The major comic companies put out enough comics that sometimes it can leave your head spinning and eyes bleeding as you search the new titles each week for something worth reading. To aid in your Geeky endeavors, Speak Geeky To Me on occasion reviews new titles from the major companies to spotlight the best and worst of what’s available at your local comic shop. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a new Comic Review.

 

NOTE: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS

(Though we do keep them to a minimum to prevent truly ruining any parts of the story)

 

The Info Bit

Title: Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Part 3

Genre/s: Adventure/Drama

Writer: Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Strange Tales II)

Artist: Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four, Wolverine and Power Pack)

Letterer: Michael Heisler (SW: Agent of the Empire, SW: Dawn of the Jedi)

Publisher: Dark Horse

Number of Volumes: 3

Page Count: 72

Price: $10.99

Release Date: September 26th, 2012

 

The Review Bit

The finale to Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise is everything you would expect in a great continuance of The Last Airbender series of Avatar. It has fights, bending, romance, humor, and revelations galore. But it is hardly a conclusion, atleast for what many people will expect. Many fans will want all the answers they were left without when the cartoon series for Avatar: The Last Airbender ended. The Promise does not give us all of these answers, but rather it gives fans something better. The ending of The Promise was more like the ending of a story arc in The Last Airbender, as it wraps up most of the story threads attached directly to this tale…and prepares us for the next. Yes, we’ve known for sometime that this was not the last Dark Horse comic set in The Last Airbender era of Avatar, and the conclusion of The Promise will give fans a strong idea of where these future comics will go. But that’s much later on, so let’s focus on The Promise for now.

Part 3 of The Promise opens with all out war erupting once more between the Fire and Earth Nations…or at least a possibility of such, as Aang and Zuko share a dark vision of a possible future between the two great men. But don’t worry, there is quite the battle between these two great nations within the pages of this volume. This vision is just the perfect way of reminding us all what The Promise is truly about; an agreement that Zuko and Aang made in the very first volume of the series. As the tides of war near Yu Dao, it is on both character’s minds as to whether or not Aang can and will have to do as he promised and take Zuko’s life. As this horrifying thought settles in readers over some very deep pages, we get a very Avatar transition to a lighter mood with more background on old and new background characters from the series. A return to characters like Sneers from Jet’s old freedom fighters group and Kori from Part 1, not to mention Toph’s new metalbending students bring a great bit of humor to the story, while also teaching us the touching lessons that make Avatar so great. On that note, throughout the book we see the start of what will become Republic City placed in so many subtle forms it is amazing. Fans of the Legend of Korra are sure to love these aspects where they can spot them. Yet, even with traditional Avatar humor, Part 3 of The Promise is not without conflict, which builds on all ends and affects many of the characters, placing them on varying sides of the Yu Dao situation. While Avatar fans who have watched the Legend of Korra obviously know how things will end up, the fun of this book is figuring out how they got there, and one strong message carries the answer. I’m not going to go ahead and spoil it for you all, but the hint is rather simply in what makes up Team Avatar. Thankfully everyone comes to realize this eventually, but not before a big battle at the gates of Yu Dao that requires everyone to throw in their opinions and bending abilities. Part 3 brings a rather climactic end to the Harmony Restoration movement and its ensuing battle when Aang brilliantly shows why he is our Avatar, but there are still a few surprises left for fans who think they have it all predicted.

The Promise, as I said, doesn’t wrap up all the plot points of The Last Airbender, or even all the plot points from The Promise. While we do get to see Toph’s new Metalbenders a fair bit, we never get a conclusion to their story. Of course, the dangling plots left out might just be a means to connect The Promise to next year’s new Avatar: The Last Airbender comic series, The Search. But what is placed in the epilogue-esque conclusion of Part 3 is amazing. Fans will get to see the foundation of Republic City, the first appearance of a certain group of acolytes, and Iroh inventing a rather “unique” new drink. Oh, and most importantly, the final page shows us the fate of a very important character from the cartoon series that some fans will have been dying to learn.

Very little needs to be said about the creative team and their work on this story, other than all parties were brilliant all across the board. Gene Luen Yang may as well have written the cartoon as well, considering how perfectly he captures the characters and spirit of the show in the comics. His dialogue is spot on and some of the jokes make me laugh even harder than the show did, with particularly hilarious dialogue given to Toph and Sokka, and some brilliant exchanges between Aang and Katara. Gurihiru’s art is beautiful, as it always is, with Sasaki and Kawano (the team that makes up Team Gurihiru) doing their best and making The Promise look just like the cartoon. Their character expressions and paneling are great on every page. My only possible complaint is that their action sequences are just not really sequences, so much as they are beautiful still frames from select moments of a battle or dynamic movement. However, even in these cases the art is so amazing your mind will easily fill in the movement between panels. It really is hard to say anything bad about this book.

 

The Rating Bit

The Promise Part 3 is a truly an amazing end to a great trilogy that brings fans back to The Last Airbender era of Avatar. Its art, story, and writing are all of the incredibly high quality fans of Avatar have come to expect from the cartoons, in a great comic format. The only real downfall to this conclusion is the hanging plot threads (such as the fate of Toph’s school challenge) that might never get resolved, even though they seemed like an integral part of the story early on in The Promise. Still, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Part 3 is a near perfect comic and more than deserves a near perfect 9 out of 10. Make sure you pick up a copy when it comes out September 26th, 2012. Oh, and of course, get yourself prepared for next year’s big Avatar comic, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search Part 1, hitting stores next March!