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Author Topic: [DH Comics #11] Smoke and Shadow, Part 2  (Read 13313 times)
AtoMaki
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« Reply #125 on: Jan 17, 2016 09:49 am »

Societies can't survive for hundreds of years without access to any of the resources they use on a daily basis.  Just bite the figurative bullet and accept that the fire lion turtle city has industry already.

You see, the whole argument comes down to this. We can "bite the bullet" and make literally anything real. Your theory is just as absurd as mine. You can nitpick for pages, but everything and its contrary can be explained with the right assumptions in place.

And jsut to show that I'm not really into this game, here is how you could disprove the pre-Lion Turtle FN theory: if the FN had existed before the Lion turtles, then why did the Fire Lord break up his domain to what was essentially the Fire Islands 2.0? This doesn't make any sense and it can't be explained. At worst, the Fire Lord should have kept the Fire Lion Turtle Cities in a cluster to retain his rule or at least maintain communications with the cities.
« Last Edit: Jan 17, 2016 02:39 pm by AtoMaki » Logged

Keeper of Suki's firebending ancestry, the Kyoshi Warrior dojo, the love potion made from rainbows and sunsets and the mecha tanks.

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« Reply #126 on: Jan 17, 2016 11:51 pm »

Societies can't survive for hundreds of years without access to any of the resources they use on a daily basis.  Just bite the figurative bullet and accept that the fire lion turtle city has industry already.

You see, the whole argument comes down to this. We can "bite the bullet" and make literally anything real. Your theory is just as absurd as mine. You can nitpick for pages, but everything and its contrary can be explained with the right assumptions in place.

And jsut to show that I'm not really into this game, here is how you could disprove the pre-Lion Turtle FN theory: if the FN had existed before the Lion turtles, then why did the Fire Lord break up his domain to what was essentially the Fire Islands 2.0? This doesn't make any sense and it can't be explained. At worst, the Fire Lord should have kept the Fire Lion Turtle Cities in a cluster to retain his rule or at least maintain communications with the cities.

I'm not buying the "both theories are equally absurd" thing.  My preferred headcanon -- that humans didn't have bending prior to the lion turtles, progressed technologically and were granted bending while protected, suffered a setback both technologically and in bending capacity once that protection vanished, and then learned from the animal masters before creating the long-lasting societies that continued to exist in A:tLA -- requires only two things: first, that the industry implied to exist on the lion turtles actually did exist, and second, that losing the conditions under which humanity was able to attain bending and advanced technology resulted in a crash in those abilities.  The idea that people learned from the bending masters and created those long-lasting societies before the lion turtles showed up requires a lot more issues to be dealt with.

And, yeah, the "why would the Fire Lord break up his domain?" thing is a good one (though I'd always operated under the assumption that the continued existence of the Sun Warriors would have required the civilizations to split up somehow anyway, hence why I gave you a pass on that =P ).
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AtoMaki
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« Reply #127 on: Jan 18, 2016 08:25 am »

Okay, after this lengthy interlude, let's have something comic-related silliness.

So, according to Zuko, Sozin locked down the old Fire Lords in the catacombs because he wanted to be the very first. There is actually a very big problem with this:

Yet, Sozin forgot to remove the old Fire Lords from the Royal Palace itself? He only concerned himself with the catacomb that is probably only visited by the Fire Sages? But left those big pictures readily accessible for literally anyone in the palace in place? What the hell?

Also, a friend of mine pointed out that the First Fire Lord and his chaps had girly hair. That hairstyle he and his followers had are strictly feminine. As a comparison (provided by my friend), it is like you wore Princess Leia's spiral buns as a guy. Again... What the hell Shocked?
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ahintoflime
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« Reply #128 on: Jan 18, 2016 10:30 am »

Okay, after this lengthy interlude, let's have something comic-related silliness.

So, according to Zuko, Sozin locked down the old Fire Lords in the catacombs because he wanted to be the very first. There is actually a very big problem with this:
http://dvdscreenshots.avatarspiritmedia.net/atla/306/038.jpg
Yet, Sozin forgot to remove the old Fire Lords from the Royal Palace itself? He only concerned himself with the catacomb that is probably only visited by the Fire Sages? But left those big pictures readily accessible for literally anyone in the palace in place? What the hell?

Also, a friend of mine pointed out that the First Fire Lord and his chaps had girly hair. That hairstyle he and his followers had are strictly feminine. As a comparison (provided by my friend), it is like you wore Princess Leia's spiral buns as a guy. Again... What the hell Shocked?

Maybe he meant in terms of ideals? Like if the founding fathers for the USA said "The right to bear arms. However, if you are kinda silly or having homicidal tendencies, you forfeit that right," then 'Sozin' would have omitted the part dealing with "however." We still have pictures of George and the gAang, but we don't know their full story.

As for the hairstyle, perhaps they were social justice warriors before it was cool?
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srebak
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« Reply #129 on: Jan 20, 2016 02:03 pm »

Let me start by saying that i really wish certain things that were confirmed/settled/revealed in the comics so far were left ambiguous

The series ended on a pretty satisfying note; two of the things i liked were Sukka and Maiko were official by the end. But now, not only am i almost positive now that Maiko is over and done for good, but it is starting to feel plausible that Sukka might end too in favor of Zuki (or whatever the ship is called)
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Loopy
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« Reply #130 on: Jan 20, 2016 07:40 pm »

Cool.

Wanna bet money about whether Maiko comes back? I'll give you odds on it still being broken by the end of Part 3, but if we do a 5-year term, then I think it's 1:1.
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« Reply #131 on: Jan 20, 2016 11:40 pm »

Back in the Promise, Maiko broke up in the first place because the Fire Lord gave his girlfriend the cold shoulder, not wanting to burden her with silly things like "emotions." But by Smoke and Shadows, Zuko is confiding his feelings to Suki on a balcony, finally letting someone else help shoulder the burden with him. That's a pretty big deal for Zuko. Add the fact that in the same issue, Mai is seen putting away a photo of Zuko and herself, symbolically ending their relationship.

Of course, I wouldn't be shocked if in the same vein as Ross and Rachel, Maiko got back together at some point in the future. But something tells me that when Mai let go of the picture, that was the sign that both were going to move on. 
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Icy_Ashford
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« Reply #132 on: Jan 21, 2016 01:38 am »

Finally read the comic, I'm a sucker for old-age style paintings so the History of the Fire Nation panels were visually appealing to me.

As for the overall story. I feel there are too many things going on at once.

- Ursa's cold hands and Kiyi's constant refusal to accept her as her mother
- Unresolved Maiko tension... I think
- Maikolo love triangle
- Ukano and his band of Zuko haters
- Azula??
- Why kidnap kids for?

So yeah, I don't know how they're gonna resolve everything for part 3.
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Kairok
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« Reply #133 on: Jan 21, 2016 02:16 am »

Finally read the comic, I'm a sucker for old-age style paintings so the History of the Fire Nation panels were visually appealing to me.

As for the overall story. I feel there are too many things going on at once.

- Ursa's cold hands and Kiyi's constant refusal to accept her as her mother
- Unresolved Maiko tension... I think
- Maikolo love triangle
- Ukano and his band of Zuko haters
- Azula??
- Why kidnap kids for?

So yeah, I don't know how they're gonna resolve everything for part 3.

Well, they don't neccessarily have to resolve the first three. Those could be left for later stories. Azula is the thing I'm most concerned about. She could have had an entire trilogy devoted to her return alone.
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Loopy
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« Reply #134 on: Jan 21, 2016 08:00 pm »

Back in the Promise, Maiko broke up in the first place because the Fire Lord gave his girlfriend the cold shoulder, not wanting to burden her with silly things like "emotions." But by Smoke and Shadows, Zuko is confiding his feelings to Suki on a balcony, finally letting someone else help shoulder the burden with him. That's a pretty big deal for Zuko. Add the fact that in the same issue, Mai is seen putting away a photo of Zuko and herself, symbolically ending their relationship.

Of course, I wouldn't be shocked if in the same vein as Ross and Rachel, Maiko got back together at some point in the future. But something tells me that when Mai let go of the picture, that was the sign that both were going to move on. 

I think it's more a reflection that Zuko considers Suki a subhuman nothing with no feelings or thoughts of her own.

He probably respected her before she started working for him, but he grew up as royalty; he just isn't trained to expect the help to have a brain.
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« Reply #135 on: Jan 22, 2016 12:55 am »

Back in the Promise, Maiko broke up in the first place because the Fire Lord gave his girlfriend the cold shoulder, not wanting to burden her with silly things like "emotions." But by Smoke and Shadows, Zuko is confiding his feelings to Suki on a balcony, finally letting someone else help shoulder the burden with him. That's a pretty big deal for Zuko. Add the fact that in the same issue, Mai is seen putting away a photo of Zuko and herself, symbolically ending their relationship.

Of course, I wouldn't be shocked if in the same vein as Ross and Rachel, Maiko got back together at some point in the future. But something tells me that when Mai let go of the picture, that was the sign that both were going to move on. 

I think it's more a reflection that Zuko considers Suki a subhuman nothing with no feelings or thoughts of her own.

Or it means he trusts her judgement as both a leader and human being. Zuko feels close enough with Suki to share his feelings and concerns with her, that Zuko respects Suki's opinion and wants to hear her thoughts on the matter.  I think the balcony scene is a reflection of how much the Fire Lord and Kyoshi Warrior's relationship has grown in the past year.  Smiley
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« Reply #136 on: Jan 22, 2016 06:13 pm »

But it can only lead to a functional romance if you think Zuko has grown in the last year.

Sadly, he's still essentially a self-loathing, destructive jerk who shouldn't be in charge of a party, never mind a nation. He can get along with Suki because he doesn't realize she wants to seduce him, but as soon as he does, every subconscious fiber of his being will be focused on driving her away screaming. He doesn't love himself, so he can't process (in a healthy manner) the idea that someone else loves him.

It's like he's a basher for all his own ships.
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« Reply #137 on: Jan 24, 2016 02:56 pm »

I am not surprised that Azula showed up. I pretty much knew she was going to have some role in this story at some point. It looks like Ukano is trying to get the Fire Nation on his side while secretly working with the Kemurikage.
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« Reply #138 on: Jan 25, 2016 07:24 pm »

I want to see Zuko vs Azula the final, final Agni Kai and Azula better die, she is beyond saving. Unless her and Ursa have some stupid heart to heart moment and Azula goes through a metamorphosis then comes down with the ' Happy Zuko Syndrome'.
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Loopy
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« Reply #139 on: Jan 25, 2016 07:51 pm »

I dunno, if we got another final Agni Kai and the soundtrack from the cartoon was literally called The Last Agni Kai, then I'm never going to buy that the latest one is the last. I'll always be expecting another one down the road as long as both siblings are alive. And even if one dies, I wouldn't be sure, because comic books.
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Mahaanus
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« Reply #140 on: Feb 20, 2016 05:25 pm »

I have to admit...S&S2 stood on my shelf for a long while before I got around reading it.

I post sparcly enough as it is, but it's becoming hard to enjoy the comics. I enjoy the main storylines, but they become so bloated. Like this series, I don't know why we have to antagonists (The Kemirukage and The New Ozai Society), just pick one and flesh it out. I can't say I'm feeling Ukano as this big threat he's supposed to be and the Naruto Ninjas...we'll, I wish we had something to go with here, we're on issue 2 (then again, everything being unexplained until part 3 has become hallmark of the series).

I dunno, if we got another final Agni Kai and the soundtrack from the cartoon was literally called The Last Agni Kai, then I'm never going to buy that the latest one is the last. I'll always be expecting another one down the road as long as both siblings are alive. And even if one dies, I wouldn't be sure, because comic books.

I think Bryke have a hard stance on death, at least they won't milk the "back from the death" thing. As for "final Agni Kai" thingy - I think we should get comfortable here. They'll bleed the "will she or won't she" thing for as long as they can with Azula. You know, we've talked about this and redeeming Azula in a single trilogy would be cheap (considering what Zuko had to go through), but the waiting time between issues has been a killer. At this point we've been waiting for years for this plotline to resolve itself.

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« Reply #141 on: Feb 20, 2016 08:29 pm »

Fair point about death's revolving door. We know that the Mike and the Bryan said no to Jet coming back. That was a good sign, but I do wonder if they'd take such a hard line over characters killed in the comics themselves, or if Gene could just argue that he intended a fake-out all along.
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« Reply #142 on: Feb 21, 2016 12:07 am »

So I shouldn't get my hopes up for Gene to bring the Red Lotus or the Blood Brothers back from the dead in LoK comics, huh? Cheesy
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« Reply #143 on: Mar 20, 2016 05:26 am »

I'm actually liking this comic a lot so far (haven't received Part 3 yet). Better than The Search... which is kinda sad, because The Search is the one I was looking forward to most. Undecided But it was just so weird, while this is sort of expected but still with a bunch of surprises thrown in. It's my favourite trilogy out of the series so far.
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« Reply #144 on: Dec 17, 2016 12:50 am »

Continuing to share comments by Gene & Gurihiru from Part 2 in the library editon of Smoke and Shadow like I did with Part 1. There might be typos.

Gene's comments:

The very first page of Part 2.
Quote
That's the Avatarverse equivalent of a Tibetan singing bowl, often used to signal the beginning and end of meditation.

Zuko visits the Dragonbone Catacombs.
Quote
The Fire Sages Capital Temple and the Dragonbone Catacombs beneath first showed up in the episode "The Avatar and the Fire Lord."

Shyu, however, wasn't in that episode. He first appeared in "Avatar Roku." Shyu was the only Fire Sage still loyal to the old ways. On Crescent Island, he helped Aang get in touch with his past life.

Although we don't show it in the comics, Shyu was appointed Great Sage after the end of the war.

When the Constable's kid gets kidnapped.
Quote
In the first draft of the script, only the dad goes into the room to fight the Kemurikage. It didn't feel right... It didn't feel realistic. Moms fight for the kids. Always.

Kei Lo finds a way to unlock the door in the Dragonbone Catacombs.
Quote
I didn't want to repeat the sequence from "Avatar Roku," so I couldn't let those doors be opened with firebending. We had to come up with something different.

I also wanted to give Kei Lo a chance to flirt with Mai. I figured it would give Zuko and Mai's conversation a few pages later some more oomph.

Mai reads the scroll about the Kemurikage.
Quote
Mike, Bryan, the editors, and I debated whether the legend of the Kemurikage was too bleak. In the end, we decided to run with it.

Mai and Zuko have a talk.
Quote
I've only had a couple of girlfriends in my life, so I haven't experienced all that many breakups. But the ones I did have to go through were pretty rough. I drew on some of that emotion to write this scene.

The Kemurikage spirit talks about the first Fire Lord.
Quote
Here, we wanted to show that the position of the Fire Lord is rooted in good. Not every Fire Lord is like Ozai, Azulon, and Sozin.

The scene where Mai isn't happy that Zuko is being so harsh after finding out Ukano undermined his authority.
Quote
When Mai, Tom-Tom, and their parents first appeared in "Return to Omashu," Mai wasn't all that warm toward her little brother. In fact, she was willing to go along with Azula's plan to give him up to Team Avatar.

As the series progressed, however, we saw Mai opening up. She made a place in her heart for Zuko. She gathered her courage and stood up to Azula. These changes allowed her to warm up to her brother, too.

The last page of Part 2 where Azula is revealed to be the Kemurikage.
Quote
Were you surprised by Azula's appearance? I hope so. The Kemurikage are the embodiment of fear. Since Azula's most potent weapon is fear, it seemed fitting to make her the leader.

As she said herself in the series finale, "Trust is for fools! Fear is the only reliable way."



Gurihiru's comments:

First page of Part 2.
Quote
Before we started work on the second part of Smoke and Shadow, we had the chance to travel to China. We took many reference photos of the architecture, and they have been a big help in drawing the world of Avatar.

Aang leaves Katara and Sokka.
Quote
This is the last time we see Katara and Sokka in this series. It's a bit sad, since Sokka so often brightens the atmosphere. We will be seeing them more in the next series, North and South!

Ukano confronts Zuko and accuses dark spirits for kidnapping Tom-Tom.
Quote
Fear can be a good thing - paying attention to our fears can keep us safe. But when does fear cross the line? When does fear become a hindrance than a help? That's the question Zuko's struggling with.

Kei Lo finds a way to unlock the door in the Dragonbone Catacombs.
Quote
Aang seems to be having a hard time being in the middle of the love triangle between Zuko, Mai, and Kei Lo, but we had fun drawing them.

Mai reads the scroll about the Kemurikage.
Quote
For the costumes in this sequence, we referenced the Ainu, an indigenous people who lived on the Kuril Islands.

Mai and Zuko have a talk.
Quote
We liked Mai's changes of expression here and the way we drew them. We hope we were able to show her inner strength.
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Loopy
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« Reply #145 on: Dec 17, 2016 03:11 pm »

Huh, so Gene supports the idea that Mai didn't really love her brother in Return to Omashu. It's a valid interpretation, one that's more interesting than in trying to make her less flawed at the start, and I do think the Mai fans tend to bend over backwards to try to excuse that moment or show that she had no choice.

I'd love to see some short story, perhaps for FCBD, that shows how Mai got closer to Tom-Tom.
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