This is going to have spoilers for the final season of Legend of Korra, if you do not want to be spoiled, please leave now and come back after you’ve watched it!
What happens when a powerful regime bent on total domination gets beat? Do all parties give up and go home? Does the world fall back into instant calm and order? The answer is a simple no and in this trio of stories, we get to see the pervasiveness of power and control and what it means for the rest of the Earth Kingdom. We first see Kuvira being tried for her actions and her attacks on Republic City and the things she did to towns that did not join her and the camps she created to rehabilitate dissenters. She is found guilty and put into prison and when Korra visits because of an uprising of Commander Guan, someone who worked for Kuvira and believed in her mission, and Kuvira advises her to bring her along so that she can talk Guan out of his plan.
Commander Guan is smart, a strategist, and ambitious. He has developed a machine that will brain wash people into believing his views and fighting for him. And when the team goes and confronts him, Asami, Bolin, and Mako are captured and brain washed to fight for Guan. Korra is distraught by this and is more determined than ever to stop Guan and save her friends and girlfriend.
This was a really great add on story. I found it engaging and really accurate to how something like this would actually play out. Of course there are powerful people within the Empire that would want to continue the work they set out to do. And it is important that it showed that not only would these people be powerful, they would also be smart and highly trained. It shows the real consequences of fascist regimes and how they just don’t go away once the top person surrenders. A lesson that I think is all too relevant and necessary. Of all of the graphic novels to come out in the Avatar series, I think The Search and Ruins of the Empire are the best additions. They add another level and richness to the story and they allow for character growth, development, and exploration. If you were a fan of Legend of Korra, I think reading this would definitely add to your experience with the show and is worth seeking out and reading.