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50
'Tis the Holiday Season!

Well, what can I say? We're not dead yet! Surprise!!!

In all seriousness, though, I deeply apologize for the 13-month hiatus. There have been dedicated users year-round who stayed with us and wrote for this issue, so we would like to give them a huge thanks for their time and passion for contributing! We wouldn't have been able to come back without you. Consider this your Christmas gift from our lovely, creative community!

Today we are also welcoming our brand-new Fanon Deputy Editor and are positive that you'll love him as much as we do! Many developments in the Avatar fandom have been stirring, and you won't want to miss out on this issue.

Happy Holidays, and Happy Reading!

Earth Kingdom emblem
Bomochu Joins the BSST Team
BSST staff
Today, the 66th Publication of The Ba Sing Se Times ushers in a new Fanonspace Deputy Editor. Our newsletter team has selected very carefully among our community...and the verdict is that Bomochu of Zaofu is the man for the job. Before he swears his loyalty and gives up everything he knows to move into an isolated underground headquarters, however, he must prove his worth.

Without further ado, Chief Editor Minnichi and Mainspace Deputy Editor AvatarRokusGhost shall proceed with the interrogation interview.

Bomo_interrogation.png

Hello, Mr. Bomochu. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Minnichi, Grand Secretariat of The Ba Sing Se Times and Head of the Dai Li Fandom. I’m a Social Minister for Avatar Wiki.

And I’m the Ghost of Roku, purveyor of madness and mainspace deputy editor.

Hello, it’s a pleasure to meet you both. Though I don’t recall being told about moving to an isolated underground headquart-

Minor details. (Ahem) Anyway, there are a few things we need to verify before you become an honorary BSST staff member. Would you like some tea?

Well, if I’m going to be stuck in some underground prison indefinitely, some Jasmine tea might be nice. *Takes a sip from cup*

Prison, you say? ...Fair enough. But that depends on you and what we learn from this interrogation totally amiable conversation. And so! It is of utmost importance for me to ask: What is your opinion of the Dai Li?

Hmm… I thought they were really cool in Avatar the Last Airbender, but when it came to the Legend of Korra I felt they just weren’t quite as scary and awesome as they once were. But may I ask, what exactly does that have to do with being a Fanonspace Deputy Editor?

First of all, there is no such thing as the Dai Li being uncool. I don’t know where you heard that blasphemy. Secondly, your opinion of the Dai Li has everything to do with your deputy editorship. *Laughs pleasantly* Moving on, however: What kind of fanon portal work have you been involved in so far? Will it help you as a fanon-oriented newsletter staff member?

So write about the Dai Li in a positive light? Got it. But to answer your question, there’s been a couple of things I’ve been lucky to have been a part of on the Wiki. When I first started, I began writing my own OC fanon series. It was, and still is, my favourite genre to read about and write for, simply because I love adding to the Avatar universe in my own way. But after spending time reading other genres from talented authors here I also came to love and appreciate a variety of stories. And more recently I’ve had the chance to review fanons too. So I think having a good knowledge of what’s out there in terms of different styles and genres of fanon is important when writing and editing articles that are fanon-oriented.

Ah yes, I remember reviewing your OC series. I like that genre myself. Hope to see more of your writing on the portal soon. Anyway, new fanon deputy editor, can you please name the Ten Commandments of the Ba Sing Se Times?

Well… um… I’m guessing there’s something in there about lines, dashed or solid I can’t quite remember…

Did you mean, "Dashed are the lines of thy code; no other lines before it"? This is not a matter of guessing or doubting, Mr. Bomochu. Thou shalt not take the Dai Li's signature code in vain. Honor thy newsletter!

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Remember to keep the Avatar Day holy? *Takes another sip of tea* But how about we talk about my CV and application? I assume you received both?

You know what? Here's a copy of the BSST handbook. Anyway… Why yes, we've received such documents from you. Could you explain why there's a giant gap in your history of Avatar Wiki edits? Several months of absence is highly questionable.

Yes, that is highly questionable. I joined this site at the start of 2011 and I have no absence gaps in my history. *Twiddles all ten transparent fingers with one another* Yep. Yesiree, no gaps in my history whatsoever. No need to go through my edit history and check, you can take my word for it. Ummm...yeah. Well, enough about my - nonexistent - gaps. What about yours? Minn asked you about that.

Heh… yeah that’s right… *Scratches back of neck awkwardly* It’s just things have been hectic the last few months. I know I still have Fanon reviewing to do too, plus I’ve just got a new project lined up at the Zaofu Medical Research Center for next year which is exciting. But I’m committed to seeing the BSST flourish with exceptional Fanon articles, and part of that is simply getting in touch with other users and forcing encouraging them to write new articles for us, which is very much a manageable job with a busy schedule. On that note, do I get a lantern when I start too?

The lantern you’ll get after the first issue you assist with is released, not before. It’s an ancient milestone which all editors and deputy editors have ritualized since the beginning times. Except when KMP was editor I believe you got a trench coat and a pair of sunglasses instead of a lantern… No one remembers what you got under 888 anymore, that knowledge has been long lost -

My predecessor, Supreme Dictator Coder KettleMeetPot, was trained by the first Editor, The 888th Avatar. I was given a "World's Best Minnion" employee jacket from KMP during my time as a Fanon Deputy. You're sitting where I once sat, Bomo…but we'll see whether or not you have what it takes to achieve minion recognition status.

Now, Minn and I have gone easy on you for a couple of these questions, but now it’s time to discuss some very serious business. Are you ready, Bomo?

Sure.

Great! In that case, what holidays can you volunteer to decorate the headquarters for? We’ve had a good rotation going and it’s vital that everyone pulls their weight with that.

Those who forget Dai Li Appreciation Day are instantly fired, by the way.

Well, I’m always down for helping with office decorating. But I feel like most of our time will be spent with editing and writing right?

Of course it - hold on a minute. Minn, did you send me any Candy Crush lives yet?

I thought I did already. *Checks phone*

Really? Because there's nothing here! *Aggressively holds up transparent phone* Can't you see that they're making me wait 15 whole minutes?

ARG_candy_crush_anger1.png
Um…should I come back later?

Oh - right, right. I'll have to deal with this afterwards. Well, anyway, yes Bomo, here we edit and write the newsletter. We’re the only official one Avatar Wiki’s got now. So, since you brought it up...what sort of experience with editing and writing would you say you have at the moment?

I think being involved with the Fanon Review Squad has helped in terms of editing. It also means you get to read many different genres of fanon out there, which will be useful for catering for different interests in the BSST. I haven’t had much of a chance to write much fanon for a while now, but in the past I’ve done a number of one-shots of different genres, and have a couple of longer series going which I hope to complete one day.

Fanon Review Squad… Yes, yes, the art of scrutinizing someone else’s story to explain everything that's wrong with it does build character. (I love it.) How many fanons have you written total, then? Do you have a favorite?

I have three main fanon series I’ve started. Spirit of the North was the first one I started, and then I tried my hand at writing a crossover fanon called Gate of the Face Stealer. Not sure when or if I’ll finish that one… And then there’s the latest one I started called Retribution, which I was inspired to write after the finale of Book 4 of the Legend of Korra. I’ve also done five one-shots I believe. In terms of favourites, well, it’s hard to say. Ironically my favourite would have to be a fanon I haven’t even started yet called 'The Legend of Jin Sang’, since it was the first fanon I ever came up with, before I even knew fanfiction was a thing too. I don’t think I’ll be starting anything new too soon until I get some of the shorter series finished.

Well, that’s quite a collection. Writing fanon’s certainly not bad experience for being the fanon deputy editor here. So, what would you say is your greatest strength and what would you say is your greatest weakness?

Hmm… That’s a tricky one. I think the most obvious weakness is becoming overwhelmed and having a busy schedule at times, case in point my activity this year. But one of my strengths is that I really do love Avatar and this wiki, and having that as a driving force to help motivate me to get stuff done can be useful.

Oh great, looks like my Candy Crush lives still haven't come through. Well, that's always good. So Bomo, what do you hope to accomplish as deputy editor around here?

While it is definitely a team effort and subject to many other factors, my goal as deputy fanonspace editor is to see an increase in activity on this wiki. Maybe not to what it once was, but at least try and get newer users more involved and maintain connections with older users too. I think a community newsletter like the BSST is a great chance to do that, as it brings both fanon and mainspace-oriented users together, and part of my specific role in that will be looking out for fanons to feature in each issue and encouraging users to write fanon-related articles.

Hm… Not bad. Users who are both great writers and great team players are valuable assets to Avatar Wiki, but I may have to ponder this decision for a whi - ARG, would you stop requesting more Candy Crush lives?! For the last time, I already sent - *Phone beeps loudly* Okay, if you keep this up then there's going to be no such thing as Candy Crush by tomorrow.

WHAT? Who in their right mind would do something so evil?!

I'M THE EDITOR. *Pulls out glowing lantern* If I say that there is no such thing as Candy Crush, then there will be no such thing as Candy Cru -

Um… I don’t mean to interrupt, but I’d be happy to offer a Candy Crush life if it solves the problem?

What did you say? Oh, yes...thank you, Bomo! Well, I think you’re going to be an awesome DE - I’m sold.

*Slowly lowers glowing lantern* I wouldn't have called it a problem, since there is no such thing as a problem for as long as I'm the Editor. However, I'll also have to thank you, Mr. Bomochu, for saving me a brainwa - (ahem) scolding session with my Mainspace Deputy. And...am I mistaken, or is that a jar of colorful candy sticking out of your backpack? Do you know something? *Raises a brow*

Oh those, I uh…thought they would add some color to the staff lounge…assuming we have one of course?

Perhaps there is more to you than meets the eye, Mr. Bomochu. What else do you know about the current BSST staff? Are you a Wikequalist spy? This could be a matter of concern, ARG… ARG?

Yes! Just completed a new level, and that’s the last one in the world. Minn, Bomo, can you guys send me some tickets? Oh, right Minn, about Bomochu. I think he’s got the right intentions. He doesn’t seem like any of those to me.

You could be right. *Thoughtfully chews a striped candy from jar* The staff lounge is quite cozy, Bomo - and yeah, I'll just call you Bomo now. Dedicated Deputy Editors who get along are the best kind, so I think we've found a match! *Grand Secretariat outfit suddenly transforms into casual Dai Li robes* Sooo, who wants to go out for pizza? This calls for a celebration!

Can’t say I’ve had an interview quite like this before… but nonetheless, thank you both very much for this opportunity! *Shakes hands with Minn and attempts to shake ARG’s invisible hand, without success.*

Ah, looks like my ghost form isn’t the best for the occasion. Excuse me while I turn into my normal self!

Oh… before we go eat there’s someone else I need to feed. *Pulls out hermit crab from backback, which both Minn and ARG admire.* Yeah, they’re pretty cute. I also have 32 of them too.

Oh…

Yeah I’m a bit of an animal lover and of course, a biologist. Just to let you know, too, I ride a sky bison to work so I’ll need room for him, I also need to spend some time grooming a number of animals daily, and does the office have room for a sabre-tooth moose-lion and her cubs by any chance?

...Sure thing, Bomo. I guess it wouldn't matter considering the budget for ARG's sugarcoated, non-expiring eternal candy arcade room. Seriously though, I'm hungry! By my authority as Chief Editor, I order you both to get on with the pizza party.

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Urban Dictionary of Avatar Wiki
BSST Staff
Inspired by our lovely community and written by Yours Truly:

Turf Wars
noun

How to bust open the closet.
"Ima go Turf Wars and stop hiding from the world that I'm bisexual." "Good on ya, mate! I'm bi, too!" "Yasss"
"Have you read Turf Wars? Korra practically took Asami on a honeymoon! Her love has no boundaries."
"In just one comic, we get three homosexual developments." "That many?!" "Yas. Korrasami paradise, Kya x an ex-girlfriend, and Kyoshi x ...whoever she was dating, but she's a confirmed rainbow, too." "Wow!"

Mako's Love Life
noun

The one that no one cares about.
"Pfft, Mako can die alone and single for all I care. Douche."
"I don't care if Mako redeems himself enough to deserve a girl. In fact, I stopped caring if he's alive after Book 2."
"Hey, don't you think Mako and Wu could be a thing?" "Huh? Oh, sorry, I was still speculating over Korra's relationships."

Inactive User
noun

An enigma and a mystery. Some users magically pop back into existence and randomly publish newsletters, while others stay dead forever. You just don't know.
"Seriously, this time I think Minnichi is actually gone - oh sh*t is that her?! I almost nominated someone else to take over the BSST..."
"Everything changed when the "INACTIVE" tag appeared. But I believe that they'll come back to save the wiki."
50
Review of Turf Wars
AvatarAang7
"At long last is lasting a little long." A line from Age of Ultron that popped to mind while waiting for the release of Turf Wars, as it seemed depressingly applicable here. Still, there were only two years, seven months, and twelve days between the finale and its release, but who's counting? We finally got to sit down and continue the story that so many people wanted to read, and more appropriately, the imagery that so many wanted to see, so I'm going to give a little bit of an opinion here.

My first impression of the story, as it opens with Korra and Asami on their vacation, was actually quite good. Since the show had sort of an open ending (though in fairness, with subtext written in letters so big it just became text), it lent itself extremely well to fanfiction writers, which is always going to be tricky if you then want to pick up the official story from there. With the sheer quantity of fanfics written about the subject, just by law of averages, at least one of them was going to get it right. That right there is why I think it's so clever that the first ten pages contain so little dialogue, choosing to tell its story almost entirely visually. I always love it when movies and shows do visual storytelling, but there is no reason graphic novels shouldn't do it. They're working with a visual medium, they should use that to their advantage.

After the opening with its long-awaited and squee-inducing kiss scene, I think the story takes a bit of a dip. Moving to the South Pole to have Korra come out of the closet to her parents is handled okay at first, but then it goes to Korra overreacting to her father actually making a decent point. It felt like something pre-Book 1 Korra would do, not post-Book 4 Korra. And what bugs me more is that Korra and Asami do talk about it, she agrees that Tonraq had a good point, but they don’t go back and apologize to Korra’s parents. Another thing I do like is that I think the interesting part of watching a relationship unfold is always seeing how the couple overcomes difficulties together. It's not always going to be happy-go-lucky for a couple, and I do like that they demonstrate this.

And here is where we land at a part I've heard a lot of criticism come from: we are now 22 pages in, and only now does the story proper begin. I don't agree with that, I think that every part of the story we've seen so far needed to be there, even if I don't necessarily agree with the execution of everything. After all, a major part of the criticism of Korrasami in the show, which I do think is fair, is that there wasn't enough build-up between them. Well, we get that development now, so I don't think it's fair to call the comic out on doing what is necessary to see the two main characters grow and let them have some room to breathe. Wonyong Keum I think is pretty dull as a villain, just a guy looking to make some quick money, nothing we haven't seen before. Fortunately, the writers were quick to recognize this, so he's booted off to be a secondary or even tertiary villain here, which is smart.

Moving on to the actual villain, this is where the story gets clever. Tokuga's introduction is pretty badass, watching him take down five earthbenders on his own is a good way to demonstrate that he's a force to be reckoned with. In a show that has had a lot of good villains, this guy seems like a worthy entry. I also like how it updates us on what Mako and Bolin have been up to, again, with some visual storytelling. Mako still having his arm in a tourniquet but being back on the job is a quick way to show us that it hasn't been very long since the end of the show. I also like how it shows that the police station didn't survive Kuvira's invasion intact, and the scene of Ping in the interrogation room is pretty funny, before he does move on to actually making Tokuga that little bit more intimidating by casually mentioning how he probably killed multiple people.

Seeing the evacuation in action is also nice. It's good to see other characters like Tenzin again, making sure they have been busy. I especially liked how Korra quoted Tenzin in order to calm the public down (full disclosure: at first I thought she was quoting Zaheer), that's a nice little touch. This is precisely what I meant when I was talking about how Korra has grown; this is the Korra I expected to see in this story. Raiko's reelection is something I could probably have done without, even though I do think it leads to some more funny visuals with the poster.

Then we get to a part that I think is a little clunky, but at the same time entirely necessary: Korra and Asami talking with Kya about the state of same-sex relationships in their world. I won't say it feels entirely crowbarred in, but it's not natural either. And yet, the scene itself is fine, and the reason I think it's necessary is because we have to know how the world stands in two of its most public figures being in a same-sex relationship, and they found the least bad way to do that. This is also all the more reason I think that earlier scene with Korra's parents didn't work: why does she calmly hear Kya out, even though she and her father were broadly making the same point? Aside from it being made a bit redundant by this scene, it is that reaction that just rubs me the wrong way.

But the story has to end some time, and it chooses to go out with a bang; final battle around the Spirit Portal with airbenders, Triads, and Team Avatar. Again, this leads to some really cool visuals, my personal favorite being Jinora deflecting the fire blasts, and the spirits showing up was great too. I love how that dragon eel spirit was already pretty intimidating in the show, but having him turn into a dark spirit was just inspired. It takes another kiss (yay) for everyone else to find out about Korra and Asami, which was a little disappointing to me, as I feel like some more comedy could have come out of Mako. Apparently he was so bland and so bad at relationships that he drove his two exes together. Not enough was done with that, there was more there, but maybe in the next part.

The actual final scene of Tokuga and Keum together was good too. I love the reveal of Tokuga now being mutilated by the spirit. This was an aspect I think the show should have explored a little more. It was shown in Beginnings, but that really was it, and I'm glad they're using that again. I also love his new design; he reminds me of Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean, with one tentacle arm. The final frame, with one regular and one spirit eye and eyebrow I think is great. Just that visual will definitely stay with me.

A lot of people said they weren't too happy with the art style, and honestly, I don't agree. To be fair, there are two or three frames that have awkward visuals, the most notable of those being a close-up of Jinora, that just don't work. I feel like Irene Koh worked really well whenever she had full freedom to design stuff, like Jargala, the female triad earthbender, and Tokuga's half-spirit design, but when she had to work with existing material like the designs for Korra, it was a little more restrained. Not bad, but more mandatory. Overall though, I don't think it should be compared to the show per se, as I do feel like the characters have a proper range of expressions, which come across well. I also think the style compliments bending pretty well, as I do really feel the weight of boulders being thrown around and such.

Last thing I will mention is that it does feel very much like a part one to me, if that makes any sense. Doesn't? Okay. What I mean by that is that it sets up a lot of plot threads, but most of them are left unresolved. I get why, but I do feel that the only subplot that was resolved, Korra and Asami coming out to... pretty much everyone, was done so a little blandly and a little too fast. I'm not saying there should be conflict, with some of them being bigots or something like that, but a few more reactions, a few more word bubbles dedicated to that wouldn't go amiss, like I said, especially for Mako.

On the whole though, I liked Turf Wars Part One. It gave me what I wanted to see, but it also gave me things I didn't realize I wanted. I think the balance of Korrasami and the actual plot, while leaning a little towards Korrasami, was still well within the bounds of what is reasonable. As I said, there were scenes there that had to be there, and even if they do grind the plot to a halt to accommodate some worldbuilding, they weren't bad scenes per se. If I had to put it on a scale with the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics, which I think range from 'pretty good' to 'pretty bad', it would definitely land on the 'pretty good'-end of the spectrum. From a technical standpoint, I'd probably put it below The Rift, which is the best one, but because this one has Korrasami in, it's my personal favorite so far. I am definitely looking out for more.
50
DEPUTY
Review of
North and South

AvatarRokusGhost
Here’s the deal. I just got around to reading the first issue of North and South fairly recently. With two more parts following, it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions, but I must say that it’s off to quite a start. One universal characteristic that I have found enjoyable in all of Gene Yang’s graphic novel series thus far (even The Promise, which could be considered weak compared to the others) is the dealing with complex world problems. It’s on an international scale, there are different perspectives and histories which need to be taken into account, each side is understandable, and above all, there is no easy solution. This isn’t something you see in contemporary entertainment every day, especially animation.

We start off with our two favorite Water Tribe siblings returning home after quite a long while, since 2005 in our time. They manage to squeeze in some past times for nostalgic purposes such as penguin sledding and snowball fighting. But besides that, they find the place has changed a world over since they were last there. There’s a lot more visitors from different continents, and it’s much more multicultural and metropolitan than it was in The Boy in the Iceberg. In other words, it’s well on its way to becoming the Southern Water Tribe that we saw in the second book of Korra. Now that their tribe is doing better economically, it’d be interesting if Niyok and Nutha come back, but there’s no sign of that yet.

Katara and Sokka bump into their father in his new office, as well as the snowball-throwing thugs that the former confronted earlier. Now they insist that they’re not fighters, but artists. Apparently bullying small children is considered an “art” in this new South Pole, or maybe that’s just the way they like to blow off steam after a day of constructing new buildings?

Anyway, Hakoda hosts Malina and Maliq from the North at his workplace, who have come from the North to help their sister tribe rebuild in the post-war world. Sokka is excited about all the new reforms that are taking place, but Katara is a little more put-off, mainly because of the look of her dad’s new office. Naturally, the best way to get over this rough patch is to go out to dinner and let it blow over. But, uh-oh. A couple of neighborhood kids look like they’re up to no good. And suspicion confirmed, as they hatched a clever scheme to nick Maliq’s briefcase – actually not that clever. Malina, being a trained fighter herself, is able to put a stop to it. But the young boy defeats Malina and her waterbending with a piece of dishware and a conveniently-placed table.

With her subdued, it’s now up to Sokka and Katara to track down the miscreants, just like old times. Add a motorized snowmobile as a new piece of technology in the new Southern Water Tribe. Honestly, though, the addition of the modern vehicle is the only thing that keeps the chase scene even remotely believable. We’ve seen what Sokka and Katara are capable of in the final book of A:TLA. These two young troublemakers should have absolutely nothing on them. In fact, if it had been Katara to act first in the restaurant instead of Malina, it’s highly unlikely that they would have been able to get away in the first place.

So, after the chase, Katara and Sokka meet the Donald Trump of the South Pole, who tells them about his plan to make their tribe great again. When the two members of Team Avatar aren't entirely on board, he naturally blows up. In fact, he goes from welcoming them as heroes to threatening Sokka and denouncing them as traitors within a span of minutes. Wow – that’s quite a swing there. Let’s see, chase scene again in reverse, a story with a snow rat who wanted to become human (may or may not come back into play later) and we’re back in the main city, unfortunately empty-handed.

Katara remembers back to another conflict where one side touted the name of progress on their side, and says that she wishes Aang were there to help them this time. Actually, come to think of it, Aang might be more helpful in this situation than that one, since his own nation isn’t involved in the Water Tribes’ dispute and he can carry out his Avatar duties without bias. Near the close of the story, we have our stage set and the main problem brought into the limelight. Our favorite Water Tribe brother and sister have their own clash on how to solve it, however. After that, we get a product placement ad for the importance of sisterhood, and then…

…well, that’s a first for the Avatar franchise. First of all, they could have picked a better place for it (Gran Gran’s hut, where everyone else is currently congregating but strangely Kanna and Pakku are nowhere to be found) with a door that locks. Okay, we didn’t see much of anything, but they were in fact lying down as they were kissing. I think it’s fair to say that if Sokka and Katara arrived just five minutes later, the comic would have jumped a rating or two. Do comics even have ratings?

Moving on, this seems to be following the typical formula for Yang’s Avatar comics so far. Part One has set the stage, so Part Two will have the escalation and Part Three the resolution. In this case, it will be the relative resolution, because as we saw in Korra, the tensions between the two water tribes are not going to be completely resolved (and it’s not realistic for them to be, frankly). I’m predicting that Katara and Sokka will continue to fight amongst themselves as the antes are raised, but by the time the conflict has reached its climax, they’ll both come to their senses and work together again. I mean, come on, of course they will. Judging from the cover, it looks like both Aang and Toph will show up for some action, too (despite the fact that Aang was on the cover of this issue and he had no lines and appeared only in flashbacks).

Does Team Avatar ever get a day off? They can’t celebrate the end of the Hundred Year War or go to Yangchen’s Festival or even come home without trouble finding them. I guess that at the end of the day, it’s all keeping it interesting on our end.
50
A Love Letter to Avatar
TechFilmer
When the choice is yours, what do you read, listen to, or watch?
~Stanford University’s Application

College apps are a funny thing. Some of these prompts make you really reflect on your life and how you came to be who you were. And as I was writing an essay on what book/movie has impacted my life the most, only one thing came to mind: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Being stuck in the showhole (and actively trying to not binge a new show) I decided to rewatch Avatar, this past month. When freshman year had come along, I discovered “adult” shows and a “kiddie” show like Avatar fell to the wayside, though I still maintained it was my favorite. But as a senior rewatching Avatar, I felt like a kid again. I had forgotten how awesome the show was. And so as I wrote that essay, having just rewatched portions of the show, I thought back to how much Avatar has affected my life. Chronologically of course.

My 8th grade experience, the age of 12, was where Avatar most impacted my life. That was the year I joined this wiki. I was an extremely cringey 12 year old. I’ve been looking through my old contribs and wow were they well, middle school like. But somehow, this community of people ranging from 13 (because aside from me, we don’t have underage kids, right? right?) to college age kids accepted me, and gave me that confidence boost that every middle schooler is lacking. When I was blocked, I remember ByBray and Typhoonmaster telling me that I acted mature despite my age. And maybe I did. And even if I didn’t, I do have gratitude towards them because it definitely helped my confidence and my self-esteem, which was not the highest back then. I eventually stopped editing Avatar Wiki as I moved on in life, but thankfully Avatar did not stop influencing my life.

Indirectly, the Avatar Wiki introduced me to the open-source development community. I became a regular in #wikia-avatar, our IRC channel. And while most people who joined #wikia-avatar never joined another channel, I found myself joining a couple other channels. And with that I discovered open source coding. I started working on IRC bots helter skelter, I was writing web apps in my free time, and found something that I really loved doing. Even as I got busier, I still kept up my coding, creating programs for those who needed them. Had I never joined #wikia-avatar, I may never have found my love for open source programming.

Crazily enough, Avatar has helped me build friendships outside of this wiki. My best friend and I first bonded over Avatar. We had talked a couple times before, but then one day we got into an intense debate over our favorite character in Avatar (it’s Zuko). The first episode of Avatar we watched together was The Guru. We’re both Indian, what can I say, that episode really speaks to us. I don’t know if I would’ve become as great friends with her as I have now without Avatar; it’s crazy how it pops up everywhere.

If you’ll indulge me, one last form of gratitude towards Avatar. When I was 11, I underwent a Hindu rite-of-passage, and one part of that ceremony is the headshaving. But in this ceremony, the full head is not shaved. Instead, situated behind my head, closer to the top, a small tuft of hair is left, about an inch in diameter, reaching down to the bottom of the neck. Think Book 1 Zuko if he didn’t have the tube thingie keeping it up. Usually most boys get that part shaved off after the ceremony, but in my religious fervor I did not.

And any time I reconsidered my decision, all I thought to myself is if Zuko could do anything and be so determined, then so could I. This essay started off as me just reflecting on the impact Avatar has had on my life, but really it’s more of a love letter. Thank you, Avatar for having such a great and widespread impact on my life. You have taught me lessons of compassion through Aang and Ozai, lessons of integrity through Zuko and pride through Iroh. You have taught me how to be a friend Katara and how to not be insecure through Sokka. Really, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You don't know what you have taught me.
White lotus tile icon
White lotus tile icon
FROM THE FANON PORTAL
50
Avatar Wiki's RP Cousin
Hydrocarbon1997
The Avatar RP Wiki is a site dedicated to the adventures set within the world of Avatar, primarily revolving around the events taking part in Republic City and its people. Users can create their own characters and take part in various events, either making their own path through life, or becoming a member of one of the various groups operating within the city. Learn the truth to who really is in control of the Republic City, and make your choice to either stand with them, or against them.

Set over 200 years after the days of Avatar Korra, Republic City has forgotten the peaceful ways of its founder, Avatar Aang. The city has seen much turmoil since its creation, and no longer retains the peace of its halcyon days. With its unity fractured, many elements attempt to claim the city for their own, while others take it upon themselves to save it.

The citizens of Republic City differ greatly in their origin and morality. Some are peaceful, law abiding pacifists, while others are violent and merciless killers who give no heed to the laws of the land. One must be strong if they wish to survive or even change the city for the better, as even the police struggle to keep the peace in these ever turbulent times. Some citizens choose to fight back on their own terms, and reclaim the city from the grip of organised crime, while others see it as nothing more than their own domain, happily tearing it apart for the sheer enjoyment. Truly, the city finds itself at an impasse, and in dire need of hope.

But not all of it is about such large scale and violent acts. Republic City and its neighboring town of Yu Dao can be the setting stage for random encounters, strong friendships, loving relationships or even marriage. However your journey might go, the city is waiting.
50
The Ships Strike Back
AvatarAang7
"Well, seeing how I had some fun with the previous two, I suppose I can continue building my fleet of ships, and go into a few that I personally like on top of the previous two, and also take a closer look at the stories those come with. Quick note up front: no, there isn't going to be anything related to Mako in here, considering that I don't like him. This one is probably going to be a bit quicker than the other two, seeing how most of these are pretty obscure, not a lot of stories backing them, and besides, these ships are probably more obscure for a reason.

Now, moving on to the one that made my first story: Korra paired with Opal. I'm not entirely sure why this one never really caught on, I mean, it's been nearly two years since I finished my own Team Player, and for as far as I know, it's still the only major story with this pairing as its center. I guess the whole Korrasami thing is more popular, and I'd be lying if I said I don't see why. I guess that part is just something people like to stick to the canonical material, for as far as that makes sense.

Sticking with Opal, Bolin paired with her is pretty popular, but usually as a background thing. I know dozens of them where that is the case, but I only know a handful of stories where they are actually the center. It's almost always there, and in stories like RCPD Special Victim's Taskforce and FoodFight it's even explored a little, but it almost always takes a backseat, most commonly to Korrasami.

Last pairing with Opal, I promise, but this is just one I really like, even if it is one of the most obscure ones. Jinora with Opal. How do I know it's one of the most obscure ones? There are a grand total of five people who have written for this pairing (at the time of writing), I am one, and this Wiki's Korra2000 is another. And even then, I hardly have a claim to it, because it still took a back seat to Korrasami in the one-shot I gave them, though Korra2000 actually put some more focus on them. Real credits here go to ziraseal and Marezelle, with the latter still in the process of writing The Journey, which is slowly exploring this. And I do mean slowly. It's an incredibly slow boil, as in 'trying to boil Lake Victoria with a cigarette lighter'-slow, which kind of starts working against it. On the other hand, this does allow for some very interesting and intimate character development that isn't focused on the pairing itself, which is worth it, and I would recommend giving it a go. You'll figure out soon enough if this slow boil is for you or not. Now, I mentioned ziraseal, who also wrote some good stories. The Way I Am is definitely the biggest, but again, Jinopal taking a backseat to Korrasami. More interesting to me is Subtle Waves Crashing, which is just one of the most tightly written one-shots I have ever read. There is no excess in that story, everything is there that needs to be there, which is kind of refreshing. And what I really like is that it's not only a technically well-written story, it's also still an emotional piece, so definitely consider that one a recommendation.

Next we have probably the most popular non-canon ship: Korra paired with Kuvira. It is interesting, and there were a lot of people who saw their moment in the series finale as justification for this, and yeah, I'd be lying if I didn't see their connection. Also there is the fact that Bryke confirmed that Kuvira was thought up as a sort of evil opposite to Korra, right down to having the exact same physical appearance, both of them being athletic and even the same height. One of the biggest and probably best known stories is The Dictator, which largely takes place with Kuvira imprisoned after the finale. That sounds really boring, spending most of the story literally in a box, but it's surprisingly not. The interactions of Kuvira and Korra are really interesting, and the character revelations build from where the show left off, almost as if the author wanted to see what would happen if there actually was something there. It starts off with Korra and Asami together (and no, this isn't really a spoiler) but they ultimately split up as they don't really work. Now, as much as I don't like that, I do think it's handled well enough, and yeah, this is ultimately a story where you're rooting for Korvira. There is of course, also an opposite to this, and it's a story I mentioned before once, namely A Long Time Ago We Used To Be Friends. In this, there is Korvira as well, but this portrays Kuvira more like a villain, possessive, domineering, and just toxic to Korra. It's well done, and interesting to see the opposite side of the coin from The Dictator, so again, great story there. Last one I want to mention is mostly just because I think it's the funniest story I've ever read, and unfortunately, not one that's finished: 95 Percent Cotton. Circumstances cause Korra and Kuvira to meet, and they quickly get together. Asami is Korra's roommate and secretly has a crush on her, and decides to up her game to win Korra over. Now, that sounds very mean-spirited, were it not for the fact that the story is so funny. Here's a lesson the show should have learned: love-triangles are so common and so tired in movies and shows that the only reason they can really work is when they're played for laughs, which it is here. If you need a quick laugh, check it out.

Now of course, there are a lot more pairings than just these. Heck, there's even a fanon pairings page on this Wiki, which list practically every possible pair you can think of, regardless of how ridiculous it is, but it's still funny to read. And there are even more pairings I could talk about within the Legend of Korra alone, such as Tenzin with Lin, Lin with Kya, Kuvira with Suyin, and so on. Even after that, I haven't touched upon some of the ones that faded into the background like Korra with Tahno, Korra with Amon, and other ones that I consider slightly creepy. (Though perhaps I should mention Strings here, a story where Korra is paired with Tarrlok, and the taboo is the focus of the story.) But if I were to discuss all of them in great detail, this would become far too long. Take care, everyone."
Earth Kingdom emblem
Avatar Jigsaw
BSST Staff
What's a newsletter without random, time-killing puzzles and games? This here is an interactive puzzle that allows you to move the pieces of the image around until they all click together. Find out which iconic image we've pulled from the series, and see who gets the best time!

Click here to complete the interactive jigsaw.

Bsst_puzzle2.png
Note: The image above is not the actual puzzle.
50
DEPUTY
FRS Review - Polybender Saga, by Duke of Skibbington
AvatarRokusGhost
FRSimage
This review was conducted by the Fanon Review Squad and reflects our best judgment of writing and fanon authorship quality. Please don't take offense if the review wasn't positive. We always give advice!

The newest fanon review from me for this issue will be Polybender Saga, by the duke of the Duchy of Skibbington himself, one of the dedicated authors of the wiki’s fanon portal. Now, before we begin, I must note that this fanon has been discontinued by its writer. Duke now says he plans to rewrite the story at large so it will likely be different in the future. But what we have now may still be an indicator of what his vision of the story will be, and he has asked me to review his writing on it, so without further ado let’s dig in!

Air, water, earth and fire. It has long been believed that mastering more than one element is impossible. Even the Avatar is but a Jack of all trades. That assumption has been challenged by men not from the Fire Nation or anything of the sort, nor from the Spirit World; rather, from a new world altogether.

These people call themselves the Polybenders, some can bend two or even three elements, but only one person can bend all four. Who are these people? With international tensions rising, what can they mean for the Avatar?

Surely this sets the fanon apart from others by breaking apart the Avatar’s long-held monopoly as the world’s only bender of more than one bending art. The Duke of Skibbington takes us on a tour through his original world and we’re all along for the ride.

Plot - 7.0: As I said before, Duke plans to rewrite this story, but for the here and now of this review, we’ll take a look at what we have. There is a fun story that is taking place here that has the potential to entice a reader along, but it needs some ironing out. Some plot lines and aspects are introduced and then abruptly dropped too soon or without explanation. How the plot is handled can use some work and I will talk about that a lot more in depth in the following categories.

Execution - 6.5: Again, this is a draft of the story which the author has discontinued and plans to rewrite later, so a lot may change when he does that. Heck, he might even have settled on making some changes already. The current version is told more or less as a straight narrative, and Duke favors using the present tense for it. That’s not something that points are added or subtracted for, mostly just author preference, and any style can be done well if executed correctly. Something that he should watch out for would be rushing certain key scenes as well as abrupt changes in the scene with a lack of transitions. These are often present, so it’s an issue that becomes especially noticeable, especially when there are multiple such chops a chapter.

Proper Writing - 7.8: Technical mistakes were not as major an area to cover in this fanon story as I have seen in some others. Make sure you use the correct word and don’t mix up similar-sounding ones such as “are” versus “our”, capitalize references to parents when a given name can take its place, keep your naming capitalization consistent and also keep your tense and point of view consistent throughout the story. Overall, you had six mistakes out of approximately 15,000 words, which yields a proper writing score of 7.8 according to my scale.

Creativity - 7.2: The idea of having more persons besides the Avatar who can bend multiple elements has definitely done before - in fact, reading this reminded me of quite a few other fanons I read years ago - but Polybender Saga is no mound of straw. Duke has an original setup for it to give him his own unique twist on an often-done idea. As we learn, there is an entire extra part of the world, but some of the specific geography comes across as undefined and unclear. Holes like these are unexploited opportunities for creativity and a writer should use their creativity to not leave them open. Some of the names didn’t sound like they fit in in the Avatarverse, which is fine. Again, that’s something other stories have done, too. But more background on the new characters to integrate them into the established canon world would be nice. Why were these people undiscovered for so long? Where did they come from?

Description of Action - 7.3: Some of the action plays out like a classical war movie with a lot of intense drama taking place with not much emotional struggle behind it. It’s always nice to spend time with characters to make the struggles more relatable, and some tense moments within Polybender Saga deserve stronger reaction from characters. Apart from that, some fights escalate rather quickly and the action description does become unclear at times, though it does get better in the later chapters.

Description of Setting - 8.0: Some of the lines of dialogue between the characters are quite memorable and well-written. However, they are sometimes surrounded by dialogue that is choppy and less believable. It’s hard to make a line your “Hasta la vista, baby,” if the lines around it don’t at least approach it in quality. Dialogue aside, the setting description becomes alright from chapter seven onward for the most part, and actually gets pretty good in some of the more recent chapters.

Realism - 7.0: Like I said before, spending more time on character reactions is something that needs to be done. The new world and fresh character additions can integrate into the Avatar world, that’s not a problem. It’s mostly the human interactions that need to be fine-tuned in order to make the events believable and realistic. To name a few, Kuvira’s apology was rather sudden, Jinora is pretty quick to trust someone she didn’t know and Korra is a fully grown and realized Avatar now. So why does she still answer to Tenzin the same way as when she was younger?

Character Development - 7.2: Since the deductions in realism were mostly character-based, it should come as no surprise that they also stem into here. Same goes for some of the action description points. The readers are meant to accept Phillip as the great hero he’s presented as before they really know him. With canon characters less introductions are necessary, but for OCs, especially the prominent ones in your universe, we must spend time getting to know them to accept them.

SCORE: 7.25

Constructive Criticism: You have a creative mind and some quality energy for storytelling, so I hope that nothing I’ve said in this review discouraged you. When you do your rewrite - as well as all future writing projects you decide to undertake - work in some transitions between scenes, optimize pacing and work on bringing more feeling in from the characters’ point of views. Those are the big things.

To whom I would recommend: Anyone who wants to soak their fanon tastebuds with a dose of an original fanon story idea. However, I must add as a disclaimer once again that this draft is now discontinued and is going to be rewritten, so while you may enjoy it, don’t get too attached to the current version.
50
DEPUTY
The Future of Fanon
After the Finale

Bomochu
Book 4 of the Legend of Korra ended with an epic battle in Republic City. It was the final fight against Kuvira and the Earth Empire, with their giant mecha and army of soldiers against the rest of the world. It featured the formation of a new Spirit Portal, and Korra's relationship with Asami as they entered the Spirit World in the final moments of Book 4.

Now that the series has ended, what does the future of Avatar fanon look like? Whenever a series ends there can be a decline in activity, especially when many questions have been answered already in the show. For example, we saw a lot of the Spirit World in the Legend of Korra, which may make writing a Spirit World-themed fanon a little unappealing (though not necessarily). But there can also be a spike in fanon written when a series ends, particularly from viewers asking the "What if this happened?" or "What about this?" kinds of questions.

And this is exactly what we saw after the original series ended; there were plenty of stories about the Gaang after the war ended. Many featured the new Water Tribe Avatar (instead of Korra), or even the next Avatar from the Earth Kingdom. The difference between the original show finishing and the Legend of Korra is that now we have a number of comics filling in those gaps for us, which isn't a bad thing of course since some of them have been written really well. But has it left nothing else to explore in the form of fanfiction? I think even though many things were answered or introduced in the Legend of Korra regarding world building itself, there are plenty of aspects, characters, relationships, or backstories that could easily warrant further explanation. And that's the beauty of fanon; it has no limits!

One of the more obvious places to start writing a fanon could be the next Avatar after Korra, the Earth Kingdom Avatar. What challenges will they face? What does their world look like compared to the Legend of Korra? I've seen a couple different takes on this question in fanon. Some authors have continued the technological advancing to new levels, giving their story a more modern or even 'cyberpunk' kind of feel to it. A couple other stories out there have some kind of catastrophe which wipes out most of humanity and much of the technology that had been developed in the Legend of Korra, which while is a bit cliche, does bring their fanon back to the original roots that the Last Airbender had which is really cool. I think either way the story is driven, fanons centred on the new Earth Kingdom Avatar and their journey can help the series live on in the world of fanon.

There are also plenty of areas within the series that could be explored further. One of the main problems with the Legend of Korra is that there are too many characters and not enough screen time. Even some of the main characters on Team Avatar like Asami get hardly any development during Books 2 and even 3. Therefore, character-driven fanons are a really cool way to fix this issue. There's a number of really good stories here on this wiki exploring characters a little more, or putting these characters in another world or context entirely, and one can be quite creative in crafting these stories which show us more of these characters that were shelved in the show far too often.

And there will always be room for new stories about the old Team Avatar and their children. Even answering simple questions like "Who is Suyin’s father?" or creating a character for 'Kanto', Lin's father who at this point is little more than a name. In general, the whole Beifong family could use more character development than what was given in Books 3 and 4. But issues and questions like these can drive new fanon and inspire authors to answer them, much like one of the final scenes in the original series where Zuko asks about his mother, which inspired a number of authors to take on the challenge of writing about it.

The main point of this article is to point out that despite the series having ended for a while now, by no means does fanon have to as well. There is still new content being released, which can also use further expanding upon. There's still a number of things not fully resolved form both of the mains series too. And although activity on the wiki can fluctuate or have periods of decline, my hope is that even well after the series has ended, we will see new stories being added to our wiki.

One of the things the previous Fanonspace Deputy Editor of the BSST aimed to do was write an article highlighting a fanon in each issue. That's definitely something I'd like to continue to do when filling this new role. So if any of you ever come across a really cool story that perhaps needs some recognition, or find something unique and pretty awesome that could warrant a shout-out, feel free to contact me about it (or write an article about it yourself!). And who knows? It could very well end up in the next issue of the BSST.

While the series has ended, fanon has not. And we at the BSST are committed to keeping things going here well after the series' finale


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