Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise, a Review

Avatar: The Last Airbender is probably one of the finest cartoons ever created.  The show was smart, beautifully illustrated, funny, and it told a heck of a story.  Aang, the fledgling avatar, is learning what it means to be the Avatar.  The world is a harsh place and war is continual.  After the series concluded there were a few plot pieces left to be fleshed out.  Additionally, Nickelodeon announced a sequel (The Legend of Korra) to the show that took place about a century later.

The Promise begins shortly after the conclusion of Season 3 of The Last Airbender.  Zuko is Fire Lord now, and he’s concerned about following down his father’s path.  Zuko and Aang meet and Zuko extracts a promise from Aang, that if ever he does act like his exiled father then would Aang kill him before he does something terrible.  This is the crux of The Promise.  While the world is at relative peace, there is conflict still.  What is the price of harmony?  When a city is inhabited by both Fire Nation citizens and Earth Nation citizens how can there be peace?

Aang and Co. wrestle with these questions.  The comic reads exactly like an episode of the series, light-hearted but serious.  Aang and Katara develop their relationship that was just budding in the show; Sokka wise-cracks to a few literal laugh aloud moments; Toph teaches a trio of inept students the art of metal-bending.  Momo and Appa weren’t too visible throughout the story, but other familiar characters returned.

The Promise offers everything an Avatar fan wants.  I have not watched The Legend of Korra, but I imagine the plot and conclusion to The Promise plays nicely into the show.  The ARC I received is a collection of all three parts to The Promise combined in a single book with commentary on the side panels.  Various contributors offered insight to why certain scenes look the way they do, going into Chinese history and folklore, etc.  This commentary was pretty interesting and definitely would be appealing for people wanting to go deeper into the Avatar mythos.

Overall The Promise was a quick, fun, and intelligent read.  Reading was a cinematic experience, one that drew me back into Aang’s world.  For fans of the television series, I definitely recommend reading The Promise.  I look forward to exploring these characters in future adventures. 

FTC Thingy: I received this book as a digital ARC through NetGalley's book reviewer program.  They didn't give me anything other than the digital book and I was not obligated to review this.  


Jonboy said...

Sounds great! Love that series.

logankstewart said...

Pretty fun book, and a quick read. Give it a shot if you ever see it around.