Jul 8 2013 5:10pm

The Legend of Korra Talks New Characters While the Comics Focus on Zuko’s Parentage

News for The Legend of Korra has been pretty thin on the ground these days, with the latest series of sneak-peek videos revealing next to nothing. The newest of this lot shows a blurry shot of an animated clip that appears to be Bolin talking to two members of the Southern Water Tribe. With hints that we will be meeting Korra’s twin cousins in this season, what does that tell us about what’s coming up? And what about those very interesting canonical comic books that are still being released?

Korra’s twin cousins, Desna and Eska, are supposed to make appearances in Book Two along with her Uncle Unalaq, so it’s safe to assume that the video is correct in pegging those fuzzy figures as the twins. And since Bolin is supposed to get a love interest this time around (we figure this means a reciprocated love interest rather than his pining for Korra), it’s a fair bet who that lucky lady is.

Also revealed elsewhere is the upcoming appearance of Aang and Katara’s other children, Bumi (who we saw only briefly from a distance at the end of Book One) and Kya. But that’s not quite as interesting as knowing their ages and bending status: Both Bumi and Kya are older than Tenzin, with Kya being a waterbender and Bumi being a non-bender. We feel for poor Bumi on that front, but it’s also amusing that Tenzin is the youngest and the only airbender, which begs the question—would Aang and Katara have produced more and more children if Tenzin had not been an airbender? It is a pretty important skillset for them to keep alive, practically speaking. Then again, bending can skip generations, so it’s possible that their grandchildren would have been airbenders (though they would have had to learn it without Aang’s considerable expertise).

Onto more interesting developments in the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics currently out from Dark Horse (which are considered canon, by the way): Part 2 of The Search trilogy is due out this Wednesday, which should give us some more information on a newly uncovered revelation—that Firelord Ozai was not Prince Zuko’s father.

Whoa, now. That’s kind of important.

According to Part 1 of the comic, it would seem that Zuko and Azula’s mother, Ursa, was engaged to be married before meeting Ozai—and was coerced into the marrying the prince by her family and Firelord Azulon. What no one knew at the time was that she was already pregnant by her fiancé, a play actor named Ikem. Zuko’s father knew about his son’s paternity, which explains a lot about his favoritism with Azula, but it’s also sort of disappointing; one of Zuko’s main character arcs on the show was fighting between the natures he received from a dual heritage—the violence and anger on his father’s side and the peace and compassion from his mother’s side, descended from Avatar Roku. So, this battle was all metaphorical, then?

Of course, the next part of the comic will reveal more, such as where Zuko’s mother can be found (we hope). Maybe more questions will get put to bed, and Azula can find some peace of her own.

How are you all feeling about the recent revelations in Avatar-land? Are they sitting well? Are you excited for Book Two? (You have no idea how excited we are for Book Two.)

1. Kasiki
Is Tenzin the only Airbender in the World at the time of Kora? Would Aang only train his children to airbend? Can only Airbenders produce Air bending children? It would seem to me that if someone cabable of being trained as an airbender presented themselves Aang would train them. I guess i don't watch the show enough to know.
Tili S.
2. venndiagram
I wouldn't call Zuko's conflict over the different sides of his personality, represented by his parents, metaphorical. Clearly Fire Lord Ozai would have been a much bigger influence on him growing up than the biological father he never met.
3. Stefan Jones
I skimmed over the article because I haven't seen Season 1; I only managed to DVR a few episodes. Fracking Nickelodeon did not run the "catch up" broadcasts as scheduled (when I had programmed my DVR to record them) and has not repeated the series since.

It is so frustrating to sit down to watch a recording of an eagerly anticipated series only to find instead some wretched "tween" sitcom.
George Brell
4. gbrell

Tenzin and three of his four children are airbenders (Jinora, Ikki, and Milo - Rohan, the fourth is born during S1 of Korra, so it's not clear if he is a bender or not, though Katara predicts that he will be). Korra, as the avatar, can also airbend.

The genetics of bending aren't perfectly clear. In most populations, it does not appear to be an innate trait (i.e. some people have it, some don't). With that said, the Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation appear to have a higher propensity of benders than the Water Tribes (particularly as their militaries are more focused on bending), but both have examples of non-bender fighters (the Kyoshi warriors, Mai and Tai Lee, the Yuyan Archers). The Southern Water Tribe has no benders other than Katara (and presumably her daugher Kya), though that seems to be the result of war-driven culling. The Air Nomads, prior to their genocide, appeared to have an even higher percentage of benders (perhaps even 100%).

None of this helps explain how Bumi (Katara and Aang's non-bender son) ended up as a non-bender.
5. BSD
I strongly strongly strongly suspect that the revelation is a red herring. Not only is it a somewhat classic emotional cliffhanger trick, my read of Ozai (and Azulon!) is that if he even suspected Zuko was a cuckoo, he would have died young.
6. Tesh
I thought Zuko's Daddy issues were well considered and resolved in the shows. Pulling a soap opera twist in the comics seems kinda desperate and silly to me.

Then again, Korra's adventures are more "soapy", too, so maybe that's just where the writers' heads are. It's not something I care for, but so it goes.
Christopher Bennett
7. ChristopherLBennett
@3: Reruns of Korra have been airing regularly on NickToons. They show it two times per weekday, at 7:30 AM and 7:00 PM Eastern, although they're in different sequences. The morning showing is actually starting over with episode 1 tomorrow (Tuesday 7/9).
Alison Sinclair
8. alixsin
@ 5. I agree. Where did Zuko get the information? Azula. When did she retrieve it? Just after talking in private to Ozai. There's such a thing as forgery. Or destroying the part of the letter that would reveal another meaning. Zuko said it himself: Azula always lies.

It did occur to me that I - and I suspect I'm not the only one - have been assuming Azula was simply hallucinating. Maybe she's not, and it is Ursa she is seeing.
9. Tumas
@ 8. I agree, and that thought immediately came to mind too; Ozai and Azula spoke in private and the information comes from them. The Mai-centric FCBD comic also showed that there is a movement of Fire Nation people who want Ozai back on the throne. Zuko not being of royal lineage would therefore be very convenient for their plans.

From some advance reviews it seems like Part 2 will not discredit the revelation from the end of Part 1, so I hope that Part 3 will prove it to be a red herring.

Personally, I hope this is a case of a red herring because it would be a proper continuation of the series. Ozai would remain a threat even in imprisonment (through Azula as his agent) and Azula would continue to manipulate her brother (though with a new twist in her insanity), which respects their respective characters as seen in the orginal series.

Moreovoer, the direction of Zuko's character development did owe a lot to the relevation in The Avatar and the Fire Lord, which would be practically rendered null if Zuko weren't Ozai's son. Would Zuko be revealed to be Ikem's son, it would also give a message I think the original series sought to purposely avoid: that the goodness of a person can be measured by their lineage (with the exception of Iroh). I think it would be a slap in the face of fans who loved Zuko and his brilliant character-driven story arc to go in the directon of a 'soap-opera' twist.
Chris Meadows
10. Robotech_Master
Stefan, you can find all the episodes of Korra streaming complete on Vimeo. It's too good a show not to watch!
Scott Silver
11. hihosilver28
I've been really disappointed with the comics. They've just felt...small compared to either show. And if the twist about Zuko parentage is true, I wish they wouldn't have told us. Either have be show canon, or don't show something of that magnitude.
12. Ciella
@4. gbrell

I read once (and I'd be hard pressed to remember where) that the civilizations had a percentage of bending based on their population. the Earth kingdom had the largest population, but smallest percentage of benders. The Air Nomads had the smallest population but were 100% benders. I"m not sure how all the current "interbreeding" is going to pan out, but I've got a feeling that not only will Tenzin's 4th kids turn out to be an airbender, but the vast majority of Tenzins grandkids will also be airbenders.

The Avatar world seems very spiritual (I mean, it actually has a spirit world), so I'd imagine that the world itself is trying to restore balance.
Jason Denzel
13. JasonDenzel
Zuko isn't Ozai's son? That's... disappointing. It totally undermines the themes of the first season. I don't care if it's canon or not, I think I'm going to just ignore that fact unless it becomes essentail to future episodes.

Hmm. I have immense respect fot this show and its entire crew, so my bar is raised rather high. But between the Zuko thing above, and the fact that the writing on Korra book 1 got (frankly) a little sloppy at the end, I'm hoping the core creative team isn't slipping. Hopefully Korra book 2 will raise the stroytelling standard back to where it was.
14. Stefan Jones
NickToons? Damn, not on my cable plan.

I'll check out Vimeo.
Jennifer B
15. JennB
I enjoyed The Search Part 2 and I don't believe for a second that Zuko isn't Ozai's son. Can't wait for the next issue in October.

I have always thought that there should be a secret population of surviving airbenders. There was a secret population of waterbenders in the swamp, a secret population of firebenders at the Sun Temple, and an obscure population of earthbenders in the desert. Why is there not a secret population of airbenders somewhere?

I have to admit that I did not like Korra as much as A:TLA. I am hoping season two will be better.
Jennifer B
16. JennB
I also really hope to see a comic based on Iroh's adventures before A:TLA.
Maiane Bakroeva
17. Isilel
But wasn't Zuko's "dual nature" schtick silly to begin with? After all, Iroh didn't need Avatar's blood to redeem himself.

Personally, I dislike this plot-line for another Reason - namely, I found it really refreshing that Ozai preferred Azula, because she was more bad-ass and generally confirmed better to his expectations of what a royal child/heir should be.
But now it looks like the _only_ reason for him to prefer a daughter to a son could have been that he doubted the son's paternity? Ugh.

I liked Korra. Yes, it did fall short in certain respects, but then, so did seasons 1 and 3 of Last Airbender.
I can only hope that they manage to maintain the more mature tone of Korra without cutting corners so obviously.
18. Maac
I tend to believe it's a red herring just beause, frankly, Zuko seems to like the idea too much. (I'll be disappointed if it is not a red herring. Paternity issues would be far too fanficcish. I have nothing against fanfic and have enjoyed it myself in the past, but there's a reason fanfic is fanfic and canon is canon. It's too "alternate universe.")

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