Tuesday, December 31, 2013

[BOOK REVIEW] Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang

Title:  Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise Part 1

Author:  Gene Luen Yang

Artist:  Gurihiru

Genre: Comedy / Action / Adventure / TV series

Year Published: 2012

Year Read: 2013

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Source:  Purchased

Content Rating:  Ages 8+ (Fight Scenes)


Now, I am a huge fan of the “Avatar: The Last Airbender” TV series and when I heard that there was going to be a comic book series that would continue from where the TV series last ended, I was so excited that I had to pick up this series!  “Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise Part One” continues from where the TV series ended its run and I have to admit that this was a brilliant continuation of the world-acclaimed TV series!

What is this story about?

After the events of “Avatar the Last Airbender” where Aang finally defeats Fire Lord Ozai and brings peace to the world, Aang along with the new Fire Lord, Prince Zuko, try to bring peace to the world by establishing the Harmony Restoration Movement.  Unfortunately, when Zuko goes to visit the Earth Nation, he realizes that there are still tensions from the Fire Nation’s takeover and this might put his friendship with Aang to the test. What’s even worse is that before all this, Zuko asked Aang to kill him if he starts acting like his father and Aang is unsure of doing this, since he is a peaceful person who does not like to kill anyone. 

Will Aang go through with his promise to kill Zuko if he starts acting like his father?

Read this volume to find out!

What I loved about this story:

Gene Luen Yang’s writing: I never would have thought that I see the day that there would be a comic book adaptation of “Avatar the Last Airbender” and manages to stick faithfully to the spirit of the TV series (unlike a certain movie adaptation of the TV series).  Gene Luen Yang’s writing is both intense and hilarious at the same time and it brilliantly captures the spirit of the TV series!  I loved the way that Gene Luen Yang wrote each character as they remain faithful to their TV counterparts, such as Sokka still being the comic relief of the group, Aang still retaining his peaceful and child like nature and Zuko still being the troubled son of the former Fire Lord.  I loved the way that Gene Luen Yang added more character development to Zuko’s character as now we are seeing that Zuko is worried about becoming just like his father and is also trying to handle the duties of being the new Fire Lord. It really added so much drama and tension to Zuko’s character as we find ourselves wondering whether or not Zuko will become like his father and how he would handle the duties of being the Fire Lord without resorting to the same tyrannical tendencies of his father.  I also loved the way that Gene Luen Yang made the stories flow so well with the events that happened in the TV series as it felt like I was watching another episode of “Avatar the Last Airbender” (or in this case, the fourth season that never came) and it makes me feel so delighted to see more development from each of these characters!

Gurihiru’s artwork:  Gurihiru’s artwork brilliantly captured the designs of the characters from the TV series such as Katara still having her long brown hair and large blue eyes and Aang still having his large blue and innocent eyes, while his bald head still contains the famous blue arrow tattooed on his head.  I also loved the way that Gurihiru drew the characters’ clothing and the world they live in as it brilliantly reflects the culture of Asia, making the world truly exotic!

Final Thoughts:

Overall, “Avatar the Last Airbender: The Promise Part One” is a brilliant volume that superbly reenact the world-acclaim TV series and I am definitely looking forward to reading the second part of this series pretty soon!

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