Avatar the Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Pt. 2 by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru
Published by Dark Horse on December 16, 2015
Genres: Comics, Fantasy, Adventure
Pages: 80 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased
With the disappearances of children in the Fire Nation capital, Avatar Aang and his friends are doing everything they can to find out who—or what—is responsible.
Aang and Zuko must work together to keep the peace, but the emergence of the New Ozai Society, and the appearance of the mysterious Kemurikage of legend, may prove to be too much even for the Avatar when the true culprit of the kidnappings is revealed!
In this second installment of Smoke and Shadow, Zuko calls on the help of the Avatar to discover the mysteries of the Kemurikage and put an end to the kidnappings that begin to plague his nation. With the help of Mai and Kei Lo, discoveries are made and more questions arise. For me, this one definitely suffers from middle book syndrome. It’s mostly a set up for the third part finale, but still a great Avatar the Last Airbender adventure.
Unpacking the mystery of the Kemurikage allowed for more historical background on the beginning of the Fire Nation. So much of it had been hidden away by Fire Lord Sozin, so the reader gets to learn about it just as Zuko does. I love finding out more about the ATLA world as a whole and this was a great way to provide that info while tying it into the story arc. I also enjoyed Zuko’s continued process in becoming a leader, dealing with situations as best he can, and making hard choices. He has always been one of my particular faves.
I felt like this one was a bit lacking on teamwork though. Aang leaves Katara and Sokka, heading back to the Southern Water Tribe, to assist Fire Lord Zuko. Even Suki and Ty Lee barely come into play in this second act. Plus Toph is nowhere to be seen. I just really want the gang back together. All of my characters uniting as one. I realize each of them has their own lives now and it would be hard to fit them all on the page but it would certainly be one awesome team up.
Overall Avatar the Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part 2 is another great extension of this wonderful series. Discovering more about the Fire Nation’s past, dealing with political machinations and personal strife, ATLA doesn’t shy away from the hard stuff. I probably could have done without the awkward relationship dynamics but I’m excited to see how this story ends. Definitely check out all the ATLA comics and the wait is on for the finale of Smoke and Shadow.
Where my Avatar the Last Airbender people at? Have you read any of the comics before? In dire need of a rewatch? Let me know in the comments below!