I have just read the part one of the newly released Legend of Korra graphic novel, Turf Wars.
It picks up directly from where the animated series ends – with Korra and Asami walking hand-in-hand through the portal into the spirit world.
Their stay is brief, and soon, they are back in their own world where, it transpires, same sex relationships are no more likely to be accepted than in the real world.
As I read Turf Wars, Korrasami‘s coming out to Korra’s family and their friends, had a dislocating feel to it. It was as if I was being jolted out of Korra’s universe and back into my own – bad story telling.
Afterwards, I thought about my reaction and came to the conclusion that actually, it wasn’t bad story telling at all, but the fault of how we – to a degree, I – in the real world see same sex relationships.
The Legend of Korra animated series is as full of relationships as it is heroic battles against powerful enemies. Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, weddings… they all feature; and when I watched the series, I did not bat an eyelid at any of them.
Why? Because such things are a wholly accepted part of life. Unfortunately, however, I live in a society up until the last twenty or so years same sex relationships have not been so accepted. And of course, in some places, and many people, they still aren’t. For my part, I do accept them. More than that, I would happily be in one. But, it seems, I still live with the baggage of the past influencing how I see things in the present.
The good news is that a problem identified is a problem that is on the way to being solved. I have no doubt that the positive representation of The Legend of Korra will in the long run help me with that.
That’s enough of me. I’m sorry for hijacking Turf Wars. Back to the comic – It was great seeing not just Korra and Asami but their friends, especially Bolin and Mako and Zhu Li (though no sight of the wonderfully ridiculous Varrick, sadly). It made up for the story, which, to be honest, felt a little lack lustre. A businessman wants to create an amusement park around the portal and take tourists through it; a new gang leader is causing trouble on the streets. All very es geht so but – not very thrilling. I hope that this is just a case of first issue-itis and things will pick up with Part Two.
Only one thing really disappointed me about Turf Wars Part One and that is the artwork. In regards Korra and Asami it seemed to fall far short of the animated series. Don’t let me overstate this. The two women looked pretty much like themselves throughout but sometimes they did so more, and on other occasions (though fewer, thankfully) less.
Finally, Part Two is due for release in January 2018. I don’t understand that kind of schedule at all. Surely, it rips away the momentum that Part One creates?
So, for me Turf Wars Part One is a slightly generous 7.5 out of 10. If you enjoyed the animated series I think you would certainly enjoy this. If you haven’t seen it – to be honest, I would watch it first but the graphic novel doesn’t demand that you have a deep knowledge of what went before so you could easily dive straight in.