On Body Image, Diversity, and Comics’ Outdated Standard of Beauty

Originally posted on Black Nerd Problems

ESPN made a “Body Issue” based on Marvel superheroes, and it’s glorious. But before we get to that, let’s go through some fascinating history first. The first Body Issue was published in 2009 in response to a significant decline in ESPN magazine’s revenue during the financial crisis. Not only that, because it was also a response for that pesky high-selling publication from their competitor, Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue. ESPN photographers took shots of athletes — some more famous, others less known — nearly or completely naked, bearing it all with a soccer ball, or a baseball bat, or the snowboard they ride on. Where the Swimsuit Issue focused on homogenous models showcasing bikinis and pandering to the typical standard of Hollywood beauty however, the Body Issue saw an opportunity: ESPN the Magazine would focus on the diversity of the human form by centering on the athletes themselves.

And focusing on diversity proved to be an amazingly successful strategy. Who knew?

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Did Xena: Warrior Princess Inspire Legend of Korra?

In the 1990s, Xena: Warrior Princess — starring Lucy Lawless — ruled TV. Her chakram, armor, and famous warrior cry helped elevate Xena to one of the 25 best TV shows of all time. It’s 2015, and we have a new TV super woman, and her name is Korra, the Avatar (voiced by Janet Varney). The Legend of Korra is the Nickelodeon animated series that tells the story of a young woman who has the power to control the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Her power to control the elements makes her the most powerful human on the planet. Korra is tasked with bringing balance to the world by merging the spirit and human world in perfect harmony.

Being a fan of both Xena and Korra, the wheels started turning in my head, so I came up with a theory that the creators of Legend of Korra had a little Xena inspiration.

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Why Are We Forgetting About Korra?

by Gabrielle Smith

A month ago, at New York Comic-Con, I attended a panel for The Legend of Korra. It was full of sneak peeks, laughs, and goodbyes (considering this is likely their last panel for the series) but there was also a reminder — that Platinum Games is making a video game derived from the series. It takes place between the second and third books of the series, where Korra is stripped of her bending by a chi-blocker, and must regain her abilities throughout the game.

What I’ve found is that people aren’t really talking much about the game. I even forgot myself, considering it was a nice reminder at New York Comic-Con. The creators basically mentioned it as a passing thought, but that may have been due to time constraints. The game isn’t meant to be long (it’s about four to six hours to play), and is a digital download, so that’s likely an aspect of it. The game isn’t a full-fledged entity, but a charming addition to the series. It’s not the most important thing. However, forgetting Korra… this isn’t exactly new. Let’s talk about how Nickelodeon has been treating the series.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Where in the World is Zaheer?

Episode Nine: “The Stakeout”

This first part of Book 3 has been fast and full of non-stop action. So you know there would be some “set up” episodes and “The Stakeout” falls under this category. There isn’t too much revealed and not much action, but we do see the return of the spirit world and we learned about Zaheer’s past and perhaps clues to his intentions with Avatar Korra.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: We Are Family

Episode Three: “The Earth Queen”

We begin with a sparring session between Uncle Bumi and Kai, led by Jinora. Uncle Bumi’s stance is all old-school fisticuffs, and Kai makes easy work of him. Jinora’s crush on Kai grows deeper, and Kai starts the charm offensive on her.

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KaiNora shippers, you know this will not end well.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Gotta Catch ’em All!

Episode Two: “Rebirth”

Team Avatar (minus Mako the Brooding Teenager) is ready to set off for Operation Air Nation. Pema, Kya, Ikki, and Meelo are staying on Air Temple Island in order to receive any potential pilgrims. But first, two words: HOLY AIRSHIP.

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: There’s Magic in the Air (Bending)

Episode One: “A Breath of Fresh Air”

Korra Nation, our waiting has finally come to an end!

Two weeks have passed since Avatar Korra’s amazing triumph against UnaVaatu during Harmonic Convergence. The portals between the Spirit World and the human one have remained open all this time, with at least one annoying side effect: giant Spirit Vines have been growing all over Republic City, taking over entire buildings and displacing many people from their homes. Korra has yet to figure out how to deal with the vines, so her approval ratings are down to a dismal 8%, with even President Raiko distancing himself from her. Our poor teenage Avatar is questioning whether her victory was a victory at all.

On Air Temple Island, however, things are on the up-and-up. Uncle Bumi, after chasing Bum-Ju off a cliff, has discovered he can now… airbend!?!?

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The Legend of Korra Third Season Trailer and Surprise Release Date

Team Korra, we have a date! On Friday afternoon, Nickelodeon announced that the first THREE episodes of the third season of The Legend of Korra will air this Friday, June 27, starting at 7 PM/6 Central. They will then take a week hiatus for 4th of July weekend, then air weekly on Fridays at 8 PM.

And of course, being the NOC’s resident Korra experts, Rodrigo and I will be on-hand to recap every episode!

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: When the Isht Goes Down…

Episode Thirteen, “Darkness Falls”

Vaatu is free. Harmonic Convergence is upon us. Unalaq is still being an ass and making no sense. It’s like those winter mornings when you don’t want to get out of bed. So, who do you call? The Fire Ferrets. Mako, Bolin, and Korra take on Vaatu and Unalaq in a Wrestlemania meets Celebrity Death Match quarrel. We’ve been waiting for this, when Korra goes Hulk smash… and slams Vaatulaq!

So let’s go!

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NOC Recaps The Legend of Korra: Stargazing

Episode Eleven, “The Night of a Thousand Stars”

I am not going to lie. This season of The Legend of Korra has been better than I expected. So the next four episodes are for sure going to make me drop some F-bombs and some holy expletives with tons of exclamation points to fill in my excitement. So you’ve been warned.

“The Night of a Thousand Stars” was a filler episode and a warm-up to what we all have been waiting for, the “Harmonic Convergence” show down.

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