Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search - Part One by Gene Luen Yang et al.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search - Part One script by Gene Luen Yang, art by Gurihiru, lettering by Michael Heisler

A key bit of dialogue comes early on in this continuation of the Avatar story. Fire Lord Zuko is listening to an Earth Kingdom professor discuss the reunification issues and hones in on "an ancient Earth Kingdom philosophy: Family is in essence a small nation, and the nation a large family...In treating his own family with dignity, a ruler learns to govern his nation with dignity." Zuko takes the words to heart. Zuko decides he needs to restore order and dignity to his family to be a better ruler. He wants to find his banished mother Ursa. But he has no clues where to start. He can't get anything out of his imprisoned father so he has his institutionalized (as in mental institution) sister Azula talk to their father. She finds out about a stash of letters their mother sent back to her hometown of Hira'a. Zuko begins his investigation by traveling there. He brings his crazy sister and asks the Avatar to join them. Naturally, Katara and Sokka come along. They take turns keeping an eye on Azula, who threatens at least to run off, if not to kill them all.

The main story is intercut with Ursa's story of how she left Hira'a and began her life at the royal court. That story gets far enough to match up with the shocking revelation about Zuko at the end of this book.

I like the idea that generate the story. The family is the building block from which societies and nations are built. Zuko's actions are motivated by this insight, enabling him to make some bold and risky decisions for the greater good of himself and the Fire Nation. I am curious to see how it will play out in the next two issues!

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