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Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise,…
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  BRCSBooks | Nov 8, 2013 |
This is absolutely not the place for Avatar: The Last Airbender newbies to begin. Fans of the series, though, will be thrilled to see this world and their favorite characters again. Unfortunately, this book alone isn't very satisfying.

The biggest problem with this volume is that it is very, very short. There's only enough time to show the basics of what's going on, plus a little of how the original series characters are doing, and then it's over. I'm glad I got it via interlibrary loan, because I'd have been unhappy about spending $10.99 for this.

All the original main characters are there, which is great, but there's little time to give them any depth. Toph is brash and has a metal bending school. Sokka is a joker and thinks it's icky when Katara and Aang call each other “sweetie” in front of him or, even worse, kiss. Katara can still kick butt. Aang is a happy guy who just wants to bring peace. Zuko is very serious. That's about it, as far as the characters go. Don't get me wrong, I liked seeing all the old characters (including several minor ones!), I just disliked that there wasn't enough time to do more than scratch the surface of their post-TV series lives. I hope the later volumes make up for this.

Zuko fans are offered the most in this volume, as Zuko deals with a very rocky start to his reign as Fire Lord. It seems as though nothing he does will make all his people happy, and so he finds himself unable to sleep, constantly afraid of assassination attempts and unsure of the path he should take. This is another area where I found myself annoyed with the low page count, because it seemed like Zuko went from “I don't want to be like my father” to “Father, please give me advice” awfully quickly. Yes, I know, technically that stuff is one year after the first part of the volume, but, for readers, a year of changes and upheaval is crammed into 76 pages.

All in all, while I'm happy to see the story continued, this was a little disappointing. I hope the later volumes slow the pace down a tad. The artwork, however, is very nice – all the characters are recognizable and the style is close to that of the TV show. The only thing that made me laugh a little was Aang, who seemed taller than I remember him being in the series (did he have a growth spurt?). If you like the cover of this first volume, you'll be happy to learn that it's available as a desktop wallpaper.

Additional Comment:

Even if I hadn't been a Zutara fan, I think Katara and Aang's use of the word “sweetie” would have made me cringe. They seemed to be trying a little too hard to project “we're a couple!” to everyone around them, and it didn't feel natural. Although maybe Kataang fans will feel differently?

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Sep 24, 2013 |
I am a big fan of both Avatar: TLA and Legend of Korra. In my impatience for the new books of Korra to come out, I decided to check to see if there were any print stories to continue either series. This is how I found out about the Promise. A year after the Fire Nation's attempt at world domination has been thwarted, bringing about peace and unity is not as easy as it may seem. Zuko learns that it's not all that easy to extract Fire Nation citizens from their newer home areas. And Aang is learning how to balance his life with being the Avatar.

Oh, and he and Katara are now fully an item.

I can't wait to get a hold of the rest of the books and perhaps discover how Republic City came to be. ( )
  quantumbutterfly | Jul 4, 2013 |
Why did I read the lines in their VA's voices?

Pretty good, but pretty short. At almost $10 for 76 pages, I think it could've been cheaper.

(And I hope: less oogies in part 2!) ( )
  MagicCapslock | Mar 30, 2013 |
Where I got it and why:

Although I got a review copy of this from NetGalley (thanks guys, really), I'd forgotten how much I dislike reading comic books on my computer. Besides, Avatar! So I went out and bought the thing last weekend.

Summary:

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!

Review:

It was even better than I'd hoped. A:tLA does postcolonial politics! This picks up, just as promised, directly after the series ends. (Is it a spoiler to say the good guys win? I don't think so. Besides, if you haven't watched the series yet, what are you waiting for? Go! Now!) So Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko are working on making amends for the Fire Nation's hundred-year empire-building policy, starting with getting rid of the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom. Problem is, some of those colonies have been there for a hundred years; this is their home, now. (The Fire Nation earthbender girl is absolutely my favorite new character.) But the Earth Kingdom rebels want them out yesterday. Tricky thing, politics. It isn't as easy as it looks.

The art is nice; nothing to write home about, but it looks just like the series, which is important for a graphic novel based on a cartoon. Likewise the appearances of characters who aren't Zuko: good to see them (Sifu Toph!) but they don't do anything spectacular. (Yet. There are more volumes to come.) But this is a book with an arc, and that arc belongs to Zuko, which is really only fair. Or unfair, as the case may be: poor kid did so much growing up through the series only to find that he's not done yet.

I would not say that this was a good place to start if you haven't seen the series. There's a quick intro to the backstory and all the characters get at least a drive-by mention, but if you haven't made the whole trip with everyone, you won't get the joy of screaming at the last page, "Zuko, you idiot, what are you doing?!" Which is the best part, really.

It's looking like Part II will be out just in time for my birthday in June. You know, in case you wanted to get me something.

In a Sentence:

If you're an Avatar fan, you need this comic. (If you're not, please take this opportunity to become one.) ( )
  jen.e.moore | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yang, Gene Luenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
GurihiruIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
DiMartino, Michael Dantesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Konietzko, Bryansecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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, FireLord Zuko.… (more)

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