Despite saving the world, young Avatar Aang finds trouble in a Fire-Nation Colony who has mixed quite successfully with Earth Kingdom locals. Believing they must separate, Aang accidentally triggers what could be another war between nations. He also breaks his connection with the past avatars, realising that the world must change and the elements can live together in harmony, much like his relationship with Katarra, a water bender. Fire Lord Zuko made Aang promise to destroy him if he ended up like his tyrant father, Ozai, and the novel deals with Aang breaking this promise and going against all he believes to save the world once more.
I really, really miss this show so much. Avatar: The Last Airbender was wonderful, full of heart and hilarious as well as having an intriguing story. Reading The Promise immediately transported me back to the bright a colourful world of The Last Airbender and its Asiatic influences. Indeed, it felt as if I was stepping straight back into the show: the writing is so well done that you can hear the character’s voices as you read, and the way they are illustrated is in perfect keeping with the TV series, not forgetting how they changed and developed as well as changing on their own in this new volume.
Despite The Promise being a nostalgia ride, it also had a lot of wonderful hints of how the world is soon to change – the whole premise of the story sets up perfectly the world seen in The Legend of Korra, with a blend of technology and culture that makes Korra so unique. In fact, The Promise acts so well as a bridge in between the shows that the story and the way it plays out is completely believable, providing a natural development to the show and characters.
Worth a read?
I was very impressed indeed by the way things were drawn in the comic, especially action. Hard as it seems to convey movement – especially that of the bender’s abilities – on the page may seem impossible but the artists have achieved it magnificently, with subtle lines and well researched poses and colourings which overall add to the effect. The writers stay true to the characters I fell in love with in the television series and I laughed out loud several times and also had several fan-girl moments. The sub-plots were interesting and fun and even though there were a few things thrown in all too conveniently at the end the main story worked and worked as a new chapter in the tale of Aang’s life. The most impressive part of the book was the way it was all being set up for the new series, showing how the world was changing.
I am a lover of this show and its offshoots, but by all means you do not have to know anything about it: it is a wonderful, heart-felt comic that is unequivocally enjoyable.
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise is available now. The author owns their own copy.