‘The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part Two’ - Trade Paperback Review

I love the world of Avatar: the Last Airbender and equally so I adore The Legend of Korra. Not only over the course of four seasons did it give us a female avatar in Korra that was complex and heroic, who showed growth and nuance, but it also ended up being a big win for the LGBTQ community, giving us a hero that was gay. It was such a success that it was almost impossible to find Part One of Turf Wars on the shelves a day after its release. I tried - five different local comic stores.

The story didn’t disappoint. At the end of the animated series (The last season premiered online.), Korra saved Republic City by opening a portal to the spirit world smack dab in the middle of it. Then, she and Asami held hands and stepped into the light, continuing their adventure together in the spirit world. It was beautiful. Issue one picked up on the other side of that portal, as Korra and Asami began to explore their feelings for each other. When they arrived back in Republic City, spirits and humans weren’t playing so well together, and trying to let people know about their relationship turned out to be more difficult than each of them thought. Each step was taken in realistic stride, and DiMartino (co-creator and writer) handled everything with lightness and wisdom while keeping conflict within every moment.

Part Two of
Turf Wars introduces us to the villain who is mangled by a spirit; half his body is human, and the other half otherworldly. He leads the Triple Threats, a local triad introduced in the very first season of The Legend of Korra. He’s pretty cool. Brothers extraordinaire Mako and Bolin are no longer working for the Triad; instead, they are both officers of the law trying to stop them under Chief Beifong, a badass metal bender who still seems to want to butt heads with Korra, though not as much as the President Raiko of Republic City which brings into play another subplot involving Zhu Li Moon, once assistant of and now married to the ridiculous Varrick who may just run for President. Phew! All elements of that run-on sentence are handled deftly in this issue.

DiMartino and Irene Koh (artist) continue to give us a multi-culturally diverse cast, avoiding tropes left and right, allowing many of the women to hold leadership roles, both good and bad. The art is fun and energetic. Vivian Ng’s colors are vibrant, and the story is starting to really pick up.

The worlds of Avatar and Korra are big and rich, and they explore issues of humanity in a way that’s serviceable to youths without pandering. It’s always smart, never preachy, and there’s plenty of room for new viewers and readers.


Creative Team: Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino (creators), Michael Dante DiMartino (writer), Irene Koh and Paul Reinwand (layouts), Irene Koh (art), Vivian Ng (colors), Nate Piekos of Blambot (letters)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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