Authors: Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Released: February 19th, 2013
Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise is the first full-length graphic novel to come from the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. After the popularity bump that came when Avatar: The Last Airbender moved to Netflix, now seemed like the perfect time to dive into the comics that I’ve neglected for so long.
The Promise is set almost directly after the animated series came to a close. The war has only just ended, but there are still so many things that require resolution. That is the focus of this particular series.
The Earth Kingdom and the Fire Nation are still on rough terms, made all the more complicated by the fact that the Fire Nation can’t simply pick up and leave the Earth Nation. Not without tearing families apart, at any rate.
The Promise is a rich and intense read, showcasing all of the characters that we’ve come to love over the years – and the struggles they still face. As it turns out, ending the war was really only the first step in a long journey towards peace.
This graphic novel did an excellent job of showing all of the dilemmas that would rise after the conclusion of the Hundred Years War. After all, a hundred years is plenty of time for alliances and friendship to form, and families to be born. It isn’t so easy to untangle them.
I really love that the series worked so hard to show how difficult it would have been, not just on all the affected families and individuals, but on Aang and Zuko as well. Promises were made, and keeping them is far from easy.
Likewise, I’m thrilled that the series seems to be going back and answering a lot of the questions fans still had towards the end of the series. Not all of the questions have been answered, not yet any way. But I have hope that future plots will do exactly that.