|"That was business, nothing personal."|
|— Wonyong Keum to Asami Sato about his business practices.|
Wonyong Keum is the CEO of Keum Enterprises. Owning the land surrounding the Republic City spirit portal, he intended to turn the area into an amusement park from where he could launch tours and excursions into the Spirit World.
In 166 AG, Wonyong met with Hiroshi Sato, who wanted his help to develop gas dispersion pumps for the Equalist mecha tanks. Unwilling to help Hiroshi create weapons, Wonyong backed out of the deal, an act that earned him the enmity of Asami Sato, who was then unaware of its true nature.
Eight years later, in the aftermath of Kuvira's failed invasion of the United Republic of Nations, Wonyong, as the owner of the land surrounding the spirit portal in downtown Republic City, visited the spirit portal with a work crew to measure up the area, as he intended to turn it into an amusement park. Discovering several airbenders who had been meditating there, he ordered them to vacate the area under threat of calling the police. Jinora, speaking for their group, refused to leave, and an angered Wonyong yelled at her that they were trespassing. When Avatar Korra and Asami emerged from the spirit portal, Wonyong introduced himself to the Avatar and was surprised to discover Asami there as well, almost failing to recognize her, as he had not seen her since he had walked out on an important deal with her father. When Asami showed her resentment toward him, he explained that his actions were purely business, nothing personal, and extended his condolences for the loss of Hiroshi. He did not seem fazed when Asami rejected them and turned his attention back to Korra, asking her to escort the airbenders off his property. When Jinora pleaded with Korra not to listen, saying that Wonyong intended to build a road leading to the Spirit World so he could drive "truckloads of tourists" into the Spirit World, the businessman countered that Jinora was making his plans sound crass. What he really intended to do, according to himself, was to provide a "state-of-the-art experience for the discerning traveler", since he believed everyone should be able to experience the wonders and beauty that the Spirit World had to offer. When an angry Asami bluntly stated that people like him should not be allowed anywhere near the Spirit World just because it is wondrous and beautiful, Wonyong snapped back that there is nothing any of them could do about his plans since Keum Enterprises owned the land.
Their argument was interrupted when the dragon eel spirit appeared and confronted a startled Wonyong, saying that he was just another human who refused to respect the sacred and making it clear that the deeds to the land did not give him the right to ravage and plunder the Spirit World. After Korra reasoned with the spirit and it returned to its own world, Wonyong, having had enough, reiterated that Korra and her friends were all trespassing on his land and that he wanted them gone immediately. The Avatar did not take kindly to his order and entered the Avatar State, intimidating Wonyong and his workers into fleeing the area.
Wonyong was not pleased with how things transpired and hired the Triple Threat Triad to secure the area surrounding the portal. After the attack transpired, Wonyong received a surprise visit from Tokuga and a few of his men, who had forced their way into the Keum Enterprise building. The businessman was shocked to see Tokuga's new appearance, as the Triple Threat Leader was partially deformed due to a hostile encounter with the dragon eel spirit. Tokuga was under the impression that Korra had summoned the spirits and ordered one to attack him and therefore held Wonyong responsible for not alerting him of the possibility that the Avatar could have interfered. When Tokuga attacked him, lifting him off the ground by his neck, Wonyong asked what he desired, readily vowing to pay double of what he already owed him. The Triple Threat leader was not satisfied with the order and told Wonyong that he assumed control of Keum Enterprises and all its assets, effective immediately, which meant that the businessman now worked for him.
Wonyong was subsequently held captive by the Triple Threats, which alerted his bodyguards and wife, though they all refrained from reporting his disappearance to the authorities due to his private nature and dislike for the authorities. When Tokuga and the Triple Threats attacked a military depot containing the Earth Empire weaponry and vehicles left over from Kuvira's failed invasion of the United Republic, Wonyong was bought along as a hostage, along with a recently captured Asami.
Following the raid, and Tokuga's attack on the Creeping Crystals' turf, Wonyong and Asami were locked up together in the abandoned Earthen Fire Refinery, which had since been taken over by the Triple Threats. Wonyong asked Asami if she was okay, but Asami angrily told him not to pretend he cared about her, since his greed had led to her current situation. Wonyong replied that he had simply wanted to protect his property, and when Asami pointed out that he had hired criminals to intimidate and threaten others, Wonyong claimed that running a business sometimes required unsavory partnerships, referring to Hiroshi's involvement with the Equalists. Furious at the insult towards her father, Asami pointed out that Hiroshi had sacrificed his life for Republic City, and asked Wonyong what he would be willing to sacrifice.
At that moment, Tokuga entered the room and revealed that he had taken possession of the plans for gas dispersion pumps, which Wonyong had kept in his office since his failed deal with Hiroshi, and Wonyong told Asami that Hiroshi's desire to build illegal weaponry was what ultimately led to him to walk out on a business deal between the two. Tokuga threatened to murder Wonyong unless Asami agreed to build one of the pumps and attach it to one of the airships taken from the depot, the triad leader intending to use it to threaten Republic City with poison gas; Asami reluctantly agreed to his plans. After Asami finished work on the pump, the refinery was attacked by Korra, Mako, Bolin and Jargala. Tokuga and the triads managed to load Wonyong and Asami onto the airship before it took off, with Tokuga following them. As the airship flew back to the Republic City spirit portal, Wonyong and Asami agreed to work together to prevent Tokuga using the gas.
Asami sabotaged the pump, causing it to release the gas inside the airship, subduing all the triad members on board except Tokuga, who was immune because of his mutation. Wonyong grabbed two gas masks, one for himself and one for Asami, to allow them to survive. Korra later made it onto the airship and battled Tokuga, while Asami piloted the airship through the portal and into the Spirit World, guessing that the spirits would be immune to the gas as Tokuga was. After the triad leader was forced out of the airship and left clinging to it with his tentacle arm, Wonyong dealt the final blow, severing the tentacle arm with a fire axe and causing him to fall from the airship, as Wonyong declared that Keum Enterprises belonged to him, not Tokuga.
After Asami managed to land the airship, Wonyong and the others were once again confronted by the dragon eel spirit, who insisted that there would never be peace between humans and spirits as long as humans like Wonyong were willing to exploit the spirit world. Out of gratitude towards Korra and Asami for saving his life, Wonyong diffused the situation by agreeing to abandon his claim to the land around the spirit portal, explaining to the spirit that he did not wish to be the cause of further conflict in Republic City, and would rather help Korra to ensure peace. These actions caused Asami to admit that she had been wrong about Wonyong and apologize to him for doing so, to which he expressed a hope that their two companies could do business together in the future. Asami politely told Wonyong not to get ahead of himself, but added that she would see what happened in the future.
Three weeks later, Wonyong attended Zhu Li's election night party at the Four Elements hotel boardroom, and after she was confirmed as the winner and the new President of the United Republic, he listened to her victory speech, during which she declared that her first act as president would be to give Wonyong's land to the Air Nation, allowing them to protect the portal and the spirit world from those seeking to desecrate them.
Graphic novel trilogies
- Turf Wars trilogy
- Wonyong Keum's name was originally going to be Yushi Yoshida but was changed sometime during production.
- Wonyong is also one of the twelve characters in the Avatar world to have a known last name, the others being the members of the Beifong and Sato family, Shiro Shinobi, Iknik Blackstone Varrick, Zhu Li Moon, and Jargala Omo.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Koh, Irene (artist), Nate Piekos; Blambot (letterer), Heather Campbell, Jane Bak (cover). Turf Wars Part One (July 26, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Koh, Irene (artist), Nate Piekos; Blambot (letterer), Heather Campbell, Vivian Ng (cover). Turf Wars Part Three (August 1, 2018), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer), Koh, Irene (artist), Nate Piekos; Blambot (letterer), Heather Campbell, Vivian Ng (cover). Turf Wars Part Two (January 17, 2018), Dark Horse Comics.
- ↑ Koh, Irene (July 27, 2017). Early drawings and concept. Tumblr. Retrieved on July 28, 2017.