The Promise, and the whole graphic novel series, needs to be applauded for how it talks about colonialism and the aftermath of a century long war. Though I know I complain about how fantasy stories try to mimic real life issues without showing real life issues, Avatar does it in a way that connects very close to home. The only surreal thing are the animals and bending, but the characters aren’t some other species, they’re human. The novels, unlike the TV show ending, illustrates that there is no easy fix. The animated series ends very clear cut – except about Zuko’s mother. The TV shows our heroes gazing into the sunset, but the novels go more flesh out how there was no black and white ending, for the fire nation colony citizens. The fire nation colonies were set up over the 100-long year war throughout the earth kingdom. People intermarried, some people rose in status, while others fell, new customs were adopted and then adapted to fit both sides. We see how fire nation techniques to build their cities, to simple tools, were used by earth benders, and vice versa. It also shows that though the two cultures mixed, there is animosity between groups. Here are some points that the comic illustrates perfectly, and what happens when colonialism and imperial rule end, in the real world.
It’s hugely messy, and I love it! because that’s how the world works. Aang and Zuko originally thought they can just make everyone live within their respective region, but the world through technology and the war, changed the world they thought they knew. They realize they cant enforce borders on anyone and that trying to make everyone happy is impossible, but they just have to keep trying the best they can.
21 year old college senior. English major. Adopted from China as a baby living in the US ever since. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.