Avatar: The Last Airbender, Volume 1: The Promis-Part 1

DISCLAIMER: Spoilers, if you have not read the Avatar comic books, they are available on Amazon and through the Dark Horse Comic Book app.

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The hundred year war is over, the Avatar has triumphed, and now Aang and friends have the tricky little issue of returning the world to the way it was before the war. To start with, Fire Lord Zuko has agreed to help Earth King Kuei remove the Fire Nation colonies from the Earth Kingdom. Aang knows that this is going to disrupt a lot of people’s lives, so he volunteers to oversee everything to make sure it all goes peacefully. Sokka cleverly names the project the Harmony Restoration Movement. The Earth King plans some festivities to announce the HRM and Aang is feeling pretty good about himself.

And then the next panel is him and Katara makin’ out. Sokka catches them and it gives him the “oogies.” We also find out that he’s dating Suki, the Kyoshi warrior. The gang decides to take Appa out for a ride and while up in the air Zuko reveals that he visited his father in prison the other day. He makes Aang promise that if he ever starts to act like his father, Aang has to kill him. Zuko knows that being the Fire Lord comes with a lot of pressures and he needs a safety net in case the pressures get to be too much. Aang reluctantly agrees.

A year later, we find ourselves at the royal palace in the Fire Nation capital. A paranoid Zuko wakes up from his restless slumber to warn his guards that someone in the palace and they want to assassinate him. The guards are all “You’re safe, bro,” but Zuko insists that they’re wrong and then someone shows up and tries to assassinate him. It turns out that the assassin is the daughter of the mayor of Yu Dao, the first Fire Nation colony to be established in the Earth Kingdom. She is angry at Zuko for betraying his people and trying to remove them from their homes. Zuko brings her back to Yu Dao in chains and Mayor Morishita apologizes profusely for his daughter’s behavior. However, he agrees with his daughter that Zuko and the Avatar have no right to make his people leave the Earth Kingdom. He then tells Zuko that, even though the Fire Lord Ozai had a lot of faults, he was never a coward or a traitor (burn).

We then find ourselves on the ocean. Aang, Sokka, and Katara are helping Fore Nation citizens move from the Earth Kingdom back to the Fire Nation. However, once they reach their destination, they are stopped by Fire Nation soldiers who tell them that they need to return to the Earth Kingdom at once on the orders of Fire Lord Zuko. Aang’s all like, “What?” and the guard tells him that Zuko has officially withdrawn his support from the Harmony Restoration Movement.

The story is then transported to the Beifong Metalbending Academy in the Earth Kingdom, which is owned by Toph. Her students notice a commotion outside the city gates. Toph hears Appa and uses her crazy hearing ability to shoot herself up in the air and land on his back. Sokka and Katara are there and fill Toph in on what’s going on with Zuko, but Aang is sitting on Appa’s head, meditating about what he might have to do to Zuko because of the promise he made. He meets with Avatar Roku in the spirit world who tells Aang that he wishes he had killed Fire Lord Sozin when he had the chance and that, as the Avatar, he must put the world’s needs over his own.

Aang is still not down to kill one of his friends, so when they arrive at Yu Dao, Aang is still convinced that he’ll be able to just talk to Zuko and make everything okay. They meet the gang of protesters who are outside of Yu Dao and find out that they are being led be Smellerbee, a freedom fighter who the gang met on their travels earlier. Aang airbends himself and Katara over the wall where they are met by Fire Nation guards. Aang tries to pass them peacefully, but they are not having it and a little battle commences. Also, Aang and Katara keep calling each other “sweetie” which is nauseating. Anyway, Zuko stops the fight by grabbing Katara and she’s all “You’re hurting me!” and Aang’s all “Get off my girlfriend!” so then Zuko and Aang start fighting. While they’re fighting Aang gets really angry and accidently enters the Avatar state. Katara calms him down by calling him “sweetie” AGAIN. After everyone is calm, Zuko takes them on a tour of Yu Dao, showing them that the Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation people built the colony together and continue to work together. Zuko tells them that he was completely supportive of the Harmony Restorative Movement until he discovered that the mayor’s wife is an Earth Bender, showing him just how close the who nations have become.

Aang still doesn’t like the idea of the Fire Nation being in the Earth Kingdom, so Katara proposes a meeting with the Earth King to discuss what they should do next. When Aang tells the crowd outside the city about their plans, Smellerbee tells Aang that he has three days to rid the Earth Kingdom of the Fire Nation, or the freedom fighters will figure out a solution of their own.

Back in the royal palace in the Fire Nation, Mai confronts Zuko, telling him that he can’t just leave for a week and not tell her. She notices that he hasn’t been sleeping, so she hires new guards for him: the Kyoshi Warriors. That night, Zuko still has trouble sleeping, so he tells his guards he is going for a walk. In reality, he goes down to the dungeons with some tea and asks for help…from his father.

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