Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Graphic Novel Reviews: Avatar the Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures
Most of the short stories are comedic in nature, with a few rare ones taking on a more serious tone. Some manage to blend comedy and seriousness into one. These are the stories that capture the feel of the of the series.
The interesting thing about reviewing a collection of separate stories is that the quality of the individual stories is separate from each other. Meaning that if one story is good, it doesn't influence the quality of the other stories. So it's very possible to have an eclectic collection of stories, with quality ranging from excelent to putrid. Because of this the only way to truly judge the value of The Lost Adventures would be to review each story separately. But because that kind of review would be far longer than anyone would want to read, we'll stick to a general opinion of the collection as a whole, followed by whether I recommend it or not.
Overall, this is a solid collection of comics. While not every single one is a hit, there are few enough of those, and the stories are all short enough that the less than stellar pass quickly. And out of all the stories published there are only two that don't appeal to me in some way.
These two are Reach for the Toph and Ember Island Arcade. In both cases I'm just not keen on the art style. I'm sure some may like it, but I very much prefer the clean, show accurate art found in some of the other pieces. Besides the art Reach for the Toph is fairly insubstantial and really doesn't have anything going for it. Ember Island Arcade on the other hand is the only one I actively dislike. The problem is that it breaks the world. It's meant to be amusing, but the other stories manage to do that without bringing in Rock'em'Sock'em robot analogies. I know that technology in the Avatar world is weird, but that's going several steps too far. It's visually unappealing and brings in out of world technology. Others might enjoy it, but as far as I'm concerned it's the worst story of the bunch.
Private Fire on the other hand, is the best of them all. There are a few others at its level, especially in art and writing, but I enjoyed this one the most. The art is crisp, clean, and resembles the show, and the story actually has enough time to develop properly. This is one of the only ones I could have seen as an episode of the show. Best of all, it's the funniest of all the stories. And where I'm concerned that scores major points.
The Lost Adventures is a great book, while a short story collection may not be everyone's cup of tea, there's enough here for everyone else to enjoy. With only a few exceptions the stories are all well written, and well drawn. It's a great value for what you pay. If you could only buy one Avatar comic, make it this one. While there is no overall story to follow, it's a lot of fun with the characters you love, and most of the stories are written by actual writers from the show.
Buy it Here! Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Lost Adventures
Seriously though, buy it from that link. It retails at fifteen dollars at Barnes & Noble. Amazon is selling it for eight dollars. Even with shipping you're saving a bunch.