It would be a massive understatement for me to say that I am a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I absolutely adore this television series. From the very first episode, this show has captured my interest completely. Avatar effortlessly weaves together deep, political storylines with lighthearted comedy and pulse-pounding action. Each episode serves to further build upon the intricate (and often bizarre) world that these characters inhabit while still managing to give us plentiful character development and laughs along the way. With its large and interesting cast of characters and the voice talents of Dante Basco, Mako Iwamatsu, and Mark Hamill, this show simply can do no wrong.
As the series reached its third and final season, fans were treated to some of the best episodes in the history of animated television. The epic conclusion to Avatar is a benchmark that I hold for every single animated series and I have yet to find another finale that even comes close to it. However, when the series came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel sad. I wanted more adventures with Aang and his friends. I wanted to see more martial arts and interesting characters. I wanted more of this show that I spent countless hours watching.
When the live action movie came out, I lost hope of Avatar ever returning. The movie was so horrible and so damaging to the reputation of the initial television series that I feared I would never see any of my beloved characters ever again. That was until I got a sneak peek at the Avatar: The Last Airbender comic book.
First of all, the artwork is amazing. Each panel looks as if it were ripped from an episode of the show. Character designs and environments retain the look of the original series but are drawn with much more detail than I remember. The inking and coloring are spot on and give a stylish new look to familiar faces. Everything about this art style completely works and I commend the art team for their brilliant efforts.
Each character in the comic is represented accurately. Aang is optimistic and cheerful, Toph is laid back and carefree, Katara is the voice of reason, and Sokka is the comic relief. These are the characters that I know and love. The comic manages to include many familiar faces from the series; including Mai, Ty Lee, the Kyoshi Warriors, Avatar Roku, and even the Freedom Fighters; and each character is treated with dignity.
The story itself is the best part of the comic, continuing where the television series left off. At the end of the series, Aang has defeated Fire Lord Ozai and it seems like peace has finally come to the four nations. However, we soon see that not everybody is happy with the new leaders. Zuko is still seen as a traitor by many people in the Fire Nation and many of the old fire colonies are not welcoming the Avatar with open arms. There is still a lot of work to be done before the world can live in peace.
In addition to the turmoil in the Fire Colonies, Zuko is still waging war with his inner demons. He is struggling to be a righteous leader but it isn’t an easy job. There are many problems for Zuko to face and many mysteries for him to solve. What did happen to Zuko’s mother? How can Zuko get rid of the colonies without angering his people? It seems as if his challenges are only just beginning.
I have waited for a long time for the return of Avatar: The Last Airbender. While the sequel series (The Legend Of Korra) will be releasing soon, this comic makes the wait so much easier. If you are a fan of Avatar, I highly recommend you check out this comic. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Volume 1 will be released on January 25th. You can pre-order a digital copy at Darkhorse.com or simply pick it up at your local comic store.
I’m Zenithwillrule and I’ll see you in my next comic review.