Whenever a kid asks me if the library has any Avatar books, my response is, "The Last Airbender one, or the blue cat people one?" And I know librarians are supposed to be impartial about information requests and all, but... okay, confession time: I'm always a little disappointed if it turns out to be the blue cat people one. Don't they KNOW how awesome Avatar: The Last Airbender is? I mean, guys. It is REALLY awesome.
My Avatar preference being obvious, you can guess I was totally excited to get an early look at the Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures graphic novel. It contains twenty-eight stories, some original and some that were previously published in Nickelodeon Magazine. Since I was late to the Avatar party and never read the Nick Magazine stories in the first place, it was all new to me. Score!
The bulk of the stories are brief vignettes, no more than two to four pages long, meant to induce a chuckle. Several stories are longer, with more involved plotlines, heavier on the action or character development. All stories are set during the original animated series, filling in missing moments.
In keeping with the multilayered feel of the original animated series, many of the stories in this graphic novel are lighthearted and endearing, while others touch upon darker themes. There's a little romance, a good amount of humor, and plenty of action, making for a charming collection on the whole. Some of the art is a little uneven as the stories are drawn by different artists, but it's generally of high quality, with wonderfully rich colors.
A few of the standout stories include:
- "Relics," a heartbreaking story where Aang finds out how the Fire Nation wiped out a few remaining Airbenders.
- "Going Home Again," in which we find out more about the relationship between Zuko and Mai.
- "The Bridge," a story from Katara's point of view that shows the events that took place between the TV show's second and third seasons.
- "Swordbending," which is rife with hilarious Sokka and Zuko interaction and great visual gags.
- "Dragon Days," for the flashback appearance of Aang's Fire Nation friend, Kuzon, who was referenced often but never seen in the show.
Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures will be available in stores everywhere on July 27th. ARC for review provided by the publisher via NetGalley.