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Author Topic: [DH Comics #1] The Promise, Part 1  (Read 48426 times)
Somariel
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« Reply #100 on: Feb 01, 2012 12:48 pm »

I only noticed it on my fifth or sixth read-through and even then, it was only because I was going through and counting how many coloring mistakes I could find.
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« Reply #101 on: Feb 01, 2012 01:33 pm »

^What were the other mistakes?
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Loopy
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« Reply #102 on: Feb 01, 2012 07:16 pm »

Well, I have my copy. I got halfway through while I was waiting for my laptop to boot. Then I was so enthralled by the story that I put it down and forgot about it.

I really dislike the art.
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aa623
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« Reply #103 on: Feb 01, 2012 08:09 pm »

^I'm not a big fan of it either. Something is off in the art. It's just not right or something. The story doesn't really do anything for me either.
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Keeper of the mural of Earth Kingdom Avatars from 103, the theory Ty Lee is descended from Air Nomads, Ty Lee's "At least I'm different now!" the theory that Pema is Ty Lee's daughter, Ikki's grey eyes, Mako's amber eyes, and Ikki's quote about the best way to win a boy's heart from 105.
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« Reply #104 on: Feb 01, 2012 08:39 pm »

Well, I have my copy. I got halfway through while I was waiting for my laptop to boot. Then I was so enthralled by the story that I put it down and forgot about it.

I really dislike the art.
So I wasn't the only one.

Is it sad that I have read through it once when the full leak dropped and haven't looked at single page or panel since?  I don't wanna say I'm without love for this series, but I am a bit underwhelmed.  On the general Gaang side of things, until the Sweetie Kids meet up with Zuko, the atmosphere's far too childish for my tastes (ignoring the fact that they ARE children).  The fact that Senior Ooogies and the Metal Avenger are the main focus of the second installment doesn't bode to well for me, but we'll just have to wait and see.  Admittedly, the fact that Toph's Earthbending Academy will eventually evolve to teaching people the art of Metalbending is cool, but I'm digressing.

And with this little "honeymoon" between the Sweetie Kids, it'd better crash down HARD.  I believe in enduring love as much as anyone...Okay, more than a lot of people.  But there needs to be something to endure.  Give me turbulance on this flight before I fall asleep!

Finally, Zuko's trials are far more interesting in regards to the plot, but I feel like it's being explained too simply in this first installment.  But the subtle hints are more than enough to make it endurable.

So, my very brief, very sloppy review of The Promise: Part One.  And yes, I will eventually buy a copy.  When the second installment comes out because I doubt we'll be entreated to many more leaks for that.
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toontow87
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« Reply #105 on: Feb 01, 2012 10:09 pm »

I showed my copy to my dad. He thought the beginning was a little childish but it got more Serious. I like Kataang but I was kind of getting tired of the whole "Sweetie" thing. 
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iwashere
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« Reply #106 on: Feb 01, 2012 10:32 pm »

^The sweetie thing is kinda stupid but I can let it pass.. For now...

I'm really not to fond of "Oogies" either, I really just can't imagine them saying these things! But its whatever, I'm not gonna be hung up on two words...
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proudinfidel
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« Reply #107 on: Feb 01, 2012 10:54 pm »

I forsee relational difficulties for the sweeties.  On the page where Katara suggests that Yu Dao can be "an exception,"  she's looking at the mixed family (EK/FN).  I see the wheels in her head spinning, thinking something along the lines of  "Well, that's just like my boyfriend and I; we're not the same race and we're together...but yet Aang's still talking about four separate nations...what does he think of me, of us?  Is he really serious about me or what?"

I can see Aang being a total idiot when she starts to explain her concerns...saying something like "well that's not the same!!" without any rationale or explanation behind his assessment and Katara getting mad with her famous temper because of his insensitivity...

 Aang will still not understand her beef and get mad right back at her....or maybe he'll just put his foot in his mouth again, akin to his "I definitely wouldn't want to kiss you" remark in the cave...and things will spiral from there.

This is my prediction for  Kataangst!!
Every good relationship has Angst.  That's how it gets stronger.  The couples that "never fight ever" are either lying or on their way to a breakup.
I agree that the beginning was a little childish...definitely could have gone without the dance scene on Appa's head.
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Loopy
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« Reply #108 on: Feb 01, 2012 11:07 pm »

Broken Promise (Ha!)

It's an interesting time to be a fan of the Avatar franchise. The original Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon is long done, the movie adaptation bombed, a new series is coming in the form of the very different-looking Avatar: The Legend of Korra, and now Dark Horse is publishing a trilogy a graphic novels continuing the story of the original characters. Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Promise - Part One is now available in book and comic stores everywhere, and I'm here to give my enlightened opinion on it.

(Check it out, I totally just did a professional-sounding intro to my review!)

So, let's get cracking. Spoilers coming, yo.


The Premise of The Promise
The story picks up pretty much right where the cartoon's finale left off. The war is over, Aang finally gets to tongue-wrestle Katara, and now he and Zuko have to work together to rebuild the world. The Promise focuses on the specific issue of the leftover Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom. See, the Fire Nation conquered that land over the course of the last hundred years and began seeding its own people into the local populations, so as the comic shows, this isn't simply a matter of shipping the Bad Hotmen back where they came from. You'd think this would be a nice setup for a political thriller with liberal amounts of action adventure, depicting our heroes trying to come up with a compromise that all the colorful human elements can buy into, while fighting against the machinations of the corrupt, the hateful, the irrational, or even the just-plain-evil. Nothing stunningly original, but then, that type of formula is always good for a romp, right? Well, The Promise has decided to take a more unique route. Shallow and rather insulting, but unique.


The Problem of The Promise
See, the title of this story refers to a promise Zuko solicits from Aang at the beginning of the book- if Zuko even spontaneously cracks under the pressure of ruling a nation and turns evil, Aang has to kill him. We can argue whether this is in-character until the pig-cows come home (and the fandom has certainly been doing that, to my satisfaction), but it doesn't change how dumb a plot point this is. To quote Iroh: "AND THEN WHAT?!" If Aang kills Zuko, what happens to the Fire Nation? Who will rule it? Who will keep it from sliding towards war again? Who will protect it from the vengeance of the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribes? Will the Fire Nation dissolve into civil war? Do any of these questions come up when the characters are agonizing over the matter of killing Zuko? No. No they does not.


The Contrivance - Part One
"But Loopy," you say, if you haven't been gorging yourself on spoilers, "why is anyone thinking of killing Zuko?" I'm glad you asked that. I don't have an answer for you, but at least you're asking the same question I was. See, the matter of the colonies has a twist: some of the Hotmen born in the colonies don't want to leave their home! This is a very insightful observation, but for some reason it doesn't come up until after Aang and Zuko have been forcibly relocating people for a whole year. A teenage girl only brings it to Zuko's attention by traveling to the Fire Nation, infiltrating the royal palace, and trying to assassinate Zuko right outside his bedroom in his palace's tower. You might wonder how good this girl has to be to accomplish this, but it turns out to be easier than expected. Aside from Zuko and a handful of soldiers, we don't see anyone from the Fire Nation anywhere in the book. There are no advisors, ministers, military command, servants, or anything. (Mai appears once, but she strolls right into Zuko’s throne room near the end of the book. Maybe she was on vacation?) This probably accounts for how Zuko could decide to forcibly relocate all the colonists after a single five-minute meeting and not get any feedback on the idea until a disgruntled patriot tries to put a spiked ball in his head. So what does Zuko with this new perspective?

Why, he immediately leaves the Fire Nation so that he can bring the girl home and yell at her father. Granted, her father turns out to be the governor of one of the colonies, but I wouldn't think such a confrontation would be worth the trip. But hey, maybe we don't see any government personnel because they're all running the Fire Nation for Zuko. They must be pretty busy. So, once Zuko gets (yelled at by more disgruntled patriots and also receives) a look at the actual colonies he's dismantling, he does the reasonable thing and rethinks his policy, right? Sort of. Instead, he locks the town down, not letting anyone in or out, and immediately announces to his troops that the whole 'no more colonies' thing is officially being reversed, just tell anyone who asks about it to talk to the hand, yo. Why is he locking down the town, ordering any and all infiltrators attacked, and hanging around the place when he presumably has a day job back home?

So that the gAang can misunderstand and try to kill him, of course!

After a mere week, word of Zuko's rather extreme actions has spread to the point that protestors and terrorists are lining up outside Zuko's new pet colony, preparing to attack and kill him if he doesn't immediately remove all Hotmen from the premises. How did these people hear the news? How did it spread so fast? What does the Earth King think about this? Silly, don't ask questions like that. Comics don't have to be intelligent, they have pretty pictures instead! Aang and company arrive in the midst of this, only having been informed of the change in policy when they arrived on Fire Nation shores with a bunch of Hotmen who seem to be rather upset about getting kicked out of their homes.

Awkward.

So, Aang does the reasonable thing and sneaks into town with Katara. They bypass all the citizenry and reasonably go straight for Zuko. His soldiers attack, because those were his rather strange orders, after all, and when Aang and Katara defend themselves, Zuko rather reasonably gets furious and attacks his friends. Oh, did I keep saying reasonably? I meant incomprehensibly. Sorry about that. They're easy words to mix up. So, Aang rather reasonably decides that Zuko has turned irredeemably evil and needs to be killed right here and right now.

...I did it again, didn't I?

Thankfully, Katara calms everyone down, and they finally have that much-needed talk. Zuko explains his odd reasoning and Aang disagrees, but at least they're behaving like world leaders now and agree that this whole lockdown-quick-policy-changes-assassinating-friends thing is starting to seem a little counterproductive. So they schedule a real meeting with the Earth King to give that whole compromise thing a try. Knowing this crowd, I doubt it will go well, but hey, the first step is admitting that you have a problem.

Oh, wait, that's my addiction to the Avatar brand.

Just in case you think everyone is done being stupid, Zuko decides that this reasonable and hopeful situation is so dire, he needs the advice of his imprisoned father. Remember Fire Lord Ozai? He's the guy who spells 'foreign policy' with only the letters W, A, and R. Presumably, he compromised with some of his subordinates, at some point, although being a god-king with the full devotion of the military might have colored the dealings. Still! Ozai must have some experience that can help Zuko, even if it's advice on signing executive orders in triplicate.

Right?

Then again, maybe we just need a cheap cliff-hanger.


What Went Wrong?
It may seem like a stretch, despite my glowing words thus far, but I didn't really like this comic. I don't get how it wound up so shallow. It was made with input of Avatar creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, and they crafted a cartoon that provided a intelligent, emotionally-unflinching view of war that was still appropriate for kids. It was scripted by Gene Yang, and he's made a number of well done, character-driven graphic novels that have achieved some nice notice. (It was drawn by a Japanese penciler/colorist team called Gurihiru, and they did some obscure Power Pack comics for Marvel? Hey, they can’t all be winners.)

Maybe the problem is that none of the creative talent like or have experience with political thrillers. Gene Yang focuses mainly on character conflict in his own works, so perhaps he isn't at his best with characters who have already come of age, or with grand and detailed plots. The Mike and the Bryan created Avatar with a dedicated writing staff underneath them, so perhaps they're not used to doing the heavy lifting on plot development, and Gene didn't realize he needed a firmer hand on the reins. Maybe everyone involved just saw this project as a cheap, licensed cash-in. I hope not, and I'd like to give these guys the benefit of the doubt, but when the potentially interesting character of Kori the Teenage Mutant Ninja Assassin is left as a shallow plot device to change Zuko's mind, I can't help but wonder.


Korra's Spoiler Warning
A major problem with the story is, of course, the fact that we already know how it ends. The colonies will end up becoming a new nation, Aang won't kill Zuko, and everyone lives to about the age of sixty so that they don't get in the way of the new cartoon. Making Aang's promise to Zuko into the driving force behind the conflict is rather silly, considering that there's no tension whatsoever about it. The 'how' behind the creation of the United Republic would be more than interesting enough, but instead, it's being twisted into a contrived conflict between Aang and Zuko for no real gain.


The Art
I don't have much to say, here. Gurihiru doesn't produce bad art, by any means, but it's simpler and more "cartoony" than the art of the cartoon itself. I find it rather strange that the art in the comic adaptation is actually less detailed than the animated version, so, personally, I don't like it, but it's purely a matter of individual taste. The coloring is good, though.


The Good Bits
I don't want to be completely negative. I liked most of the parts focusing on Sokka and Toph. They amused me, and there's a very interesting part where the Earth Kingdom protesters turn on Sokka when he tries to calm them down, throwing rocks and calling him a "Water Tribe savage." Toph, as expected, goes ballistic and stands up for her good friend. I'd like to see this explored further, to find out if there really is some racism in the Earth Kingdom against their one-time allies, and how the gAang deals with it. We also got to see the gAang growing up, and that's nice.


Conclusion
Buy this comic immediately, but don't do it expecting something good. It talks down to its readers, perhaps expecting younger kids to be the primary audience. This is no excuse for poor plotting and characterization, as anyone who's read a Scrooge McDuck comic could tell you, and even worse, it's a betrayal of the original cartoon, which turned a story intended for kids into something this nerdy adult could love. However, as anyone who follows the comic industry knows, there's always hope for a better product on the horizon. It's happened with the licensed Star Wars products that Dark Horse puts out. It's happened with the Transformers comics I'm currently loving. It's happened with any number of superheroes. Support the Avatar brand, and maybe we'll be able to build on this shaky foundation.


Score: C/5
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NeeNee
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« Reply #109 on: Feb 01, 2012 11:24 pm »

^ That's a great review, Loopy. I haven't read the book yet, but from what I heard, your description makes perfect sense.

... It's a shame, really. Undecided They should at least have realized that politics don't work that way. But I guess they were mostly focussing on the characters indeed, so that sort of things got overlooked. Still a pity, though, I would have loved something complicated and insightful.

I'm still gonna buy it, of course. Smiley In fact, I already did several months ago. They may not be the best stories, but it'll be great to see the gaang again nonetheless. And perhaps there is still more to come in the future, and since I suppose Gene will learn from his mistakes, things should only be getting better from here.
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Loopy
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« Reply #110 on: Feb 01, 2012 11:29 pm »

Thanks. I'm encouraged that I liked the parts with Sokka and Toph, and the next book is going to be focusing on them, so perhaps I'll be more entertained next time. As you said, the focus seems to be more on the characters, so that's all I'm going to expect anything of.
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« Reply #111 on: Feb 01, 2012 11:34 pm »

Thanks. I'm encouraged that I liked the parts with Sokka and Toph, and the next book is going to be focusing on them, so perhaps I'll be more entertained next time. As you said, the focus seems to be more on the characters, so that's all I'm going to expect anything of.

Everyone has been saying that they're annoyed that it's going to focus on those two. Finally someone else is looking forward to it, i thought i was the only one.
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« Reply #112 on: Feb 02, 2012 12:01 am »

I don't I didn't think it was that bad.  Certainly could have been better but its meant to be 1/3.  I'll judge it once I've read parts 2 and 3 to go with it.  They're just getting the story set up.
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« Reply #113 on: Feb 02, 2012 12:07 am »

^ Yeah, but they're not gonna explain in part 3 why Aang didn't think more deeply about moving the colonies in over a year.
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« Reply #114 on: Feb 02, 2012 12:12 am »

I could see that the comic was going to be awful with the few pages I saw on the Amazon preview. Thank you, Loopy, for confirming my suspicions and saving me some money. I just won't ever consider the comics canon and imagine my own political thriller in my mind. Tongue
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Red Hawk
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« Reply #115 on: Feb 02, 2012 12:24 am »

So the strongest critic of "The Promise" has laid down his gauntlet.  Time for The Promise's valiant loyalists to take up arms in its defense...

Or I should just say, good write-up Loopy.  Though a lot of what I'm about to say disagrees with it, you obviously put a lot of thought into it, and that's always a good thing.

The Problem of The Promise
See, the title of this story refers to a promise Zuko solicits from Aang at the beginning of the book- if Zuko even spontaneously cracks under the pressure of ruling a nation and turns evil, Aang has to kill him. We can argue whether this is in-character until the pig-cows come home (and the fandom has certainly been doing that, to my satisfaction), but it doesn't change how dumb a plot point this is. To quote Iroh: "AND THEN WHAT?!" If Aang kills Zuko, what happens to the Fire Nation? Who will rule it? Who will keep it from sliding towards war again? Who will protect it from the vengeance of the Earth Kingdom and Water Tribes? Will the Fire Nation dissolve into civil war? Do any of these questions come up when the characters are agonizing over the matter of killing Zuko? No. No they does not.

I don't agree that the titular promise is stupid for that reason.  More war and conflict may result from that, but Aang would only kill Zuko if things were headed that way anyways.  Zuko wants a "safety net"  -- something to keep anyone from getting to powerful to handle, and that includes him.  It fits in with Roku's advice to Aang (which Roku directly says to Aang later).  Aang needs to be decisive to prevent people from going down that path again.

Quote
The Contrivance - Part One
"But Loopy," you say, if you haven't been gorging yourself on spoilers, "why is anyone thinking of killing Zuko?" I'm glad you asked that. I don't have an answer for you, but at least you're asking the same question I was. See, the matter of the colonies has a twist: some of the Hotmen born in the colonies don't want to leave their home! This is a very insightful observation, but for some reason it doesn't come up until after Aang and Zuko have been forcibly relocating people for a whole year. A teenage girl only brings it to Zuko's attention by traveling to the Fire Nation, infiltrating the royal palace, and trying to assassinate Zuko right outside his bedroom in his palace's tower. You might wonder how good this girl has to be to accomplish this, but it turns out to be easier than expected. Aside from Zuko and a handful of soldiers, we don't see anyone from the Fire Nation anywhere in the book. There are no advisors, ministers, military command, servants, or anything. (Mai appears once, but she strolls right into Zuko’s throne room near the end of the book. Maybe she was on vacation?) This probably accounts for how Zuko could decide to forcibly relocate all the colonists after a single five-minute meeting and not get any feedback on the idea until a disgruntled patriot tries to put a spiked ball in his head. So what does Zuko with this new perspective?

The Hundred Year War was always about Us vs. Them.  Fire Nation vs. Earth Kingdom.  The Fire Nation colonies were still part of the Earth Kingdom, and the Earth Kingdom winning meant the Fire Nation would leave the Earth Kingdom.  Period.  Smellerbee said to Aang, "The Earth Kingdom has waited for over a hundred years to be rid of those ash makers." Also, part of what Aang has been fighting for is to restore balance to the world, not just end the war.  In the intro to the show, Katara says that "Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony." What is the balance?  Aang puts it this way to Zuko, "Harmony requires four separate nations to balance each other out!  You can't have balance if one nation occupies another!"  This echoes what Roku said to Sozin when Sozin suggested expanding the Fire Nation, "The Four Nations are meant to be just that.  Four." From the Avatar characters' perspectives, the Harmony Restoration Movement sending the Fire Nation citizens back to the homeland seemed good and valid.  Of course, from our outside perspective we the audience know it's a bad idea, but that's a perspective the characters don't have.  The book, then, is about showing them other perspectives that prove them wrong.

Quote
Why, he immediately leaves the Fire Nation so that he can bring the girl home and yell at her father. Granted, her father turns out to be the governor of one of the colonies, but I wouldn't think such a confrontation would be worth the trip. But hey, maybe we don't see any government personnel because they're all running the Fire Nation for Zuko. They must be pretty busy. So, once Zuko gets (yelled at by more disgruntled patriots and also receives) a look at the actual colonies he's dismantling, he does the reasonable thing and rethinks his policy, right? Sort of. Instead, he locks the town down, not letting anyone in or out, and immediately announces to his troops that the whole 'no more colonies' thing is officially being reversed, just tell anyone who asks about it to talk to the hand, yo. Why is he locking down the town, ordering any and all infiltrators attacked, and hanging around the place when he presumably has a day job back home?

It should be noted that it's Smellerbee that tells the gAang they can't get in; they don't even try to talk to the soldiers at the gate.  Presumably the lockdown is to make sure regular Earth Kingdom people don't cause trouble.  If Aang were to approach the gate, they would summon Zuko or just let them in.  If anything, the gAang is rude for jumping to conclusions and bypassing the front gate in a precarious situation.  Who knows?  Zuko may have been hanging around because he expected the Avatar to show up.

Quote
So that the gAang can misunderstand and try to kill him, of course!

...no.  The gAang is certainly aware of the possibility that they may have to use deadly force on Zuko, but Aang repeatedly says that he does not intend to kill Zuko.

Quote
After a mere week, word of Zuko's rather extreme actions has spread to the point that protestors and terrorists are lining up outside Zuko's new pet colony, preparing to attack and kill him if he doesn't immediately remove all Hotmen from the premises. How did these people hear the news? How did it spread so fast? What does the Earth King think about this? Silly, don't ask questions like that. Comics don't have to be intelligent, they have pretty pictures instead! Aang and company arrive in the midst of this, only having been informed of the change in policy when they arrived on Fire Nation shores with a bunch of Hotmen who seem to be rather upset about getting kicked out of their homes.

Awkward.

Well...yeah.  It could be that Aang was, y'know, at sea when Zuko's orders went out, and the orders arrived at the port shortly before Aang & co. got there.  The protesters could be local Earth Kingdom people who don't like Zuko's actions, or are jumping to conclusions about his intentions.

I will say that you seem to expect a bit too much explanation out of the comic.  It's arguably got too much exposition in it as is.  A work of fiction can be intelligent without explaining every little thing.

Quote
So, Aang does the reasonable thing and sneaks into town with Katara. They bypass all the citizenry and reasonably go straight for Zuko. His soldiers attack, because those were his rather strange orders, after all, and when Aang and Katara defend themselves, Zuko rather reasonably gets furious and attacks his friends. Oh, did I keep saying reasonably? I meant incomprehensibly. Sorry about that. They're easy words to mix up. So, Aang rather reasonably decides that Zuko has turned irredeemably evil and needs to be killed right here and right now.

...I did it again, didn't I?

This is where things start going awry, and that's the point.  I again disagree with how you imply Aang makes his "decision" to kill Zuko.  You see, there's this little thing called the Avatar State that tends to get out of hand when he gets emotional, and even though he's starting to control it he still doesn't have full control

Quote
Just in case you think everyone is done being stupid, Zuko decides that this reasonable and hopeful situation is so dire, he needs the advice of his imprisoned father. Remember Fire Lord Ozai? He's the guy who spells 'foreign policy' with only the letters W, A, and R. Presumably, he compromised with some of his subordinates, at some point, although being a god-king with the full devotion of the military might have colored the dealings. Still! Ozai must have some experience that can help Zuko, even if it's advice on signing executive orders in triplicate.

Right?

Then again, maybe we just need a cheap cliff-hanger.

You don't know what exactly Zuko is asking.  The point is to show Zuko's desperation.  All the stress has gotten to him, both over the immediate developments in Yu Dao and just ruling for the past year.  And, for all his faults, Ozai does have what no one else he knows has -- the experience of ruling the Fire Nation.  It's also nicely set up earlier in the comic, when we see the end of Zuko's conversation with Ozai after the Comet, so it's not at all "cheap".

Quote
Korra's Spoiler Warning
A major problem with the story is, of course, the fact that we already know how it ends. The colonies will end up becoming a new nation, Aang won't kill Zuko, and everyone lives to about the age of sixty so that they don't get in the way of the new cartoon. Making Aang's promise to Zuko into the driving force behind the conflict is rather silly, considering that there's no tension whatsoever about it. The 'how' behind the creation of the United Republic would be more than interesting enough, but instead, it's being twisted into a contrived conflict between Aang and Zuko for no real gain.

Well, the first episode of Korra wasn't supposed to have clips leaked at this point, so this is hardly something you can blame on the comic.

Quote
Conclusion
Buy this comic immediately, but don't do it expecting something good. It talks down to its readers, perhaps expecting younger kids to be the primary audience. This is no excuse for poor plotting and characterization, as anyone who's read a Scrooge McDuck comic could tell you, and even worse, it's a betrayal of the original cartoon, which turned a story intended for kids into something this nerdy adult could love. However, as anyone who follows the comic industry knows, there's always hope for a better product on the horizon. It's happened with the licensed Star Wars products that Dark Horse puts out. It's happened with the Transformers comics I'm currently loving. It's happened with any number of superheroes. Support the Avatar brand, and maybe we'll be able to build on this shaky foundation.

I never got the feeling I was being talked down to when I read this.  I thought the subject matter was dealt with maturely.  I pretty much disagree with your whole conclusion, except the "buy now" part.
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2012 01:07 am by Red Hawk » Logged
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« Reply #116 on: Feb 02, 2012 12:41 am »

Screw grabbing that entire article just so I can quote the one sentence I disagree with!

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The coloring is good, though.

I considered the color work pretty enough, but then whilst in the middle of the aforementioned fan-battle in the spoilers thread regarding the titular promise, I decided to go back and read back up on The Lost Tales, the first story of which is - much like this - a bridge comic between seasons 2 and 3...in fact that's what it's called: The Bridge.  Coming back from that particular story, I find the color work in The Promise - while still quite professional - to be uninspired and vacant, which is actually rather appropriate given the writing.  For all it's brevity (and sloppiness, the guy can't draw for s***) The Bridge had atmospheric color work that just puts The Promise to shame.  The Bridge actually is good example of what this comic should have been: A somber piece of character driven drama.

UPDATE: Just saw Red Hawks response and I found some parts that needed correctituding.

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More war and conflict may result from that, but Aang would only kill Zuko if things were headed that way anyways

The comic has Aang attempting to kill Zuko when the only conflict is protesters at a city gate.  Are you honestly going to tell me that justifies the risk of sending an entire military nation into political chaos?

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The book, then is about showing them other perspectives that prove them wrong.

The point he's making is that this problem is obvious to anyone with a modicum of common sense.  The characters not realizing this comes off as a plot contrivance in order for the book to do exactly what you said, which renders the entire conflict artificial and hallow.

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The gAang is certainly aware of the possibility that they may have to use deadly force on Zuko, but Aang repeatedly says that he does not intend to kill Zuko.

Then he attempts to kill Zuko.  Roll Eyes

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You see, there's this little thing called the Avatar State that tends to get out of hand when he gets emotional, and even though he's starting to control it he still doesn't have full control

Y'mean the Avatar State we see him have enough control to exit in order to not kill Ozai, who was attacking him with considerably more lethal force?  The Avatar State he has enough control to use without even glowing when he bends the entire ocean in order quench the fires of the Ozai's fleet?  That Avatar State?   Roll Eyes

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All the stress has gotten to him, both over the immediate developments in Yu Dao and just ruling for the past year.

Stress caused by the plot contrived idiocy of his - and everyone else's - decisions, again rendering the consequences hallow.
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2012 01:10 am by Ubern00b » Logged

Red Hawk
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« Reply #117 on: Feb 02, 2012 01:50 am »

The comic has Aang attempting to kill Zuko when the only conflict is protesters at a city gate.  Are you honestly going to tell me that justifies the risk of sending an entire military nation into political chaos?

No, and neither does the comic.  Aang thanks Katara afterward for stopping him from doing it.

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The point he's making is that this problem is obvious to anyone with a modicum of common sense.  The characters not realizing this comes off as a plot contrivance in order for the book to do exactly what you said, which renders the entire conflict artificial and hallow.

They do realize that the relocation will be difficult.  Aang himself says that, "Removing the colonies won't be easy.  A lot of people's lives are going to be disrupted."  But just being hard doesn't make something wrong.  The Harmony Restoration Movement, from the Avatar characters' perspectives, fits in with the reason they have been fighting throughout the show, as my quotes showed.

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Then he attempts to kill Zuko.  Roll Eyes

Y'mean the Avatar State we see him have enough control to exit in order to not kill Ozai, who was attacking him with considerably more lethal force?  The Avatar State he has enough control to use without even glowing when he bends the entire ocean in order quench the fires of the Ozai's fleet?  That Avatar State?   Roll Eyes

The Avatar State that almost killed Ozai and Aang barely stopped in time, the Avatar State that tends to be unpredictable even when it's supposed to be "controlled" (like Roku's first attempt), and has consistently been tied to the Avatar's emotions, which were not a problem when Aang drew in the ocean?  Yes, that Avatar State.  Wink

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Stress caused by the plot contrived idiocy of his - and everyone else's - decisions, again rendering the consequences hallow.

Five attempts on one's life is a hollow source of stress?
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« Reply #118 on: Feb 02, 2012 02:31 am »

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No, and neither does the comic.

I know.  You're the one who said that he would only kill Zuko under those conditions.  Then he tries to kill Zuko...not under those conditions.

...I was pointing out that fact that you were wrong.  Get it?

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They do realize that the relocation will be difficult.  Aang himself says that, "Removing the colonies won't be easy.  A lot of people's lives are going to be disrupted."

Saying a task will be difficult and acknowledging its obvious flaws are not the same thing.  I don't know why you'd think it would.

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The Avatar State that almost killed Ozai and Aang barely stopped in time, the Avatar State that tends to be unpredictable even when it's supposed to be "controlled" (like Roku's first attempt), and has consistently been tied to the Avatar's emotions, which were not a problem when Aang drew in the ocean?  Yes, that Avatar State.

Barely stopped is still stopped and the whole point of that ocean scene was to clue you in to the fact that he's mastered it.  So no, not your Avatar State, which no longer exists for Aang.  So actually this comic is breaking canon...y'know aside from the entire premise.

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Five attempts on one's life is a hollow source of stress?

He didn't go to Ozai because of five attempts on his life.
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2012 02:36 am by Ubern00b » Logged

Red Hawk
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« Reply #119 on: Feb 02, 2012 03:15 am »

I know.  You're the one who said that he would only kill Zuko under those conditions.  Then he tries to kill Zuko...not under those conditions.

...I was pointing out that fact that you were wrong.  Get it?

When he made the promise, that was not the intended conditions.  That's part of why he ends up, y'know, not doing it.  Some poor judgment later on does not make the original purpose of the promise invalid or stupid.

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Saying a task will be difficult and acknowledging its obvious flaws are not the same thing.  I don't know why you'd think it would.

Difficulty is a type of flaw.  Being morally wrong is another.  From their perspective, it's not morally wrong.

There is another aspect to this aside from its morality.  The Earth Kingdom wants the Fire Nation out.  Many Earth Kingdom citizens still view the Fire Nation as the enemy, and the colonies as a symbol of their invasion.  Earth King Kuei expresses this at the beginning, "For the Earth Kingdom people, [the colonies are] a constant reminder of the war, like an old scar."  If Aang doesn't act, they will.  When Zuko insists that exceptions be made for all the Fire Nation colonies, Aang responds that it would make peace impossible.  This is reinforced by Smellerbee, with her ultimatum, "We'll give you three days, Avatar Aang.  After that, the Freedom Fighters will figure out a solution on our own."  If Aang doesn't act and leaves the Fire Nation colonies alone, the Earth Kingdom people will.  So it's mean to force the Fire Nation to leave.  The people of the Earth Kingdom don't care.  

Moving the colonies back to the Fire Nation is the only way to stop the war from starting back up again, from Aang's perspective.  It's not that he would lead the Earth Kingdom in that fight; they simply wouldn't listen to him asking them to stop.  Given the two choices, would you pick war over relocation? (yes, I know they eventually settle on a third option, but they haven't thought of it yet)

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Barely stopped is still stopped and the whole point of that ocean scene was to clue you in to the fact that he's mastered it.  So no, not your Avatar State, which no longer exists for Aang.  So actually this comic is breaking canon...y'know aside from the entire premise.

The whole point?  That's just your interpretation.  Please, show me a line where anyone states that Aang has full control of the Avatar State.  Until then, this is adding to canon.  Your interpretation is explicitly wrong.  He has partial control, but can still lose control to his emotions.

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He didn't go to Ozai because of five attempts on his life.

Not quite, but it was part of the problem.  The crisis at Yu Dao can be seen as the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back".
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2012 03:22 am by Red Hawk » Logged
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« Reply #120 on: Feb 02, 2012 03:48 am »

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That's part of why he ends up, y'know, not doing it.

No, it isn't.  The comic very clearly shows there was only one reason he didn't do it, and that wasn't it.

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Difficulty is a type of flaw.  Being morally wrong is another.  From their perspective, it's not morally wrong.

Irrelevant.  Feeling morally confident doesn't overcome simple common sense.

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The whole point?  That's just your interpretation.

So is yours...as is that unsubstantiated Earth Kingdom nonsense for that matter.  It's ineffective as a counterpoint to Loopy's original comment on the issue.  Moving on...

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Not quite, but it was part of the problem.  The crisis at Yu Dao can be seen as the proverbial "straw that broke the camel's back".

Which was the direct result of poor decisions by characters carrying a plot idiot ball.  I already pointed this out.
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2012 03:50 am by Ubern00b » Logged

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« Reply #121 on: Feb 02, 2012 10:55 am »

I could see that the comic was going to be awful with the few pages I saw on the Amazon preview. Thank you, Loopy, for confirming my suspicions and saving me some money. I just won't ever consider the comics canon and imagine my own political thriller in my mind. Tongue

Jeez , it wasn't awful...

I don't know why people don't read things themselves...
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« Reply #122 on: Feb 02, 2012 11:14 am »

Like I said in that post, you just quoted, I don't want to waste my money on something I don't like.

You liked it? Good for you (I mean that in the nicest way possible)! But it's perfectly possible that I have different tastes than you, and it's possible that the Promise isn't to my tastes.
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LadyKim
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Hold up, wait a minute, put a little love in it~


« Reply #123 on: Feb 02, 2012 11:18 am »

I actually loved it ;P since we at least got something- and Zuko's in it. lol.
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« Reply #124 on: Feb 02, 2012 11:43 am »

No, it isn't.  The comic very clearly shows there was only one reason he didn't do it, and that wasn't it.

What, Katara stepping in?  Then why did she intervene in the first place?  Aang wasn't in his right mind at the moment to correctly judge that the promise's conditions were filled.  Katara realized this, and stopped him.

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Irrelevant.  Feeling morally confident doesn't overcome simple common sense.

Why?  I've already pointed out that they understood moving the colonies would be difficult.  If you admit that they were morally confident, what is left that conflicts with "common sense"?

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So is yours...as is that unsubstantiated Earth Kingdom nonsense for that matter.  It's ineffective as a counterpoint to Loopy's original comment on the issue.  Moving on...

No, I've been backing up my points with quotes from both the comic book and the show.  You haven't.

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Which was the direct result of poor decisions by characters carrying a plot idiot ball.  I already pointed this out.

Ok, that doesn't make the attempts on his life unrelated to why Zuko went to Ozai or make the stress hollow.
« Last Edit: Feb 02, 2012 11:55 am by Red Hawk » Logged
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