Authors: Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko
Publisher: Dark Horse Books
Released: October 4th, 2016
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow is the fourth plot arc to stem from the animated series fans have fallen so in love with. After the popularity bump that came when Avatar: The Last Airbender moved to Netflix, I was inspired to read through as much of the comics as possible. So far, it’s been absolutely worth it!
This one is set following all the other graphic novel adventures, unsurprisingly, though it does bring us back to the Fire Nation once again. The Fire Nation may have been defeated, but their spirit is still very strong.
As it turns out, not everyone is pleased with the idea of Zuko taking command. Especially now that he’s trying so hard to make peace with the other nations – sometimes at the cost of the Fire Nation. Thus, the events of Smoke and Shadows is born.
Smoke and Shadow was a fascinating tale, from start to finish. I loved seeing more about Zuko and his life, following the end of the war. He’s still very much a young man struggling to find his way, and that shines through here.
Honestly, part of me really wishes that this one could have been a movie addition to the series, as I think it would have benefited the fans. It once again helps to bridge that gap between the conclusion of The Last Airbender, and the start of The Legend of Korra.
It also gave more screentime to Zuko and Azula, something that I’m never going to complain about. So I might be slightly biased on that front! Still, it was a great read, and one that I recommend to any Avatar fan out there.
Once again, Gurihiru didn’t disappoint on the artwork front. The characters look exactly how I remembered them, just slightly transformed for the sake of fitting into a comic series. The colors are bright, and remind me so much of the series I loved.