Happy Avatar Day!!!

THE LAST AIRBENDER: THE LEGEND OF KORRA premieres on Nickelodeon in just one hour at 11 a.m. EST.  I was lucky enough to catch the first two episodes, "A Leaf in the Wind" early.  I decided to review the new series as well as the following comic book in celebration of today!

If you missed the series, premiere, have no fear!  Nick is re-airing it several times over the next few days.  Additionally, you can find it On Demand as well as on Nick's official web site!

O P E N I N G   L I N E:


Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony.  
Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.  
Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them.  
But when the world needed him most, he vanished.  
A hundred years passed and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar, an Airbender named Aang.
Although his Airbending skills were great, he had a lot to learn before he was ready to save anyone.
But from the day I first met him, I believed Aang would save the world.
And you know what?
I was right."
(pg. 1, US e-ARC Edition)

I don't often read comic books that continue a TV series after its conclusion, though I've almost done so a couple of times with BUFFY.  When I saw THE PROMISE, PART 1 available via NetGalley along with the tag that it bridged the gap between AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER and the new series THE LEGEND OF KORRA, I figured, "Why not?"

The comic book continues right where the TV series left off.  The opening even incorporates the tagline that starts off each episode of the original series, modifying it at the end with a twist to let readers know that something new is coming.  Now that the war has ended, Avatar Aang, new Fire Lord Zuko, and the rest of the gang have the tedious task of re-building a war-torn world.  Together with Earth King Kuei, the three most powerful men in the world create The Harmony Restoration Movement.   They seek to remove the Fire Nation Colonies from the Earth Kingdom and restore everything to its former state.  While many Earth Kingdom Citizens embrace the Movement, others protest it.  For those living in the Colonies, Fire Benders and Earth Benders have come to work together over the last hundred years, and the citizens don't want their homeland torn apart.  Fire Lord Zuko retracts his support of the Movement, leaving Avatar Aang with the tough decision of who to listen to.

I loved that the art was so similar to the animated series.  It felt almost like a real, moving episode.  I also like that the series referenced things such as the whereabouts of Zuko's mother, which sounds like it will be a future comic plot.  I loved seeing Zuko's compassion and his concerns over following in his father's footsteps.  He is truly my favorite character in the entire series.  My only complaint is the fact that we get to see Aang and Katara in their new lovey-dovey (Or as Sokka says, "Oogie") state.  It was weird enough seeing them together at the end of the series, since Katara never had more than friendly feelings toward Aang, especially since she was a few years (physically) older than him, while he was still trapped in the body of a pre-teen.  It was even weirder to see them running around calling one another "Sweetie" throughout the comic.  I mean, really, couldn't they at least come up with a better word or way of showing affection?  "Sweetie this," "Sweetie that."

The comic ends on a chilling note that has me fearing for the future of Zuko, who seems about to teeter on a shaky path once again.  It will be interesting to see the way the two series are linked together through this new medium.  The second volume of THE PROMISE launches June 12th.

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The cover is pretty standard.  The artwork reminds me of the TV show's animation, which I appreciate, because it helps keep me in the story and truly feels like an addition rather than someone's fan art.  At the same time..........I love looking at beautiful, hand-illustrated artwork!  I also love scenes with a lot of stuff going on to look at.  In that sense, the design is stagnant, but it also makes sense, so I'm okay with it!

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Gene Luen Yang (Script), Gurihiru (Artist),
Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino (Creators)
Release Date: Out January 25, 2012
Publisher: Dark Horse
Received: e-ARC from Dark Horse/NetGalley


The wait is over! Ever since the conclusion of AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER, its millions of fans have been hungry for more--and it's finally here!
This series of digests rejoins Aang and friends for exciting new adventures, beginning with a faceoff against the Fire Nation that threatens to throw the world into another war, testing all of Aang's powers and ingenuity!
* The continuation of AIRBENDER and the link to its upcoming sequel, LEGEND OF KORRA!
* Written by Gene Yang, author of the National Book Award-nominated AMERICAN BORN CHINESE.


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