|"Seeing those young crooks really gives me hope for the future."|
|— Shady Shin.|
"Shady" Shin is a Triple Threat Triad recruiter based in Republic City. Shin often recruits members for the gang in order to prepare for turf wars with other gangs. He lost his waterbending abilities during Amon's "Revelation", becoming the second victim of bloodbending-based bending removal.
Shady Shin recruited the young orphans Mako and Bolin to run numbers for the Triple Threat Triad after having found them on the street. One day in 167 AG, the mobster bribed the pro-bender Toza, captain of the Black Quarry Boar-q-pines, with ten thousand yuans to throw the pro-bending match that night and let the opposing team win. When Toza left sullenly without responding after taking the money, Shin angrily exclaimed, "You're welcome!". He turned to Mako and Bolin, who had witnessed the scene, and commented on how ungrateful Toza had been. After he overheard Mako talking about "hustling", the mobster ordered the siblings to collect bets for that match, warning them that he would leave them back out on the streets if they failed to do so. As Shin watched the brothers leave, he smiled and commented on how the two "young crooks" gave him hope for the future.
The evening of the pro-bending match, Shady Shin attended with Bolin, Mako, and Lightning Bolt Zolt. He smirked as Toza was the last one standing and was pushed to the edge, preparing for a significant payday. However, Toza fought back and pulled a hat trick victory, angering the mobster. Bolin excitedly declared that it had been he who had convinced Toza not to throw the match, momentarily forgetting that Shady Shin was within earshot. Shin became furious and chased Bolin and Mako into a training room in the Pro-bending Arena. Shady Shin was joined by two other gangsters and he began to fight Mako and Bolin. The brothers were subsequently joined by Toza, but the fight was abruptly stopped by Zolt, who said that it was undignified of Shady Shin to be fighting with children.
Shady Shin was still angry, though, and told the brothers to come with him, and added in a menacing tone that they were going to "talk about this when [they] got back to the hideout". However, Toza offered to take Mako and Bolin under his wing. Shady Shin said he thought Mako was at least smart enough to come back with the triads, and to know what would be best for Bolin. However, Mako declined and decided to stay with Toza, because he believed it to be the best option for Bolin and himself, thus breaking off the brothers' connection with the Triple Threat Triad and Shady Shin. The recruiter and his boss left thereafter, but not before Shin told the brothers that perhaps they could "fix a fight together" some time in the future.
Years later, in autumn 170 AG, as Bolin was attempting to earn money for his team's pro-bending expenses by having Pabu perform tricks at Central City Station, rather by chance Shady Shin passed by in his red Satomobile and congratulated Bolin on his rise as a "big time pro-bending player". Embarrassed, Bolin thanked him for the compliment; however, Shin tried to recruit him to do some "security work" for the Triple Threat Triad. The recruiter did this, unknown to the pro-bender, to prepare for a turf war. Despite Bolin's initial hesitation, due to Mako's warning to stay away from the Triple Threat Triad, Shin managed to easily persuade him by offering him a substantial amount of yuans for the job and even flaunted his wealth by dropping a large wad of cash in front of Bolin. The two took off to the Triple Threat Triad headquarters, where they were eventually kidnapped by the Equalists.
At the Equalists' assembly the next evening, Shady Shin was brought to the stage along with Lightning Bolt Zolt, Bolin, and two other bending mobsters to serve as Amon's demonstration as to what he was going to do to the benders of the world.
Shin witnessed how Amon took the bending of his boss and was the second bender to be given the opportunity to fight Amon to keep his ability to bend. The Triple Threat Triad recruiter knew that he was no match for someone who defeated even Lightning Bolt Zolt with ease, but he did not resist when he was released by an Equalist. Instead, he threw a hopeful look at his fellow benders and gave a strained grin. However, immediately when the others looked away from him, his facial expression changed completely into fear. When the Equalist kicked him forward to Amon, he cried "No!", but forcedly faced the Equalist leader. Just as Zolt before him, he was unable to defeat Amon and his bending was removed under the cheers of the Equalist crowd.
Even after losing his bending, Shady Shin remained a part of the Triple Threat Triad. He was present at a meeting between his new boss, Viper, and Mako and Asami, who wanted to hire the Triple Threats as guards on a sting operation in 171 AG. When Mako offered to persuade Korra into giving Shin's bending back as a form of payment of the triad's services, Shin was quick to accept, though silenced himself upon a look of his boss. Viper accepted the deal nonetheless, and as such, Shin and some other men traveled aboard one of Varrick Global Industries' ships. However, as time passed uneventfully, Shin grew restless as he had a date that same evening. Viper stated that he would just have to exert patience, and assured him that it would only take a couple of hours, as they were merely there to occupy the two teenagers. When the two members of Team Avatar made a break for it, Shin piloted one of the speedboats in pursuit of the duo, maneuvering Viper, who was his passenger, close enough to be able to launch waterbending attacks at them. He eventually managed to cut Asami's boat off and trap the vehicle underneath his. However, his plan on driving her onto the shore backfired when she backed away from him at the last moment, causing him to crash instead.
In the chaotic aftermath of the failed invasion of the United Republic of Nations, Shin pleged loyalty to the new leader of the Triple Threat Triad, Tokuga, when the latter overthrew and murdered Viper. In the next weeks, the triad was involved in a series of turf wars as well as schemes relating to the new spirit portal in Republic City. One night, Shin and several other triad members were playing poker at one of their hideouts, discussing how Tokuga had been recently disfigured by a hostile spirit. As Zhen began criticising Tokuga's leadership style, Shin attempted to defend their leader. He argued that the boss was planning something big, but Zhen countered that Tokuga had so far proven to be secretive, egotistical and untrustworthy. Shin reasoned that Viper had vouched for Tokuga, prompting Zhen to remind everyone that the latter had answered this trust with betrayal and murder.
Shin found no way to argue against this charge, but at that moment Tokuga entered the room. Having overheard the discussion, he brutally subdued Zhen, and began to explain his plans to take control of Republic City. Shin remained sceptical, and asked how they were supposed to accomplish this. Tokuga responded by relating that he had taken control of Keum Enterprises' assets and located lightly guarded weaponry which had belonged to the defeated Earth Empire. Convinced that the boss' plans were doable, and frightened into submission, Shin and the other triad members agreed to obey his orders.
Later on, the Triple Threats inflitrated a compound outside Republic City, capturing much ex-Earth Empire military hardware. Shin took a mecha suit for himself, greatly enjoying its poweress as they battled newly arrived police forces. After being stopped for a short time by Avatar Korra whom Tokuga managed to blackmail, the triad proceeded to march against Republic City. Shin and his comrades consequently ousted rival triads from the city, terrorized the population, and attempted to blackmail the United Republic's leadership. In the end, however, their takeover was foiled by Team Avatar and its allies.
Shin is a very manipulative and self-confident person. He analyzes suitable conscripts in order to recognize what they want and what they fear. Using this knowledge, he can recruit them with ease. In doing so, he always acts like the romanticized version of a criminal: strong, free, and cool. In this way, he can fake good will, or cause admiration, both of which assist him in hiring his targets.
However, his behavior is not completely an act. During the Equalists' assembly, he still grinned, strained against his captors, and acted strong to raise the morale of the other desperate benders, proving to have a strong will despite the hopeless situation. This action also reflects the fact that while he is too proud to show weakness, he also has a close relationship with his fellow triad members. This is also evidenced by his hateful look toward Amon when the Equalist leader took Zolt's bending.
Shady Shin had an ambivalent relationship with Mako and Bolin. On the one hand, he seems to have been favorable to them, trying to manipulate them to remain aligned with the Triple Threat Triad multiple times. On the other hand, he made clear that any failure on their part would result in grim reverberations, and after Toza won the match, he seemed willing to murder them, only to later try to manipulate Mako psychologically to forsake Toza's offer.
He is also a bit vain, having a whole routine of proper grooming when preparing for a date, always wanting to look his best.
- Shady Shin drives a red Satomobile sports model.
- The Republic City Police has a mugshot image of Shady Shin in a photobook.
- Shady Shin taught Bolin a more fast-paced, "street version" of Pai Sho.