By Jacob13Kyle Part of the The Gunfighter continuity.
Bolin realizes
Juji's fine. He comes back to life in the end when the doomsday device shifts the polarity of the Earth. Oops. Spoiler. Sorry.

Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Gunfighter.

Iroh thanking Aang

John Rider

Biographical information



18 (The Gunfighter), 21 (Contention)

Personal information
Weapon of choice

Fire, M1911s, M1895 shotgun

Fighting style(s)



Team Avatar, Tenzin, Refugees, Jacob Kyle


The Grandmaster, Gunslinger Loyalists, Equalists.

Chronological and political information

Gunslinger(formally), Soldier, Law Enforcement


Colonel(formally), Capitan, Marshal


Refugees, United Forces

First appearance



John William Rider was the main character that appears in the Avatar Fanon The Gunfighter and a secondary character in The Invasion.


John Rider was born to Liam and Isabella Rider sometime after the end of The Great War. As the only son of The Gunslinger Grandmaster and The Avatar, John spent a good portion of his time as a child traveling, so much so that he lost his Irish accent in the process. Often, Liam told John stories of a mystical world filled with strange creatures and ancient power.

As John grew older and began his firebending training, he believed that these stores were just told by his father to keep him entertained. Soon, John was inducted into The Gunslingers, following in his father's and ancestors footsteps. Liam rewarded him by showing that the stories hadn't been the bedtime tales he had believed them to be.

While in the Avatar World, John met many of his father's friends, even befriending a young Tenzin. As bending was still officially outlawed, despite the end of The Great War, John enjoyed bending at his own free will for the first time. However their time in the Avatar World came to an end, and they were forced to return to our world.

Upon their return, Liam promised John another trip to the Avatar World as he had seen just how much he had enjoyed the trip. However, fate would interfere with the plan. They discovered Isabella to be pregnant and a shift that was occurring in The Order.

Tragedy struck when Isabella, ill at the time, died in childbirth. This, along with the loss of the newborn child, sent both Liam and John into a deep depression. Despite Isabella's death, Liam set out to fulfill his duty and locate the next incarnation of the Avatar. After two years of searching, Liam was ambushed in Italy and killed.

The still grieving John, barely the age of fifteen by this point, was shocked when the New Grandmaster declared him to be a traitor to the Order and demanded the return of his head. Being forced to bottle up his feelings and live with the fact that he was the last surviving member of The Rider Family, John went into hiding, spending the next few years move to remote locations all over the world. At some point during this time, John met and fell in love with Eve Collins.

During this time, he arrived in Nepal and found himself caught up in a war between China and India. John would later refer to this conflict as pointless due to both sides using the tiny nation as a staging ground.

While hiding in Nepal, Leon and a small group of gunmen finally located him. After a brief and intense shootout, Leon reveled that some of the Order's members were still on John's side. He then gave John the device Liam had used to travel to other worlds, which he used himself to escape to the World of the Avatar.

Upon arrival, John found himself at the South Pole, near the village of the Southern Water Tribe. Not aware of how much time had passed since his last visit, John set out to locate the friends he had made during his last visit. While looking for Katara, John met Avatar Korra, who was out riding her Polar Bear Dog, Naga. It wasn't until they reached the White Lotus compound did the two learn who each other was.

Together, John and Korra would journey to Republic City.

Post Spirit Crisis

Following the end of the Spirit Crisis and the Water Tribe Civil War, John formally retired from the military and the eyes of the public, becoming United Republic Marshal based in a small town near the United Republic/Earth Kingdom boarder. Despite his retirement, he still sent his friend and former commander, General Iroh, updates on Earth Kingdom troop movements.

All things aside, his life became rather peaceful, and he settled down with Korra to start a family. Shortly after the birth of their first son, the Rider's hit a point of bad financial trouble. While their infant child was sent to the South Pole to live with Korra's parents for a time, John and Korra took up odd jobs in order to secure payment.

Aside from his day job of being a Marshal, John took up bounty hunting and made regular incursions into the ever destabilizing Earth Kingdom. While propaganda insisted that order was close to being restored, John knew the truth about a civil war brewing. In early 174 AG, John lost contact with Korra, who had cut her hair and entered the illegal bending matches of the Republic City Underground. He returned to the city and requested the help of Mako in tracking her down.

Eventually, a ranch was born out of the chaos and the land around their home would be formed into the Providence of Gilead. Despite swearing to protect the people of his home providence, John would not fight again until the year 191 AG when he and a small group of deputies from Gilead chased a gang of murderers and thieves known as the Boarder Riders into the Earth Kingdom. What few members that weren't killed or scattered were dragged back to the Providence and hung in public personally by John.


John is described as laid back and willing to crack a joke. Although he will show times of respect for an Elder or trusted pier. He is not, however, above childish pranks as shown in the chapter The Fire Ferrets when he steals the White Lotus's radio. Later, in the chapter Confrontations, he smashed this radio in an effort to keep Amon's message from giving Korra more nightmares.

As time goes on and the events of the war begins to take their toll, John's personality begins to slowly change. He quickly becomes more mature and begins to accept his roll as commander.

"Knock Knock!"
— John as he tares away the visor of a mecha tank.

John been shown to be rather sadistic while in combat, often making remarks at the expense of his enemies. However it is shown that he does have a knack for rallying his allies around him in times when it seems like the fight is lost. He demonstrated this again and again during the Battle of Republic City, using both a radio and his presence on the front lines in an effort to slow or even stop the Equalist advance through the city.

More than once, John has been shown to be haunted by past experiences. He later reviled this to Korra, explaining that he had experienced war before the beginning of the Anti Bender Revolution and had hoped to avoid it.


Main Article: John Rider's Relationships



Personal Style
John is shown to be a very capable Firebender, his skill set rivaling that of Korra or Mako. His personal style of the bending art is said to look more like Airbending then Firebending. This allows him to dodge an Equalists' attack more easily then Korra or Mako. More than once, John has proven to be able to stay in a fight much longer than his friends thanks to his bending style.
Iroh hijacking a plane

John hijacking a plane

Lightning Generation 

John's lightning generation tends to be more sloppy then that of most other benders. Rather than a single concentrated bolt, his lightning branches off into many smaller arcs, stunning an enemy rather than mortally wounding them. However he can "Up the Wattage" as he calls it, making his stunning attack a lot more deadly.

Injury Knowlage

Having used his bending for so many years, John developed an ability to understand the injuries left behind by a firebender's attack. This ability allowed him to deduce that Amon's scar was fake, realizing that if it was real, Amon would have had to have been hit from beneath the chin by the blast, not from overhead like he claimed.


John, while often hesitant to use the new bending style, has proven to be a master in such short time. After his firebending was taken, John used this ability (and a lighter) to set Amon's mask on fire.


Like his Firebending, John's gunfighting skills seems to be based around Airbending. In Nepal he was shown to be able to take down six men armed with assault rifles with just his pair of pistols. Later on, he managed to shatter half of Amon's mask with a single shot, serving as a warning to the Equalist leader that he was not untouchable. 

During the Central City Station Confrontation, John and Kyle went head too head in a quick shootout. While Kyle suffered serious wounds, John was left untouched. Later during the Raid on the Pro-Bending Arena, he sent himself and The Lieutenant plunging into the area by firing his pistol into the glass dome below their feet.


It was reveled in The Sixth Element that John kept a pair of twin short swords. He has shown to be very proficient in the use of these blades, able to take down several enemies and even bend with them. He later states that he was trained in the use of Kali, the Filipino martial art. This explains his skill when fighting against The Lieutenant and using electrified kali sticks himself.


In The Refugees Part Two, he is shown to be very skilled at playing the steal flute, even to the point that the band requested he play with them.

John appears to have training as a Hellraiser, as he not only was able to easily blend into the Equalist ranks in order to get close to Amon during the Raid on the Pro-Bending Arena, he displayed great knowledge in the use of Equalist weapons, wielding two eletrogloves to great effect.


In the chapter Nepal, John is described to have black hair and "hard eyes". In the first three chapters, he wore a brown fur coat with a hood, similar to that of the Water Tribe's. In later chapters, he adopts a set of clothing similar to Mako's and is often seen wearing a light jacket.

The original reason he wore a jacket was to hide the guns that hung in shoulder holsters, however this later shifted to be a form of uniform rather than hiding his weapons. After the start of Book 3, his predominant attire shifts to that of a United Forces officer.

Trivia & Notes

  • Coincidentally, John shares his name with the father of Alex Rider, main character of the series of the same name. The Author was unaware of this as he had never read the series.
  • Despite being only eighteen years old, John holds the rank of Colonel within the Gunslinger Rebels. It is unknown how he managed to secure this rank at such a young age.
  • John appeared to have favored duel wielding in combat until the events of The Tournament and A Decleration in which his left hand and arm were broken in several places.
  • While many of his fellow Irish men and women within the ranks of the Rebels use British weapons and retain their accents, John seems to have adopted American customs as he favors American weapons and speaks without an Irish accent.
  • John shares a special connection with Mako in the series, and in many ways the two are very simmiler. Both are Firebenders, both are orphans despite still being young, both have a bond with Korra, both appear to be masters of their element, both have developed their own unique fighting style, and both appear to be humble.
  • It can be said that John has bad luck throughout the series, as almost everything he has sought to avoid has happened.
  • John appears to have an ability to quickly deduce how something works. For example, he figured out not only how to work the electrified gloves, but how to combat a user of one all around the first time he encountered them.
  • John seemes to have an understanding of history in both worlds. He compared the Anti-Bending Revolution to the communist uprisings in the early 20th century, and by using these knowledge he therorized that with Amon's death, the Revolution would only grow.
  • Out of all the characters so far in the series, John has met at least three Avatars: Isabella, Aang, and Korra.
  • John's pain tolerance and resilance is shown to be unusually high. This is shown when he filled in for Mako in a pro-bending match and had an injury to the face. He later broke his arm and hand in several places during a duel with The Lieutenant, but was still able to force his opponent to flee.
  • John appears to be a fan of classic rock, listening and referring to bands such as 38 Special and Lynyrd Skynyrd.


Unnamed Grandfather

Liam Rider(Father)

Isabella Rider(Mother)

Jack Rider(son)

Kya Rider(daughter)

See more

For the collective works of the author, go here.

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