Review: Avatar - The Last Airbender - The Promise / Author: Michael Dante DiMartino / Artist: Gurihiru / Publisher: Dark Horse / Release Date: March 5th
Once they've come to an end, it's not uncommon for successful TV shows to enjoy a second lease of life courtesy of the graphic novel. Not only does Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise tie up some of the loose ends left dangling after the finale of the original show, it also takes time to further develop the intricate relationships between the main characters.
Fans of the show thirsting for more are unlikely to be disappointed. The plot deals with what happens when a world that has been at war for over a 100 years finally achieved peace, and also considers how those who ended the war manage their responsibilities in peacetime. We learn what happens to the Fire Nation once a new Fire Lord is in charge, as well as how characters such as Toph are doing after the war. If all this means nothing to you, then you may benefit from watching the show first – whilst The Promise isn't impenetrable to newcomers, it's bound to be rather wasted on them.
Artistic team Gurihiru deliver excellent art that is also evocative of the show; the characters are perfectly rendered, and this adds to the feeling that this is simply the cartoon in another format. It's clean, crisp and perfect for the book.
The writer, Michael Dante DiMartino, is co-creator of the original show, and this means that the story feels like an authentic episode of the well-loved cartoon series. It fits in perfectly with both Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Kora, concluding the former nicely and foreshadowing the latter extremely cleverly. This is a book that is aimed squarely at the fans, and those who love all things Airbender can purchase it with confidence.