This graphic novel deftly explores the importance of traditions versus modernity and pits Aang against the prideful Toph and townspeople trying to make a living on a spot formerly sacred to ancient spirits.
The main problem with this novel is the same I have with others in the Avatar series—Toph Beifong. Toph remains unchanged and unchanging. Pride has always been her defining characteristic, with her refusing to show any concession to other people’s ideas or ideals. She mocks Aang’s notions of tradition, turning her back on him to pursue her own new interests.
Even when confronting her father, she won’t give him the respect he deserves but insists that he listen to her boastful talk about all she’s accomplished since she left him. It’s frustrating that, in scene after scene, when others talk to her all she can fall back on is what a tough broad she is.
But Toph is loyal above all things and that loyalty shines through when it counts. It redeems her and adds dimension to the storyline. What a story it is, too, filled with spirits both angry and peaceful, ancient pacts, new technology, old loyalties and new allegiances—and the Cabbage Guy, returning once more to amuse and entertaining us!
The creators of this series have honed their talents to razor edges, once again refusing to take easy courses in their stories and filling page after page with color, action and nuances of expression. This collection features the usual annotations, providing visual splendor to accompany the text. This novel deftly brings the Avatar series closer to the modern age with a serious message underpinning its comic book sensibilities. Avatar fans and others new to the series should be thrilled with it.
green_cheetah_1143 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages
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