Avatar Free Comic 2015 “Sisters” Scans and Review

7 Comments

Thanks to Avatar Online Podcast Co-Host Troy (Trojan People) we have scans of the free Avatar comic for Free Comic Book Day 2015. So read the story and then check out my review below.

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Review

Of the 3 Free Comics telling a small story like this, “Sisters” comes right in the middle of “Shells” and “Rebound”. “Rebound far and away is the best of the 3, while Shells is bottom. I enjoyed this comic, it managed to give Ty Lee some much needed character development, which is very impressive given that the story is just 8 pages long.

I really appreciate how the key development in this story is linked into the little bits of character we got of Ty Lee in ATLA. The key issue being her want to be considered an individual and not part of a matched set. In ATLA during “The Beach” she mentioned that growing up she felt like she never had her own name and that being called a “circus freak” was a compliment because it made her unique and different. This made her decision to join the Kyoshi Warriors at the end of the series all the more interesting as many fans, including myself, noted that in that group she was also part of a set of people who all looked alike, we all assumed she had learned to accept herself as different even if physically she looked like others. This story adds to this, she is feeling off as a Kyoshi Warrior and is considering quitting, when Toph’s arrival leads her back to the circus she used to perform at and what do you know she meets the people at the root of her issues, her 6 identical sisters.

Again I find it very impressive that this short story managed to reveal and tie into so much about a fairly minor character from the show and comics so far. Getting to meet and learn a bit about Ty Lee’s sisters and childhood is definitely the highlight of this story, while the other 6 are nothing special in terms of being deep characters, you do see just how identical they are, you understand how it was a problem for them all growing up, 7 girls who all look the exact same. So when Ty Lee explains how they all had their “Thing” that one hobby that was theirs and theirs alone, the thing that defined them as unique, it is interesting and surprisingly emotional. All 7 sisters had the same issue growing up, but Ty Lee’s “Thing” was acrobatics which the other 6 also happened to be good at, I really don’t think they were trying to hint at Ty Lee being selfish and taking that as her thing, just that now that everyone is older they all realise what their main talent was.

As far as Toph’s involvement in the story, she really doesn’t add that much to the book. Really she could be replaced with nearly any other character and this book works out the same way it does. I get that Gene Yang’s favourite character is Toph, so that probably explains why she is here as opposed to anyone else. She is in character wanting the bears at the circus to attack rather than perform and she of course is first to fight when something happens. The issue is that this is basically the first time these two characters have spoken that we have seen, I don’t really know what to make of their relationship, Toph doesn’t actively give Ty Lee advice about things, she just happens to be there when this stuff happens. The only thing of note with Toph is that after the sisters meet again, Toph specifically says to Ty Lee that she is her favourite of the 7 sisters, that Toph sees something in Ty Lee that is different than her sisters, but I feel this is a stretch.

The issue I have here is that the resolution comes incredibly suddenly. Ty Lee is super frustrated with her sisters and is about to lose in her fight when the other sisters come in and take out the guy and then they all hug and suddenly Ty Lee is fine with them all being alike. I feel like I missed a bit of dialogue in Ty Lee’s head explaining her change in heart. Yes the final scene kind of explains it, that sometimes things are too difficult to tackle alone, but I feel it is side-stepping the issue. Explaining away a very personal thing for Ty Lee with team work, it seems a bit odd to me. Maybe if there was more of an emotional family reunion, where the sisters talked through their issues, I would be more understanding, but it seemed very quick and while I praise this book for doing a lot in just 8 pages, it could have used an extra page or two.

Final thing to say is just that I am very happy with the overall resolution of the story, Ty Lee is staying with the Kyoshi Warriors, because she in a way sees them as her sisters too, but with them she can easily solve the issue of them looking alive by simply removing the make-up. The main thing for Ty Lee seems to be that she has gotten past her need to be unique, she is fine with being part of a set if necessary, but has found her individuality. A surprisingly complex issue for what on the outside seems like a very basic book.

Thoughts?

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By:

My name is Morgan Bannon, I am a 22 Year old Male from Ireland and I am the Site Super Moderator. I have watched and been a fan of Avatar since it premiered. I am also a news post writer for the site and host the site's podcast, The Avatar Online Podcast. My strength as an Avatar fan would be just a good knowledge of Avatar Canon and characters.

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Comments - 7 Posts

  1. Ade91195 Said: Comment by Ade91195 on May 3, 2015 at 1:21 am | Permalink
     

    :C this drawings are horrible!! Toph looks like chubby man (sorry for my bad english)

    Reply

  2. Hyriu 85 Said: Comment by Hyriu 85 on May 4, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
     

    I really liked it. The development on Ty Lee was great but I do agree it was all resolved a little too soon. I did like Toph wanting the bears to break out, though I found it odd she would randomly take Ty Lee to the circus.

    Reply

  3. NikkitaTheMetahuman Said: Comment by NikkitaTheMetahuman on September 13, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink
     

    I enjoyed this short comic. One critcism for it however is Toph isn’t exactly that helpful. It’s like you said; “she really doesn’t add that much to the book.” Then again, she was the one who got Ty lee to go to the circus. Here’s what I thought might happen after seeing the 3 page preview of this comic:

    Ty lee would be upset that her sisters are now alike to her in both appearance and skills (acrobatics), then she’d tell Toph her backstory about not getting enough attention from her parents and how it caused her to run away from home. Toph would then tell Ty lee her backstory about getting too much attention at home and how it caused her to run away. Ty lee would then feel better, reconcile with her sisters and realise that she does stand apart from her sisters as out of her and her siblings, she’s the only kyoshi warrior.

    May not be a good story arc, but I’m just voicing my opinion.

    Reply

  4. YamiryuuZero Said: Comment by YamiryuuZero on October 30, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink
     

    The drawing is horrible, which me think this was a fan made book, and the resolution was indeed too fast and kinda out of nowhere.

    I do enjoy the idea of exploring Ty Lee’s psyche and her relationship with her sisters and the Kyoshi Warriors. But they have barely scratched the surface here, which is kinda disappointing.

    I also like having Toph and Ty Lee togather, since they’re somewhat polar opposites (Ty Lee is happy, flexible, childish, loves to hug – kinda like Aang; while Toph is stubborn, snarky, sometimes show more maturity than a child her age should have and doesn’t enjoy physical contact as much as the other characters do). Having those two come in terms with each other, and then having that relationship help Ty Lee come in terms with her sisters, the Kyoshi Warriors and herself would be a really great character development! If they had done this in 3 or more chapters of about 20 pages each, this could have been paced and explored perfectly!

    Really, what killed this story for me was that it was so short (and the drawing so bad) that I couldn’t feel anything for it.

    Reply

  5. Max Said: Comment by Max on May 14, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink
     

    Page 3, panel 1:
    What does Toph say? I can’t quite make out one of the words:
    “Did curly-moustache man ___ that you quit?”

    Reply

    Airspeed Prime Reply:

    Forget

    Reply

  6. Rocket Axxonu Said: Comment by Rocket Axxonu on March 6, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink
     

    Ah, I hadn’t seen this one before. (I wonder when they’ll come out with another bound version of the newer free comics, I love having The Lost Adventures.)

    I agree, I think this was a great story for a free comic, the fact Ty Lee decided to join the Kyoshi warriors always did seem like a particularly interesting decision for her character, and it was nice to see that addressed. (I’m not sure what people mean by ‘bad art.’ No, it doesn’t look exactly like the official comics, but that’s because it’s a different artist, plus it is a free comic. I don’t mean to be critical…but I admit, I’m constantly depressed by the fact that there is little appreciation for just how difficult drawing comics is, and the focus on actually very minor, surface aspects of the art when drawing something like this requires a very high skill level.) But, I guess you know what they say, everyone’s a critic. XD!

    Anyway, nice, fun story, and they were able to get quite a bit into just eight pages. I liked to see Toph and Ty Lee interacting, that’s a relationship we haven’t really seen a whole lot of in the show or in the comics. (I don’t remember them interacting very much at all.) Lol, my favorite sister has to be the one in yellow. XD!

    Reply

 

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