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10. The Length
March 2011 The longevity of Legend of Korra was assured when the announcement came that Nickelodeon would in fact be airing an additional 14 episodes in the series. This doesn’t really come as a surprise: The same scenario occurred on the original series, when the episode “The Blue Spirit” could have possibly been a premature series finale. Thankfully, no such fate awaited Avatar, and the franchise continues to thrive. So far, 26 episodes divided into two seasons are confirmed. 13 episodes a season doesn’t seem like a lot, but Mike and Bryan have written every single episode, meaning each one is going to be very plot-intensive and utterly a blast!
9. The Cast
March 2011 The original series had some terrific voice talent, with many top-notch actors from the voice acting community as well as the acting community in general. One of the common characteristics of a miniseries is an all-star cast, and Legend of Korra doesn’t disappoint. J.K. Simmons, Daniel Dae Kim (returning from the original), Dante Basco and Dee Baker (also returning), Seychelle Gabriel (from the film), and Richard Epcar. I had never heard of Janet Varney, David Faustino or P.J. Byrne before Korra, but doing some Youtube searches of them has gotten me real excited about their involvement as well!
8. The Villains: The Equalists
July 2011 An interesting relation nod to the original series. We’ve seen chi-blocking used before, but I doubt the Ty Lee would desire any attribution to this group of headhunters who want nothing more than the destruction of those gifted with elemental powers! Up until Comic-Con, very little was known about the "anti-bending movement" alluded to in the very first interview. While the Equalist movement, as it is now known, is generally populated by those with ill-sentiment toward benders, the gas mask-wearing chi-blockers that comprise the movement’s deadly agents are the most iconic aspect of this rogue faction, along with their leader, Amon. These are the bad guys, and they definitely look the part.
7. Naga and Pabu: The Mascots
July 2011 Appa and Momo fans (and seriously, aren’t we all?) have nothing to worry about in Legend of Korra. It seems both their shoes are being filled more than adequately my two incredible, imaginative new creatures. When I first saw Naga, I remember thinking, “So it is going to be a polar bear-dog.” It was a natural choice for an animal guide; the perfect one in my opinion. If we were able to love a buffalo/manatee hybrid so well, just think of how much we’ll love a hybrid of two of the most popular animals in existence: a polar bear and a dog. Somehow, the creators have just kicked the cuteness level up a notch with Pabu, a red panda-ferret; I didn’t think that was possible after Momo! Sometimes pet animals in cartoons only serve as a distraction, but in this case I’ll gladly make an exception. More Pabu plz!
6. The Police: Toph’s Legacy
July 2011 An amazing connection to the original series, Republic City is policed by an elite group of Metalbenders. Now, we all witnessed the discovery of this unique art, securing Toph’s place as one of the greatest Earthbenders in history, and now 70 years later her legacy is present and plays an extremely important role in the new series. And that’s not to mention that Toph has a daughter (the father not yet known) who is none other than Republic City’s Chief of Police and the world’s top Metalbender (if Toph is indeed dead—keep in mind she would be 30 years younger than Bumi).
5. The Artwork
July 2011 We hadn’t seen much artwork from the new series prior to Comic-Con, and we have yet to hear any of its soundtrack. But when they unveiled the numerous sketches, landscapes, and stills at the Legend of Korra panel, it helped establish a very distinct “feel” for the new series: A signature identity, similar to the original series but also different in some respects. I recommend re-watching the panel on Youtube. The artists get pretty in-depth about this aspect. They also discuss the soundrack, which I can’t wait to hear in order to understand just what they mean by an “Asian/jazz” hybrid.
4. Mako and Bolin: Team Avatar
July 2011 It had been previously established that the iconic character who portrayed Iroh would be getting a character named in his honor. We didn’t know just who that character was or what his purpose in the show would be. I certainly didn’t expect he would hold the same position as Sokka and Katara did in the original series as a core member of the new Team Avatar! Revealed at Comic-Con, Mako and Bolin are hugely integral additions to the series, filling the roles left by the members of the last Team Avatar. They are the Sokka and Katara to Korra’s Aang. Nothing about the new series excites me more than the thought of these three main characters interacting with each other. Sky’s the limit!
3. The Trailer
I personally wasn’t counting on seeing a trailer for Legend of Korra at this year’s Comic-Con. It seemed like it may have been too early to reveal any major footage. Maybe true, but boy did we get a treat! The trailer was very minimal, but it is the closest realization since the finale of everything about Avatar we’ve come to know and love: Beautiful animation, high-octane action, and classic humor (sorry M. Night--er, maybe not).
2. Korra: The Next Great Hero
When: March 2011 For eight agonizing months, the only official glimpse of the Avatar universe’s newest protagonist was from behind. Sure, we all super amped about getting that much, but so much about her remained a mystery. Then, the Wall Street Journal blog produced another gem: The second official image of the new series, and the first showing Korra’s beautiful face. The interview contained in the article provided valuable insight into the new Avatar’s personality. I felt like I was meeting Korra for the first time, and I knew right then that she was gonna be amazing!
1. Tenzin: Son of Aang and Katara
July 2010 Ha ha, trolling the Zutarians! (I’ve always wondered why they call themselves that instead of simply “Zutarans.” “Zutarian” sounds like a person from another planet—OK so maybe it does make sense after all….) Finally, after countless shipping wars and fan controversy, it is settled. The Wall Street Journal Speakeasy article announcing the development of Legend of Korra provided countless fans with the confirmation they’ve been waiting for: “Kataang won,” as Bryan put it at this year’s Comic-Con. Again, it’s not much of a surprise, but it’s a fulfilling affirmation of many fans’ greatest hopes, and is, in my opinion, the most important revelation related to the new series.
Thanks for reading!
- Also, click here to vote in the 2011 Distant Horizon's Avatar Pumpkin Carving Competition that I'm participating in! Thanks!
- Watch this vid on Youtube, or at least the parts involving Kevin Coppa, creator of Avatar: The Last Puppetbender!
- Latest The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra News
- Interview with Mike and Bryan. Journal Speakeasy Article. Chris Farley. March 8, 2011
- Cast Revealed. Speakeasy Article. Chris Farley. March 7, 2011
- First Look. Speakeasy Article. Chris Farley. March 6, 2011.
- Legend of Korra Announced. Speakeasy Article. Chris Farley. July 21, 2010
- ↑ And no, I'm not going to read any of the comic book content uploaded to the internet by some jerk.