Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s (WCL) Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character. This post is about the comics that continue the story of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and Avatar: The Legend of Korra!
(GIF via Giphy)
What is Avatar: The Last Airbender?
Avatar: The Last Airbender (or Avatar: The Legend of Aang) takes place in a world divided into four nations, each home to people who possess the ability to control one element of either water, earth, air and fire with a martial art called ‘bending’. The Last Airbender begins after the world has been consumed in a century of war with the heavily industrialised Fire Nation, and the only hope of ending the conflict lies with the Avatar, a person with the ability to bend all four elements. Sokka and Katara, the two siblings from the Water Tribe, discover the current Avatar, an airbender named Aang, and the trio set off to train Aang in mastering all four elements and putting an end to the war.
Mid-show Avatar comics
The following series take place during the events of The Last Airbender. These are a mix of anthology series, like the Lost Adventures, and series focusing on a particular character.
Post-show Avatar comics
Starting in 2012 (four years after the show ended its run), Dark Horse Comics began publishing a series of Avatar: The Last Airbender comics that take place after the events of the show. In chronological order, they are:
Taking place just after the victory over the Fire Nation, Aang and company, including the newly crowned Fire Lord Zuko, try to prevent the world from descending into another war.
This series is also available to read in one volume on the eLibrary.
The Search answers one of the biggest plot threads left hanging from The Last Airbender: what happened to Zuko’s mother? Zuko and Aang set out to find her, but are impeded by Zuko’s villainous sister Azula.
The Search is also available to read in one volume on the eLibrary.
The Rift and Toph’s Metalbending Academy
Industrial activity on sacred Airbender land awakens an ancient and violent spirit, leading Aang to reconvene with one of his past lives, the Avatar Yangchen, for help. Meanwhile, Toph starts up an academy to teach Metalbending, a specialised form of Earthbending that she invented.
Smoke and Shadow
A movement dedicated to reinstating the former Fire Lord Ozai, Zuko’s father, gains traction in the Fire Nation. Meanwhile, Aang and company have to investigate the mysterious disappearance of children being taken from the homes.
Katara and Sokka return home to the Southern Water Tribe to find it has been modernised into a bustling city thanks to a Northern Water Tribe member. When the two Water Tribes plan to unify, a rebel Southern faction seek to stop it, leaving Katara torn between her loyalties.
North and South is also available to read in one volume in Avatar, the last airbender. [Part 1-3], North and south.
Aang must quell a conflict between benders and non-benders in a small industrial town.
What is Avatar: The Legend of Korra?
Set 70 years after the events of The Last Airbender, the world has largely industrialised and a new Avatar appears in the form of Korra, a headstrong, athletic bender from the Southern Water Tribe. Having mastered three elements already, Korra heads to Republic City to train with Tenzin, the son of Aang and patriarch of a family of Airbenders. During her time in Republic City, Korra finds new friends, romance, and powerful enemies with bending abilities unlike anything the world has seen before.
We also have the whole series of The Legend of Korra on DVD! The comics take place after the show, so be sure to watch first if you haven’t already.
Korra and Asami return from their vacation to the Spirit Realm to find a gang war brewing in Republic City.
Ruins of the Empire
The Earth Kingdom is having its first ever democratic election, but Korra and company become worried when a candidate with imperial ambitions becomes popular and looks set to win.
More Avatar Books
Writer F.C Yee has penned The Chronicles of the Avatar, a series of novels about the Avatars before Aang and Korra. There are two novels focusing on Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom Avatar who created her own island, and one about Yangchen, an Air Nomad and the previous Airbender to hold the Avatar mantle before Aang.
If you want to know how the show was made, we recommend the Avatar: The Last Airbender artbook, a behind-the-scenes look at the development of the show, featuring concept art and commentary from the creators.