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Author Topic: [DH Comics #19] Imbalance, Part 1  (Read 2365 times)
Icy_Ashford
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« on: Feb 27, 2018 08:30 am »

Thread will be unlocked as soon as the comic is released.



Entertainment Weekly announced that Imbalance, Part 1 will be from online sources from Dec 18th 2018. You can pre-order this on Amazon.

Imbalance is written by Faith Erin Hicks and illustrated by Peter Wartman with feedback from Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creators of the series. This is a summary of the series "This story finds Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph dealing with a conflict between benders and non-benders in a booming industrial town." and "When Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph return to Earthen Fire Industries–the factory owned by Toph’s father–Team Avatar finds that the once small town is now booming. Expecting a warm welcome, Aang is surprised when their arrival is met with unimpressed, cold-shouldered spectators. As soon as the team is asked for help at a business council meeting, the reason for the slight becomes clear–a massive bender versus non-bender conflict has gripped the town and is threatening to turn violent."

This thread is for opinions & discussion about the story. A thread for professional reviews will be created in due time. For questions on release dates and buying the books, see A:TLA & TLOK Graphic Novels in the Marketplace. For speculation of other future comics, please see Official Avatar Comics News thread respectively.



Remember, post only if you’ve read the comic and no illegal links/scans to the comics is allowed. As usual, all forum rules apply.
« Last Edit: Dec 19, 2018 06:08 pm by Icy_Ashford » Logged



I keep Zuko's dagger & EK coat, Iroh's wisdom, Lu Ten's grave offerings | Mako's scarf, Naga, General Iroh's army outfit, Korra's new formal outfit
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 19, 2018 08:41 pm »

My Official Review:

So far, so good.


Unofficial Addendum: Everyone's in-character, the interactions are fun, the Issue Of The Day makes sense and reflects the real world without being a direct copy of any one situation, and Katara said, "The worst city ever." I really enjoyed it.
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Aerial
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 20, 2018 08:03 am »

I enjoyed it for the most part  Grin

There were many things that I liked. First of all, the change in art style. I really liked Gurihuru's designs, but after 5 years and 5 trilogies, bringing in a new artist to change things up is very much welcome. There were a couple of weird facial expressions here and there, but nothing too major to complain about. Also, one problem I had with Chifuyu Sasaki's style is that bending always felt very "static" in previous comics, so I'm looking forward to more bending moments in Imbalance.

As Loopy said above, everyone is in-character... except maybe Sokka? I don't know, ever since The Promise, it feels like whenever they have to come up with dialogue for him, the writers ask themselves "How can we make this line funny?" instead of "What would Sokka say?" and, as a result, most of his jokes end up being cringy rather than amusing. But maybe that's just me. To be honest, I've never been a fan of Sokka's humour, not even in the show. I'm more fond of his noble and ingenious side. I did like how Sokka was interested in seeing how the council works (as the future chief of the SWT, I'm sure he's into politics) and he does have one funny moment at the of the comic, after he asks Aang if he's got a new fan club and says that he only hangs out with him to impress strangers. It was a joke with the right amount of douche Cheesy

So far I'm digging the new "villain." The moment I saw her in the background wearing that smug smile while everyone else in the council was debating, I wondered if she would have a more prominent role, or if she would at least get a few lines and, wouldn't you know, a couple of pages later she stands up and takes control of the situation like the cunning and calculating mastermind that she is. Left a great first impression on me. I hope she's able to keep it up!

I'm waiting to see how the conflict develops and keeping my expectations in check, but overall, I think we're off to a good start. Thank you, Faith Erin Hicks, and so long, Gene Yang!



(all joking aside, I hope he does well in his future works)
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fireywaters
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 20, 2018 10:46 am »

It is a good start. It is no Smoke and Shadows, but still could be better than North and South. I do think they trying to hard to make Sokka funny, but outside of that, all the characters are on point.

And we some seeds of stuff we later, like the Metal Bending police force, the Triads, etc. The story is pretty much a "they took our jobs" plot. I understanding where both sides are coming from, and so far both sympathetic. I hope they don't make the antagonists out right crazy evil like they did in North and South. Can we just resolves this to reasonable peaceful solution?

We have our antagonist from the bending side, I wonder in part 2 if they be an antagonist from the non bending side?

What interests me more is Toph's family situation, she and her dad have meant fences, but what about Toph and her mother, have they seen each other since the end of the war? We need to see Toph and her mother see each other.

Still this story got prudential for a non Fire Nation story at least. I make no secrets I find it more interesting when we got the Fire Nation royals involved, weather Zuko, Azula, or Iroh, etc. when they are involved it peaks my interest a bit more.
« Last Edit: Dec 20, 2018 06:19 pm by fireywaters » Logged

Peace between the Fire Nation and the other nations, before peace in our world
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 20, 2018 05:56 pm »

Digging it so far. The characters definitely feel much like themselves than they have in the previous comics, although Sokka might be a bit too comical at times. I find it interesting that for once we have a villainous mother and an absent father...
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 20, 2018 06:58 pm »

I'm surprised that Sokka's being called out as maybe not in-character. I enjoyed his jokes, and his clever side was on display a bit with his interest in the council and his observations. I mean, sure, he's still a secondary character, but he's not goofing off too much or breaking forklifts or doing wild takes in the background. I really like his moment where he noticed how quickly Toph spoke up about caring about him, as well as the way he teased Aang in the scene Aerial mentioned. He felt like he had some intelligence to him, even when he was being silly.

I also liked the Enforcer daughters. They have a nice dynamic as the Voice and the Muscle, and their mother doesn't play them off against each other or neglect them, which might put her in the top 10% of Avatar parents. (How sad when a mother using her daughters as criminals can still qualify as a relatively decent parent. Cheesy) I notice the younger never did any bending, so I'm curious if this exploitation of the Bender/nonBender divide might not be a little self-sabotaging.
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 20, 2018 10:10 pm »

I’m not saying he was terribly written or anything; certainly not as bad as the other comics. Maybe that’s what it is. I really would like to see him get his own arc at one point.
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ayziks
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 22, 2018 10:46 am »

I'm a fan of the graphic novels as a means to carry on the canon of the Avatar Universe, and there have been mixed results as others have said. But for me, the change of artist and writer is very effective with "Imbalance". 

The detail and subtlety in the art is what strikes me first. This rendered world seems completely alive in its detail and its bridge between Aang and Korra.

For example. I got the biggest smile when the high altitude "reveal" from Appa's perch to the Gaang of the mountains, bay, islands, and peninsulas makes it perfectly clear to any fan that Cranefish Town is Republic City 70 years earlier!!!!  Even the islands are where they are supposed to be.

Another example is how the buildings are rendered to show how thrown together and ramshackle and poor they are.

But the biggest difference is in the tone - the colors are lighter and more subdued than Gurihiru's more vibrant colors. Just put one graphic novel of Gene's novels next to "Imbalance" and it will be immediately obvious. In addition, the new artist is "just showing off" skills in the Business Council scene with the shadows - note the benders are in the light, non benders in the shadow. Coincidence? I don't think so.

I like Guriihiru's wonderful art, but the new artist renders things so realistically. There is not only detail in the characters and their expressions (a Katara "eye" roll and lip curl here and there at her brother's shenanigans, the genuine joy she beams whenever she's near Aang, especially on the island, Aang's intensity in some scenes and boyish adoration at Katara in another scene, and Toph's looks of disgust and annoyance and superiority at just about everyone are just priceless.

I think others have captured the mostly "in character" descriptions of the characters (Sokka's penchant for shopping is perfect in the marketplace for the helmet).

I have high hopes for the plotline and bridging to Korra's time.  The beginnings of Republic City bender gangs is all there, and the tensions between bender and non bender. And one has to speculate - what are the bloodlines between Satoru and the Republic City industrialsts?

What about relationships?  The start of this story has me wondering if Aang's observation on the island with Katara regarding his feeling of "chaos" about Cranefish Town is the cue that causes him to stay there to bring balance and build his home on that totally forested island and what is in Korra's time - Air Temple Island. Will we see him discover the lost flock of Air Bison? Will we see him ask Katara to marry and build their home there across the bay? Another year later in this story means Aang is about 16-17 and Katara is about 18-19, Sokka in his early 20s. I also like the reference that Sokka and Suki appear to be together but with the Tokka undertone.

And although all the Kataang hand holding and longing/devoted looks and asides were fun, let's see a really big kiss somewhere along the way! Smiley

But in another year where to Zuko and Mai stand??? Maybe we'll find out!

March can't come soon enough for me for the second installment of this latest ATLA story!
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Aerial
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 22, 2018 03:26 pm »

For example. I got the biggest smile when the high altitude "reveal" from Appa's perch to the Gaang of the mountains, bay, islands, and peninsulas makes it perfectly clear to any fan that Cranefish Town is Republic City 70 years earlier!!!!  Even the islands are where they are supposed to be.

I felt like a dummy reading this comic. For the longest time I thought Yu Dao was supposed to be Republic City.

 
Quote
There is not only detail in the characters and their expressions (a Katara "eye" roll and lip curl here and there at her brother's shenanigans, the genuine joy she beams whenever she's near Aang, especially on the island, Aang's intensity in some scenes and boyish adoration at Katara in another scene, and Toph's looks of disgust and annoyance and superiority at just about everyone are just priceless.

I forgot to mention, but I liked how every interaction between Aang and Katara felt so genuine. As you said, the scene with the two of them on the island is a good example (and I loved that comment about "the Avatar look"  Cheesy), but my favourite one has to be right before the council meeting, when the Gaang splits up. The way Aang and Katara hold hands and look at each other made me go "D'aaaw", and it wasn't even a romantic scene or anything. Props to Peter Wartman for showcasing the chemistry between characters through visuals alone.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 22, 2018 08:47 pm »

Have we ever gotten a precise location for Yu Dao? At some point I saw it on a fan-map at a different location, so I've been wondering about whether Gene or someone clarified its location. There's definitely been a wide-ranging fandom assumption that Yu Dao would become Republic City, but the landscape never seemed to match up to me.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 23, 2018 12:35 am »

Have we ever gotten a precise location for Yu Dao?

I don't think we have. Maybe the exact location was given in the library edition of the comics?

According to the Wikia:

Quote
The town's name was first conceived in Chinese and later translated into English. Yang chose the two characters that compose the name, 玉島, for two reasons: 玉, meaning "jade", calls to mind the color green, which "explicitly [ties] the city to its Earth Kingdom roots", while 島, meaning "island", comes from the second character of Qingdao, which, as mentioned above, was a large influence on the creation of Yu Dao.

So I'm guessing it's here? Then again, that doesn't coincide with this map from The Promise (and Qingdao isn't even located on an island to begin with).
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 23, 2018 06:23 pm »

Read it, enjoyed it.  I was concerned with the art on the first couple pages, but it got much better after that.  Dialogue moves along smoothly.  Loved how the nighttime lighting and the fire from the explosion was rendered, really bringing depth to the image that Gurihiru rarely had, much as I loved them. Looking forward to the next part.

Have we ever gotten a precise location for Yu Dao? At some point I saw it on a fan-map at a different location, so I've been wondering about whether Gene or someone clarified its location. There's definitely been a wide-ranging fandom assumption that Yu Dao would become Republic City, but the landscape never seemed to match up to me.

The landscape never did match.  Yu Dao isn't a coastal town (plus no sign of that big ol' chasm Aang put around it.) It was never clearly signaled that Yu Dao was supposed to become Republic City, that was all fan assumptions, yeah.  But it's obvious from all the signals here that Crane Town is Republic City.  Nearby mountains, a growing harbor, and Aang and Katara clearly made a stop on what will become Air Temple Island.  And they're setting it up with Sokka calling all the names unimaginative that the name change will happen at some point. Maybe not in this series, but eventually.
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 23, 2018 07:34 pm »

I hate to have to break it to Sokka, but "Republic City" and "United Republic Council" aren't more imaginative than "Crane Town" or "Business Council." Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: Jan 01, 2019 05:20 pm »

Well, that was certainly a great Christmas gift!

It's got everything I wanted from an Avatar comic.
I know it's only the first part of a new trilogy but the writing is already more compelling overall than anything Gene Yang ever produced. Sure, there were parts of his run that I enjoyed, but the whole bulk of it felt off and artificial most of the time. The chain of events seemed to follow a narrow path that often clashed against logic and also caused characters to make questionable choices that went against previous development in the series. It's like I could see the strings of a puppetmaster moving these people in a way that never felt organic.

With Faith Erin Hicks we have once again characters that feel like their animated selves, humans that are true to their own quirks and personalities without becoming caricatures. This is also the first time I feel like our characters might evolve as a result of in-comic events. I especially enjoyed Sokka, he is definitely Hicks' favorite and it shows in her writing of his dialogue and attitudes which are The Real DealTM. Hicks also gave us the best interaction between Aang & Katara since the series finale with the island scene.
I'm curious to see Liling's plan unfold and find out what her motives are. I'm betting on hostile takeover of the city's economy and law through the exploitation and exacerbation of the bending/non-bending divide.

As for the art, we got good character designs and nicely detailed backgrounds. We finally have properly designed action pieces and I must particularly commend Peter Wartman's work on the shading and facial expressions. These people now actually "feel" real, like they're actually living in a 3D universe and the work of colorist Ryan Hill also added to this feeling. This is a vast improvement over Gurihiru's design that were most of the time featurless and bland.

Two panels in particular really caught my eye. The first one is the top panel on page 10, which I think is a perfect representation of how well the authors get these characters. On it, we see the Gaang's reactions to the cold welcome of the city's inhabitants: Toph looks vaguely bored as this is not her first visit and she's probably the most unflappable of the group anyway. Sokka and Katara, ever the responsible adults in this group of kids, are immediately worried and Sokka's social awkwardness even flares up with his hand gesture and shifty eyes. And Aang is his usual 'welcome everyone with a warm smile' self.

The second one is the last panel of the future Air Temple island scene on page 49, with Aang & Katara holding hands and looking upon a literal manifestation of the future. The sunset colors and beautiful shading really helped drive that point home, underscored the talk our characters had and the melancholy Aang feels about this situation. The whole panel is a perfect sum up of my favorite scene of this issue.

I'd also like to give honorable mentions to the chain of events on pages 63 & 64, the cut-out to the explosion felt properly sudden and brutal, like something out of Sparky Sparky Boom Man scene. And also great coloring on pages 63-67, I could feel the heat!

This is the best continuation of Team Avatar's adventures since the series finale. I hope Faith Erin Hicks and Peter Wartman are going to stay and give us many more stories.
« Last Edit: Jan 01, 2019 05:26 pm by Helldars » Logged

"I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays, I want to hear X-Rays, and I want to - I want to smell dark matter! I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me! I'm a machine! And I could know much more..."
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 03, 2019 07:11 pm »

I was never personally a fan of Gurihiru's art because it tended to extremes in expression and body language. It was "cartoony" to a degree it didn't need to be, but also lacked the personality of art like in Ember Island Arcade. That's personal preference, of course, but the cartoon's art style already seemed like it was doing what Gurihiru wanted to do, so to have them go further with their style left me cold.

Wartman definitely brings back some degree of control to the 'acting' of the characters. His detailing is a little 'looser' than I tend to like (Dustin Weaver is about where my tastes lie on that axis), but he definitely captures the visual language of the Avatar cartoons while still also bringing his own personal style.

The coloring is deceptively simple, but it really does a good job delivering tone and impact.

Disclaimer: I know nothing of art of any kind, except as a consumer of comic books. I know what I like, but I have difficulty figuring out the words to describe it.
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« Reply #15 on: Jan 26, 2019 02:46 pm »

I haven't followed the comics since The Rift, but my preteen cousin got Imbalance recently and, having heard good things about it I decided to take a look. Not bad, not bad at all. I concur with the sentiment about the much improved characterization of the gAang, to which I'll add that the story also benefits from the plot focus on exploring Crane Town. No subplot distractions so far. The central conflict feels contrived to me, but Hicks really gives it a worthy shot. It's just that the bender-nonbender consciousness of the CraneTown folk is at best premature in the time and setting it's being displayed. At worst, it's illogical.

The other think that bugged me is the shallow and petty reception Aang received from the locals; but this was also present in The Rift. Maybe the people of this area are just irreverent jerks..?

I like the new art style. Aang in particular has aged up in a realistic way. That's better than the cartoonish style of Gurihiru where he looked either 'off-model' or even younger than his ATLA self.

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Helldars
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« Reply #16 on: Feb 03, 2019 10:46 am »

It's just that the bender-nonbender consciousness of the CraneTown folk is at best premature in the time and setting it's being displayed. At worst, it's illogical.

Honestly, if the bender-nonbender conflict turns out to be more coherent than it was in Korra, I would forgive it for any possible prematurity of such a social evolution.
And so far, it seems the root of the conflict has been clearly displayed: the early mechanization of the industry in Cranefish town led to massive layoffs of benders, while nonbenders are more likely to have retained their jobs. We have no evidence of the existence of labor unions or laws protecting workers in what is essentially a corporate-run state. Perfect recipe for social conflict.

And these newly jobless benders couldn't have been in Cranefish town for more than two years, given our current knowledge of the timeline. They just got out of a terrible war where they've already suffered untold hardships, and then a large number go to find work in a boomtown. They work and make a living there for a few months despite the difficulties inherent to life in such a place. And then they start losing their jobs to machines, and they can't really hope to find a new one as simple workers, since nonbenders outnumber them anyway.

I'm hoping for more development of the social issues of the town, but right now I'm not complaining. It seems plausible.

The other think that bugged me is the shallow and petty reception Aang received from the locals; but this was also present in The Rift. Maybe the people of this area are just irreverent jerks..?
Who knows, there might be a significant portion of migrants from Chin living in Cranefish town by now! Grin
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« Reply #17 on: Feb 04, 2019 09:42 am »

We saw in the show that non-benders loved Aang and that he was the Avatar for all, not just benders. So that bit at the end where two benders admire Aang and he wonders if they were non-benders would they feel the same felt a bit off. Also I would think the issues between the Firebenders and Earthbenders would be more on racial lines as opposed to bending, they did just finish a war. I would expect many people of the Earth Kingdom, benders and non-benders alike, would have animosity towards ANYONE that was Fire Nation. They’re acting like only benders took part in the war or were the only ones responsible for it, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
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« Reply #18 on: Feb 04, 2019 02:46 pm »

Great art, great book. I am loving this installment. Certainly its best since The Promise, and possibly even stronger.

To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to this one purely for the fact that we were returning to Earthen Fire Industries. The graphic novel series started to go downhill with that trilogy, for me personally, and I wasn't excited about going back to nature vs. industrial conflict. This was not the case at all - bringing on Faith, Peter and Ryan were the greatest moves they could have made. Their writing and beautiful art style elevate this installment, when in any other hands, it may have come off subpar. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what about it was SO much stronger and SO much improved on the last few trilogies, but it comes down to Faith, Peter and Ryan. Together, they've brought the series back to life and its future is in the most capable hands.

The art was spectacular. While I always like Gurihiru's style for the fact that it mimicked the show perfectly, I have to say that Peter brought the characters to life, didn't just transfer their designs to the page. As has been pointed out, the "acting" was more evident this time around, and the characters are aging up beautifully. The colors by Ryan brought Julies de Balincourt to mind for me, in a great way  - in that they were always striking and didn't always seem like they would obviously go together, but that contrast just made the panels pop. They were always interesting to me, and I wanted to look at and enjoy each one. My two favorite images were of the gAang flying in on Appa overlooking the bustling Cranefish Town (so dynamic for a still image, like it was really moving) and, as was already mentioned, Aang & Katara looking into the future from Air Temple Island. Glorious. Beautiful imagery and symbolic for the show. Can't ask for more!

Faith is a strong writer and really makes something of the conflict. I always understood the bender vs. non-bender tension and never took issue - as in our world, when you take different cultures and place them in a melting plot, tension in the levels of power will always erupt, and bleed into citizens (like non-benders) who otherwise wouldn't be affected amongst their own people. This is the problem in Republic City, and is becoming an issue here. Love it. It's so obvious that Faith is a big fan - and this is a strength. She created her own Avatar-inspired world in The Nameless City, but now that she gets to run amok in the actual Avatar world - her writing shines and feels at home. Some miscellaneous thoughts on the writing: Sokka was strong, interesting that Tokka got a callback, and Faith somehow even makes (with a great assist from Peter) Kataang quite sweet and nurturing. For the first time ever - truly, ever - I am on board. I just loved the ease of their relationship in this one, particularly when Aang asks Katara to come with him to Air Temple Island, and she agrees. The love and comfort that comes with growing into a worn intimacy is evident. They were pretty "oogie" in previous installments. The characters are maturing wonderfully under Faith's control now. They have now become new world leaders in a changing world instead of just the kids they have been. While Katara was never my favorite, it is a bit disappointing to see her lose some autonomy and simply settle into the role we eventually see has been made for her in Korra: nurturing, going along for the story, and less spunky. She's lost most of her personality in this, but everyone else stays the same.

Okay, those villains though - amazing. In character design and conflict. While I was so delighted at the sisters' introduction in the jail (loved their spunk and power), I have to say the best moment comes from Yaling on Page 73: "Oops. Those old cliffs crumble so easily." THIS is what I want in a villain. She brings to mind Kyoshi, Toph and Kuvira at once - can't go wrong with a powerful earthbender - and also made me think of my favorite Disney villain, Shan Yu ("How many men does it take to deliver a message?"). I knew their mother would come back to be questionable, but I am digging these sisters. They're the best villains the graphic novels (either in LOK or ATLA) has had, and fit right into the universe. They really pop. Looking forward to seeing the conflict escalate.
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2019 02:57 pm by noblebender » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: Feb 06, 2019 01:55 pm »

It's just that the bender-nonbender consciousness of the CraneTown folk is at best premature in the time and setting it's being displayed. At worst, it's illogical.

Honestly, if the bender-nonbender conflict turns out to be more coherent than it was in Korra, I would forgive it for any possible prematurity of such a social evolution.
And so far, it seems the root of the conflict has been clearly displayed: the early mechanization of the industry in Cranefish town led to massive layoffs of benders, while nonbenders are more likely to have retained their jobs. We have no evidence of the existence of labor unions or laws protecting workers in what is essentially a corporate-run state. Perfect recipe for social conflict.

And these newly jobless benders couldn't have been in Cranefish town for more than two years, given our current knowledge of the timeline. They just got out of a terrible war where they've already suffered untold hardships, and then a large number go to find work in a boomtown. They work and make a living there for a few months despite the difficulties inherent to life in such a place. And then they start losing their jobs to machines, and they can't really hope to find a new one as simple workers, since nonbenders outnumber them anyway.

I'm hoping for more development of the social issues of the town, but right now I'm not complaining. It seems plausible.

Well, let's look about how the trouble started: enhanced mechanization priced benders out of a section of Earthen Fire's production line. In response all the other bender employees quit in solidarity with those who lost their jobs. Think about this, does it actually make sense? Would say, eartbender security guards from the Earth Kingdom quit their jobs and imperil their own livelihood just because say, firebenders from the Fire Nation working the furnaces were fired? It's hard to believe that an egalitarian pan-bender consciousness (especially one that would incorporate Fire Nationals) would develop among the rank and file merely a few years removed from a terrible world war that divided the nations for generations.

And note the contrivances in the conflict's escalation: other nonbender owned factories adopted the same mechanization processes with the same adverse reaction from bender employees. So what about bender-owned factories, they don't see fit to improve productivity? Or they are more sensitive to bender needs, to the point of losing competitive ground to other companies?

There's no reason why  the disaffected benders can't be absorbed into other parts of the economy especially in a town that has obvious security concerns. The counter is that factory line skills do not necessarily transfer to martial arts or other avenues, but in that case 1) where did the bender violence come from, and 2) considering the insane speed of industrialization I have to ask why bluecollar nonbenders are the only ones able to keep up with the pace where the benders cannot. Benders can learn the same skills the nonbenders have.

Then you have the  displaced nonbender residents refusing help from the bending Avatar, the segregated community leadership council, and Lao Bei Fong's bender banning idea in response to the violence. Really guys, you needed Avatar wisdom to figure out that a boomtown teeming with poor people and an excess of labor probably needs local enforcement?

This is not to criticise the writing specifically. Infact I think the comic is already superior to Book Air in providing an actual context for the conflict. The conflict as currently shown is serviceable especially for the target demographic. It's failure to stand much scrutiny confirms what I long suspected, which is that the bender-nonbender divide is in reality an ill-fitting transplant from real world discussions about power and privilege in modern society. Bending in the Avatar world has long existed in a cultural context that everyone understood, and that is more likely to inform the behavior of the CraneTown folk even in the face of new economic challenges.
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Loopy
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« Reply #20 on: Feb 07, 2019 07:22 pm »

There's no reason why  the disaffected benders can't be absorbed into other parts of the economy

There's no reason other than wages (I presume that Benders earn more) and bias. Which is actually how it works in the real world.
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noblebender
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« Reply #21 on: Feb 08, 2019 12:09 pm »

There's no reason why  the disaffected benders can't be absorbed into other parts of the economy

There's no reason other than wages (I presume that Benders earn more) and bias. Which is actually how it works in the real world.

Does anybody think that, somehow, benders became cheap labor again in LOK's time? I recall Mako working at the factory with other fire/lightning-benders. In the Book 1 art book, the creators said the factory used young firebenders like Mako for the intensive labor of recharging batteries. They said LOK took place "in the thick of Avatar's own Industrial Age." Or is the timeline just a little skewed, with something having had to take place in the decades between the shows, and the Industrial Age was bumped up in the comics for dramatic effect? No issue either way, just wondering if there is any reason (economically) something like battery recharging would still use benders while all other positions have been mechanized. 
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« Reply #22 on: Feb 08, 2019 07:27 pm »

Well, Firebenders are free energy when it comes to lightning. They're literally producing more energy than the fuel they're taking into their bodies should account for, so there's no better formula for generating power than having them just shoot lightning into a battery or receiver of some kind. But I really wish LoK hadn't brought that up, because it's the kind of thing that could break the entire illusion of the setting if you think about it.

This is also a little incompatible with Imbalance, as the idea of all the Benders quitting in solidarity is the start of what in our world is the rise of Unions. But if Unions, or at least the underlying principles of them, exist in this setting, then how is Mako poor when he and his fellow Lightningbenders have exclusive control of cheap clean energy? The cities should all be controlled by a Lightning Cartel.

Imbalance so far makes much more sense. The various Benders see the mechanization process as a threat to their entire place in the world, so they're trying to make it taboo. No weird free energy invoked. Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: Feb 11, 2019 09:01 am »

But if Unions, or at least the underlying principles of them, exist in this setting, then how is Mako poor when he and his fellow Lightningbenders have exclusive control of cheap clean energy?

Waterbenders perpetual-operating a water turbine is also cheap clean energy, probably even more reliable than lightningbenders. Earthbenders can create an infinitely circulating lava funnel that can be exploited for energy - a lavabender can do this even if no accessible lava chamber is available in the area. So that exclusive control is most likely not that exclusive at all.
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« Reply #24 on: Feb 11, 2019 07:04 pm »

I dunno, is a Waterbender any more powerful than a waterfall or river? Seems to me that regular methods of hydroelectric power are comparable, especially if you have to feed the Waterbenders and give them a rest every so often from waving their hands all around. Likewise for Airbenders and wind turbines. Is putting up with Tenzin and his expenses really all that better than sticking a turbine in a windy valley?

However, you raise a good point about Lavabenders. If they could show up outside of a rare plot point, they could take over the energy sector. Otherwise, I think the more numerous Lightning Cartel would break some Lavabender kneecaps to ensure their monopoly. Tongue
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