Nickelodeon's The Legend of Korra appeared on TV in 2012, and it continued the action-packed fantasy adventure that began in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Seven decades have passed, and the Avatar world has entered a new age of cars, telephone lines, and steam ships. The Hundred Year War is long since over, and the four nations are in harmony once again.
The Avatar world is a totally new place, but the creators populated it with all sorts of characters who really bring it to life. In Republic City, we meet the orphaned bender brothers Mako and Bolin, who with Korra make up the pro bending team the Fire Ferrets. Each brother is a cool guy, but there can only be one Best Boy! Why might each brother have a shot at the title?
10 Mako: A Born Leader
The other members of Team Avatar are all smart and tough, but Mako really knows how to take command. He has long since been the captain of the Fire Ferrets team, and under his leadership, the Fire Ferrets made it all the way to the finals! Once Bolin took over, he learned very quickly how tough Mako's old job had been. Later, Mako helped spearhead an investigation into Varrick's shady dealings, and he set up a sting operation, too.
9 Bolin: He's Fun
What's an adventure without a little fun? Bolin is always in good spirits, and he really knows how to make the audience laugh out loud. Just when things get tense or somber, Bolin can burst onto the scene and lift everyone's spirits, just like that. Laughter is the best medicine, and Bolin is a real doctor where that's concerned. His silly comments might sometimes inspire a creative idea for Team Avatar to pursue, too. His creative mind isn't sharp like Mako's, but it can go in some unexpected directions sometimes.
8 Mako: The Family Heirloom
Mako isn't a fashion icon in The Legend of Korra, but there is one interesting part of his outfit: that red scarf. As he explained to Asami, that was once his father's scarf, and he wears it as a memento.
Asami is touched, and later, Mako gives that scarf to his paternal grandmother, like returning a family heirloom. It's a shame to see Mako without that scarf, but he made an excellent gesture, returning it to the family.
7 Bolin: Friendly
Mako is all business, while Bolin likes to have fun! Not only is he a real goofball, but he's better than Mako at making friends and bringing people together. True, this sometimes backfires on him, such as his difficulty ending a troubled relationship. But he was the one who welcomed Korra to the Fire Ferrets when Mako was being cold and distant. Bolin also helped inspire Opal (along with Korra) to learn to become an air bender. After a few false starts, Bolin and Opal became the best of friends.
6 Mako: Responsible
Mako is the bigger brother, and he sure acts like it. When his and Bolin's parents died and the boys ended up on the streets, Mako went to great pains to look after them both. With that in mind, Bolin owes him a great deal.
And to raise money for the Fire Ferrets, Mako took a job using his lightning bending to weld cars in a factory, while Bolin was off getting scammed and kidnapped!
5 Bolin: Movie Star
For a time, Bolin's life was on the fast track to success while Mako was languishing and alone. In season 2, Mako was a frustrated detective while Bolin got roped into an acting gig to make propaganda films. This ended up being a real adventure, and Bolin had some serious acting chops (according to Varrick), rapidly becoming a real star. At some point, a massive audience in Republic City, including president Raiko, watched his newest feature. And yes, Bolin was totally living up the movie star life, complete with a hot tub in his apartment.
4 Mako: A Fine Detective
Yes, it was mentioned earlier that Mako was struggling as a cop, and at some point he was even sleeping under his desk. But being the smart and responsible boy he is, Mako turned all that around.
Earlier in season 2, Mako was a rising star among the Republic City police while Bolin's Fire Ferrets were falling apart. And ultimately, Mako really did unveil Varrick's plan, and that was a real boon for Team Avatar.
3 Bolin: Lava Bending
For a time, Mako was the more flexible bender brother, knowing how to use both fire and lightning bending. Bolin never learned to bend metal like Korra could, but then he developed an even rarer skill: lava bending! After seeing Gazan use lava bending, Bolin unlocked his potential in a moment of crisis, and with it, he saved the lives of himself, Tenzin, and Opal when an air bender temple was collapsing. Later, when Bolin and Varrick fled the Earth Empire, Bolin's lava bending secured their escape from hostile forces.
2 Mako: Rescue Mission
It was mentioned earlier that at some point, Mako and Bolin needed to raise some money for the Fire Ferrets team. Bolin tried street performing, until he got roped into a bender gang security job... that got him captured by Equalists! Time was running out, and Mako launched a street-savvy rescue operation at once, with Korra at his side. Finally, they both spotted Bolin at an Equalist rally, and only barely did they rescue Bolin from Amon's grip. That was a close one!
1 Bolin: Joining A Higher Cause
It is a noble aspiration to join a cause that is bigger than yourself, such as charity organizations or the like. Bolin couldn't stand idly by as the Earth Kingdom dissolved into anarchy, so when Kuvira launched her Earth Empire project, Bolin signed right up. At first, Kuvira's efforts seemed benign, uniting the fractured Kingdom to restore trade and promote peace, and it was laudable that Bolin joined. And when Kuvira's Earth Empire slid into militaristic insanity, Bolin bolted at once. That was not what he signed up for!