Comic Review: Avatar TLA The Promise

 avatar promise part 3 avatar the last airbender 31080223 584 8111 Comic Review: Avatar TLA The Promise

With the release of the Promise Part 3, its time for me to give you guys my thoughts the first in what I hope is a long line of Dark Horse Avatar related comic books.

Now the first thing I should mention is that I am a huge fan of the Avatar series and I was overjoyed to see that these books would pretty much act as more seasons to the TV show, while I would have liked monthly ongoing series, the format of releasing it in 3 giant sized issues every 4 months certainly made fans like me hungry for every new part.

Now onto the book itself, it takes place a year after the end of the 100 year war, Zuko is Fire Lord, Aang and Katara have started a relationship, Toph has started her own metal bending school, Sokka is well…… doing nothing of importance at first and the overarching story deals with the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom.

Initially Aang and Zuko are more than happy to get rid of them, but Zuko soon finds out that the colonials and Earth Kingdom citizens have mixed into one people, they aren’t separate anymore and Yu Dao, the first colony is easily the most technologically advanced city in the world because of this.

Aang on the other hand is following the age old way of thinking that the nations must be separate and mixing them will only cause chaos and destruction, therefore this causes a friction with Zuko that nearly starts another war.

The parallels to our world post WW2 are used to great effect, the world cant be separate anymore, there needs to be an political organization that will unite all the people and help maintain the peace, the nationseparation has also slowed down technological advancement until the Yu Dao started combining Fire and Earth nation technology, all of this will allow the Avatar world to go from feudal Japan to the 20th century in a matter of 70 years.

What I didn’t like was that the book had way to much going on and the writer clearly forgot she didn’t need to set EVERYTHING up in this series and there is way too much going on at once because of it.

While the main conflict may seem interesting, Aang and Zuko are, kinda….. complete and utter idiots, Zuko is being manipulated by his dad while Aang is being manipulated by pretty much everyone.

This book shows me why I never particularly cared for Aang as much as I did for his supporting cast, he is still a spine less indecisive whimp who cant think for himself and lets everyone toy with his head and Katara acting like his mom, stroking his sensitive ego because clearly hes got the maturity of a 2 year old, doesn’thelp much.

The Kataang romance just doesn’t work for me and this book again proves it, Katara acts WAY to much like his mom and backs him up in every decision, she doesn’t even think to oh I dont know TELL HIM HES BEING AN IDIOT!!!!. Aang: HEY KATARA!!! IM GONNA GO BURN DOWN A VILLAGE!!! Katara: Thanks great sweety! You have fun now!

Im not even exaggerating, I hate the Kataang romance and I always thought Aang should have been withToph, some one who could get him to grow some goddamn back bone already.

Zuko kind of has a reason to listen to his dad because while Ozai was a bastard, he did know how to run a country so I could kinda buy Zuko asking him for some advice, but when Ozai pretty much warps Zuko’s way of thinking to his own, it makes both Zuko and Aang look like idiots.

Aang is again an idiot because he should have killed Ozai, the guy is a master manipulator and just taking away his power wont stop him from trying to gain control once more or for loyal nobles to come and rescue him.

There was one good part to this where we again get a parallel to Hitler and WW2, when Zuko arrives to the Yu Dao the mayor sees Zuko as a traitor for letting other nations bully him into peace, to a extent they are still loyal to Ozai despite him being a proven psychopath and sadist.

Now for the Toph metalbending school subplot, its incredibly cliche and the new characters introduced are so annoying they rival Jar Jar Binks. Time for the headcount, you got the fat guy who just says DOOM TRIPLE DOOM OUR DOOM IS DOOMED OUR DOOMS ARE GONNA BE DOOMED ON DOOMS DAY!!!

That is AAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL he says, it is so unbelievably annoying, I wanted to shove a grenade down his throat, kick his fat ass off a cliff and watch his body explode in a little tiny pieces of meat!

The little girl is a spoiled brat that just calls Sokka her boyfriend all the time and just wants shoes, more shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes and… gasp MORE SHOES!!!!

The Dark One is basically the emo guy, I first thought this guy just hates everything because hes in that phase of his life, but you learn that he hates everything because his name is terrible, then I thought there’sno way his name could be THAT bad that he would hate everything, when I heard his name……. I feel sorry for you bro.

And why is it cliche you may ask? Simple, all the students suck, a fire bending master challenges her schoolto a duel, the students still suck, Toph has a hear warming (not really) talk with Sokka and on the day of the battle they can magically metal bend, yes that is the whole story, its that cliche.

In subplot number 19, Aang and Katara find a group of fanboys/girls that dress up and act as Air Nomads, they cant bend air but by the end Aang turns this fan club into the Air Acolytes, a group of people who will live in the tradition of the Air Nomads and continue their teachings.

Cool thing to add, but they dont add anything and since Tenzin and his kids are the only Air Nomads…. whats the point of these Acolytes again? You barely even see them in Korra and I didn’t even know they were there until I read it on the Avatar Wiki.

But! The number one issues I have with this book and its the same reason I dont like AvX is that the conflict is so simple to solve and when it takes them all of this crap to figure it out, every single character looks like an idiot for not thinking of it solution sooner.


This book is enjoyable if you turn your brain off, but if you put even the slightest bit of thought into it, it just falls apart and it doesn’t even answer the greatest question from the last series, what happened to Zuko’smom?

It isn’t a spoiler for me to say, because its already been announced, early next year a new series The Search will begin and it will follow Zuko and Azula as they look for their mother, thank god!

Now that we can focus just on these two, maybe we can get a story that feels stronger, isn’t so disjointed and a book that wont suffer because of 20 billion mediocre subplots.

What was good in this book? The art style is fantastic and this feels like the show in comic book form, everyone looks great, with the exception of Katar who I personally think looked best in Book 3, now she has the hair of her fire nation disguise, it looks good but doesn’t fit with her water tribe clothes.

The writer perfectly captures the spirit of the characters and he has a great voice for them all, especiallySokka and Toph who had some pretty funny lines in the trilogy, I just wish he could have fixed some broken characters like Aang to make me like them more, didn’t happen.

So while I have teared this book down, its not terrible, it just has so many mediocre subplots that didn’t need to be in it, especially since Dark Horse has the licence to Avatar comics so they could have done all of that in short bursts instead of shoving it all into this trilogy.

The characters I still like I like more, those I hate I hate more, so overall, the book is a mixed bag, its not great but its not bad either, its just…… meh.


pixel Comic Review: Avatar TLA The Promise

More fun articles: