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Fanon:Joel (Alone)

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Tui and La By Millennia2 Part of the Alone continuity.
"I think it was his greatest regret to see so many die for a cause he never saw accomplished."
— Adrian to Leah in Joel's Old Friend
Joel Matthews
Biographical information



53 (deceased)

Physical description


Personal information
Weapon of choice

The elements

Fighting style(s)

Earthbending, Waterbending, Airbending, Firebending


Xavier, Quidel, Adrian, Katrina, Leah


The Leader, The BDA

Chronological and political information


  • Rebel Army Leader
  • Unrealized Avatar
  • Army Commander

Free Benders

First appearance

"The Message"

Last appearance

"Legacy Part 2: Avatar Aang"

Joel Matthews was the second Avatar in the fanon story Alone.


World War II

Joel Matthews was born to Filip and Karina Matthews on May 25, 1931, in Warsaw, Poland. His mother died giving birth to him, and he was raised by his father. When Joel was four, he discovered he was an earthbender while at a beach in northern Poland. Joel kept it secret from his father, who knew nothing about benders or the war against the BDA. In 1939, when Joel was eight, the Leader of the BDA used Hitler's lust for power and invaded Warsaw, which was coincidentally a bender colony.

Joel helped out the defense of the city by standing on top of skyscrapers and launching boulders at the fighter planes. This helped to weed out the squadrons, but it backfired when they targeted the building he was on. The fighter planes bombed the building and it fell to the earth. Before Joel landed, however, he activated the Avatar State and saved himself.

He returned home with his newfound power to hear his father was leaving for the east front of the defense. Joel protested, but Filip was persistent. The next day, Joel ran away from home and journeyed to the east front of the battle. He crossed the river, calling out for his dad, who found him and locked him in a tavern for his own safety. Joel beat on the window of the bar, screaming for his dad, who to his shock was killed by German soldiers.

The soldiers who killed Filip spotted Joel and dragged him out on the street. After having his nose broken by one of them, Joel activiated the Avatar State again and killed the soldiers. After returned, shocked at his actions, he asked nearby Polish soldiers to help take his father's body back to the city. A week and a half later, Warsaw fell to the Germans. The Leader went through the city with his BDA agents and picked out benders, including Joel, to be sent to the Warsaw Ghetto.

Joel lived out the remainder of the war in the ghetto. In 1944, he participated with the Polish Resistance in the Warsaw Uprising. After the unsuccessful battle, Joel was relocated to Auschwitz to be killed for his role in the battle. He hid from the guards, however, and survived long enough for the Americans to liberate the camp.

Raising An Army

When the war finally ended, Joel was 14 years old. When Auschwitz was liberated, he took under his wing a young airbender named Adrian, who had also been slated for death. They grew up together, dreaming of one day ending the BDA and securing the freedom of benders around the world. When Joel was 24, he started going around Europe to the bombard bender colonies, recruiting members for his army.

He spent almost 30 years going around Europe, Asia, and North America, gathering troops and mastering the elements. In November of 1984, he was satisfied with his army of two thousand and launched his assault on Uluru. His army traveled through India and Indonesia, stopping on the island of Sumba, 450 miles off the coast of Australia.

There, they waited for his army to steal four frigates from the Indonesian Navy to transport them to Australia. Before they arrived, Adrian pleaded with Joel to stop the attack, stating that many would die regardless of victory or defeat, to no avail. When Katrina, a young commander in the army, stated the frigates were there, Joel commanded the army to board and get ready to travel. When she left, Adrian teased Joel about Katrina's crush on him, to which he was embarrassed.

The army sailed to Australia and traveled through the desert to Uluru. The BDA, expecting them, raised a fog wall around the prison and assembled the Enforcers. When they arrived, Joel gave the instructions of battle, personally asking Adrian to make sure Katrina stayed out of the battle unless needed. Joel then entangled himself in the first wave of earthbenders, starting the assault.

The two armies fought viciously as they fought for control over the other. Joel spotted Tafari, the earthbender of the Elite, decimating the rebel army. Joel confronted him, and in a brief fight, killed the massive man. Surveying the battle, he was satisfied to see that his army was winning, having defeated half of the Enforcers. When they were defeated, one of his commanders, Xavier, walked up to him, only to be killed by Johanna, another Elite member.

Joel went to confront her only to be stopped by Adrian, saying it was his job to defeat her. Joel agreed and went back to the victorious army, getting ready for the next phase of the battle. The second wave of Enforcers came, only to be picked off one by one by the overwhelming numbers. The Leader came to the battle, ordering the Enforcers to retreat. As the rebel army attacked him, he encased them in an earthen box and decimated them with earth and fire.

Joel looked in dismay at his slaughtered army and ordered a retreat. Katrina however, wanted to continue, and Joel watched in dismay as she was killed by the Leader. As the Leader turned his attention to him, he ran away in shame, tears flowing down his face in defeat.

Fire shield

Joel being consumed by the explosion


Joel journeyed to the firebending colony in San Juan, Mexico, only to find it besieged by the Enforcers. He snuck into the city and hid in a petroleum farm. The Leader, who had spotted him, fired a bolt of lightning at the farm, sparking an explosion that killed Joel and destroyed the colony.


Leah Sanchez was born as the next reincarnation of the Avatar. On the summer solstice of 2001, Joel came to her and explained about his past and the assault on Uluru, charging her to journey to New York.


Joel was a stubborn but caring man who was determined to see his dream come true. When faced with the possibility of defeat in the assault, he pushed forward with confidence to see the battle won. Before the battle, he made sure that Katrina, a young commander with a crush on him, was safe from the fight. When she was killed, he expressed genuine dismay as he retreated from the battle.


Before his death, Joel was almost a realized Avatar. He had mastered Earth, Air, and Waterbending, though he had miminal knowledge of Fire. In the assault on Uluru, he displayed great skill in swimming through earth, airbending enhanced agility, and metalbending. Joel was also physically fit for his age, being able to run through the desert after the battle without stopping.


Book 1: Glass

Book 2: Smoke

Preceded by
Bracken Hansen
May 25, 1931-November 19, 1984
Succeeded by
Leah Sanchez

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For the collective works of the author, go here.

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