Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series The Legend of Korra have a very unique aesthetic. Pulling inspiration from several different Asian cultures, the two series followed characters who could “bend” the elements to their will. Tradition dictated that the titular Avatar brought literal balance to all of the elements.
Fans easily identify characters as members of specific tribes or nations based on their clothing and color choices. Even non-benders could be identified based on the amount of technology added to their wardrobe during the Korra years. When franchises have a firmly established style, fans tend to wonder what characters would look like with a new one. That kind of thinking leads to all kinds of new designs from artists all over the world.
Some artists might want to set the series in a new time period, or crossover with a different universe, while other artists just want a wardrobe change. Still others love the style as a whole, but put their own spin on characters with slight tweaks. Whatever your aesthetic preference, we’ve got them all.
After scouring the internet for fan art, we’ve found these 30 Fan Redesigns Of Avatar And Legend Of Korra Characters Better Than What We Got.
30 The Avatar Club
The 1980s brought movie lovers a lot of iconic stories. One of those is The Breakfast Club. John Hughes created a classic with the idea that five people from completely different walks of life could find commonality for one Saturday in detention.
Tumblr artist gibz-n-things applied that same idea to the cast of characters in The Legend of Korra. We get Korra as the outcast Bender, Mako as big man on campus Andrew, Asami as the princess Claire, Bolin as the brain Brian, and Jinora as the misunderstood Allison. That idea is nearly a perfect fit.
29 Obi-Wan The Waterbender
If ever there was a universe that would make for an interesting Avatar crossover partner, it’s Star Wars. Embracing the Force isn’t all that different from believing in bending abilities. Vulpesarctica on Tumblr brought that idea to life with a requested piece of art.
In the piece, Obi-Wan Kenobi isn’t just a jedi, but a waterbender. This particular bending seems suited to Obi-Wan as water is the element of change, and he certainly saw a lot of that in his time in the Star Wars saga. Waterbenders also typically use their opponents’ powers against them, creating offensive strategy from defense, which also sounds perfectly Obi-Wan.
28 A More Realistic Azula
Princess Azula revealed herself as conniving and one who relished in other people’s pain over the course of the Avatar series. The end of the series saw the princess without any power over the people and dishonored. Many fans still hope to see more of her -- at least one day.
Deviantart artist ThreshTheSky imagined Azula just a bit older in their piece. The digital painting gives a more realistic appearance to the character, letting fans see what the unstable royal would look like a few years after her story seemingly ended.
27 Hogwarts Avatars
It’s always interesting to see artists transplant characters from other stories into the world of Harry Potter. In this particular case, we see what it would look like if the Avatar characters attended Hogwarts.
Artist Viria13 of Deviant Art did some serious thinking when it came to sorting out the characters, coloring their Hogwarts robes to reflect those choices. Some no brainers include Azula in Slytherin and Aang in Hufflepuff, but there are certainly some decisions that could create for serious debate amongst fans here. Sokka in Ravenclaw and Katara in Gryffindor seem strange at first glance, but they certainly fit.
26 Toph The Police Chief
Some designs of characters aren’t meant to contradict the canon version of them, but rather to build on them. That is exactly what fans get in this particular piece centered on Toph. In the Avatar world, Toph went on to found the metalbending arm of police. She became a well respected chief and one of her children succeeded her in the role.
Artist Ninjatic created this particular look for Toph as the police chief for a commission. The image goes along with a set of “fanon” stories about Toph’s life. Here, the character enjoys her job, even when her target resists arrest, showing a little bit of her darker side.
25 Korra The Fighter
Korra has long been one of the toughest characters in the franchise. She was even originally inspired by professional fighters like Gina Carano. Artist Brandi Ross of Deviantart gave Korra a look befitting of her initial inspiration in this piece.
Gone are Korra’s traditional Water Tribe clothes and original longer hair. Here, she’s got wrapped hands, a tank top, and a shorter hairdo so she can do her best in a ring. She’s also got an expression that tells you absolutely no one can beat her. That sounds about right.
24 A Digital Sokka
Though Sokka was very smart, he most often found himself as the comic relief in the Avatar series. His animated style changed slightly over the years to even make him look a little younger as time went on, adding fuel to that idea.
Artist akrasiel gives us a slightly more serious expression in their digital painting of Sokka on Deviantart. This particular painting of Sokka might even give fans an idea of what they can expect in a live action version when Netflix brings him to the screen. The lighting serves to make him that life-like.
23 Modern Team Korra
While some fans believe the Avatar franchise occurs in a post-apocalyptic version of our own world, others think it’s set in a more ancient time where technology hasn’t quite caught up to magic just yet. Regardless, the fashions of the show aren’t exactly what we could call modern.
Tumblr artist Gretlusky decided to show what Korra and her friends would look like in the modern era. Mako, Korra, Bolin, and Asami get a bit of a makeover while still enjoying their color schemes from the franchise. It’s a great example of what they could look like if they were teens today.
22 Superboy Is The New Avatar
DC comic book fans will remember that Superboy was actually created from Superman’s DNA. Manufactured to have Kryptonian abilities, he doesn’t really seem like a great candidate to become the Avatar. Of course, artist greenapplefreak imagines a scenario where perhaps the same scientists who could engineer their own take on Superman could imbue him with bending abilities as well.
What does it mean for the Avatar canon when someone who is part alien becomes the person responsible for keeping the balance of the planet? It would certainly be interesting to find out.
21 A Slightly Darker Korra
Unlike many of the characters in the franchise, Korra never had the chance to really embrace any darkness inside herself. Since she is always placed in the position of needing to be the hero, we don’t get to see this kind of take on Korra very often.
While artist FabianMonk laments that the likeness isn’t perfect in their post on Deviantart, we have to call out their attention to detail. It’s amazing. This piece might give a slightly darker vibe to Korra, but we get to see all of the elements she’s meant to balance in action -- almost like they are literally tearing her apart. It’s one unique -- and gorgeous -- take on the character.
20 A More Photorealistic Aang
Avatar’s main character was a little boy named Aang who ended up trapped in ice. Once released after decades, he got back to his path of balancing the world with his skills. Of course, Aang spent so much time leading his ragtag group across the world that he didn’t get a lot of time to be playful, something we do get in this piece here. His arrow is done in more of a tattoo style rather than as a solid line as well, giving realism and life to his features.
Artist DarrenGeers cited this particular piece as a warm up completed before moving on to other work. That’s quite a detailed and impressive warm up piece.
19 Korra Characters As Superheroes And Villains
If the world of Avatar was just slightly different, we might have seen a different take on how elemental bending came to be. Perhaps we’d even see heroes take on masks and capes, while villains tried to manipulate the day. Artist jcords on Deviantart decided to do just that with the Legend of Korra cast of characters.
While Korra gets the Wonder Woman treatment, Bolin gets Superman, and Mako gets Batman. Most of the designs depicted come from DC comics, but we do get to see Lin as a spider-character from the Marvel side of things. Asami as the Joker might be hard for some fans to get behind, but the look certainly suits her.
18 Katara: The Last Water Witch
As the one to find Aang, a waterbender of surprising power for her age, Katara became a fan-favorite early on the series. In this particular piece of art, she’s still got skills with water, but she’s not exactly a bender.
Instead, Tumblr artist goldenstringoffate names Katara “The Last Water Witch,” in their piece, giving her a bit of a makeover. The style means Katara would fit right at home in modern stories of elemental witchcraft. That seems like the perfect place for Katara if she wasn’t already a waterbender in this franchise.
17 Noir Sokka And Suki
Sokka and Suki didn’t get their happy ending in Avatar, but there are plenty of fans who still love them together. One artist took inspiration from a holiday from Latin America to honor the relationship of the two.
Tumblr artist chapterdooof drew Sokka and Suki in the style of Calaveras for Dia De Los Muertos. The holiday, which takes place over November 1 and 2, is used to honor both the living and the departed. Calaveras, which means skulls, are often painted on dolls and people’s faces as part of the celebrations. It’s a unique way to pair the two characters together that we don’t see a lot of in fan art.
16 A More Realistic Korra
Animation, especially for series aimed at kids, tends to stay away from more realistic portrayals of characters. After all, in animation, that’s kind of the point -- to make the story play out in fantasy instead of reality. That doesn’t mean artists have to when recreating the characters in their own style, though.
Artist tovatu paints a more realistic portrait of Korra on Deviantart. This picture sees Korra a bit more battle-worn, complete with a few scrapes and bruises. Her emotions are captured well by the painting, though, as there’s no way anyone would mistake her for giving up here.
15 Zuko In Shadow
Zuko might be from the Fire Nation, but he was an ally to Aang all the way. This portrait almost makes us wonder what the series would have been like if Zuko went dark. In shadow, with a raging fire behind him, Zuko looks like he might be ready to give in to darkness in this Deviantart piece by Hinecko-Rin.
The way the artist played with the light here makes it hard to tell if Zuko is simply hidden by the shadows or if he wants to be a part of them. It leaves his state of mind open to interpretation in a great way.
14 Punk Rock Kai
Always finding himself going against the grain during Legend of Korra, it seems right that an artist would liken an older Kai to a punk rock musician. For a more modern take on the character, that’s exactly what artist Nikadonna did.
Wild hair, a leather jacket, and a guitar are enough to change Kai’s design, but his mischievous attitude would certainly fit the punk rock bill. He spent the series stealing to get by, thwarting authority figures, and always coming through for his friends. We couldn’t think of a better style for him.
13 Tomb Raider Korra
Descended from nobles, but with special gifts that make her want to save the world, Korra sounds like a pretty good fit for Lara Croft. Artist SolKorra imagines a world where the two characters are one in the same.
Considering that Korra was able to take on just about any villain put in front of her in her own series, she’d likely adapt pretty well to adventuring and archaeology in the world of Tomb Raider. Wouldn’t you like to have Korra as a playable character in the game franchise? However, her Avatar abilities might make her a little too overpowered, unfortunately.
12 A Sketched Sokka
In the world of digital art today, mediums like pencils and ink seem to appear less often. It’s nice to see a few “old fashioned” takes on the Avatar characters as well. Artist acjub brought their considerable sketching skills to Deviantart with an image of Sokka.
The playful nature of Sokka’s usually comedic attitude comes through loud and clear with his smile and wink in this sketch. He looks more life-like than some of Sokka’s moments in animation, making us wish for a whole book of sketches of the Avatar characters.
11 If Korra Knew Naruto
The world of the ninja in the Naruto franchise is full of strange abilities. People can make themselves invisible, walk on water, breathe fire, and more. We wouldn’t consider any of the characters to be elemental benders, but in another world, they could be.
Artist ctreuse109 on Deviantart imagined a world where shinobi and benders coexist. Perhaps they even share some abilities in common. Nitpicky fans might wonder why Naruto appears to be a firebender here since his natural chakra affinity in his series is wind. The fire certainly matches his passionate personality, though.
10 Asami In Sharpie
Black marker is one of those art forms that we don’t see too much of on the internet these days, much like pencil sketches. Asami gets the Sharpie treatment here, and she looks all the better for it.
Deviantart artist pencil-bender spent a couple of hours sketching out and filling in an image of Asami in black ink. The artwork looks like something that could have graced the cover of a comic book, making us wish the entirety of Korra’s story could have been laid out on the page instead of just the follow up series.
9 Azula In A New Outfit
Though she was the princess of the Fire Kingdom, Azula didn’t get the classical fairy tale princess treatment in the Avatar franchise. The style of the series didn’t really allow for it. Here, though, Tumblr artist tehraincoat gives her just that.
With a wider skirt and a slightly disheveled hair style, Azula looks equal parts regal princess and woman with a million things on her mind. That’s perfect for the scheming royal who eventually lost her mind when every plan she made fell apart, and everything she thought she knew about her mother turned out to be false.
8 Futuristic Korra
With some fans believing that the Avatar series actually takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, it’s entirely possible the styles we see are from the future. Since we usually see a different aesthetic for futuristic stories, though, some fans have applied that to their artwork.
Artist SolKorra provided a whole new wardrobe for Korra based on the idea of the future. Korra gets a hoodie and (possibly) a Tron-inspired look. Korra’s wardrobe isn’t the only change, though, as buildings and technology appear to move beyond the Steampunk-esque design of the series into more of a Tomorrowland vibe.
7 Older Zuko
While Avatar: The Legend of Korra did give fans an idea of just where The Last Airbender characters ended up, fans didn’t get to spend a lot of time with the older generation. DireImpulse created an image, shared on Deviantart, that will certainly leave fans wishing they could.
The portrait depicts an elderly Zuko and his dragon. As part of a series of portraits by the artist, the idea was to portray the characters long after their time in the franchise ended in a realistic way. We think they captured Zuko perfectly.
6 Modern Aang
The modern aesthetic is certainly one a lot of fans gravitate toward when a franchise is part of the fantasy genre. How would the Avatar characters fit in? We’ve already seen a few different versions from artists here, but ashlerluck has a new take on Aang on Deviantart.
Their version of the modern Aang seems like a typical teen in shorts and a hoodie. It’s a nice touch to give him a hat as well, one complete with the color or his arrow tattoo in the middle of it. That’s one great nod to the franchise’s original artwork.
5 Toph In Action
Though Toph is definitely a fan-favorite, a lot of the art depicting the character tends to be of the darker variety. It’s about time we saw something a bit more vibrant from artists. Artist artsbycarlos brought the rich color and vibrant lighting to Toph for their portrait.
If the rich color isn’t enough for you, the background art here also clues us in that Toph is in the thick of the action. It looks like she’s in the midst of a serious battle. We’d bet she comes out on top.
4 Avatar Hipsters
If modern jeans and tee shirts aren’t enough of an aesthetic change for you, some fans take the modern clothing just a bit farther for the Avatar characters. Artist bbandittt didn’t just give the characters a modern makeover -- they also made this trio of characters into hipsters.
Toph, Aang, and Katara get high-waisted shorts, artfully draped scarves, and cut-out leggings, giving them each a unique look. The color schemes of their clothing, obscuring Toph’s eyes, and Katara’s shoe choice all give nice nods to the source material.
3 Avatar Ladies In High School
Since we’ve seen a few takes on modern clothing with punk rock and hipster chic, it seems only fair that a few Avatar characters get the high school uniform treatment.
2 Swamp Thing Katara
What if the world of Avatar was inhabited by classic monsters? If you’ve ever wondered, that’s a question we now have an answer to. Artist acaciathorn did a series on Deviantart in which they reimagined Avatar characters as Hollywood movie monsters.
Katara, as a member of a water tribe, became Swamp Thing. That seems fitting since the franchise later revealed the hidden Foggy Swamp Tribe of waterbenders. Of course, the artist had a pretty great idea for the image as well -- Katara learning botanical waterbending, but being possessed by the spirit of the swamp in order to save it.
1 Modern Korra And Asami
Some fans might have been disappointed by the fact that Korra and Asami went on to have a romantic relationship after the events of the animated series already ended. The story did get to live on in comic books, though, and fan artists have you covered if you want to see the characters in a different style.
Lukia-Lokelani brought Korra and Asami to life, sharing a modern take on the characters on Deviantart. While the artist revealed that this wasn’t necessarily their favorite pairing, they did find the characters to be fun subjects. That sense of fun shows in the work, as the two sneak a glance at one another and Asami twirls her hair.
Did you like the different styles for these Avatar and Legend of Korra characters? Or would you like to see something even more different? Let us know what designs you’d like to see in the comments!