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Author Topic: New LOK Comic - Ruins of the Empire  (Read 1737 times)
noblebender
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« on: Oct 01, 2018 04:20 pm »

Exciting news! Entertainment Weekly announced the next LOK trilogy, and it's a doozy - Ruins of the Empire. It follows the trial of Kuvira and transition of the Earth Empire/Kingdom into democracy. Excited to see how this all plays out. Kuvira made for one of the best seasons and villains, and I love how the politics and characters will come back to the forefront.

Surprisingly, I miss the old art seeing how this looks like another Avatar graphic novel installment. I know it wasn't always to everyone's tastes, but it was different and set the trilogy apart, made it more imaginative even.

Link here: https://ew.com/books/2018/10/01/exclusive-legend-of-korra-comic-preview/
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 01, 2018 07:24 pm »

I agreed with Kuvira in the beginning and found that they villified her too easily. The idea of the Earth Kingdom splintering into multiple states is naive and misguided. We have seen in both series that the Earth Kingdom states are weak and end up getting overrun by foreign or domestic forces when there is no central authority that is governing and providing aid. Why not grant states independent rights, but also be a part of a larger collective that can have forces to call upon? Also, not liking the whole Suyin issue, she DID cast Kuvira out long before the Earth Empire and never offered her a chance to come back like she did Bataar. If she did ever see her as part of the family she would have extended that courtesy as well as not have condemned her when she wanted to go out to stop all of the chaos in the Earth Kingdom. She took in a man who wanted to start a war all for profit, but cast out her adopted daughter for wanting to stop all of the horrible issues plaguing the Earth Kingdom.
« Last Edit: Oct 01, 2018 10:35 pm by luvavatar » Logged
Fire Rose
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 01, 2018 09:55 pm »

^I wonder if there's more to the story behind Su and Kuvira than Su is letting on. We can all agree that Su is being a massive hypocrite but this preview makes me now want to know more about Su and Kuvira's relationship.

Is Kuvira right? Did Su not treat her as part of the family when Su was the one that adopted her? Is Su aware that she did let Kuvira down when she turned down giving aid to the EK (I understand her reason for turning it down but hiding away and not providing aid at all doesn't look good on anyone.)? Is she taking her own mistakes out on Kuvira instead taking responsibility for her involvement in setting Kuriva down that path? I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is yes because stubbornness seems to run in the Bei-Fong family.

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« Reply #3 on: Oct 02, 2018 09:39 am »

I also don’t like that Kuvira is trying to minimize her crimes, she said at the end of the show she would accept whatever charges were levied against her. It would be more poignant if people from the Earth Empire were making the case that Kuvira was doing something positive when everyone else wanted to make the Earth Kingdom remain in the same broken state it has been in for centuries. They finally had a leader who would go out into the nation, walk amongst the people and actually fight. All of the other monarchs just holed up in their palaces as their nation was being plundered.
« Last Edit: Oct 02, 2018 10:59 am by luvavatar » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 02, 2018 11:27 am »

^Based on the summary we're probably going to get that. Kuvira likely has supporters that will defend her actions because when compared to the other rulers, Kuvira was the one that stepped up and said 'things need to change. The monarchs of the EK are either ineffective or incompetent." From a peasant's perspective, Kuvira was a breath of fresh air.

Kuvira is likely going to be working Korra with helping the EK transition into a democracy but now the question is will Kuvira be tempted into making a power play after the Avatar has shown her mercy.
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noblebender
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 02, 2018 12:04 pm »

I also don’t like that Kuvira is trying to minimize her crimes, she said at the end of the show she would accept whatever charges were levied against her.

Such a great point. I forgot this line. But if they must have Kuvira do an about-face for the sake of plot, I'm glad at least because we got that epic "Not guilty" moment. Lol But really, great observation, and I wonder if we'll see that perhaps she has been hardened in prison and has come to the "clarity" that she was in the right. Yes, she was doing something good for the EK in unifying it and providing aid, but only someone with an unhealthy/excessive hold on power would take it to the fascist and extremist extent (she certainly wasn't selfless in the long run). She lived long enough to see herself become the villain, in Dark Knight terms. So there could be something else going on emotionally, something that has stewed in jail. Or perhaps the voices of her defenders have grown stronger with an awkward democratic transition. Even if she decided to accept the charges, the political environment would certainly have become more hostile toward her with Zhu Li as president, and perhaps they have painted her to be an outright villain. She might have accepted her crimes, but she herself might not go so far as to consider herself as such.

We shall see! I'm just glad Kuvira is back and we'll see some of this complexity play out (she is definitely more nuanced and interesting than any OC villain could be). It follows suit with the LOK comics continuing on with the show's timeline.

Quote
Kuvira is likely going to be working Korra with helping the EK transition into a democracy but now the question is will Kuvira be tempted into making a power play after the Avatar has shown her mercy.

It'd be interesting to see this play out. If she goes for power, it won't be half-hearted. But there is still some reason in there possibly; will she team up for the good with Korra? I also wonder how they'll handle her weaponry still being out and about/used in the last trilogy. It was cool to see it used in Turf Wars, but I wonder if it was leading up to more here.
« Last Edit: Oct 02, 2018 01:56 pm by noblebender » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 02, 2018 12:14 pm »

Her good deeds were pretty much made to be null and void when she enslaved citizens, put dissenters into re-education centers and started purging the kingdom of non-earthbenders showing her to be a bigot. It was a shame because the Earth Kingdom does deserve a central authority that unifies the nation as opposed to a bunch of fiefdoms left to fend for themselves. Also the idea that it is too big or diverse is kind of outdated now that transportation is far quicker than it was in the past.
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noblebender
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 02, 2018 01:55 pm »

Her good deeds were pretty much made to be null and void when she enslaved citizens, put dissenters into re-education centers and started purging the kingdom of non-earthbenders showing her to be a bigot. It was a shame because the Earth Kingdom does deserve a central authority that unifies the nation as opposed to a bunch of fiefdoms left to fend for themselves. Also the idea that it is too big or diverse is kind of outdated now that transportation is far quicker than it was in the past.

Very true! While LOK makes sympathetic villains, in light of our world history, she cannot be sympathetic. So it'll be interesting to see her character arc play out in the new comics.

Hopefully the transition into democracy (while it seems to be rocky) will unite the EK in an appropriate way. Excited to see it develop! As opposed to the Avatar comics, which saw the ATLA world develop into the LOK world, we will get to see for the first time the future of the Avatar franchise... that is one way to look at how exciting these comics will be. While we saw in LOK already what ATLA then connected canonically, we have never seen what LOK's world will become, especially an EK democracy.
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Tamerlan Pahlavi
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 02, 2018 02:06 pm »

Name me one nation (in our world) that was united or became independent without spilling blood or other actions deemed despicable? Kuvira's good actions don't wash out the bad but neither do the bad ones wash out the good. And it's exactly that what she obviously can't accept, the implied accusation that she did nothing good at all. From what I've seen from the excerpt the process can only be regarded as just if you consider humiliation to be a just thing to inflict on a wrongdoer.

I also don’t like that Kuvira is trying to minimize her crimes, she said at the end of the show she would accept whatever charges were levied against her.

True, but I don't expect too much moral or logical consistency nor accurate portrayal of non democratic ideologies from Avatar anymore. Even the original show had deeply hypocritical moments on deeper reflection.

Her good deeds were pretty much made to be null and void when she enslaved citizens, put dissenters into re-education centers and started purging the kingdom of non-earthbenders showing her to be a bigot.


Most of which was thrown off handedly in that one horrible recap episode. It felt like a quick and cheap way to effectively paint her as a villain by throwing in buzz words we learned to react to whenever the media talked about the dangers of fascism. Not like democracies don't imprison people who work to undermine them, we just call them terrorists, whether they are left wing, right wing or religiously motivated. Don't get me wrong, I do think democracy is the best thing we came up so far, it's just that mankind is cursed by it's own nature and our utopias have damned us every time.

And I feel compelled to point this all out despite not liking the season at all. Watching it felt like a chore. Maybe I'll watch it again now that the comic kinda poked my interest.

Hope I'm not going too off topic with this.

I like the art though, it's really pleasant to look at.
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noblebender
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 02, 2018 03:00 pm »

Name me one nation (in our world) that was united or became independent without spilling blood or other actions deemed despicable? Kuvira's good actions don't wash out the bad but neither do the bad ones wash out the good. And it's exactly that what she obviously can't accept, the implied accusation that she did nothing good at all. From what I've seen from the excerpt the process can only be regarded as just if you consider humiliation to be a just thing to inflict on a wrongdoer.

Fair point, but history is written by the winner. Here we are going to have a case of that, except we will get much deeper insight into the villain of this piece than we do in world history. While I love Kuvira as a character, I certainly wouldn't be one to step up to her defense if she were a real dictator, as we don't her nonfictional predecessors. This probably shouldn't devolve into that kind of discussion. Lol But you have pointed out and understand why Kuvira is acknowledging the good she accomplished! It offers a peek into her mind and into showing us that not all good has been begotten by good. Avatar has always been clear about this, and that is one of the most lasting impressions it's had on me: the gray-area characters, values and campaigns. This comic won't be any different, which is good! Avatar might muddle politics, as you've pointed out, but it's always captivating.
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 02, 2018 03:18 pm »

Man is flawed, therefore any governing bodies would be flawed as well. That being said it was stated in the beginning of the season that Kuvira was already consolidating a ton of power and they hoped she would step down. It was also said in the episode before the recap that she was purging the states of people of non-earth Kingdom origin. I feel like that was overkill to push to make her be cemented as a villain and then they try to make her sympathetic. Kind of hard to give sympathy to an outright bigot and when did she get such a view point? She was raised in Zaofu by Suyin who travelled the world and met tons of people of various backgrounds. One of the guards that worked under Kuvira was a firebender. It was completely out of left field to have her be some kind of bigot trying to make the Earth Kingdom “pure”.
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noblebender
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 02, 2018 03:28 pm »

^Maybe they'll give more insight in the comics into those past crimes and how they came about? I assumed it wasn't bigotry but politically motivated (as I understand most is). But I don't think it came from any personal preference, rather she was so dedicated to unifying the EK, she was going to remove anything she saw as an obstacle to that. She could have been trying to rectify the Fire Nation colonies, in an instance of nationalism not racism. We saw in The Promise how those colonies merged, but perhaps she wanted to expel any foreign "power" or people to connect the EK in a nationalistic way. Just a thought, but could also be OOC overkill by the creators to vilify her!
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Tamerlan Pahlavi
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 02, 2018 03:46 pm »

And why did all those people demand Kuvira to step down? They were also politicians and even more idealistic politicians care about their own power. They didn't want to be pushed out. In the words of Herodot "Too many rulers is not a good thing, let there be one ruler, one king." Kuvira could have realized this vision, the Avatar world is small enough to make the possibility of one ruler over all of it an achievable possibility. Perhaps the hundred years war could have truly ended all war forever if the Fire Nation had succeeded and either wiped out or assimilated all others.

I know seen as an incredibly serious and almost unforgivable offense nowadays, must be the zeitgeist. Anyway, meeting lots of people from other nations and backgrounds can make you more open minded but it can make you more bigoted than before too. In those cases it's not a prejudice anymore but a post-judice, deciding that a group is bad after meeting "enough" members of that group. And even if she didn't have any animosity towards other nations herself she could still use bigotry as a tool if there were enough people around who had it. It might also be a conclusion she reached on her own, since she's all about unity she might very well ended up seeing diversity as a weakness and danger.

Avatar might muddle politics, as you've pointed out, but it's always captivating.

Indeed, if I'm passionate enough to complain about their handling they must have done something right.

I would also like to add that even the Earth Queen saw Republic City as stolen Earth Kingdom land that needs to be brought back into the fold.
« Last Edit: Oct 02, 2018 03:47 pm by Tamerlan Pahlavi » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: Oct 02, 2018 04:07 pm »

The problem though is that many people have already mixed and it would be even more dangerous to try to rip apart families as Zuko learned the hard way in The Promise. The reason for wanting to annex the United Republic should have been because of recent developments as opposed to what happened at the end of the war. Remember the URN was governed by a council that was handpicked by the rulers of their other nations. The Earth Kingdom may not have been in charge of what used to be it’s own land, but it still exerted a modicum of power and with the dissolution of the council it didn’t even have that anymore. I believe Hou Ting was planning on taking it back before her demise. A shame that it wasn’t brought up more in canon.
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longman83
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 02, 2018 04:37 pm »

Kuvira should add something like this to her opening (or closing) statement:

"Under whose authority does this "Special Tribunal" presume to judge me? By order of Zhu Li, one of my former aides? She helped build the spirit weapons with Varrick, another aide and the brainchild of the project. They are seated here today. Who's going to try them? How about former President Raiko, under whose mandate I allegedly waged wars of aggression for three years? Will you try him too?

This court is a complete and utter sham. It's authority is derived from a ruling class that was complicit in my so called crimes by omission or commission. Many of them are seated here today. They should also be standing with me on trial, not sitting in hypocritical judgement. They have no moral credibility to judge me. I do not accept their judgement, and I do not accept the judgement of this Court. The only one fit to pass judgement may be the one my accusers cowardly ran to in order to save their skin, the one I surrendered to in this city. The Avatar. "

She'd be more than half correct.
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luvavatar
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« Reply #15 on: Oct 02, 2018 04:50 pm »

The problem though is that many people have already mixed and it would be even more dangerous to try to rip apart families as Zuko learned the hard way in The Promise. The reason for wanting to annex the United Republic should have been because of recent developments as opposed to what happened at the end of the war. Remember the URN was governed by a council that was handpicked by the rulers of their other nations. The Earth Kingdom may not have been in charge of what used to be it’s own land, but it still exerted a modicum of power and with the dissolution of the council it didn’t even have that anymore. I believe Hou Ting was planning on taking it back before her demise. A shame that it wasn’t brought up more in canon.

Kuvira should add something like this to her opening (or closing) statement:

"Under whose authority does this "Special Tribunal" presume to judge me? By order of Zhu Li, one of my former aides? She helped build the spirit weapons with Varrick, another aide and the brainchild of the project. They are seated here today. Who's going to try them? How about former President Raiko, under whose mandate I allegedly waged wars of aggression for three years? Will you try him too?

This court is a complete and utter sham. It's authority is derived from a ruling class that was complicit in my so called crimes by omission or commission. Many of them are seated here today. They should also be standing with me on trial, not sitting in hypocritical judgement. They have no moral credibility to judge me. I do not accept their judgement, and I do not accept the judgement of this Court. The only one fit to pass judgement may be the one my accusers cowardly ran to in order to save their skin, the one I surrendered to in this city. The Avatar. "

She'd be more than half correct.
I would love it if they would put something like that forward, but I doubt that they will. I feel like they will go for the more simplistic approach. She didn’t take her entire arsenal with her to the United Republic. There is no way all of the vines from the Swamp fit in the Colossus and she couldn’t have used all of the platinum from the domes of Zaofu for the giant mecha suit. Seriously just one panel from one dome would have been sufficient. I hope that there were some secret projects being worked on that have to be uncovered and stopped.
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Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #16 on: Oct 02, 2018 05:25 pm »

I wonder if Mike is able to do this story justice. I read a really good fan fiction story about Kuvira’s trial some years back (Ironclad by iviscrit) and that would be my gold standard.
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noblebender
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« Reply #17 on: Oct 02, 2018 06:16 pm »

Kuvira should add something like this to her opening (or closing) statement:

"Under whose authority does this "Special Tribunal" presume to judge me? By order of Zhu Li, one of my former aides? She helped build the spirit weapons with Varrick, another aide and the brainchild of the project. They are seated here today. Who's going to try them? How about former President Raiko, under whose mandate I allegedly waged wars of aggression for three years? Will you try him too?

This court is a complete and utter sham. It's authority is derived from a ruling class that was complicit in my so called crimes by omission or commission. Many of them are seated here today. They should also be standing with me on trial, not sitting in hypocritical judgement. They have no moral credibility to judge me. I do not accept their judgement, and I do not accept the judgement of this Court. The only one fit to pass judgement may be the one my accusers cowardly ran to in order to save their skin, the one I surrendered to in this city. The Avatar. "

She'd be more than half correct.

So true! Great thoughts. I wonder how they'd get around that - just because they ascended to higher powers doesn't mean they aren't complicit in at least part of it.

Speaking of, I noticed Bataar, Jr. wasn't in the panel showing Kuvira's courtroom. I wonder if that means he also was arrested and will be put on trial? Would be interesting to see. Of course Su has forgiven him, but he'd certainly have to face the consequences. I wonder where that will lead.


Quote
I wonder if Mike is able to do this story justice. I read a really good fan fiction story about Kuvira’s trial some years back (Ironclad by iviscrit) and that would be my gold standard.

I'll have to look into that again! Great recommendation for some pre-May reading. Smiley If I recall seeing something about it a while back, does it focus on the relationship between Bajaar, Jr. and Kuvira? I wonder how the comics will handle it. I assume they would be completely separated, but it could play into some redemption? I'd be curious to see which route this trilogy takes.
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« Reply #18 on: Oct 02, 2018 07:23 pm »

I recall seeing something about it a while back, does it focus on the relationship between Bajaar, Jr. and Kuvira?
It focuses on both Kuvira's trial and the Baavira relationship. IMO, the author did it well.
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« Reply #19 on: Oct 02, 2018 08:29 pm »

So let's break down the problems that the EK has and what it's going through by LOK's time.

-The Earth Kingdom is too large and too diverse to be governed by one person. I'm sure that there were cities like Omashu that help 'governed' areas of the land to make things easier but the Fire Nation wiped most of them out. By the time ATLA starts, Omashu is the last remaining city to be conquered while Ba Sing Se, the capital city, isolates itself from the outside world. This gives the Dai Li enough time to put themselves into power while the King remains a puppet for the next century.

-The URN is a product of land that was technically stolen by the FN. Trying to remove the FN colonies that integrated into the EK almost led to a three way war between Aang, Zuko, and Kuei. Republic City can't be removed but they shouldn't isolate themselves from the rest of the EK because they are a part of it land wise. From Kuvira's perspective, they're part of 'the problem'.

-By LOK's time the EK has recovered but there's no sense of unity because again, the EK is too large to be ruled by one person and the war made things worse. The Earth Queen could've helped out but she's too self-centred to do her job. When she dies there's no one that steps in to help either because they either don't have the resources to help or they hide away in their own city like Su did. Combined that with Korra's understandable absence it sounds like Kuvira was literally the only one that stepped up when the ones in power didn't. That's saying something.

-Kuvira spends the next three years cleaning up EK's mess. Some places have obviously suffered from her regime but there may have been areas that benefited from it (which tends to happen under a dictatorship. I'm not saying that it's the way to go but you get the idea.), hence the supporters. After all that work she's expected to step down and give the position of power to Wu, someone who would most likely destroy everything she's worked for in a month because he too is spoiled and self-centred like his Aunt. Dictator or not, the idea of Wu in charge proves Kuvira's point on how much the EK isn't changing its ways and she refuses to step down. She makes things worse for everyone.

Now we cut to the 'present day'. Kuvira's put on trail, she pleads herself not guilty, and the summary hints that the turning the EK into a democracy will be difficult because of Kuvira's supporters. This will likely lead to Korra working with Kuvira to try to find appeal to those supporters but working with her will have its risks. Like I said in a previous post, will Kuvira make a power play or will she genuinely work with Korra, the Avatar that showed her mercy after all she has done?
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« Reply #20 on: Oct 02, 2018 10:00 pm »

I don’t think the size of the Earth Kingdom makes it impossible for there to be a central governing body. The problem is that the leaders of the past would basically stay in their palaces and never venture out into their kingdom or play a major role in dictating what was going on. Kuvira had changed all of that when she implemented high speed maglev trains to criss cross the vast continent. Now people could connect far quicker than they did in the past and it also allowed for the central governing party to make their presence known in a timely manner. Information was also able to be spread far more quickly with them having access to sending messages electronically. I think that carving up the Earth Kingdom is not in the best interest of the citizens because then they go back to what they have been and it’s about time that issue is addressed.
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« Reply #21 on: Oct 03, 2018 03:28 am »

I wonder if Mike is able to do this story justice. I read a really good fan fiction story about Kuvira’s trial some years back (Ironclad by iviscrit) and that would be my gold standard.

There is a good number of fanfics that do Azula's fate after the war better than the canon comics. Wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if this turned out to be the case for Kuvira. Perhaps the creators ARE aware of those fanfics, might have even read them, and are now forced to take different directions because they don't want to be seen as copying ideas from fan works.
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« Reply #22 on: Oct 03, 2018 09:48 am »

I wonder if Mike is able to do this story justice. I read a really good fan fiction story about Kuvira’s trial some years back (Ironclad by iviscrit) and that would be my gold standard.

If the new subplot about Kuvira never feeling a true member of her adopted family is any indication, I'd say the answer is no, unfortunately.
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« Reply #23 on: Oct 03, 2018 10:47 am »

The whole family issue was a weak way to try to garner sympathy. Her feeling that she failed at Zaofu would have been far more relevant. She was the captain of the guard for the Metal Clan. It was under her watch that the Red Lotus broke in and it was under her watch they escaped and managed to murder the Earth Queen as well as cripple the Avatar. So if they made it that she felt responsible for the chaos running rampant I felt that would have given her more credence as opposed to some abandonment issues.
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« Reply #24 on: Oct 03, 2018 11:17 am »

The whole family issue was a weak way to try to garner sympathy. Her feeling that she failed at Zaofu would have been far more relevant. She was the captain of the guard for the Metal Clan. It was under her watch that the Red Lotus broke in and it was under her watch they escaped and managed to murder the Earth Queen as well as cripple the Avatar. So if they made it that she felt responsible for the chaos running rampant I felt that would have given her more credence as opposed to some abandonment issues.

Can we get a fanfiction from you?? Lol That's some awesome character analysis I'd love to explore!
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