Avatar Last Airbender Part 2 – Cover by Gurihiru Created by Brian Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino Written by Gene Luan Yang Illustrated by Gurihiru Letters by Michael Heisler
After attempting to kidnap Katara and Sokka, the Southern Gilak leaves a haunting note for Hakoda: “You’ll soon see the truth, Chief.” The promise leaves everyone on edge – including Katara, who remains wary of the two clans coming together. When the northern Melina announces a partnership with the company owned by Toph Bipong’s father, her own brother arrives with a revelation that shocks everyone. Were Katara’s worst fears confirmed?
Avatar Last Airbender Part 2
Mark Twiddle: It’s a funny thing to say about a comic called “Avatar,” but I really enjoyed not having the Avatar around. That’s not to say I don’t like Aang – quite the opposite actually – but I do like that the series takes some time to explore other characters. In this case, it’s mostly Katara, which is especially important because it’s interesting to see what she’s like when Aang isn’t around now that they’re a couple.
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The thing is, as good as Katara looks on the surface or first impression, she’s actually pretty protected. Katara is often in a state of conflict with herself, which I think creates more layered interactions with the central conflict. I love the fire that burns in it.
This is just my convoluted way of saying that I’ve really missed Katara-centric stories, so “North and South” is welcome. This makes this bow extremely comfortable for me.
Paul Lai: I have to admit that I’m looking for reasons to dislike this arc, just for the silly reason that no reviewer worth his salt likes any part of a series, especially one that’s a cartoonish extension of such a license. . If I had to come up with such a reason, it might be that Aang is the heart of the show’s appeal for me, and his absence for too long leaves me wanting. But Jin Luan Yang and Gorihiro understand how a good cast requires a rotating spotlight along with ongoing maintenance of character progression. Call me a broken record: it works well for me and I am once again captivated by the story.
Katara always seemed more dignified than gentle to me. I read the caution you indicate as a sign of her maturity. In this case, being mature means seeing many sides of increasingly partisan conflicts, getting in touch with what makes her uncomfortable and questioning it. I agree: I’ve always liked the character and she just grows on me more over time. Her development as she takes center stage in North and South, with Aang hidden away, gives those qualities time to shine. Without spoiling too much, fans who may be lukewarm on the Katara-Suka story needn’t stay away, however, as Avatar’s creators continue to reliably reintroduce our other heroes at the right time.
Avatar: The Last Airbender S01e19&20, S02e01
Another achievement in my eyes is how believably Yang and Gorihiro build from the “Avatar” world to the future we will meet in “Legend of Korra”. Various elements of social and technological development are essential to the plot here – industrial technology and machinery, modern political hierarchies (and their organized opponents), and cultural changes among several groups of people. An unexpected joy in reading this series continues to be how cleverly it builds the world between the “Avatar” and “Kora” eras.
Mark: Technology was one of the things I ran into in the last issue. I mean, the Southern Water Tribe is far from a hotbed of progress, and even the Northern Water Tribe isn’t that technologically advanced, but there was a very good reason for that. It’s nice to know that such details are thought of.
Back to the characters, while I enjoyed Katara, I wish I had a little more of Sokka. We see a lot of the wise-cracking, meat-loving Sokka that everyone remembers from the show, but there’s more to it than that, and I feel like it’s one of those stories that needs to be explored in other ways. Given the turn this issue is taking, I hope the next issue brings out the problem-solving and protective sides of his character.
Paul: You’re right. Sokka is only used here as a joking, combative device. Did Yang and Gorihiro really explore these layers in any of their previous four trilogies?
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Mark: You can see a little bit of that in The Quest, especially when Sokka talks about his relationship with Katara. This is actually one of my favorite moments that Yang wrote for Sokka.
Paul: I remember that, yes! This was another example of how I felt Yang really captured the various elements that made the original animated series so perfect. And somehow not only repeating them, but re-implementing them in an authentic way.
I enjoy how “North and South” continues to make the personal characteristics of Sokka and Katara and the nature of the Water Tribe in general more complex. The central conflict of the story, where a simple and rooted culture meets contradiction and betrayal from the forces of “progress” or “development”, feels like it brings great ambivalence to the water tribe, its values and character. . It seems like a deep well of possibilities for the characters we care about. So I agree, there is a real opportunity here for Sokka in the third act to reach levels that we still don’t really see here, how he deals with the apparent aggression of the Northern Water Tribe, how he deals with his father’s romantic relationship, and perhaps most importantly, how he deals with the tensions The various internals that Katara has to deal with.
Mark: I actually enjoyed the way he deals with his father’s romance. This is one of the areas where Sokka is actually more mature than Katara.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Movie Will Follow The Original Gang As Adults
The last half of this issue was a bit weird for me. It wasn’t bad, but there was a feeling that the story dragged. I’m talking about the damage of the coda specifically. It was a good scene, but after I finished reading the book, I couldn’t help but feel that I wished he had died there.
I know i know It’s a terrible thing to wish upon characters, but the way things escalated until Katara’s arms were blocked in chi and unable to bend, it seemed like that’s where she was headed.
Thinking about it later, the reason I wanted Akuda to die was because death was always a part of the TV series. They always handled it very maturely. And I think it was a powerful way to push Sokka and Katara emotionally, especially since Aang came back. He has a way of grounding Katara, but I don’t think he’d be able to help her deal with it that easily if Koda was dead.
Paul: Such good points, Mark. Undeniably, the series has always managed to be remarkably sophisticated without seeming “adult” in the typical sense, including how death is a real ghost provider and darkness a real possibility. I feel like having Malick take on the evil intentions of the North, while Melina playing an “innocent” colonization drive is another way the comics are pulling their punches, as you say. You have a near death, but don’t cross that bridge. He has a sneaky betrayal, but she has an evil face and another innocent one. I agree that trusting them to deal with death in code or a more ambiguous morality would give the readers a lot of credit.
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Mark: That’s a good point about the colonization of the South. I think it was still possible to play Melina as innocent while showing colonial paternalism – ‘the south is ignorant, they can’t take care of themselves, it’s for their own good’.
But this story is not over. The works are definitely still in motion. I could easily see Sokka losing his mind in the third issue. After all, Sokka was always very protective of his friends and family. I could easily see his rage at the attempt on his father’s life drowning out his intelligence.
Paul: Yes, you’re right. I’m not ready to make any judgments yet as the pieces are set for the final third (convincingly, I might add). Meanwhile, can I just say that I love that what makes our heroes heroic in this story is that while the North and the South are separated, they stand between them? It’s unpleasant, but they can tear up and try to reconcile while the people around them become partisan and jingoistically obnoxious.
We have yet to see how what might be a rapprochement of sorts turns out, the tribes squabbling over this argument with many thorny and eternal analogues in real life. And we still haven’t seen how the various characters that Yang and Gorihiro have successfully turned into both archetypes and endearing, human characters have reacted to everything.
Avatar: The Last Airbender The Promise Part 2 Hits #1 On Charts! :: Blog :: Dark Horse Comics
But again, I’m impressed with how cleverly and entertainingly the team continues to mine the Avatar mythos for great stories that are interesting, relevant and fun. They’ve made the series too good to wait for the fancy hardcovers for me, and I’m afraid so
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