Sketch Dump | OC, Byakko, The Metalbending Avatar Picture

This is my first foray into creating an OC for Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. He's technically an OC of both but due to the spoiler-laded events of the last season, he's got less to do with Aang and a lot to do with Korra. The Avatar next in the cycle is an Earthbender, but I decided to vary the theme a bit by making my version of Korra's next life a United Republic Citizen rather than an Earth Kingdom one. Fandom, meet Avatar Byakko, the wayward scion of the Gan-Lan family and the second Avatar in the new Avatar Cycle.

Basic facts:

Like most people of Earth Kingdom descent, Byakko has green eyes. He is of a lean yet fit build and is a textbook example of the trope "brilliant but lazy." When he was first taught the concept of neutral jing, he applied it like an extension of his soul; hence, while he may seem like a feckless and snarky goofball, be prepared to be curb-stomped when you so much as try to attack him.

He is the son of the CEO of Cabbage Corp and is a descendant of the Cabbage Merchant. His mother is from Kyoshi Island while his father is from Republic City. He was born in Republic City and spent a great deal of his time working there. He is college-aged and is taking up advanced studies in Ba Sing Se university, and due to his rather layabout and reluctant personality, the White Lotus and his father have agreed to keep him all but cash-strapped so he can learn to value money and hard work and maybe take his responsibilities seriously.

He periodically comes back to his hometown, where he's treated like a local celebrity due to his status as the first Avatar born in the city and the country. His apartment in Republic City is shared by two siblings (Korra's grandchildren). Thus far , the only past life he has contact with is Korra and they banter a lot. Korra possesses him sometimes to be there for her grandchildren, though it leaves Byakko with several awkward moments.

I'm still undecided as to what his animal companion would be: i'm thinking either Tigerdillo or Badgermole.

He is a metalbender (has been since childhood), though he hasn't mastered all the elements completely. He has difficulty in waterbending and airbending (not on purpose, anyway) but took to firebending really well. He's in the process of learning all the cool things you can do with advanced Earthbending, like seismic sense (he has poor eyesight).

Running gags and callbacks

As Cabbage Guy's descendant and the Avatar, he inherits both the powers of his past lives and his ancestors' colossal bad luck. Which brings us to the Cabbage Pad. His attachment to the pad stems from the fact that he breaks it, usually while on his Avatar duties.

Say it with me: "NO, not my CABBAGE PAD."

Cabbage Corp is the Apple of the Avatar World, with Byakko's dad developing computers that couldn't be metalbended, which began when little Byakko kept on ruining daddy's computers.

Byakko is a big fan of Nuktuk, Hero of the South and, likewise, of Bolin, who made it really big in this AU. Back when he was a kid, Byakko would pretend that he was fighting the Evil Unalaq in Nuktuk's stead, which is a spolier in itself.

Korra has been appearing in his life quite a lot even before he was found to be the Avatar at age 10-11; he just thought she was his "imaginary friend" and was surprised to learn she was a real person, let alone his past life.

His job as the Avatar of the digital age includes dealing with 1990s-2010s-y problems like:

(a) Political Extremists taking control of the government from within. Byakko's main nemesis is the Dai Li, which distort his past life Avatar Kyoshi into a vengeful deity that wants to keep the Earth Kingdom backwards in the name of "tradition." They have a tight control over the telecommunications networks of the Earth Kingdom and basically bully everyone else in the government, including the Earth King.

(b) Environmental Issues: The arrival of computers mean that humans have an insane need for rare earth metals, which involve extensive mining, which anger the spirits due to the destruction it causes in nature. This is double the work for the new Avatar since his father happens to be a technology tycoon.

(c) Filler things like crime fighting with the Blue Spirit (a ninja/batman figure here), impressing his father by landing a responsible job outside of being the Avatar, conflict with a very jealous Earth King, and dealing with cybercriminals.

(d) Rumors of the Dark Avatar being around are taken very seriously by some.

Other ideas
This is a lighthearted AU with only very light cyberpunk overtones. So silly ideas might pop out, such as lightningbending hackers, celebrity expies, Fantasy Pro Bending, and Byakko getting cast in a Captain America 2011-ish adaptation of Nuktuk: Hero of the South.

I'll design Team Avatar 3.0 very soon. Fanfic included. Maybe.

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

The fanfic is likely going to be a slice-of-life thing set in an alternate timeline to the current Avatarverse as seen in the series. While I will be careful to follow the new developments in the series (I'll likely be making casual references to new airbenders and how Korra managed) but if a key plot element is contradictory to the series (i.e. the Dai Li or the Earth Monarchy are disbanded--again), I'll either ditch it if it works or place the point of divergence then and there. Who knows? A lot can happen in 80 years.

The main point of the fic revolves around making fun of the modernization in Legend of Korra by turning up the clock even more and bring them into OUR present.

Chemistry might be a touchy subject since Earthbenders appear to be able to bend solid nonmetals but not pure metal. Based on how metalbending works, I'm assuming that Earthbenders bend mainly carbon, nitrogen, and silicon (a semimetal, accounting for the difficulty faced in bending it) and either bend the carbon in steel or cast iron or the carbon-based impurities in it.

Due to the aforementioned third and fourth season plot revelations (Korra being able to metalbend, possibly more), the title of this fanfic deviation, while not inaccurate, may sound misleading at first glance. While Byakko isn't the first Avatar to metalbend (that'd be his predecessor), he was known as a metalbender well before he was identified as the Avatar as identifies with that specialty strongly: his name is the Japanese term for the legendary metal tiger of East Asian mythology.
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