Watch out, everyone. Netflix is on an Avatar-collecting spree.
The Legend of Korra (also known as Avatar: The Legend of Korra) premiered on Nickelodeon on April 14, 2012 and ran for four seasons through October of 2014. The series is set within the same universe as Avatar: The Last Airbender and follows the next Avatar in the Avatar cycle after Aang: Korra, a seventeen-year-old girl from the Southern Water Tribe.
The Avatar franchise is set in a universe in which there are four societies each corresponding to a classical element: Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. Each of those societies contain magic-users known as “benders” who are able to manipulate their home nation’s element. At any given time, there is one individual known as the “Avatar” who is able to master all four elements and operates as a powerful peacekeeper. The first series dealt with young Aang’s journey to learn each element and end a destructive war started by the Fire Nation.
Though The Legend of Korra opens with the war over, it still found a way to expand the scope of Avatar’s original story. Korra must first learn airbending from Aang’s son Tenzin and then get to work doing the difficult job of keeping peace in a volatile world. The Legend of Korra wasn’t initially as well-received as Avatar: The Last Airbender but its final two seasons are widely regarded as being quite excellent.
The Legend of Korra is also notable for introducing one of the first same-sex couples in an animated series targeted at all ages. The introduction was brief but undoubtedly laid the groundwork for more sophisticated LGTBQ storytelling in animated series such as She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts.
Netflix has had itself a very productive Avatar summer. All three seasons of Avatar: The Airbender arrived on Netflix in May. The wide availability of the show has certainly seemed to reinvigorate interest in the 15-year-old property. Avatar: The Last Airbender was a frequent feature on Netflix’s public-facing Top Ten list, the Avatar subreddit is thriving again, and most notably: some enterprising Tik Tok users are restaging the entire series as a musical.
Thanks to the introduction of The Legend of Korra into the streaming world, the summer of Avatar gets to continue apace.