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At the core of human nature is the will to dominate [...] there can be no balance between the Spirit World and the human one.
~ Old Iron expressing his beliefs to Avatar Aang.
I pay homage to you, young human. For you have vanquished me.
~ Old Iron's last words.

General Old Iron is a giant humanoid spirit who appeared as the main antagonist of The Rift, the third comic trilogy taking place between Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.

History

During the era of Raava, General Old Iron was a very close friend and protector of Lady Tienhai. But a tribe of humans made their home on the seashore without the spirit's permission, causing Old Iron to plot their extermination. He was stopped, however, by Lady Tienhai, who became fascinated with the humans. This caused one of the titular rifts between the two spirits, causing Old Iron to leave.

Centuries later, Old Iron felt Lady Tienhai drawing her last breath. Devastated by her death, Old Iron blamed the humans for her death, and marched towards the mainland with the intention of wiping them all out from existence. He battled Avatar Yangchen throughout the night, but she eventually got through to him. He told her his backstory of who he was and why he was angry, and though she listened, he did not intend to stop. They battled once again after he directly attacked the village people, but this time, Yangchen made an agreement with Old Iron, one that would be upheld ritually, halting Old Iron's vengeance.

However, by 102 AG, Team Avatar and a few Air Acolytes had found his armor near the factory that had been built in its place. When his armor was touched, Old Iron rose from the sea and took it back, dragging Satoru, Sokka, and Loban with him as he stormed the city. Upon seeing the deal he made with Yangchen was broken, he once more threatened to wipe humans out of existence. Yangchen's successor, Avatar Aang, battled Old Iron. Both were matched in power until Toph and her student metalbent his armor off, leaving a hole for Aang to attack with the power of all four elements. Old Iron was defeated, but Aang still tried to convince him that humans and spirits could co-exist. Undeterred, Old Iron stated that whenever there was a rift between humans and spirits, the Avatar would always side with the humans (vaguely foreshadowing the events of The Legend of Korra Book 2: Spirits). Convinced that humans would always seek dominance over spirits and that there was no place for him in the world, Old Iron retreated to the sea for good.

           Avatar Villains

Fire Nation
Fire Lord Ozai | Fire Lord Azulon | Sozin | Zuko | Azula | Ty Lee | Mai | Zhao | Ukano | Combustion Man | Lieutenant Jee | Yon Rha | Prison Warden | Warden | Bujing | Mung

Earth Kingdom
Hou-Ting | Jet | Chin the Conqueror | General Fong | Xin Fu | Gow | Long Feng | Dai Li Sergeant

Water Tribe
Hama | Tahno | Tarrlok | Yakone | Varrick | Zhu Li | Unalaq | Eska | Judge Hotah | Gilak | Thod

Equalists
Amon | Lieutenant | Hiroshi Sato

Red Lotus
Zaheer | Ghazan | Ming-Hua | P'Li | Aiwei

Earth Empire
Kuvira | Baatar Jr.

Spirits
Vaatu | Dark Spirits | Wan Shi Tong | Koh | Kemurikage | Hundun | Old Iron

Other Groups
Dai Li | Rough Rhinos | Southern Raiders | Yuyan Archers | New Ozai Society | Triple Threat Triad | Royal Procession | Bison Rustlers

Individuals
June | Lightning Bolt Zolt | Shady Shin