“Smoke and Shadow, Part 1” by Gene Luen Yang & Gurihiru

Quick Statistics

  • “Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow, Part 1″ by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru
  • Media Tie-In Graphic Novel
  • Read as a hard copy
  • 5/5 stars
  • Finished October 7, 2015

Official Synopsis

Unrest in the Fire Nation!

Returning with his family after the events of The Search, Zuko discovers that not everyone in the Fire Nation celebrates their homecoming. Believing that the young Fire Lord is not fit to succeed his father–and spurred on by the Kemurikage, menacing spirits long thought to be only myths–an undergroundorganization called the New Ozai Society plots to assassinate Zuko and restore Ozai to power!

Written and drawn by the creative team behind the best-selling The PromiseThe Search and The Rift, Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru, in collaboration with Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, this is the ultimate continuation of Avatar and the perfect companion to Legend of Korra!

My Thoughts/Summary

I feel like these comics get progressively better, maybe. Or maybe I just love Zuko centric things. This was seriously everything I’ve been waiting for. This comic series follows Zuko on his return to the fire nation, and the inherent anger from the people of the Fire Nation, upset at him changing things.

I really wish I could put into words how much I really loved all of this. I really don’t know why I love Zuko as much as I do, because it’s kind of ridiculous. His growth and change and character development is amazing to me. I will forever be a Zutara fan, even if it’s not “alive” in the series, and this comic actually allowed Zutara to have a normal conversation. (I decided to post one of the panels on tumblr and people went crazy which was…weird but proof is here) This was a first for them in the comics and there was significantly less “sweetie” than their was in The Promise which was even better. I’m anxiously awaiting the next one and even preordered it on Amazon. I really like watching Zuko’s growth, watching him educate himself on privilege in a way, and watching people push against it, as it mirrors a lot of what is happening in current day.

People will always push against change, and especially when someone who speaks truth to power is suddenly the one with power and trying to make change. I think people forget that even the most radically different person who might bring about NEEDED change is fighting against thought that has been bred into a society. It’s really difficult to fight against a group of people that refuse to see there is a problem, and we’re seeing that in our society right now.

In summary, I really really loved this, I love Zuko and that is all.

Follow-Up Links

(this post does contain affiliate links that help me keep the site going. please consider purchasing using these links if you’re interested in this book! thanks so much xo r)

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