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Author Topic: [DH Comics #10] Smoke and Shadow, Part 1  (Read 12346 times)
Loopy
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« Reply #75 on: Oct 17, 2015 07:45 pm »

Yeah, my exact one-sentence answer is:

Because it simultaneously means nothing and cheapens something else from the series.
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« Reply #76 on: Oct 17, 2015 11:53 pm »

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A reminder that ALL discussions are to be done respectfully and there should be give and take between all parties. Just because you disagree with an opinion doesn't mean you have to insist you are right which is rude and disrespectful to others.

Anyone who breaks the rule of respecting others will face disciplinary action.

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« Reply #77 on: Nov 04, 2015 11:34 pm »

Finally read the comic. It's okay. Not as great as The Rift but I found it okay.

Why are Suki's eyes green though. They've always been blue...

The Suzuki vibes are kinda strong even if it's not Gene's intention? It doesn't help that Kiyi ships them lol.

And for people who did not read the FCBD issue where Mai rescued Tom Tom, the story would be confusing to them despite some flashbacks of what happened. And seriously though, this is the third time Tom Tom is kidnapped. It's getting very old and stale. Just kill Ukano's wife if you want me to take the Kemurikage seriously because right now their threats feels empty. I won't be surprised if Azula is behind the mask somehow.

I'm disappointed by the lack of Iroh asskicking action. =/ Please don't let it be a running joke.

I found Ty Lee's expressions to Mai's ooginess hilarious.

As for Ursa, my general response is just a shrug. Too early for me to conclude anything yet until the entire trilogy is over.

And the multi colored fire? I didn't notice it till this thread made a big hoo haa over it. If you want me to put some though into it, the moment is similar to how Zuko was surrounded by the dragon's fire back in 313. He's probably redirecting the flames. Bottom line, I don't give a damn about the colored fire since it has been shown fire can come in different colors. Case in point -> Azula.
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« Reply #78 on: Nov 05, 2015 12:22 am »

Personally I just don't care for Zuko having a new trick is all. Azula having blue fire was one thing and it definitely worked in her favor. But Zuko now bending multi-colored flames to me just seems like the writer wants to bolster up Zuko's status. In my opinion he has always worked better as the underdog who wins, not through sheer raw power, but through his never give up attitude and his cunning. But I digress, there's more to talk about in these comics. I really hope that Azula isn't behind these kidnappings, though she could be. I'd like for a series with her running into Aunt Wu who would serve as her "Uncle Iroh" figure, Azula really could benefit from a mentor right now.
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« Reply #79 on: Nov 05, 2015 12:41 am »

I never understood why the multi-color fire was a big deal too. What we should be making a big deal over is whether Zuko will produce lightning....I kid.

I wonder if Toph is going to be joining in this time. If the timeline is right, Toph and Zuko haven't seen each other in nearly a year (I think?)
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« Reply #80 on: Nov 05, 2015 04:15 pm »

I think Toph will be absent in the comic once again.

I don't really care if Zuko gets lightning generation or not. He got over his inner turmoil so he could try it if he wanted to, and just be a clone of every other firebender. He is powerful enough without it though, perhaps he could get a new skill.
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« Reply #81 on: Nov 05, 2015 04:58 pm »

Back in ATLA's time, the spread of lightning generation as a skill hadn't happened yet; only Azula, Iroh and Ozai had been shown to be able to produce lightning by show's end, Zuko's attempts all ending in failed "BOOOMMPH"s.

So Zuko knowing how to generate lightning wouldn't have been him becoming "just another firebender".

However, now that I think about it, giving him lightning capabilities has the same continuity concerns the small amount of multicolor fire does, given we saw Zuko fighting in TLOK.... and he didn't try and use lightning once against the Red Lotus when they were busting Ming-Hua out.  Huh And we all know what's "super effective", happened to Ming-Hua later...

I can't wait until we get the next Avatar show and some of the old Krew show up if they go the Avatar dies early route again, not using abilities they gained in-universe before Korra's successor in TLOK comics that were released after the show's debut in real time. Roll Eyes

Such is an inherent limitation of the comics - as long as a show has been released before the comics in real time that takes place after the comics chronologically in-universe, they can't do anything "too awesome" in the comics without introducing continuity errors. Perhaps the Korra comics will have had their run by the time anything else animated comes out (if at all).
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« Reply #82 on: Nov 05, 2015 06:10 pm »

I never understood why the multi-color fire was a big deal too.

It's a big deal because it's yet another thing in these comics that happens for absolutely no reason (other than the typical "Because it's cool!") and undermines the stuff with the dragons. Now rainbow fire is just as random as Azula's blue fire. I guess we don't need to be impressed by anything we saw in The Firebending Masters anymore.

I mean, I guess I should be used to this level of writing by now, but I've already promised myself that I won't stop critiquing until the comics match the original cartoon in story quality, so my hands are tied. Cheesy


And the multi colored fire? I didn't notice it till this thread made a big hoo haa over it. If you want me to put some though into it, the moment is similar to how Zuko was surrounded by the dragon's fire back in 313. He's probably redirecting the flames. Bottom line, I don't give a damn about the colored fire since it has been shown fire can come in different colors. Case in point -> Azula.

So you don't see any problem with the rainbow fire generated by the Old Dragons being equated with Azula's random blue fire?

Okay.
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« Reply #83 on: Nov 05, 2015 09:22 pm »

I never understood why the multi-color fire was a big deal too.

It's a big deal because it's yet another thing in these comics that happens for absolutely no reason (other than the typical "Because it's cool!") and undermines the stuff with the dragons. Now rainbow fire is just as random as Azula's blue fire. I guess we don't need to be impressed by anything we saw in The Firebending Masters anymore.

I mean, I guess I should be used to this level of writing by now, but I've already promised myself that I won't stop critiquing until the comics match the original cartoon in story quality, so my hands are tied. Cheesy
But is it really random? I'll admit it did come out of nowhere though. So far it's just limited to Firelord Zuko. As long as it's just Zuko or to the degree the dragons did, it's alright. This does raise the question as to why Iroh didn't do this, but in Azula's case, I thought her fire was blue due to being hotter than others' standard fire.

I will admit, I do prefer he just generate lightning if they wanted to show us how powerful he's become.
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« Reply #84 on: Nov 05, 2015 10:34 pm »

Ok, so I had some down time and re-read the comic, and hopefully I've got my facts straight.

I have to say I was....underwhelmed? I think the problem was that its been a while since an Avatar comic came out and since they've gotten progressively better (in my opinion) with each trilogy, my expectations were probably too high. Am I the only person who literally reads a comic and analyzes every single frame? Academic research has really ruined my ability to enjoy things simply for what they are, and the whole time I'm reading something my mind is already trying to nitpick every minuscule detail.

On a scale of Skyward Sword to 10, I'd give this comic a 5.5.

The comic ideas in themselves are great, but I think the execution for me is a tad bit off and not done as effectively as it could be. That being said, I think the trilogy has a lot of potential depending on what direction it goes. If the Kemurikage turn out to be just posers, then it kills the comic for me. Aang was slightly rattled by Old Iron's 'death,' so this trilogy has the opportunity to further drive the question of 'can humans and spirits coexist' if the Kemurikage are a some disgruntled spirits forcing Aang to confront this issue again.

Another inherent weakness is that there is no strong antagonist in this comic. Ukano has always been a weak antagonist, and the NOS failure in this comic further proved that because Ukano looked like he had no idea what he was doing. The Kemurikage waiting a month to kidnap Tom-Tom made me feel as if they don't have a sense of urgency to get rid of Zuko, nor are they something to be feared, which was disappointing.

Things I liked:

1) Iroh's interactions with Zuko were nice, and he definitely was the comedic relief. Iroh was dangerously close to becoming the Sokka punching bag of comedic relief, so I hope if he's around in any of the two other comics, he takes on a little more seriousness. The angsty wave gag was funny, although Zuko has been smiling a lot more lately so it might not be fully accurate.

2) I kind of liked Mai as a spy (see criticism below), and I've always envisioned her to being in some sort of deceptive position. It was nice to see the conflict between her family and politics, especially when she confronted Ukano during the fighting scenes. Either way, she and Sokka are my favorite characters so its nice at least one of my besties is getting some shine. Her fighting during the conflict was also executed well, and its great to see her character further developed without Zuko. But please Yang, for the love of humanity, the word 'nutbar' has to go!

3) Ty Lee breaking the fourth wall and expressing how I felt about Mai's hilarious acting skills around Kei Lo. Nicely played.

4) Call me a terrible person, because I am, but I loved that Kiyi gave Ursa the cold shoulder. If two daughters start to show the same characteristics, then perhaps Ursa needs to start evaluating her own parenting skills as well. It cannot be just Ozai. It really made me think of the scene in The Search where it revealed Ursa as child punched Ikem in the stomach and kicked dirt in his face. I am reaching for the stars and beyond here, but...perhaps someone wasn't such an innocent child herself? Which made her feel the need to constantly correct Azula because it reminded her of herself (not that Azula is completely innocent of course)?

5) Art work was beautiful, although inconsistent. Kind of surprised that some scenes were super detailed compared to others, but I will say overall it was very nice.

Things that could be improved

1) Why on earth were Suki's eyes green?

2) Kei Lo is actually an OC I really like, but I have a very hard time believing a teenager would join an underground political organization to have a 'sense of belonging.' He could have easily joined a hiking club and called it a day. Now, I think for me it would have worked better if he had another reason for joining to supplement that, such as having a crush on Mai and thinking that impressing her dad would land him a date, or revealing Satoru as his best friend and the NOS was the only way to connect with Satoru (since his parents are involved) since he ran away. Either way, the 'sense of belonging' reveal to Mai seemed a little forced.

3) If Mai is spying, why would she choose to go about it so inefficiently? To me, it would make more sense if she pretended to make up with her dad and actually went to the NOS meetings to get the scoop first-hand. That way, her father would have told her instead of Kei Lo they were attacking unexpectedly, to which she could have warned Suki and Co, and stopped them with Kei Lo before they had any chance to strike.

But...there goes your plot I guess.

4) The Kei Lo and Mai situationship I'm on the fence about. On one hand, I'm an equal opportunity pairer/shipper, so I'm down for whatever as long as its properly developed. On the other, the one month time skip killed the development to further their...'whatever it is now' properly and make me believe Mai is dating him for real. The impression I got after the fight was that they were slowly building a trustful friendship, but nothing romantic. That kiss too- what on earth was I looking at?

If the comic cut down on some of the fighting and showed some events during the one month time skip, it could have driven their dynamics further and showed Kei Lo earning more of Mai's trust and shift things to a more romantic sense. This also relates to the Kemurikage, because if they hadn't (see below) waited a month to kidnap Tom-Tom, Kei Lo could have helped Mai during the month (as much as someone with a broken leg could) find Tom-Tom as a way to prove he cares about her and give space to develop...whatever it is.

5) The Kemurikage fell flat for me. In theory, they sound really cool, which originally sold the comic to me. However, the sense of urgency and fear was lost when they threatened to punish Ukano and instead let him off the hook easily.

Paraphrasing here:

Kemurikage: "Ukano, you failed again. Now we must punish you!"

Ukano: "Please, please don't punish me, give me one more month! That's all I need!"

Kemurikage: *shrug shoulders* "Sure, why not buddy? See you in a month!"

Me: *places comic book down and stares at it with a confused Wind Waker Link 'I totally forgot its my birthday' expression*

If you're wondering what a confused Wind Waker Link 'I totally forgot its my birthday' expression is, its literally my avatar.

If the Kemurikage really wanted Zuko gone, why give Ukano another month? Instead, it would have been more effective to kidnap Tom-Tom (is that 3 times now?) right away and send the message they weren't to be messed with. I don't know, I just feel like I need these spirits to destroy a building, brainwash people, or something to bring the fear factor for me. Otherwise, I'm convinced this is a Scooby Doo situation. The old cover for Part 3 pretty much implied humans were underneath the masks, and you could make a case Zuko was knocking off Azula's mask.

6) Not here for Goku's Zuko's power level 9000 bending. I'm going to keep it moving since this has been discussed a lot.

7) The Zuki trolling. Again, if we have Zuki endgame, why not? The thing about that one scene is that if someone asked you right in front of your friend if he/she was attractive, do you really have any choice other than 'yes?' You better believe no matter what I am lying through my teeth, taking the loss, and going down under because otherwise its just rude. I just don't see any interest on Zuko's end and if anything, you could argue Suki has taken a little too much interest in him. But, that dynamic doesn't work for me because according to the comic Shells, the Sukka is doing just fine and nowhere is there anything within any comic to imply tough times between Suki and Sokka.

I'm willing to eat crow though if I'm wrong here, but again I'd have to question the proper development if Zuki happens. Not to mention, that's another way to shaft Sokka in the comics.

Or...maybe Yang is really going for it and setting this up to give us Sokkla or Maikka endgame! My delusions of having one of my two favorite non-canon pairings be end game might happen after all!

8.) Why was Ozai's picture out in the middle of nowhere? I thought the Fire Lord pictures were only in the Royal Gallery? That didn't look like the Royal Gallery to me.

9) Lack of Azula. Am I the only one who wants an Azula Alone comic or at least some solo panels? I'm not simply talking about showing what happened during her time in Forgetful Valley, but also showing flashbacks of her childhood and giving her perspective on Ursa's parenting. I just have a hard time believing the 'monster' quote from the cartoon came out of nowhere. Not that I'm suggesting Ursa called her that, but rather perhaps Azula misheard/overhead something and came to that conclusion?

So yeah, sorry if this is way too detailed and long- academia has trained me to be highly unreasonable and nitpicky, so I'm probably being a bit unreasonably and picky here. Smiley I do feel, however, this comic has potential and am interested in reading the rest. Just a few minor changes in execution and it could top The Rift (again, only my opinion).
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« Reply #85 on: Nov 06, 2015 12:02 am »

So you don't see any problem with the rainbow fire generated by the Old Dragons being equated with Azula's random blue fire?

Okay.
Not at all. And don't imply I have something wrong with my eyes or brain or thinking either.

313 just shows that fire can come in different colors and it is possible for a firebender (Azula) to produce a colored fire. I don't see the big freaking deal about it. It probably makes Azula feel special and superior but honestly, her blue fire turns back to orange when she sets stuff alight. (See -> The Chase episode)

And I see Zuko's rainbow fire as a one time event in a dire moment of having his family burned alive. I doubt he'll be off shooting multi-colored plumes in subsequent volumes.
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« Reply #86 on: Nov 06, 2015 12:43 am »

Azula was stated to be a prodigy even before we met her and that firebending came easy to her. But not only was it "easy", she spent years honing her skills and strove to be better than those before her. To have not one single firebender, such as Ozai, Iroh, Jeong-Jeong or Avatar display those characteristic flames was a testament to her skill and drive. Zuko being able to create multi-colored flames after maybe a few minutes with the dragons at best just seemed a bit much in my opinion. I think he works better as an underdog, not showing off this ability and spouting off lines like "Face the wrath of your Fire Lord". I'm also not sure if this will be a one time "Pull the car off the baby" scenario.
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« Reply #87 on: Nov 06, 2015 01:37 am »

Lol why don't we just wait for Parts 2 & 3 to come out, see if Zuko does it again, before jumping to conclusions that Zuko is suddenly super special.

Like I said in my original post, he didn't look like he was creating multi-colored flames to me, it seems he was redirecting the flames (you can see the circular motions of his arms) sent towards him, creating a vortex that was reminiscent of the dragons' fire and dispersing. Why that happened, who knows man?
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« Reply #88 on: Nov 06, 2015 01:59 am »

The problem with Zuko being an underdog is that this puts his status as Firelord as in name only. If he's always expected to lose, what good will his status be? A Firelord who's not a powerful Firebender is just asking to have the throne taken by an even more powerful foe. He doesn't have to be an underdog, but more of a "Beware the Nice Ones."
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« Reply #89 on: Nov 06, 2015 03:24 am »

Well we have seen other firebenders redirect flames before, even a fire stream that was shot by a dragon, yet they stayed the same color. I think the writers did it to establish that Zuko is a powerful bender now. This may be the only instance in which it was shown and it may not come up again, but I don't really care for it.

I think that he works better as someone who fights when the odds are against him and that there is a good chance he will lose, but that he manages to come out ahead.
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« Reply #90 on: Nov 06, 2015 03:42 am »

I think that the scene is a breath of fresh air. Being the Eternal Underdog gets old after a while and begins to lose its appeal. It's better that someone starts as an underdog and over time becomes stronger and more confident and begins show signs of realizing their potential.
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« Reply #91 on: Nov 06, 2015 05:20 am »

Zuko was never an underdog luvavatar.

Seriously how is this 'underdog' able to take on top of the game benders like Aang, Katara, and Azula and still be considered weak. Never before was Zuko even called weak, maybe Azula called him weak but she also called Aang weak and managed to kick him around in all their encounters.

Colored fire shows that he has mastered the Sun Warrior style.
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« Reply #92 on: Nov 06, 2015 08:00 am »

The problem with Zuko being an underdog is that this puts his status as Firelord as in name only. If he's always expected to lose, what good will his status be? A Firelord who's not a powerful Firebender is just asking to have the throne taken by an even more powerful foe. He doesn't have to be an underdog, but more of a "Beware the Nice Ones."
Yeah, I agree with all of this.

And let's move on from the discussion!

So, spirit shenanigans. Yes or no? Seems to be humans behind the mask with convenient dry ice hanging around. =P
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« Reply #93 on: Nov 06, 2015 10:01 am »

Well I personally don't care much for the direction, but you're right we can move on. I highly doubt that the spirits are behind this entire affair, it seems a little beneath them to get involved with political matters.
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« Reply #94 on: Nov 06, 2015 11:41 am »

My guess it will be Azula and the fire nation version of the Kyoshi warriors behind the kemurikage. And the smoke will possibly be a fire bending technique.
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« Reply #95 on: Nov 06, 2015 12:03 pm »

Well I personally don't care much for the direction, but you're right we can move on. I highly doubt that the spirits are behind this entire affair, it seems a little beneath them to get involved with political matters.
If the Kemikurage really are spirits, that's another inconsistency with TLOK - AND the original show.

Unless the Kemikurage are immortal human spirits, ala Iroh in Korra, perhaps some ancient firebenders' spirits who had views similar to Ozai etc, then it makes no sense. Why would a kind of entity that refused to help Korra defend human and spirit's home alike against a dictator abusing a form of spirits (spiritvines) seventy some years later get involved in human affairs, let alone politics?

And what of the spirits we saw in ATLA or thus far in the comics? None of them strike me as giving a s**t about politics, some not caring about even humans, period.
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« Reply #96 on: Nov 06, 2015 12:45 pm »

Unless the Kemikurage are immortal human spirits, ala Iroh in Korra, perhaps some ancient firebenders' spirits who had views similar to Ozai etc, then it makes no sense.

From the looks of it, they are an even worse kind of spirits: *ssholes. If I was an *sshole spirit with too much time and power, I would cause a mess like S&S too - just because I could  Smiley.
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« Reply #97 on: Nov 06, 2015 07:01 pm »

Quote
Unless the Kemikurage are immortal human spirits, ala Iroh in Korra, perhaps some ancient firebenders' spirits who had views similar to Ozai etc, then it makes no sense. Why would a kind of entity that refused to help Korra defend human and spirit's home alike against a dictator abusing a form of spirits (spiritvines) seventy some years later get involved in human affairs, let alone politics?
Because they can? Korra was asking for help from nobody spirits, not the legendaries like Koh. Spirits apparently have free will and just because a bunch of leaf puppie spirits didn't get involved into human problems it doesn't mean big game spirits like the Kemi won't. Besides this isn't the first time a spirit has kidnapped people to get what they want.
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« Reply #98 on: Nov 06, 2015 07:16 pm »

Quote
Unless the Kemikurage are immortal human spirits, ala Iroh in Korra, perhaps some ancient firebenders' spirits who had views similar to Ozai etc, then it makes no sense. Why would a kind of entity that refused to help Korra defend human and spirit's home alike against a dictator abusing a form of spirits (spiritvines) seventy some years later get involved in human affairs, let alone politics?
Because they can? Korra was asking for help from nobody spirits, not the legendaries like Koh. Spirits apparently have free will and just because a bunch of leaf puppie spirits didn't get involved into human problems it doesn't mean big game spirits like the Kemi won't. Besides this isn't the first time a spirit has kidnapped people to get what they want.
If the Kemikurage are a big deal, not "nobodies" like the spirits Korra asked for help from, and (apparently given commentary on Koh and Avatar Kuruk elswhere) no one but the Avatar can kill a spirit, and I don't see Aang as one to shatter a spirit forever... then how come they didn't show up in TLOK Book 2:Spirits?

Unless the Kemikurage are immortal human spirits, ala Iroh in Korra, perhaps some ancient firebenders' spirits who had views similar to Ozai etc, then it makes no sense.

From the looks of it, they are an even worse kind of spirits: *ssholes. If I was an *sshole spirit with too much time and power, I would cause a mess like S&S too - just because I could  Smiley.
Or that. But again, if they're twerp spirits - where were they in TLOK?

I think I just give up on this particular pet peeve of mine... the whole comic continuity issue.

Gotta stop beating that particular horse now, the "Dark Horse Comics introduce discontinuity!" Arabian steed lying on the ground. Within "somewhat reason", Gene's going to do what he wants to, with some input from the Bryke.

Maybe the Kemikurage do end up shattered or locked away by Aang so they can't show in TLOK, or they're just humans with really good theatrical skills who know how to use smoke well.
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« Reply #99 on: Nov 06, 2015 08:31 pm »

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If the Kemikurage are a big deal, not "nobodies" like the spirits Korra asked for help from, and (apparently given commentary on Koh and Avatar Kuruk elswhere) no one but the Avatar can kill a spirit, and I don't see Aang as one to shatter a spirit forever... then how come they didn't show up in TLOK Book 2:Spirits?
They didn't show up because they didn't show up because the big bad was Vaatu and no other legendary spirit was needed. It's like asking why didn't the other nations attack Kuvira, we know they were there but chose not to do anything for sake of story.
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