|Admit mistakes when they occur and seek to restore honor.
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|"This oil is our pathway to a future of equality! And we can't trust the future to a culture so mired in the past!"|
|— Maliq to a crowd of southerners.|
Maliq was an architect and engineer from the Northern Water Tribe and the brother of Malina. After the end of the Hundred Year War, he and his sister traveled from the Earth Kingdom, where he had spent most of his life, to the Southern Water Tribe, where the two came into the employ of Hakoda; he and his sister collaborated in the design and construction of newer, modernized structures in the tribe, as part of the Southern Reconstruction Project.
Maliq was born in the Northern Water Tribe sometime during the last half of the Hundred Year War. Sometime later, he and Malina moved to the Earth Kingdom, where he attended Ba Sing Se University. By the time they moved to the Southern Water Tribe, they had spent more time in the Earth Kingdom than they had in the North Pole. When they arrived in the South Pole, they became the leaders of the Southern Restoration Project. Their original plan consisted of extracting the oil from the South and taking it under the control of the North, in which Maliq saw the chance for a future of equality between benders and nonbenders, because with that amount of oil many machines could have been fueled, creating evenness in using more of them in their everyday lives. Under Hakoda's supervision, they began the process of modernizing the tribe by creating newer, larger buildings, intended to show the other nations that the tribe was keeping pace with the post-war being made by the rest of the world.
On the day Katara and Sokka returned to the South Pole for the first time since the end of the war, Maliq happened to be standing in Hakoda's office with Malina. After Hakoda greeted his children with a hug, Maliq excitedly shook Sokka's hand, telling him that he and his sister had been following the news about them for a long time, dating back to the saving of Tui and La during the Siege of the North. At the end of the conversation among Malina and Katara, Sokka, and Hakoda, Maliq offered to take them to dinner, and Sokka enthusiastically accepted.
At dinner, when his sister stated her inability to adjust to Southern food, Maliq countered her assertion, stating that he loved the food; he even cited Ashuna, who manned a food cart on the main boulevard in the city and her blubbered seal jerky, as a prime example. Moments later, a server boy spilled a large vessel of soup on their table. While Maliq was distracted, another server snatched the briefcase he had brought with him to the restaurant. When he realized what was happening and tried to take it back, the server girl hit him in the face with the briefcase, knocking off his glasses, and made a run for the exit. He retrieved his glasses in time to watch Malina be knocked unconscious by the server boy, who hurled the large, heavy soup vessel at her. As Katara and Sokka gave chase, Maliq stayed behind with his injured sister.
When Katara and Sokka returned to the tribe that evening, Maliq was standing watch outside Kanna's hut, where Malina had been taken to rest. Upon learning they had failed to recover his briefcase from the spies, he kicked the snow at his feet, upset by the Southern Water Tribe's lax security, and claims that the Northern Tribe has better laws and regulations along with police to enforce them. Maliq also expressed uncertainty when assured by Sokka that Hakoda would catch the spies. He was shocked to discover that Sokka believed Malina to be his wife and remained outside while Katara and Sokka entered the hut by themselves.
The next day, Maliq and Malina took Sokka and Katara to a deposit so as to give them a tour, letting them know he was very glad that they had accepted his invitation. He eagerly told them all about why he and his sister had come to the South Pole, albeit being completely ignored by them. When Sokka asked him to repeat what his vision was, Maliq was left dumbfounded, stating that he had just spent ten minutes explaining just that. Malina informed Sokka that sometimes he gets a bit carried away with his explanations and that the reason they were there was because they had found a vast amount of oil and were planning on extracting it. Neither Sokka nor Katara knew what they wanted it for, so Maliq told them that it was supposed to be used for engine fuel, among other things.
Maliq described the deposit as the biggest in the entire world and let Sokka and Katara know that that meant it came with a lot of implications. He also informed them that if oil runs machines, then the more oil they have, the number of machines will also grow and as a result, would be part of their everyday lives. Seeing that Katara still was not convinced, Maliq mentioned that that was due to the fact that she was a bender and while she had an immense amount of power, he and the nonbender community had fallen very far behind until machines came along, claiming that machines could finally make them equal. Katara mentioned that she had never seen it that way, but Sokka understood what he meant, recalling how at the Earthen Fire Refinery, one of the two production lines used benders while the other used nonbenders. Maliq interrupted, mentioning that both were able to complete their tasks with the same efficiency; Sokka finished his sentence stating that the cause of this were the machines. Sokka asked Maliq if he had ever visited the Earthen Fire Refinery to which he responded that he had and adding that they were even partners and were relying on their construction expertise, which meant that the equipment they were using was being loaned from them.
When Toph Beifong arrived as an executive partner of the company at the South Pole, Malina formally thanked her for coming, with Maliq saluting her alongside his sister. They were told to call her by her given name, as opposed to "Ms. Beifong". Toph told Malina and Maliq that she had been looking forward to visiting them because she was a big fan of the future and from what she had heard, Maliq and his sister were all about just that. He told her about the festival that night, hosted by them in honor of their new partnership.
At the festival, Malina and Maliq made an announcement of their plans to make use of the Southern Water Tribe's natural resources and take the tribe into a brand-new era. As they invited Toph to enter the stage to say some words about their new partnership, the earthbender alarmed everyone about the rising threat from underneath the ground: Gilak and his supporters broke into the festival with a drill. The intruder claimed to have proof for Malina's and Maliq's goals of "subjugating" and "humiliating" the South. Malina admitted that "was" their plan, but it changed after they recognized to be wrong. However, Maliq spoke against the claim of his sister, telling her that he had never canceled the plans and had not destroyed the documents. He explained that the Southern Water Tribe would not have been able to deal with the oil, the "pathway to a future of equality" in his mind, and he claimed that the South would have needed the oversight of an "actual civilization", derogatorily noting the absence of a cohesive set of laws. After his actions were revealed, he was forced to leave along with the other Northern workers. However, Malina distanced herself from him and remained behind.
- Maliq is the only known member of the Water Tribe to wear eyeglasses.
- Maliq and his sister Malina are the third pair of Water Tribe siblings introduced where the sister is a waterbender and the brother is a nonbender (the first being Sokka and Katara, the second being Rafa and Misu).
- Malina (sister)
- DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Sasaki of Gurihiru (penciling, inking), Kawano of Gurihiru (colorist), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (letterer). North and South Part Two (January 25, 2017), 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). North and South Part One (September 27, 2016), 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). North and South Part Three (April 26, 2017), Dark Horse Comics.