I seriously don’t get why the ATLA comics get so much hate.
Of course they’re not going to hold up to the cartoon, but they’re artistically stimulating, full of action, plot-driven, and most importantly, THEY CONTINUE THE EPIC STORY WE ALL LOVE WITH ALL OUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS!
I’m personally grateful for the comics. Thank you Bryke and Gene.
GARAK: I’ve missed you. I’ve been genuinely concerned for your safety. Lunch hasn’t been the same without you.
This is said in The Search Part II, so it never really happened. I don’t feel like Garak would actually have said something like this at this point in the series; it’s not subtle enough. But since Julian was hooked up to the simulation deal, this likely means that Julian either knows Garak misses him or wants him to–or both.
HEY I had no idea that this happened, but right back when The Search first came out, Dante did a read for several different lines in the comic and put them up on his YouTube. They were across 3 different videos so I compiled them all here. Some of them are really good (particularly towards the end). It’s so cool hearing his Zuko voice.
Here’s the sources for the videos, they’re worth watching as he gives some commentary and stuff too:
Why you're happy with how the comics done Azula? Her arcs are terrible! ...Not happy with how Sokka being a dumb comic relief either. And Katara is only "Aang's girlfriend". But Azula maybe got the worst arcs ever. Not once read as bad storytelling/arcs as the ones in the comics even in badly-written fanfiction. If you didn't realize how disconnected they're either.
I understand why people, such as yourself, are upset with how Azula’s story is going. At the same time there is more going on than what people are actually seeing. There is a lot of foreshadowing of her future in both “The Search” and “Smoke and Shadow”.
Personally, I view her arcs as a breakdown and build up. It’s realistic more so than just having her be magically redeemed. It took Zuko THREE seasons before he was actually redeemed. That’s good story telling. Why shouldn’t Azula’s be the same? She’s already changed a lot from her two months MIA between the events of “The Search” and “Smoke and Shadow”.
In “The Search” Azula was SO angry and unhappy. She was also mentally unstable. It makes sense that she is that way. She was in a mental hospital for 2-3 years. They may have been trying to treat her but, just as Zuko, the war was inside of her heart not just her mind because of the good and evil. Having hallucinations of Ursa is symbolic of her struggle. Ursa represents the good inside of her and the path she must take to achieve a better future. The prophetic/spiritual dreams Azula had “Take off your mask. Only then will you see the beauty of your true destiny.” That right there is foreshadowing of her future. They don’t just put that in there for nothing. Ursa would not leave her until she accomplished this…which happens in “Smoke and Shadow”. Azula goes on this journey with Zuko and is faced with love for the first time. She could have struck down her mother but CHOSE not to. That’s big. She has a lot of anger and pain within herself. Zuko confesses that no matter what happens between them that she’ll always be his sister. That’s unconditional love, hence why she ran off and dropped the letter.
Aang believing she dropped that letter on purpose which was symbolic of Azula letting go of becoming Fire Lord. This is also foreshadowing. Not to mention Iroh saying that Azula would find peace through her journey with Zuko at the beginning of this trilogy.
To be honest, I believe she did.
Compare Azula in “The Search” to the way she is now currently in “Smoke and Shadow”. She is happy. Energetic. Confident. Strong. No longer suffers from her mind. All the things foreshadowed in “The Search” came true here.
-Finding peace. -Letting go of being Fire Lord. -Finding her true destiny.
Yes, I understand her methods were harsh but she pushed him to make tough decisions. Not every solution is peaceful. Zuko needs more of this balance. Together they make one person. “Yes but she wants to make him ruthless!” Does she though…? She wants to make him a better Fire Lord. Strong I agree with. Ruling through Fear? Not so much. But she wants him to start thinking more like her and she is not a bad person to model after. She is intelligent. When it comes to dealing with politics, she is his best asset. One thin you must realize is that Azula’s help is genuine. You can tell from the way she speaks to Zuko as well as her actions. She is even grateful to him for helping her realize that being Fire Lord wasn’t her destiny as she has no more hallucinations. She wants Zuko to be Fire Lord. As she says “I’ve felt weightless ever since…Free. Maybe for the first time in all my life.” Weightless. Free. First Time. She feels weightless because there has been a huge change within herself. Usually when there is a huge change within yourself or acceptance of truth. She was always chained down to what she was told was her destiny by Ozai. Now she’s Free to chose her own path. First time is telling us that this is the start of something bigger. Her journey is far from over but a lot has already transpired. Azula has disowned Ozai. She used to always call him father. Now she refers to him on a first name basis much like Zuko started doing when he realized how corrupt Ozai was. She no longer has respect for him. Now all this plus the fact that she doesn’t want to be Fire Lord but Zuko’s adviser.
That’s also foreshadowing. Not to mention that Zuko can tell she has changed and he is happy for her. If Zuko says as such then we should believe him. We have ALWAYS seen Azula through Zuko’s eyes. Not to mention she also has her Fire Warriors. This is the Kyoshi Warrior equivalent as Yang put it in one of his interviews. There is still so much to explore.
Azula was thrown at us at the end of “Smoke and Shadow” purposefully, not as a rip off but to give us a taste of what has changed about her but also keeping parts of her in the dark because there will be a more centered focused story on her. There is a time gap missing. Two months of how she changed and still has yet to change. Zuko had his “transformation” at the end of Book 2: Earth and yet he STILL tried to hold on to who he was despite he had changed so much. Azula is doing the same.
In fact, her whole story arc is mirroring Zuko’s. I just don’t understand why people are getting so bent out of shape over this factor, unless they don’t realize it yet.
Regardless, this is why. I like the pacing. It’s slow but enough to show that Azula is growing and changing. Comparing her to how she was in “The Search” to “Smoke and Shadow” there is a HUGE noticeable difference.
Her story is a lot more complex in the comics than people realize. :/
As far as Katara goes or Sokka…I don’t see any problem. At all. But that’s just me.