Hello everyone, Airspeed Prime here with a new type of post. This is going to be the first in a new series of posts, they will not be regular at all, just every so often. These posts will be editorials, where I will just write at length about an Avatar topic. So lets get straight into the first topic.

The Importance of The Comics


I know a lot of fans out there are not so hot on the comics, but I consider them not only good, but extremely important to Avatar as a whole going forward. One of the big reasons I think this is because as much as the shows are the big things, they are also the most difficult for the creators to make, they take a lot of time to make and they take a lot out of all involved.  Meaning that after every show we will always have a pretty big break before the next one, look at ATLA, if you have seen the ATLA documentary you will see how much making it took out of Mike and Bryan, they earned that 3 or so year break before they started on Korra. Those 3 years were tough on the fandom, because we did have anything new coming out. Back then (when ATLA was airing) it was not that big as ATLA was just this one show with a few webcomics that came out between Book 2 and 3, but now we have ATLA and Korra. This fandom is no longer just based on 1 show, it is a fandom for a whole universe, an incredibly vast universe. The main thing I am getting at here is that once Korra ends which I assume will be some time in 2015, what do we have to look forward to then. I don't think the fandom can now survive another 3 years of nothing before a new show is possibly announced. This is where the comics come in. I have many reasons for why I think the comics are important, but I will begin with what my opening paragraph was leading towards. The comics are easier to make and do not take as long to make as the shows. So through Dark Horse we can have constant Avatar content that we are not left waiting years for and help to ease the wait between shows and as we have already experienced with the wait between Books. The wait for Book 2 has been insane, but what has really helped me has been the release of The Promise Part 3, The Promise Hardcover and The Search Part 1 (plus in just over 2 weeks we will have The Search Part 2) . New Avatar content while I have been waiting eagerly for Korra Book 2. If they continue to release comics after The Search Part 3 then the wait between future Books and even shows going forward will be much easier. I think at this point I should mention that for me the comics have been so good that I am almost more excited for the next comic rather than Book 2. Look at it this way, what has the fandom been discussing for the past year ? Beyond a lot of hatred for Nick, and the few bits of Book 2 info there has been nothing big to talk about really, apart from the comics. The big shock ending to The Search Part 1 had the whole fandom talking almost more than at any point in Korra. Continuing with the fact that the universe is now established as more than just 1 show, it is a universe. The universe of Avatar is so vast in terms of the size of the world and the huge span of history that has been mentioned in the shows and comics already. So in my opinion the shows cannot sustain such a big universe alone, the comics offer an easier way to explore more parts of this huge universe which need to be explored. I am not asking for a new comics series every single week, but I think that Dark Horse could easily enough put out more comics each year without diluting the quality in any way. At the moment we are at 3 comics a year, I.E 1 series a year.  I think they could use some of the other established Avatar artists and writers to release more comics (Ryan Hill from the recent Mai comic a good example). It is also important to note that while the comics are filling in time periods that are needed they have all been based around ATLA so far, I think the universe has enough potential to warrant series set way before or after ATLA and Korra. That is something I want to discuss now, what types of stories can be told in the comics that have yet to be told. Here are a few ideas based around things set up in the shows and comics already. 1/ There are thousands of Avatars we know nothing about. We know 6 Avatars: YangChen, Kuruk, Kyoshi, Roku, Aang and Korra when Roku has confirmed to us that there are well over a thousand Avatars.
"I have mastered the elements thousands of times in a thousands lifetimes."
This means that the Avatar has existed for around 100,000 years at a low estimate, not counting the time period before the Avatar which we know exists. Korra Book 2 is going to cover the origin of the Avatar, but there are countless tales to be told before the Avatar and afterwards. There are not many universes out there that can claim to have as much potential as Avatar has, over 1000 possible interesting main characters just through the Avatars. The creators could just put out a comic series based on an Avatar from say 50,000 years before Aang and you have a whole new cast of characters, the potential to set up historical events deep in the Avatar World history and much more. 2/ More comics based around the shows: ATLA and Korra. Yes this is what the comics are already doing right now, but there are so many more stories that could be told based on things the show has set up but never explored. Here are some examples:
  • A series about Iroh past. We know a lot of things about his past, but not the exact details of how everything links together. Spirit World Journey, visiting the Ancient Sun Warriors and visiting waterbenders being just a few key points. Not to mention his relationship with Ozai and Azulon and the fate of Lu Ten's mother could be explored more in flashback.
  • Toph's relationship with her parents, explored in multiple episodes of the show, but just left open after "The Runaway" with no resolution about the letter she sent to them, not to mention The Promise Part 2 telling us she still has not resolved things. Depending on when it would be set, they could also explore Toph and whoever ends up being Lin's father (The Duke IMO).
  • A series focusing on Korra during the 13 years of training we don't see. Her discovering Naga and becoming friends, learning from Katara and her other bending teachers and feeling isolated in the Avatar compound.
  • Noatak's story between leaving in his flashback and his reappearance as Amon, how he met Hiroshi and how he learned his bloodbending ability to remove bending.
  • Some additional focus on the history of the Water Tribes, the formation of the Southern and Swamp tribes and what led to them leaving the Northern Tribe.
  • The Ancient Sun Warrior artifact, is it actually an Dragon Egg, this could be an interesting way to possibly explore the dragons returning from near extinction.
  • A second Lost Adventures that focuses on the minor characters of ATLA and Korra. Where did Chong and the nomads go, what happened to Chit Sang, did Xin Fu and Master Yu ever escape from the cell, Gommu's early life and many more questions like this.
All of these suggestions are stuff that I doubt will be explored in a show, but the comics allow for a wider range of stories to be told. 3/ Spirits I think the comics could do a very effective job at showing us what the Spirits purpose is, before the Avatar what connection, if any, do they have to the physical world. - In conclusion, the Avatar Universe has a huge amount of story potential, so big that all of it cannot be fulfilled just through shows, which in my opinion is where the comics come in, they can explore more than the shows and in an easier to execute fashion. The comics are great right now, but I think they can be so much more and come the end of Korra we will be relying on them as the big things coming out, this is The Importance Of The Comics. (See what I did there, start and end the post with the same statement :) ) -Airspeed Prime