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Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise, Part 1 Paperback – January 24, 2012

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About the Author

Gene Luen Yang began drawing comic books in the fifth grade. In 1997, he received a Xeric Grant for Gordon Yamamoto and the King of the Geeks, his first comics work. He has since written and drawn a number of titles, including Level Up and Prime BabyAmerican Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. He also won an Eisner for The Eternal Smile, a collaboration with Derek Kirk Kim.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Books; First Edition edition (January 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595828117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595828118
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gene Luen Yang began making comic books in the fifth grade. He has since written and drawn a number of titles. His 2006 book American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award. It also won an Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album - New. His 2013 two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints was nominated for the National Book Award and won the LA Times Book Prize. Gene currently writes Dark Horse Comics' Avatar: The Last Airbender series and DC Comics' Superman. The first volume of Secret Coders, his middle-grade graphic novel series about computer coding, illustrated by Mike Holmes, will be available September 2015.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 63 people found the following review helpful By BlueFairy on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
FYI: I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley for purposes of review. (I read that one, and then went out the day it arrived in stores, bought a hard copy and read it again.)

Premise: The war is over, but bringing peace to the Four Nations isn't as simple as winning a battle. This is the continuing story of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I LOVE THIS. I loved this to pieces. This made me laugh and gasp and cry aloud. I love these characters, and this is completely in tone with the series: funny and sweet and heartbreaking.

It even starts by devoting three pages to the voiceover that opened every episode of the series, so it dropped me immediately into the right mindset for this world. I can hear the voice actors in my head. If you haven't seen Avatar: The Last Airbender, GO DO THAT. And then when you get to the end and want more, you're in luck!

The Promise interweaves some of the character moments we saw at the end of the last episode into the start of a new story, in which Zuko and Aang struggle with the Fire Nation colonies that were established in the Earth Kingdom during the war. It becomes a difficult question: what is the best thing to do, for those people who live there and for the Nations as a whole? How long have they been there? Are they Fire Nation citizens? Earth Kingdom citizens? What about the Earth Kingdom people who are angry, who lost people in the war, who want every Firebender gone? There are no easy answers for the characters.

There are plenty of great character moments, from an early conversation between Aang and Zuko that introduces the core emotional plot and had me right by the heartstrings, to the sweet moments showing the development of Aang and Katara's relationship.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M on February 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
First of all, I will say that I love the art. It's clean and really nice to look at though I did wish Zuko had longer hair, for some reason him having another haircut (apparently) just didn't seem right to me. Nonetheless, the artwork is beautiful, and one of the high points in this book.

The story itself could have been done better. I'm fine with Kataang and think they could be a great couple (given a few more years, as Aang is only 12/13 now) but their whole nickname thing was painful to read. It just seemed so out of character that I found it jarring (and I completely understand Sokka's oogy feeling) What I also found bothersome was that Zuko is apparently angsting again.

Come on, folks. He dealt with this on the TV show. He struggled with it for three seasons, though he did grow and mature through the show as he dealt with it. It seemed that at the end of the show he had dealt with most of his issues, he was calmer, happier, and more confident even if he could be dorky at times. And at the end of this book, we *still* don't find out what happened to his mom.

Give me a break. I loved the show despite its flaws. However, it saddens me to see that Avatar is becoming a franchise. We have the upcoming Korra TV series, which is pretty much a big spoiler for what happens at the end of this Promise series. it is a foregone conclusion that at the end Zuko and Aang will fix their problems and the Colonies become the United Republic, so it takes some of the tension out of the story since you know exactly what will happen to said Colonies.

I would have liked for the Promise to be sold as one book, rather than being split up into parts, this is actually a fairly slim volume of less than 100 pages. Is it still worth buying? Yes, if you're a die-hard Avatar fan.
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50 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Cal on February 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Avatar: The Last Airbender" is one of the best animated series that have ever been produced for television. While intended for, and accessible to, kids and preteens, the story and characters have a depth to them that has created a dedicated cult fanbase. People of all ages have become enamored of the series, from animation connoisseurs to followers of good action adventure. Although the live action movie adaptation failed to live up to its inspiration on many, many levels, the first official comic book continuation of the series looked to be in better hands. The series' original creators, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, were involved in creating the story, and the award-winning graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang was handling the scripting duties.

Sadly, "The Promise, Part 1" fails to live up to its pedigree in multiple ways. To detail why, I'll be spoiling much of the story below.

The animated series ended with the defeat of the conquest-happy Fire Nation, thanks to the combined efforts of Avatar Aang and his former enemy, the Firebender Zuko. Zuko was made Fire Lord in place of his evil father, and the pair were set to build a new, lasting peace in the wake of the war. "The Promise" looks at the first hurdle in this process, dealing the fate of the Fire Nation Colonies in the Earth Kingdom. At the very beginning of the story, we already see signs that "The Promise" is aiming far below the mark set by its predecessor. The animated series was careful to show that, while most of the plot and changes in the world were being driven by a handful of heroic individuals, the world they inhabited was both vast and complex.
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