Avatar, the Last Airbender

Avatar, the Last Airbender

North and South. Part One

Graphic Novel - 2016
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When Aang leaves to aid Zuko with the Kemurikage, Katara and Sokka return to the Southern Water Tribe by themselves. Katara is shocked to find that her beloved village has become a bustling city, with none other than their father, Hakoda, in charge! A Northerner named Malina seems to be behind this change, pushing the North and South to be more unified...but what are her true goals?
Publisher: Milwaukie, OR : Dark Horse Books, 2016
ISBN: 9781506700229
1506700225
Branch Call Number: J GN AVATAR
Characteristics: 74 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: North and south
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kaliko
Jan 30, 2019

I have to say this series is my least favourite Avatar comic so-far. I read it shortly after finishing a rewatch of Korra, so I got to compare what was started in this story to what they continued in the portrayal of the South Pole in Korra's Book Two: Spirits. Though it was neat to see that connection, otherwise this read was one-dimensionsal and anti-climatic compared to the other comics.

The main characters are principally Katara, Sokka, their father Hakoda and new characters introduced to portray the conflict.
Although we see the foundation of a potentially interesting coup d'etat, nothing comparable materializes to the Civil War drama (and attempted coup) in The Legend of Korra between her father and uncle (also North vs South). This comic's storyline is a weaker portrayal of similar sentiment, which ironically had better (untapped) potential. The underpinnings of this story featured a ripe climate in which Southerners were secretly conspiring rebellion in protest of the subtle cultural takeover from their Northern brethren. This is unlike in Korra, where the civil war was Unulak's orchestration to aid his motives regards the spirit portals. This coup against Katara and Sokka's father could have been interesting, had it seen a more climatic battle, and a more intense moral dilemma for the kids.

The different viewpoints of Sokka vs Katara regarding modernization and cultural degradation is weak again in comparison to other similar portrayals, like Aang vs. Toph in The Rift, or Ton'rak vs Unulak in Korra. It's also disappointing that Katara doesn't stand her ground earlier, but with her and Sokka having been gone so long, how much weight could they really have in the matter? The villains are unexplored and uninteresting. As far as ATLA "current affairs" goes, it doesn't feel as dramatic as Aang's plight to preserve his dying culture in the wake of globalization, for example.

All-in-all, I think this comic series like much of the comics is trying to setup the political environments that you will later see in Korra, namely Book Two:Spirits. Unfortunately that season is also the most boring season with the South Pole representation overshadowed by Varyck's movers and blasé Unulak, so perhaps the North/South thing just isn't the most interesting setting to begin with, and seems to contain the weakest side characters.

Seeing Paku and Gran-gran was cute tho!

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jul 26, 2018

The graphic novel “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is an outstanding well-produced graphic novel. This graphic novel is full of action-packed and addictive chapters, this graphic novel is honestly the best graphic novel I have ever read. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” includes 3 seasons of adventurous chapters, each one with its own unique twist. The plot of this graphic novel is amazing with two siblings finding the long-lost Avatar trapped in ice, using the avatar to defeat the fire nation and end the long cold war. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” has its own kind of animation, the animation of this graphic novel is like a mix of anime and advanced cartoon characters. The mood and emotion which this graphic novel expresses is outstanding, “Avatar: The Last Airbender” includes glimpses of every kind of emotion including shock, sadness, joy, humor and anger. I believe that this graphic novel is enjoyable for all ages, it is great to read with a family as it is quite clean and appropriate. “Avatar: The Last Airbender” is definitely the best graphic novel in existence. Rating 5/5
- @Chichiro of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

ArapahoeLaura Jul 30, 2017

These ATLA graphics are great for anyone missing the show! Lots of unanswered questions resolved, too!

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