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Avatar: The Last Airbender (comics) facts for kids

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Avatar: The Last Airbender
Cover of The Promise collection
The Promise hardcover collection
Created by Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Publication information
Formats Series of original graphic novels
Genre Adventure, fantasy
Publication date June 2005 – June 2021
Creative team
Writer(s) Gene Luen Yang
Faith Erin Hicks
Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Tim Hedrick
Artist(s) Gurihiru
Peter Wartman
Letterer(s) Michael Heisler
Richard Starkings
Jimmy Betancourt
Colorist(s) Naoko Kawano
Ryan Hill
Adele Matera
Editor(s) Dave Marshall
Rachel Roberts

The Avatar: The Last Airbender comics are an official continuation of the original Nickelodeon animated television series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. The series includes The Lost Adventures, published from 2005 to 2011 and set between episodes of the original series, and the graphic novel trilogies, published since 2012 and set a few years after the original series. A related comic continuation, taking place seventy-four years later, The Legend of Korra, began publication in 2017.

Short stories

Free Comic Book Day issues

Since 2011, there have been four short comics of Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra at Free Comic Book Day offerings from Dark Horse Comics.

Title Date Story Art Colors FCBD issue
"Relics" May 7, 2011 Johane Matte
Joshua Hamilton
Johane Matte Hye Jung Kim Avatar: The Last Airbender / Star Wars: The Clone Wars
"Rebound" May 4, 2013 Gene Luen Yang Ryan Hill Star Wars / Captain Midnight / Avatar: The Last Airbender
"Shells" May 3, 2014 Gene Luen Yang Faith Erin Hicks Cris Peter Avatar: The Last Airbender / Itty Bitty Hellboy / Juice Squeezers
"Sisters" May 2, 2015 Gene Luen Yang Carla Speed McNeil Jenn Manley Lee Avatar: The Last Airbender / Plants vs. Zombies / Bandette

The Lost Adventures

The Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Lost Adventures graphic novel is a collection of long-out-of-print, fan-favorite comics previously published in Nickelodeon Magazine and the Avatar: The Last Airbender DVD collections between 2005 and 2011. It also includes the Free Comic Book Day issue "Relics" and all-new comics. Published 15 June 2011, it is an anthology that includes twenty-eight stories by various writers and artists, many of whom worked on the original animated series.

Team Avatar Tales

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Team Avatar Tales is the second anthology book, collecting the 2013–2015 Free Comic Book Day stories along with all-new stories. The book was released on 2 October 2019. Creators include Gene Luen Yang, Dave Scheidt, Sara Goetter, Ron Koertge, Kiku Hughes, Faith Erin Hicks, Ryan Hill, Carla Speed McNeil, Little Corvus, and Coni Yovaniniz.

Graphic novels

Dark Horse Comics published a series of graphic novels that serve as a continuation of Avatar: The Last Airbender television series. It consists of trilogies and stand-alone graphic novels. The first five stories are written by Gene Luen Yang and drawn by artist team Gurihiru. In December 2018, Faith Erin Hicks took over as writer with Peter Wartman as artist.

Title Date Story Script Art Colors Notes
The Promise January 26, 2012 Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang Gurihiru
May 30, 2012
September 26, 2012
The Search March 20, 2013 Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang Gurihiru
July 10, 2013
October 30, 2013
The Rift March 5, 2014 Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang Gurihiru
July 16, 2014
November 18, 2014
Smoke and Shadow October 6, 2015 Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang Gurihiru
December 29, 2015
April 12, 2016
North and South September 28, 2016 Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Gene Luen Yang
Gene Luen Yang Gurihiru
January 25, 2017
April 26, 2017
Imbalance December 18, 2018 Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Faith Erin Hicks
Faith Erin Hicks Peter Wartman Ryan Hill
May 14, 2019 Adele Matera
October 1, 2019
Katara and the Pirate's Silver October 13, 2020 Faith Erin Hicks
Tim Hedrick
Faith Erin Hicks Peter Wartman Adele Matera
Toph Beifong's Metalbending Academy February 16, 2021 Faith Erin Hicks Peter Wartman Adele Matera
Suki, Alone June 22, 2021 Faith Erin Hicks Peter Wartman Adele Matera

Collections

The stories are collected in oversized hardcover library edition featuring notes from the creators and a sketchbook section. They are also collected in paperback omnibuses, printed at digest size.

Volume Title Date Collects ISBN Notes
1 The Promise February 20, 2013 (LE)
June 30, 2020 (Omni)
  • The Promise 1–3
(LE)
(Omni)
2 The Search February 5, 2014 (LE)
October 27, 2020 (Omni)
  • The Search 1–3
(LE)
(Omni)
3 The Rift February 24, 2015 (LE)
February 23, 2021 (Omni)
  • The Rift 1–3
(LE)
(Omni)
4 Smoke and Shadow September 21, 2016 (LE)
September 29, 2021 (Omni)
  • Smoke and Shadow 1–3

(Omni)
5 North and South October 25, 2017
  • North and South 1–3
6 Imbalance June 3, 2020
  • Imbalance 1–3
7 The Lost Adventures
and Team Avatar Tales
November 10, 2020
  • The Lost Adventures
  • Team Avatar Tales

The Promise

Plot

The Promise is the first comic to continue right after the show ended on Nickelodeon and picks up right after what the series left off. For example, in the last episode of the series, Katara and Aang start their relationship and The Promise Part One explores their new romance. The comic also explores Toph's metal bending practices and Zuko's reign as Fire Lord. The audience sees more of the dynamic between Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko as they both work with the Earth King over a conflict: the Fire Nation colonies in Earth kingdom territory. This issue escalates as Yu Dao, one of the Fire Nation colonies, fights against this order. In The Promise Part Two, Team Avatar begins to try to resolve the Yu Dao issue, while Fire Lord Zuko aims to receive advice from his father who was previously Fire Lord. Zuko experiences an internal war, in which he feels the need to do what is best for the four nations but he fears becoming like his tyrant father. The issue becomes tense as Earth King Kuei and Zuko come closer to war. In The Promise Part Three, tensions escalate between as Zuko and Kuei both aim to keep Yu Dao through military means. As both send their armies to fight, Avatar Aang has to decide what he needs to do to maintain peace between the four nations, even if that means killing Fire Lord Zuko, his best friend.

The Search

Plot

The Search is about Zuko's adventure to find his mother Ursa who left the Fire Nation in order to save Zuko's life when he was a child. This comic also includes a large piece of Ursa's life, her lover and heartbreak. The plot goes from the past, Ursa's life with her lover, and the present, Zuko's quest to find her. In The Search Part One, Zuko makes a deal with his sister Azula: she has to help him find his mother and he releases her from the mental institution. Zuko, Azula and Team Avatar set out to find his mother by going to Hira'a, the town where Ursa grew up. By the end of The Search Part One, Zuko finds out that his biological father was a man named Ikem that his mother was in love with before marrying Ozai. In The Search Part Two, Avatar Aang dismisses Zuko's enthusiasm upon finding out Ozai is not his real father and expresses his worry that if Ozai is not Zuko's real father then Zuko has no right to the throne. Team Aang, Zuko and Azula continue searching for Ursa and go to Forgetful Valley. Here, Aang meets "The Mother of Faces" in the spirit world. In The Search Part Three, Azula finds out important information about Ursa and aims to find her mother herself but Zuko and Sokka try to find Ursa first. Aang and Katara deal with the "Mother of Faces" and her spirit animals.

The Rift

Plot

The Rift mostly revolves around Aang's roots: the Air Nation. This comic also explores Toph's past, specifically her complicated relationship with her father. In The Rift Part One, Aang wants his friends to celebrate Yangchen's festival. This festival was one of the most sacred Air Nomad holidays but was not celebrated in 100 years due to the Air Nomad genocide. Aang meets with Avatar Yangchen and find out that a jointly owned Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom factory is on Air Nomad sacred land. Toph reunites with her father, whom she had not seen in two years. In The Rift Part Two, Team Avatar continues to try to save sacred air nomadic land from industrialists. Aang and Air Acolytes enter the Spirit World and she speaks about her experience with a man named General Old Iron and his grudge against the city of Boma for the death of Lady Tienhai. As they speak, the place is hit by an Earthquake. In The Rift Part Three, Aang connects with Avatar Yangchen and learns that the only way to prevent the bitter spirit of General Old Iron to return is to destroy the town. Toph does not agree with this solution, as she respects the refinery's symbol of international cooperation between the Fire and Earth nations. Ultimately, Aang fights General Old Iron and wins. After meeting with Lady Tenhai in the Spirit World, Aang recognizes that spirits deserve to live with human civilization in peace and creates the "Spirits Friendship Festival."

Smoke and Shadow

Plot

Smoke and Shadow continues Zuko's and Ursa's relationship where The Search leaves off. This comic also goes further in depth with Zuko's family in general. This comic mostly revolves around Zuko's and Aang's mission to settle both issues in the physical and spiritual world. In Smoke and Shadow Part One, mysterious figures called the Kemurikage spirits tell a prophesy that Zuko must leave the throne or the Fire Nation will collapse. The New Ozai Society begin to organize a plan to remove Zuko from the throne and children begin to disappear in the Fire Nation Capitol. In Smoke and Shadow Part Two, Aang and the rest of Team Avatar aim to make sense of the disappearances of the children. The leader of the Kemurikage is revealed to Zuko and Aang as Azula. In Smoke and Shadow Part Three, Zuko attempts to catch Azula. In doing so, he fights Azula and she tells him that she wants Zuko to be the Fire Lord she wanted to be- one who leads with fear rather than compassion. Azula and the rest of the Kemurikage disappear in the smoke. Aang and the rest of Team Avatar save the children by fighting the Kemurikage spirits. The ending of the comic consists of Ursa meeting Ozai again in his cell, after all these years. Ursa sees her former husband for the man he was, a small man trying to act big.

North and South

Plot

North and South revolves around Katara and Sokka's roots: the Southern Water Tribe. In North and South Part One, Katara and Sokka return to their home and are surprised by the flourishing place it has become from the little village where they grew up. They find out that their father, Hakoda, was in charge and Malina, a woman from the Northern Water Tribe, had a huge role in progressing the Southern Water Tribe. By the end of part one, Katara and Sokka walk in on their father and Malina in the middle of a kiss. In North and South Part Two, Southern Gilak tries to kidnap Katara and Sokka and leaves a note on Hakoda's door which says, "Soon you will see the truth Chieftain." Katara is suspicious of the integration of the Northern and Southern Water Tribes. Gilak exposes Milan for her integration of both tribes and claims that she only aims to exploit the natural resources of the Northern Water Tribe for the benefit of the Southern Water Tribe. Milan apologizes but Gilak's troops attack her and her brother Maliq. Team Avatar steps in and fights off the troops. Gilak is escorted to his prison cell, but an officer who says she never liked the Southerners gives him the key to his cell. In North and South Part Three, Fire Lord Zuko and the Earth King Kuei come to the Southern Water tribe and approve of the full integration of the tribes. Amid this, Gilak breaks free and causes a rebellion. In the end, Gilak dies and Malina is saved by Katara.

Imbalance

Plot

Imbalance surrounds the tension between benders and nonbenders at the Earthen Fire Industries. In Imbalance Part One, Team Avatar arrive at the Earthren Fire Industries and to their surprise, they are met with disapproval as there are increased disputes among the benders and the nonbenders. In Imbalance Part Two, Team Avatar aims to solve the conflict between the benders and nonbenders. In Imbalance Part Three, the conflict comes to an all time high and it is up to Aang to come up with a solution to satisfy both parties. This comic as a whole sets up the majority of the plot of Avatar: The Legend of Korra as it explores increasing political tension as well as industrialization.

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