Fans of Nickelodeon’s ‘The Legend of Korra’ well know the hearbreak of Book 4: Balance, which followed Book 3's exile to online premieres, and only weeks after the finale. And where last week brought the revelation that a slashed budget had forced creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino into a clip show episode, there may yet be good news for fans. ‘The Legend of Korra’ will soon make a return to TV, albeit not exactly in the way we might hope.
The Legend of Korra
After a heated encounter that sent Team Avatar racing along the streets of Republic City and warding off Earthbender gestapo atop a speeding train, Asami says what's on all of our minds: “It was kind of like old times.” Man, it really was.
'The Legend of Korra' imparts an important lesson as it barrels towards its ending, leaving younger audience members to grow into the news-digesting, opinion-spouting, inevitably partisan Internet beings they'll grow up to be: World politics are hard. Impossible, maybe. Every situation is a lose-lose. There are no rights and wrongs because one side of the conflict is always right and always wrong. A major leader's decision will inevitably piss people off. The response can never be “the right way.”
“The Avatar is back in business!” At the end of this rambling travelogue episode, 'Legend of Korra' puts everything on the table. What is balance? It's compassion, it's bravery, it's endurance, it's understanding, it's fearlessness, it's compromise. It's a state of being that separates revolutionaries from Big Bads. Korra's foes from seasons past weren't actually that bad, Toph tells her new student. Amon wanted equality, Unalaq freed the spirits, and Zaheer fought for freedom. But they crossed a line, tipped out of balance. “They took their ideologies too far,” she says. It's the kind of blunt truth Golda Meir might have whispered. Coming from the blind Earthbender, it's the line of the show.
'The Legend of Korra' Book 4 has me hooked with story, but it's wowing me with the return of the original Metalbender, now 86 years old, and actress Philece Sampler's faithful rendition of her layered persona. It's Toph again, and not just on paper. The way she speaks, the way she jabs, the way concern slips out of her hard shell, the way she forcefully reels in that trace of compassion after noticing it snuck out — Toph is the most successful “classic” character to transition to the new show. She needed to be. Only someone as no-nonsense as Toph could whip the Avatar pack into hero mode, the human Zoloft to Korra's spell of depression.
'The Legend of Korra' said goodbye to fans at New York Comic-Con 2014 with a final panel and screening of Book 4's second installment "Korra Alone," filling in the gaps of Korra's heartbreaking three-year struggle after Book 3 finale "Venom of the Red Lotus." We had a chance to speak to series creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino just before the panel to discuss everything from bringing Korra's journey full circle, to lingering Book 3 questions, and the franchise future.
There are enemies and there are hurdles. The former haven't proved too difficult for Korra, who mustered up the power, grace, control, and ingenuity to defeat even a towering, spirit-man Kaiju. It's looking inward to find those heroic attributes that proves difficult — for Korra or anyone with a brain in their head. With “Korra Alone,” Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino pit their heroine against her greatest adversary: herself. Not someone you want to immediately torch with firebending.
‘The Legend of Korra’ will continue its final season tomorrow on Nick.com, streaming Book 4: “Balance”’s second episode, “Korra Alone,” but who wants to wait that long? We’re on hand tonight at the New York Comic-Con 2014 panel to bring you all the scoops, including details on tomorrow’s episode, concept art, future plans and more! So, what secrets lay in store at ‘The Legend of Korra’’s final Comic-Con panel?
One reason I'll survive the conclusion of 'Legend of Korra' — and there were doubts as the final season set in this past week — is the show's immortal design work. Like other genre property pillars, the world of Avatar has a visual panache lending itself to reinterpretation. As artists, creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino are open to their creation's flexibility; Between fan art and commissioned works, there are hundreds of 'Korras' out there. And now, courtesy of Nickelodeon, we have one of the most stunning variations yet.
As 'Legend of Korra' unexpectedly returns just a month after the Book 3: Change finale, the show joins the ranks of 'Battlestar Galactica,' 'Alias,' and 'One Tree Hill' in taking a giant leap forward in time, with Korra's showdown against Zaheer a distant memory for Team Avatar. At first, everything looks peachy: Republic City thrives with new tourist attractions — anyone immediately book their next vacation to the Spirit Wilds? — the Earth Kingdom is on the brink of resurgence, and everyone has new jobs, new threads, and a little more age on their faces (the growth spurt on Mako and Asami was even a bit shocking, as if they were my children growing up before my eyes...). Life is grand. Everything's going smoothly. For about two seconds.