Monday, May 30, 2011

Graphic Novel Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures

Konieztko, Bryan & DiMartino, Michael Dante. Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures. 240 p. Dark Horse. 2011. Paperback $14.99. ISBN 9781595827487.

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.
So many good stories... I could go on and on, really. I think I was smiling the whole time I was reading-- well, except for the parts that were meant to be sad, I mean! This graphic novel is a true treat for any fan of the animated series. Only drawback? I feel it needs more Uncle Iroh. But then, can we ever really get enough of Uncle Iroh? Tea and sage advice, please!

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.


  1. My kids adored this series on tv (when we had it) and I admit to pulling it up on Netflix when available! :)

  2. Hee! Glad I'm not the only one. ;) (Actually, I ended up watching the series in the first place because a TON of my friends- you know, adults- kept recommending it to me.)


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