Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang (Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino and Gurihiru)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Released: January 25th 2012
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
The war is over...but the adventure has just begun!
Picking up exactly where Avatar: The Last Airbender left off. The Promise takes Aang to a Fire Nation colony in the heart of the Earth Nation, where tensions between neighbors threaten to shatter the world's newfound peace--putting the Avatar on a collision course with one of his closest friends, Fire Lord Zuko! (from Goodreads)
I’m a huge fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender TV series (let us not speak of the travesty that was the film adaptation - I honestly couldn’t watch it) so I was excited to finally pick up The Promise, Part 1. I actually read this quite a while ago so I can’t remember entirely everything that happened, but I do remember parts and that I really enjoyed it overall. While it was shorter than I’d have liked, I am definitely looking forward to continuing the series, which I am hoping to do soon.
In regard to the art style, I can’t complain at all. It was the same as the TV show, and I always loved the TV show art, so no problems there. Still so impressed by how the facial expressions were so accurately portrayed on all the characters. Especially Zuko - that angst in the TV series was perfection.
It was great to see all my favourite characters again! Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Avatar: The Legend of Korra as well, but nothing can beat the original characters from A:TLA. Aang and Katara and the whole gang - I missed them so much! Sokka was always my favourite, his humour just cracked me up every time. I loved Toph too because she was just awesome and hilarious in a more sarcastic way, which I appreciated. And who can forget Zuko? His character development during the TV series was the best I’ve EVER seen in any TV show ever. I was so worried everything would get ruined during The Promise, Part 1, but while I still have some concerns, things didn’t turn out the way I thought they might. I really liked seeing more of Zuko and Aang as friends, and the conflict they had due to their differing opinions on what should happen now that Fire Lord Ozai had been defeated. I am really excited to pick up Part 2 (though I do sense some kind of falling out will occur, and I really hope that doesn’t last too long because I just want these guys to all be happy!).
Plot-wise, I am so intrigued to find out what happened to Zuko’s mother. Part 1 definitely kept me hooked, and the ending! Ahh! I want Part 2 right now. As this series and the subsequent sequel series have all been out for a while now, I have heard some spoilers, but I’m looking forward to finding out the exact details to put everything into context. And I think after everything Zuko has been through, he deserves some answers! The rest of the story was also great and I really enjoyed following the adventures of Team Avatar again. I loved the humour (though it wasn’t quite as funny as the TV series, which I understand would be difficult to do as the format is different) and really can’t wait to find out what happens next! I do sort of wish The Promise series could have been released originally as one bound version, because the individual parts are very short (Part 1 was only 74 pages), and it’s not the best value for money to buy them separately. I know all three parts are bound together now in a hardcover version, but that’s kind of expensive too, so it’s the same problem. But this is just a quibble about pricing because I bought this as a lowly student, and I am now a recent graduate who has yet to get a job (oh the woes of leaving education!) and not a criticism of the story itself (which I liked).
Overall, I really enjoyed The Promise, Part 1 and if you have somehow not heard of Avatar: The Last Airbender, what have you been doing with your life? Please watch the show, and then pick up this continuation series - you won’t regret it.