Now I know I still haven’t posted my review of ATLA: Imbalance (It will come next month, I promise), but the Legend of Korra graphic novels are not dependent on ATLA and are definitely their own thing. If you’ve seen Legend of Korra you know that while ATLA provides more backstory and world building, you don’t necessarily need to watch ATLA beforehand to understand the story. This story follows immediately after the end of the television series so if you haven’t finished that yet, I’d give this a pass until you have as this does have spoilers for the show. That said, let’s get into the review.
Korra and Asami are going on a much deserved vacation to the spirit world. The two lovebirds share a kiss and a sigh and head off on a honeymoon of sorts encountering different spirits and parts of the spirit world. But back home, there’s trouble brewing. Gangs are fighting for control of the portal to the spirit world and it’s getting ugly. Without the avatar there to step in, the police of Republic City are having a hard time controlling everything and are just barely cracking the surface on who is behind it all. With Kuvira’s left over military equipment, the gangs have the fire power behind their attacks that could bring about the destruction of the city.
When Korra returns from her vacation, she is met with angry mobs accusing her of abandoning them during a time of need. Defensive and hurt, Korra inserts herself into the investigation of the two gangs primarily involved in the turf wars and is determined to bring them down herself. Mako, being a detective in the police, takes issue with how much Korra wants to drive the investigation, but agrees that the investigation work that he does will help solve the case. But nothing is a simple as it seems and while the Avatar Gang may be full of smart and clever people, the gangs in the city aren’t dumb and have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to thwart anyone who may be after them.
I think this series was a fun addition to the story, but I didn’t think that it had a lot to offer beyond Korra and Asami’s relationship and their coming out to the people in their lives. I loved the conversation between Korra and Kya about being queer and the different nations relationship with queerness and openness. I think it says a lot about the creators that they matched each nation with a specific type of cultural relationship with their general societal attributes. I love the fact that the air nomads were a very open and accepting people (aligns with what we know of them as caring, empathetic, compassionate people) and that people and couples could exist without question. We also learned that Kya is also queer and that made her bond with Korra even stronger.
I am still a big fan of this universe and will be happy to read anything that they come out with (with some exceptions).