Metal, a Beifong fan art, by Drake Tsui

Have you ever seen the original X-Men movie from 2000? Magneto, the supervillain who can control magnetic energy, surrounds himself with ferrous metal: metal furniture, metal walls, a Newton’s Cradle on his desk, etc. Pretty smart, if you think about it: he surrounds himself with the tools of his power.

The same thing is going on here.

For those unfamiliar,the Beifong women are characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. In this setting, about 10% of the population have the ability to control, or “Bend” one of the four classic elements – earth, air, fire, or water. The most skilled – and only the most skilled – of the earthbenders can control metal by controlling the impurities in it, a technique invented by Toph Beifong herself.

So what you have here is the Beifong women literally covering themselves with the source of their special power and advantage. What could be more useful than armor you can telekinetically shape and control? For a more in-depth analysis, read further at Sartorially Splendid Heroines.

Sartorially Smart Heroines

beifongsMetal, by Drake Tsui
Clockwise from top: Toph, Lin, and Suyin Beifong

“Listen, I know I wasn’t a great mother, but one way or another, I ended up with two great kids. Good enough to risk my bony old butt for, anyway.” —Toph Beifong

I’ve enjoyed corresponding with different artists when asking permission to use their work for Sartorially Smart Heroines and have made contacts with some awesome people, but Drake is the first to give me a “Hellz yeah!” in his reply. Enthusiasm like that is what keeps me working at this blog in spite of having such a gnarly schedule right now.

So, this may sound odd to most fans of Avatar: the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, but I technically became familiar with Lin Beifong before Toph Beifong. I’d heard a lot of good things about this Korra show and knew…

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