Author: Gene Luen Yang
The war is over…but the adventure has just begun!
Part One – Picking up exactly where Avatar: The Last Airbender left off, The Promise takes Aang to a Fire Nation colony in the heart of the Earth Nation, where tensions between neighbors threaten to shatter the world’s newfound peace—putting the Avatar on a collision course with one of his closest friends, Fire Lord Zuko!
Part Two – Aang and Katara work tirelessly to prevent a dispute between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei that could plunge the world back into war! Meanwhile, Sokka helps Toph prepare her hapless first class of metalbending students to defend their school against a rival class of firebenders!
Part Three – The Harmony Restoration Movement has failed, and the world is plunged back into war! In the midst of the battle, can Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko mend the rift between them, or will Aang be forced to take actions that can’t be undone?
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The Promise is the first set of Avatar: The Last Air Bender comics that take place where the TV series left off. This adventure was released in three parts that can all be read as a series or in one central hardcover. As a huge fan of the series, I was curious if the characters and plots would have the same vibe as the TV show had some very epic moments. The first thing that is noticeable is that the animation style carried over nicely from the TV series to the printed comics, so visually it was off to an amazing start. This series begins with the lingering effects from the long war and the heavier theme of colonialism. The Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom have lived together for years after the Fire Nation invaded. While it may appear that the best solution is to re-separate them, it is easier said than done as the two nations have integrated together.
The story is divided up into the three parts, where the first one focuses on the Harmony Restoration Movement. Here Fire Lord Zuko visits the Earth Kingdom and sees the tensions that still exist from the war. Zuko’s struggle with his new role made sense with his character and his fear that he may become his father was also believed; however, I do not understand the agreement between him and Aang. This did not make sense with Aang’s character as there is nothing in his character to agree to it. As for Aang and Katara, their use of the term “sweetie” with each other seemed both overused and out of character for them. Based on the series, there were no indicators that either would use the term repeatedly with each other, so, for me, it made no sense. As Aang and Katara act romantic with each other, another overused phrase is “oogie(s)” with Sokka and his reaction to them. The final overused expression was “lily livers” with Toph. It was unfortunate that these phrases were used what seemed like every other phrase
Toph’s story involves her opening her own metal-bending school, which, for me, made zero sense as a career path for her character. Her teaching methods and other traits were all consistent, but I never saw this as a remote possibility as something she would open. As for Sokka, he was great as he still serves, somewhat, as some nice comic relief while still having a lot of depth to his character. There are tons of secondary characters, such as Suki, Azula, etc. that are all still fun to read about and I loved seeing them. Essentially, the entire cast of characters have an amazing nostalgia factor whether I am interacting with them either on screen or on the page is amazing. This read like a fourth chapter of the series where I loved the continuity where the events all made sense overall, even if I did not like some of the details. I loved returning to this series, and I cannot wait to start The Search!