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Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Hardcover – February 19, 2013
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As for the story, it's no worse than the other avatar comics. It's not better either, but maintains the same level of quality that you would expect from the avatar universe. The plot features Zuko as the main character, as does 2/3 of the other comic series, which can be disappointing if you're expecting much from other characters. The only plus to this is that Zuko's supporting characters are incredibly interesting, and the lore of the fire nation doubly so.
Overall, this is an amazing book and I will continue to look forward to purchasing future avatar series comics.
Smoke and Shadow, specifically, focuses on Zuko after he has become emperor and the rising tensions between the fire nation proper and long conquered fire nation territories that identify with being Earth nation. A new threat has popped up throughout the Fire Nation where children are being snatched from their homes. Zuko and Aang must find and cut off this threat before the people of the Fire Nation depose Zuko.
Of the 4 library editions, this compilation has been my least favorite, but that in no way means that I thought the story was anything less than excellent. I encourage all Avatar fans to read these if they want to continue journeying with Aang and see how the world of Korra is created.
After finishing this volume, I couldn't wait to start "The Search"!
The comic series is broken up to 3 issues per storyline. I found this first storyline to be kind of like the author just getting their feet wet in the Avatar universe. The second story, The Search, is where it really starts to get good. But I still recommend the Promise just so you can be treated to Toph's Metal Bending school. It's perfect! There are also some other story elements that you might be sorry you missed if you skip ahead.
And, I know it's noted elsewhere, but the creators of the show work closely with the creation of this series as well.
The Promise delivers on all levels, it captures the essence of what made the show so great; the humor, the action, and yes, the romance... fans of Kataang will love this book, (even though the name they end up calling each other is a bit cringe worthy and very much oogie). The artwork is beautifully done, and all the main characters are perfectly portrayed; i could literally hear the voices of all of the characters. Another great thing about this book is that it combines all three parts of The Promise into one neat book, with some very interesting bonus content. My only complaint is that the plot is a little weak, though still good. Other than that, The Promise is a wonderful addition to the Avatar series, and if you loved ATLA, then you are in for a treat with this book.