Sunday 30 July 2017

Korra: Turf Wars: my ship is at least 50% seaworthy

[spoilers ahead for Legend of Korra: Turf Wars part 1]

The new Legend of Korra comic Turf Wars part 1 won't be out in the UK for a couple of weeks. Still, lucky fans in the US have posted various odds and ends, including the following that made my old romantic heart very, very happy:
There is so much to love about this panel and this plot point before we get to my selfish, shippy personal reasons to love it. For a start, there's Kya's age. I'm not sure exactly how old the Kataang kids are but since her brother Bumi is retired I'd lay even odds Kya's at least fifty. In a media landscape where so many sapphic characters are still designed for male consumption here's a wlw with grey hair and crow's feet. Its just nice to have an older woman coming forward to congratulate Korra and Asami (as is the context here), assuring both them and us that they aren't alone in the Avatar world.

Incidentally, another scene that presumably follows this has Kya confirm there was no sexuality-based prejudice among the Air Nomads (which presumably continues with Tenzin's revived Air Nation) and that Avatar Kyoshi was bisexual. As someone who is so heartily sick of the way writers just tend to assume that the past always has to be uniformly awful for LGBTQ+ people, this is truly heartening.

Now, let's get on to my own selfish love for this scene:

I bloody love the Kyalin ship. I know that it is crack shipping at its absolute best. I mean, we're pairing two characters up who never meet on screen. Kya and Lin Beifong share exactly zero minutes and zero seconds of screen time in the whole four seasons of the series and, to my knowledge, that total doesn't get any better in Turf Wars part 1. The best we can say is that the two characters almost certainly know one another, Lin having dated Kya's elder brother for some years.

And yet, the fan fiction for the pairing is amazing. It was one of the first tags I stumbled upon when I first started reading fic on AO3 and the I absolutely fell in love with the dynamic: the cynical police chief and the laid back free spirit. Plus, pairing two middle-aged women together is a refreshing change, at least from my point of view at the time, from the usual pairings of a series' young and beautiful protagonists (not that Korrasami content isn't appreciated, of course, and I understand how much that pairing means to people, believe you me).

Now, I'm certainly not one of those people who feels a need for “their” pairing to be canon but, as I say, there is some joy in knowing the ship is at least halfway seaworthy. 

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