action fantasy saga. We’ve expounded upon everything from its depiction of fascism to its value as progressive entertainment. So you can bet we’re excited for today’s Blu-Ray release. You can check out an exclusive clip from one of the disc’s featurettes right here; a funny little insight into the show's New York Comic-Con panel that reveals the voice team’s behind-the-scenes rituals.
The Legend of Korra
The Legend of Korra made history by the end of its official series finale, implicitly confirming a romantic relationship between two of its lead characters, a surprise move that creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino expanded on at length afterward. Now, all the Korrasami feels can be yours, with official artwork of an Avatar date night.
I don’t really do escapism. It’s not that the media I consume isn’t described as such, nor even that I have something against the concept. I just rarely feel as though I….escape. I mean, I enjoy the books I read and the games I play. And I suppose they keep me from considering the quotidian details of my life as I engage with them. Like, no, in the most banal sense, I am not thinking about groceries as I play Portal. But there’s a power people invest in the concept of escapism—whether they celebrate or deride it—and I just never seem to get it. It’s not a big deal, really. It’s never a metric by which I measure anything. I shrug and move on.
I escaped into The Legend of Korra.
Each and every week, ComicsAlliance puts the spotlight on some of our favorite pieces in our regular Best Art Ever (This Week) feature. Every now and then, though, something comes along that deserves to take the spotlight all on its own, and there's a new art print that definitely fits the bill. In this case, it's because it combines two of our favorite things: Artist Geof Darrow and The Legend of Korra.
The Legend of Korra has been about many things—generational divides, anarchy, teen romance—but mostly, it’s been about power. Where Korra saw divine talent, Amon saw an underclass maintained by the caprice of nature. Where Korra saw vengeful dark spirits, Unalaq saw a grave imbalance that had pained the world for thousands of years. Where Korra saw an inept, but inevitable monarchy, Zaheer saw a tyrant whose willful ignorance kept her people destitute. Where Korra was absent, Kuvira, in her own words, “stepped up.” Where Korra sees status quo, others see the cruelty of those in power—and the opportunity for change.
The premiere episode of The Legend of Korra’s fourth and final season finds the Earth Kingdom navigating choppy waters. In the three years since season 3’s finale, Kuvira has gone from the seemingly content captain of Su Yin’s guard to the “Great Uniter” of a fractured world. She has 90% of the Earth Kingdom under her thumb and, as we learn over the course of the episode, has accomplished this through a campaign of forced labor, manipulation of resources, and a burgeoning cult of personality.
We watch as the governor of Yi, initially committed to independence, is brought to heel by the lawless reality of his state and the temptations of Kuvira’s “generous proposal” of takeover. Idealists like Bolin and Baatar Jr. have joined her cause, as have opportunists like Varrick. Figures of murkily extrajudicial power, like Kai and Opal, urge caution in the face of her might, but by the end of the episode, that’s all they can do—urge caution.
Avatar: The Last Airbender's four-episode finale starts with a beach party. Sokka cracks jokes as he scrambles across a crumbling airship. The last spoken line is a blind joke. It is clear to me, in a way that it wasn't when I first watched it, that these characters are young teens. Young teens dealing with genocidal dictatorships, Orwellian city-states and the general mayhem of war, absolutely, but their age lends the whole affair a constant, underlying levity. The adults that exist are kept at arm's length from the action—present, but unmistakably marked as “grown-ups,” and thus distant. Youth, and all its connotations of hope and humor, are the engine of the show.
Legend of Korra, in contrast, is downright grim.
After weeks of limp ratings, the Nickelodeon animated series The Legend of Korra has been passed off to the Nick.com website, leaving many to wonder what the future holds for the series. Confusion is never far from the discussion, whether it's from spurned fans or crowing critics. The fans haven't so much hit a rough patch as been dragged through a ravine. Now it holds its breath, unwilling to be hurt again.
Which is all really unfortunate, because season three of Korra is easily the best yet. Voice actor Janet Varney’s Korra continues to be one of TV finest heroines, full of grit, passion, and unbridled talent, while David Faustino’s Mako has mellowed from a high-strung athlete to… well, a high-strung cop, but one who wears his heart on his sleeve. ComicsAlliance sat down with Varney and Faustino at San Diego Comic-Con to talk about where the series has been, where it’s going, and what its legacy will be.
Though it won't air on television until this Friday, Nickelodeon posted the finale to The Legend Of Korra Book 2: "Spirits" online over the weekend, which means that it's already been widely discussed on the internet. It also means that series creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are likely a bit more comfortable publicly discussing some aspects of the season's conclusion, as well as the title for the upcoming Book 3, which was revealed today.
If you haven't already seen the finale, fair warning: there are significant spoilers after the cut.