WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire -- Part One, from Michael Dante DiMartino, Michelle Wong, Vivian Ng and Rachel Deering, on sale now.
Following the end of The Legend of Korra, the fate of the the sinister Kuvira has been kept a mystery. In the conclusion to the show, she began taking over various states to turn the Earth Kingdom into the Earth Empire, only to be stopped by a resurgent Korra and her army of Airbenders five years ago.
However, thanks to The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire -- Part One, we're finally seeing Kuvira's penance within the walls of Republic City. Shockingly, as despotic as her actions were, the start of this new trilogy of graphic novels has surprisingly offered the character a path to redemption, and it's one she's ready to embrace with open arms.
Kuvira will forever be associated with coups and bloodshed from state to state. She's a true traitor, especially as she built her giant mech-machine, harnessing Spirit Energy and looking to bring the Earth Kingdom to its knees. But despite being imprisoned for her crimes against peace, Korra has offered her an olive branch thanks to the emergence of Commander Guan.
Guan has taken over the Earth Empire's military forces, or, more specifically, the stragglers who remain from Kuvira's legion. He intends to undo what she did when she gave up her fight against Korra in the Spirit World, ceding power to the Avatar. Kuvira finally understood Korra's vision for peace, but, as Guan indicates, that was a sign of weakness.
Now, he's ready to finish what she started after overseeing the southern provinces for her, only to be left stunned when Korra brings Kuvira to the Gaoling stronghold Guan's occupying as a spokesperson to talk him out of his stubborn mentality.
Kuvira admits to her army she was wrong, now vouching for Korra and the concept of democracy. She tries to advise Guan against committing treason, but he's not buying it. Instead, he riles her, inciting violence through sharp jabs, which leads to Kuvira decking him. Thankfully, Asami, Korra's girlfriend, is there to quell the trouble and incapacitate Kuvira so the threat doesn't escalate. After all, they don't want another war.
Diplomacy reigns for now as all parties return to their strongholds to review proceedings. Korra wants Gaoling to experience her vision for peace, but at their own pace. It's what King Wu is advocating across all states through free and fair elections, where everyone can appoint their own governor. But it remains to be seen just how loyal and pacifistic Kuvira will remain as Korra and company entertain disobedience from Guan. Kuvira was somewhat heroic in the past, but felt order could only be achieved through an iron fist, and she may be proven right with Guan.
Korra's Airbenders reluctantly agreed to give Kuvira a second chance, and, seeing as Asami's dad, Hiroshi, died in the final season fighting Kuvira's robot, it's clear everyone's waiting for Kuvira to slip up so they can throw her back in shackles. As it stands, Korra's holding out hope she'll play nice and undo her tainted past in what's turning out to be a redemption arc similar to Sasuke and Naruto in the Naruto franchise.
But, admittedly, there are only so many chances Korra can offer and, even though Kuvira is buying into her vision, Korra has to worry about her being a liability and once more losing control.
The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire -- Part Two goes on sale Oct. 8, 2019.