|"Meeting you made me realize I that I don't want to belong to something anymore. I want to belong to someone."|
|— Kei Lo summarizing his feelings to Mai.|
Kei Lo was a member of the Fire Nation rebel organization known as the New Ozai Society. He was tasked with bringing Mai to one of the organization's meetings. After his betrayal of the society, he became Mai's boyfriend and assisted her and Team Avatar in rescuing missing children in the Fire Nation Capital from Kemurikage imposters.
Orphaned at a young age, Kei Lo "bounced from one place to another", all the while seeking a place to belong. Eventually, he joined the New Ozai Society, despite having little interest in politics.
Attempted recruitment of Mai
Kei Lo entered Mura's flower shop seeking a bouquet for "someone special", and was directed to Mai. He told her he was looking for a bouquet that conveyed the message that the receiver was beautiful. Mai disinterestedly pointed out an arrangement that cost five copper ban. After checking whether or not Mai liked the flowers herself, he purchased them and subsequently offered the bouquet to Mai herself. He stated that she was his "special someone" and asked her out on a date, to which she accepted.
At five o'clock that evening, the two enjoyed a meal together at a local noodle shop, during which Kei Lo attempted to entertain Mai. After telling an amusing story, he took notice of Mai's faint smile, stating that he was making progress since that was the second time that evening she smiled, though Mai denied having done so. He tried to tempt her with revealing a secret in order to get her to admit she had smiled. Curious, Mai complied and admitted she had smiled, and emphasized that it was a rare sight those days. Kei Lo stated that this was so because she had broken up with Fire Lord Zuko, leaving Mai to wonder whether she should be flattered or disturbed by Kei Lo's knowledge of her personal life.
Keeping his promise, Kei Lo led Mai down the streets of a rundown village, toward the meeting of a political group. Before they entered, he emphasized that he sincerely liked her and that it was not all about politics. Clueless as to what he was talking about, Mai was about to head home, until she heard her father, Ukano, call for him and praise him for his good work. When Mai declined her father's offer to join the New Ozai Society, a short fight broke out between her and society members. When Kei Lo faced Mai, he did not make a move to fight with her, but rather tried to emphasize again that he really did like her, but was knocked out by a punch to the face.
Betraying the New Ozai Society
At a later New Ozai Society meeting, Ukano declared that they would attack Zuko on his return to the capital with Ursa and her family. A worried Kei Lo later spoke with Ukano in private, expressing his concerns about the plan. Ukano had ordered months prior that the society prepare for half a year, and that security would be on high alert with the Fire Lord involved. Ukano nervously claimed to have had a "premonition" that had motivated him and frantically told Kei Lo that the safety of nation their depended on them.
No longer certain about the Society's goals, Kei Lo decided to inform Mai of her father's plans. Incognito, he told her of the Society's attack plan.
However, Kei Lo later discovered that Ukano anticipated his betrayal and had fed his disinformation. While Mai had been led to believe that the Society would attack the main road from the harbor to the capital, the bulk of their forces ambushed Zuko on the hidden path. Ukano and his men managed to incapacitate Zuko and his Kyoshi Warrior escort before attempting to burn the carriage containing Ursa and her family in retaliation for Zuko refusing to relinquish the throne peacefully. Deciding that Ukano had gone too far, Kei Lo freed Zuko. After Mai, along with Ty Lee, Iroh, and the other Kyoshi Warriors, arrived to support them, Kei Lo was accused by Mai of deceiving her, to which he protested that the Society purposely fed him misinformation. Zuko vouched for Kei Lo for his change of heart.
Kei Lo proceed to help Mai as she fought against Society members. After downing their opponents, Kei Lo tries explaining himself to Mai, who tells him she never trusted him and played him just like her father did. He admitted that he deserved it, but insisted that he genuinely liked her. Suddenly, a Society member recovered and knocked him down, breaking his leg in the process.
Following the Society's defeat, Kei Lo attempted to hobble away, but Mai approached him and offered him a ride on the hot air balloon. He then asked her where her father was and Mai claimed that he got away.
A month later, after his leg had healed, Mai decided to officially go out on a date with Kei Lo. After returning to Mura's flower shop, Mai asked why he betrayed the New Ozai Society. Kei Lo explained to her that he lost his parents when he was young and drifted from place to place. His longing for somewhere to belong led him to join the Society but did not care for its political goals. Now, he desired to belong to someone: Mai. As they leaned in for a kiss, they are interrupted by a scream from the flower shop. Kei Lo then looked up to see a trio of cloaked, masked figures on the rooftops. He and Mai gave chase but the figures disappear in smoke with Mai's little brother Tom-Tom.
The next day, Kei Lo stood by Mai's side when the abduction was reported to the constabulary. Mai suspected that the kidnappers were Kemurikage, mythical spirits said to abduct children who misbehave, though her mother was skeptical. Suddenly, Zuko entered the shop, willing to believe Mai's tale, and stated that they would need Avatar Aang's help if spirits are truly involved.
Meeting Avatar Aang
Kei Lo visited the Fire Nation Royal Palace when Avatar Aang arrived and was brought up to speed on current events by Mai. Ukano interrupted them, however, blaming Mai for Tom-Tom's abduction, prompting Kei Lo to protested that no house was safe from dark spirits, though his objections were dismissed by Ukano. After Ukano was escorted away, Kei Lo was surprised to hear Mai tell Zuko that her father had nothing to do with the attack on him and his family when he asked about her father's involvement. Ushering her to the side, Kei Lo asked her why she lied about Ukano's involvement. When she admitted she believed that her father was right about her and Tom-Tom, Kei Lo dismissed it as her not thinking straight, though Mai nonetheless held firm in her believe that her father wished to take care of her brother, which was something he could not do from prison.
Kei Lo accompanied Aang, Zuko, and Mai to the High Temple in hopes of finding a clue about the Kemurikage, where Grand Sage Shyu granted them access to the Dragonbone Catacombs. As the party passed the crypts of past Fire Lords, Kei Lo made particular note of Sozin's crypt, commenting that he looked like a crank, before they found a mural depicting the history of the Fire Nation. However, they come across a door that blocked the rest of the corridor, which Zuko explained to have been erected by Sozin when he came into power. Aang and Zuko tried firebending at the locks, figuring that they were the same as the door on Crescent Island, though after twenty tries, Kei Lo stepped forward and stated that the locking mechanisms were actually in the dragons' nostrils. With Mai's assistance and four of her throwing knives, they were able to unlock the door beyond which they found the rest of the mural.
Upon reaching a painting of the Kemurikage, Mai found and read a scroll detailing the prehistory of the Fire Nation, prompting Kei Lo conclude that Sozin must have locked away ancient Fire Nation history because it was so depressing.
When a wisp of smoke emerged from the mural and flew down the corridor, causing the foursome to follow the trail of smoke. As another dragon statue blocked their path, Kei Lo unlocked it and revealed a hidden passage. He accompanied Aang down the passage in case there was another door up ahead, while Zuko and Mai remained behind. The duo ended up in the crypt of the first Fire Lord, where the wisp took on the form of a Kemurikage. Scared, Kei Lo got behind Aang as the latter conversed with spirit, who claimed that until that very moment, the Kemurikage had never returned to the physical world since the time of the first Fire Lord.
As the foursome returned to the capital, Kei Lo and Aang shared their discovery, causing Mai to suspect that the Kemurikage who kidnapped Tom-Tom were impostors. En route, they crossed Ukano, who had formed a volunteer militia called the Safe Nation Society, which Zuko promptly disbanded. With his girlfriend infuriated, Kei Lo cheered Mai up with a kiss before escorting her home.
A broken heart
Later, Kei Lo traveled with Mai, Aang, and Zuko to the Garden of Tranquil Souls in search of the missing Fire Nation children, where he fought against the Fire Warriors led by Azula. Shortly after the rescue, Mai broke up with Kei Lo, who promptly left Mura's flower shop, insisting that he had "stuff" he needed to finish. When asked when he will be seen again, he replied that he did not know and maybe never, before departing.
- Iss. #33. "Rebound"
- Smoke and Shadow trilogy
- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part One (September 23, 2015), Dark Horse Comics.
- Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Hill, Ryan (artist), Heisler, Michael (letterer). "Rebound" (May 4, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part Two (December 16, 2015), Dark Horse Comics.
- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). Smoke and Shadow Part Three (April 12, 2016), Dark Horse Comics.