Avatar Legacy Review

After many weeks of waiting I finally got my hands on Avatar Legacy and am now ready to review this mysterious book.

Avatar Legacy

AvatarLegacyCover

Text By – Michael Teitelbaum
Art By – Dan Parsons and Steve Ahn
Colours By – Wes Dzioba
Published By – Insight Editions
Retail Price – 25 dollars (Cheaper online)

For a book that has been out for around a month I have heard very little about it and that really has been the story of this book since it was announced, very little information at all times. On the other hand I have a lot to say about this book now that I have read it.

Overall I would say that I like this book and thus would say that my overall thoughts are on the positive side of things, but I also have a lot of issues with this book. The best way to put it is that this book is a lot of squandered potential, it could have been an amazing book, but ends up just being ok. The reason I say this is because of the concept of this book, the idea that this is a book written and put together by Aang to give to Tenzin for his 5th Birthday is a really cool idea for a book if they get the execution right, the problem is that I come out of this book feeling like I was lied to by the description of this book. There are certainly parts of this book that fit the family scrapbook idea that the book was promoted as, but overall it comes across more as a history/geography book that Aang was writing and at the end he decided to make it a personal thing to give to Tenzin and in the end just covers information we have known for a very long time with basically no new information.

For most people that is a complete deal breaker, a book written by Aang in a time period we know basically nothing about, how can you possibly write a book with this concept and this time in the timeline and reveal nothing new of note. Somehow this book manages to do this and it is the most disappointing aspect of this book. Half of the book feels like another of the author’s avatar books, The Lost Scrolls reworded and the other half is just them doing everything possible to set the book in this timeline while avoiding giving any new info.

LegacyScroll

One of the pull out inserts, the waterbending scroll. An in-universe item and one of the few positives with this book.

You may now ask why I feel in any way positive about the book given what I have just said, the positives come from the inserts and pullouts included in the book. Some of these are very cool in-universe items that are almost worth buying the book for on their own. The Waterbending Scroll while just the scroll printed on card, still feels quite authentic and like an in-universe item. It is the same for things like the Lost Appa poster and the flyer for “The Boy In The Iceberg” play, they really do feel like Aang has kept these items and has left them for Tenzin, I am very happy to have these inserts in my collection, where else can you get replicas of in-universe items.

Another positive would be that I think the book is a a well made book, it is hardcover and nicely sized, not too big or too small. The page quality is also good, the only construction issue I have with the book is that the way the pullouts are stuck into the book mean that it is hard to take them off without tearing the book. It is clear that they are meant to be taken out as otherwise they get in the way of pages in the book, there could have been a better solution than glueing a corner to one of the pages.

In that sense this is a very unique Avatar Book and if you are a collector of Avatar Merchandise, this is a Book that you probably should have in your collection I know that I am happy to have this unique book in my collection. The problem is that there is very little in this book that will make non collectors want to pick this up. There is not enough new content, it does not stick close enough to the premise of the book and just overall fails to amaze.

LegacySokka

Some of the ATLA crew talking directly to Tenzin are some of the best pages in the book. Katara and Aang’s notes are the best, but Sokka and Toph’s are very limited, mainly just a recount of an ATLA moment.

While I have been quite negative about the actual text of this book, there are a few pages in this 64 page book that do a good job at sticking to the idea that this is Aang and his family and friends writing this book to Tenzin. It is only about 6 pages, but they are the best written pages in the book. Aang writing a note directly to Tenzin, you can really tell that this is Aang writing this and you can tell how much it means to him to have an Airbender son. The 2 Katara pages about her note to her son are my favourite in the book, you both get her talking to Tenzin about how proud she is of him, but also through her you get some of the more emotional aspects of the book, how much the birth of Tenzin really meant to him and how much pressure it took off his shoulder in terms of bringing the Airbenders back. Michael Teitelbaum really managed to capture the feel of an older Katara perfectly. Unfortunately Sokka and Toph’s notes to Tenzin really have nothing to them and Zuko doesn’t even say anything to Tenzin.

LegacyMap

The section on the map highlights one of the major flaws with the book, very basic information and stuff like Republic City not mentioned at all. I would have much preferred a very detailed map pointing out most of the notable locations.

Most of the book is the same info from “The Lost Scrolls” telling you about the season of the year that reflects each element. Very general statements about what each nation’s bending ability is and the philosophy of each nation. Some of the info in here is quite vague or wrong a few times and some important information is just plain left out. On the world map, there is a note about each nation, but ZERO mention in the entire book about Republic City despite this book referencing other bits of info revealed in The Promise and The Search. For me one of the most frustrating pages in the book that completely defines my disappointment with it is the Fire Nation Family Tree. It is a 2 page spread in the book, but it only has Sozin, Azulon, Ozai, Iroh, Ursa, Azula and Zuko on it. No mention of Zuko’s family, Sozin, Azulon or Iroh’s wife and more. This page also shows the inconsistency of the research done for this book, for Azulon it mentions that he was poisoned by Ozai which was revealed in The Search but for Azula it just mentions that she was in a Mental Institution, when the same comic series shows her getting out to help in the search for Ursa. So much of this book feels like they could not do what they needed to do because future Avatar comics could potentially use certain reveals. Sokka and Suki’s relationship is neither confirmed or denied, Mai is not even mentioned in the book, Azula is left very vague I assume because Smoke and Shadow will reveal a lot about her.

In conclusion I don’t hate this book and I don’t love it. It has a few positives and a good few negatives, I really think this book only appeals to collectors of Avatar Merch because of the cool inserts, there is nothing here for those interested in new story/character content. The artists on the new illustrations are fine, sometimes the art looks very good and other times not so much, my main negative would be a few images where it looks like no research was done. One in particular is in the section on Bloodbending, there is an image of Katara being bloodbent meant to be from “The Puppetmaster” we know Hama was bloodbending Katara, but the person in this image with Katara is absolutely not Hama, something so basic and a big art mistake made. That is the unfortunate story of this book any slight positive always has an accompanying negative. I do feel this book deserves to be talked about, already so few fans know it exists let alone have it, it is certainly an interesting book if not mainly for the wrong reasons.

If you want a more detailed look at the book as well as the reason why this review was so long after release check out my detailed video review.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jetsIKHCHBY

 

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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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