Avatar: North and South – Part 2 Review

The Avatar the Last Airbender comics are back with North and South Part 2! This review will not contain spoilers, so feel free to read on if you haven’t yet had chance to pick it up. With the new Legend of Korra comics coming later this year, Avatar fans can build up their excitement in this latest installment.

Water Tribe at War!

North_and_South_Part_2_coverWhen we left off in part 1, the Water Tribe was dealing with a rebellion from within as disagreements abound over the new industry in the area. After the action packed showdown last time, Katara and Sokka are trying to come to terms with how things have changed not only for their tribe, but closer to home with their family.

This issue delves deeper into the cultural divide between the Northern and Southern water tribes. Avatar has a long history of exploring conflicts like this. The way it is resolved through balance often requires a great amount of change. However, ‘balance’ is not taken to mean restoring the status quo, but creating a new-normal. It remains to be seen how the water tribes will settle their differences, but here we are seeing the beginnings of cultural shifts.

The Art of the South

Once again, the artwork has become ever better as the comics have continues. With a chiefly white and blue pallet, there was the possibility we would see a lack of diversity in the visuals. However, Gurihiru make it work and at times the visuals feel like they are pouring out of the pages.

Whats more, this installment shakes things up by bringing both Aang and Toph into the mix. This brightens and diversifies the comic and allows for contrasts not only in characters but in colour, too.

Characters

katara-and-sokkaBut where Avatar always shines is in the characters. Once again we dive into Sokka and Katara the most and explore how each of them react to the rapidly changing world. Perhaps because Sokka has had most of his preconceptions dashed over the course of the series, he is most ready to accept new things. His father’s new romance shocks him a little, but he quickly adapts. Katara, on the other hand, is slower to come around.

There are hints of how Katara perhaps wanted her family back, and this new person is invading her dreams of returning to normality. The world has changed too much, perhaps, and returning to the old ways may not be possible. What’s more, we are again seeing the rise of non-bender issues. With mechanisation and modernisation providing non-benders with greater power in the world. Again, Sokka (a non bender himself) is all for this, while Katara is skeptical.

We see Toph again, too! Always a joy. She brings her sass as well as her group dynamics to give the characters more to bounce off. When Aang returns, too, we start to see the old Team Avatar again, but things have clearly changed for all of them thanks to their adventures.

All is set up for the final confrontations no doubt to rise in the final volume. So, while we wait for the upcoming Legend of Korra comics, this is the perfect series to fill the void!


Check out our previous reviews;

Avatar: North and South. Part 1 Review

Smoke and Shadow Part 2

Avatar: Smoke and Shadow. Part One

Avatar: Smoke and Shadow. Part Two

Avatar: Smoke and Shadow. Part Three

 


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Joel Cornah
Joel Cornah is an author, journalist, and blogger. He is the author of a number of novels and novellas including; The Sea-Stone Sword, The Spire of Frozen Fire and The Silent Helm, with the upcoming novel The Sky Slayer, expected some time in 2016. He is an editor for The Science-Fiction and Fantasy Network, head of the Doctor Who department, and member of the Tolkien Society. He is a frequent blogger for the Pack of Aces blog, focussing on issues of Asexuality in media, specialising in sci-fi and fantasy.