July 22, 2024

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The Legend Of Korra Book Four “Chapter Six: The Battle For Zaofu”

Korra and Kuvira duel over control of Zaofu while Varrick formulates his own escape.

There are two important things going on here that I think are worth noting:  Korra may have taken care of her physical problems, but she may still have some psychological ones, and Varrick even with a conscience is a dangerous man to everyone, especially himself.

OK, there is one other thing:  Kuvira is very good at playing politics.  She knows just what to say and when to say it to maximum effect, and she’s not going to cower behind her massive armies.

That becomes clear when Suyin and two of her three loyal sons (not counting Junior whose still aiding Kuvira) try to sneak into the Earth Empire camp and remove Kuvira from the playing field in a stealthy manner.  It’s all a trap with Zhu-Li as the bait as Kuvira figured Suyin would do something that…cowardly is the word Kuvira uses.  It could be argued Suyin did this to avoid bloodshed, but that’s not how Kuivra frames it.

How fascist of her.

So, that just means it’s up to Korra, with Jinora and Opal as back-up, to somehow talk everyone down.  And she is really interested in that.  Korra doesn’t want to be a brawler anymore.

Too bad Kuvira isn’t into that and basically offers to duel over the right to control the city and share its wealth and technology…another potentially worthy goal surrounded by unworthy methods and extreme ideology which is basically how The Legend of Korra rolls.

Now, it is also worth noting that Varrick is demanding even as a prisoner.  He wants an assistant and there’s no Zhu-Li hanging around.  First he goes with Bolin, but Bolin is allergic to having his hands blown off.  That means Junior, who is something of a scientist, can help, but Varrick built a bomb.  With a timer.  That’s ticking.  And he has a remote.

Wow.

Yes, he is aware it’s a bit redundant.

And he does get Junior and everyone but himself and Bolin off that last car, uncoupling it as the train speeds away.  Oh, and the bomb and timer were real.  Varrick may be thinking ahead, but he didn’t think that far ahead.

Fortunately, Bolin can get the pair of them off the train car before it explodes, conveniently faking their own deaths.

Now, one thing I have always liked about this universe is that even though the Avatar can use all four elements, that doesn’t mean he or she automatically wins every fight.  Kuvira is actually doing quite well, and she’s one of those jerks who goads her opponents into sloppy mistakes.  Kuvira is trained in military-style fighting, and Korra is three years out of practice.  The only way to win is to go into the Avatar State…only to freeze just ahead of victory when Korra sees a dark version of her own face on Kuvira’s head.

So, Kuvira wins the bout, only for Opal and Jinora to rush in to rescue Korra, violating the rules of the duel.  Oops.

Now, a pair of airbenders using a giant whirlwind can keep an entire army at bay from the looks of things, long enough for Jinora to summon Ikki and Meelo to come get them and fly themselves and Korra to safety.

It also means Kuvira can march into Zaofu, proclaim herself the new ruler, and order everyone to bow or join Suyin and her twins in a reeducation camp.  Junior is back.  He sees his father and artist brother both basically refuse.  Dear old dad even calls him “Junior,” which Junior hates.

Then again, Junior saw enough of what Varrick was doing to maybe be able to build more spirit vine weapons.  And Zhu-Li says she’ll help.

That could be bad, but this is only the halfway point, so it’s not like Korra was going to win just yet anyway.