Home > Comic Reviews, Reviews > Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1
Created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, Scripted by Gene Luen Yang, Art by Gurihiru
Dark Horse Comics, 80 pp
Rating: 10 +

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1 comes to us courtesy of Avatar co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, with co-writer Gene Luen Yang, creator of American Born Chinese and artwork from Gurihiru. This comic is set shortly after the end of the original Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series and continues the stories of Aang, Zuko and the rest of the cast as they attempt to rebuild the world following the TV series conclusion. Unfortunately things aren’t quite as clear cut as they had hoped and our heroes quickly find themselves butting heads with each other, old allies and new enemies alike.

The series is the next logical step with regards to the TV series plot line. Yes, the big bad is defeated and it’s time to rebuild but 100 years of war and death tends to leave an impression. You have people who are very unhappy with the Fire Nation still and looking for justice and revenge. The primary issue in this volume is Aang and Zuko’s attempts to put an end to the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom, the realm which suffered the most from the war with the Fire Nation. Unfortunately after a century of occupation things aren’t as clear cut as our heroes might like. In some cases Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom families are entwined, making separation rather difficult, to say nothing of the Fire Nation citizens who were born, raised and never knew any other home other than those of the colonies. It’s from these issues that the conflict and story is built. The story manages to move the plot forward in a completely logical manner and also manages to maintain many of the characters and their personalities from the original TV series.

Visually the book is fantastic. Gurihiru does a bang up job of aping the TV series visual style, even nailing some of the movements used in bending. The fight scene’s are short and few but they’re crisp and resemble those from the TV series. The cast of characters all look like their TV counterparts with costuming, facial expressions and more all being true to the source material. The few new characters who are introduced also fit seamlessly into the world and look like something you’d expect to see in the cartoon. All in all, it’s a fine looking book!

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about how this would turn out. Dark Horse has done continuations of fan favorite TV shows before with mixed results, but I’m glad to say that Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise is a solid addition to the Avatar mythos. It looks and feels like an extension to the original series while taking the story in a new direction without feeling untrue or radically different from the source material. From what I understand the series is slated to run about 5 volumes and frankly, if they’re able to continuously deliver this level of quality then I’ll be on board for all of them!

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1 is available now from Dark Horse Comics.

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