Ever since Legend of Korra, a follow up series to Nickelodeon's hugely popular Avatar: The Last Airbender was announced on July 22, 2012 fans have been eagerly awaiting the new animated series, which picks up 70 years after the original epic series left off. Over the weekend the series premiere leaked online and spread rapidly on Facebook and Twitter. A section of the first episode was even briefly available on YouTube. The show is set to premiere a month from now on April 14 and set to run 26 episodes in its first season, and Nickelodeon responded to the leak by quickly scouring the internet clean of almost every offending video, though a thorough Google search will still likely yield the desired results.
The series begins with the search for the new Avatar. For those who are unfamiliar with the original series (watch it immediately, it's on Netflix), Avatar is set in a mythical world where certain people are born with the power to bend one of the four elements (earth, wind, fire or water). However, the Avatar has the ability to bend all four elements, and is tasked with keeping the four elements, and corresponding nations, in balance. The previous Avatar, Ang, was the protagonist of the original series and led a rebellion against the imperialistic Fire Nation, defeating the Fire Lord in the series finale.
Korra's introduction differs drastically from Ang. Discovered living with her Water Nation parents, she already has a strong grasp on all four elements, unlike Ang who had to learn each element as he progressed, and introduces herself with the words I'm the Avatar. Deal with it! Korra is a powerful bender and fierce fighter but is often criticized for lacking the mental concentration that great benders strive for.
Besides Korra, we are also introduced to an elderly Katara, Ang's now-widowed wife, and a strong water bender, who encourages the Avatar to secretly leave her home and travel to the unified world's capital, Republic City, which was founded by Ang, in order to study air bending and mental concentration with Ang and Katara's son, Tenzin. Korra also meets the chief of police Bein Fong, the daughter of Toph, a powerful blind earth bender from the original series. Korra ends up in police custody along with her animal companion who appears to be some sort of bear-dog hybrid, after she takes on three gangster benders attempting to extoll 'protection' money from a local shopkeeper.
Korra's adventures in Republic City, which is beautifully drawn and has a modern steam-punk architecture, also include a visit to the park to hunt for fish. At the park Korra meets a homeless man living in a nearby bush and learns that homelessness is an epidemic in the capital before being chased away by an angry police officer for fishing in a city park. She also has her first encounter with the equalists, a political group of non-bending claiming to be working towards equality between benders and non-benders, but led by a sinister masked character who appears to be the villain of the series.
At the end of the episode Korra is about to be sent home after her arrest until Tenzin has a change of heart and decides to let her stay in Republic city and study bending with him. He explains that he has been focused on maintaining his father Ang's legacy, which he believed was the city, but which is also Korra, as each Avatar is tied directly to all those before them.
The first episode officially premieres on April 14, 2012 on Nickelodeon. Don't expect any more spoiler episodes to be leaked before then.