Korra Free Comic 2016 “Friends for Life” Scans and Review

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As I am sure you all know we do not post scans/free links of the Avatar comics/books on the site, we do this for many reasons, but the main one is that we want the comics to sell well and posting free links to books  is taking away from the sales of the comic/books. Free Comic Book Day is different. In this case the books are not available for all, not every store participates and even if your local store does it can very difficult to get your hands on a physical copy of the free comics. So we are ok with posting scans of the free comic on the site. So here are my poorly taken pictures of the pages of “Friends For Life” the 2016 Korra Free Comic.











I have no problem with anyone posting/using these images elsewhere, just please credit where you got them from http://avatarthelastairbenderonline.com/

Friends For Life Review

Written By: Mike DiMartino
Art By: Heather Campbell
Colours By: Vivian Ng
Letters By: Michael Heisler

Straight away I think this is probably the best Avatar free comic we have got so far, I think it just about edges out “Rebound” from 2013. The reason I like this year’s free comic “Friends For Life” so much is that the story is more like “Rebound” as opposed to the free comics from the past 2 years “Shells” and “Sisters”, they told fun, but fairly inconsequential stories while “Rebound” was basically the middle point for Mai between The Promise and Smoke and Shadow. It was important to get how she felt about Zuko before Smoke and Shadow. “Friends For Life” tells us the story of how Korra and Naga came together, that is an interesting story that we knew very little about before, but ultimately a story that only needed a 10 page comic like this to tell. Perfect for a Free Comic Book Day story, it is cute following a young Korra finding Naga as a pup, straight away appealing to younger fans and girls especially as the recent free comics have definitely been trying to do with the focus on the female characters, but a story that hardcore Avatar/Korra fans will absolutely want to know also.

There are no real negatives with this story, the only thing I could add is almost a positive in that this comic highlights how cool it would be to get a longer comic series focusing on Korra’s life as she trains to become the character we know at the start of The Legend Of Korra. This  comic just gives us a taste of this period of her life, but I would love to know when exactly the Red Lotus kidnapping attempt takes place, who her teachers are for Earth and Fire and that sort of thing. Some of these aspects are touched upon here, but with only 10 pages to play with, the focus is more on telling a fun story rather than really trying to add to the character arcs.

A good example of this would be the one serious moment of this story when Korra is talking to Naga about why she isn’t very good at firebending, she is not very happy about the rules that are being put in place with her training. Even at this early stage with the Avatar Compound only being a small lookout tower Korra is not happy with having to master water first when she clearly is more excited about her Earth and Firebending. It is a seemingly throwaway line, but we know the huge impact that these rules and her being confined in the south had on her, she is excited to be the Avatar as we see once again here, but she is not happy with the rules taking away from the experience of training to be the best Avatar she can be.

I actually really like the interactions between Tonraq and Senna and Katara. Katara is very experienced with training the Avatar and uses her experience to ease the worries of Korra’s parents. Little moments like her not making a fuss when Korra smashed her with the snow or seeing the potential in Naga to be Korra’s animal guide companion, they really add to Katara as an older character here. Even just the funny moment between Tonraq and Senna when Korra asks if she can keep Naga, them both telling Korra to ask the other parent is a great little moment.

The writing is so on point throughout these 10 pages. You can really tell that one of the series creators is writing here, he just gets all of these characters. The way he captures Korra’s character, but at a younger stage in her life, referencing the scene from episode 1 with little Korra, but adding depth to her at this stage. You get the impression that she is just so happy to be the Avatar, as far as she is concerned she is training to be a superhero and she knows she is a superhero. This comes across perfectly in a new, but perfect “I’m The Avatar” moment.

I really love the art from Heather Campbell, absolutely the best of the 4 free comic artists we have had for Avatar comics. Some of the panels are so clean and gorgeous, at times her line art is a little messy on things like hair and hands, but when the lines are clean everything looks amazing. She captures the look of these well known characters extremely well and her scenery/background work is very good too. I would love to see her get more work on Avatar, I definitely think now is the time to do something like a Korra version of “The Lost Adventures” and give us more shorter stories like this and give more artists a chance to draw Avatar and Korra.

Final point, I love the final page just a quick 5 panel montage showcasing Korra and Naga growing up together. We get to see Korra at a few different stages of her life than we have seen before, the middle panel looks to be Korra at around 10-12. It just really highlights how close Korra and Naga are, something that at times you can forget about and glance past in the show, so finally getting the story of how they met is very meaningful.

Overall an excellent 2016 Free Comic and first ever Korra comic. If you can get out to Free Comic Book Day you need to pick this comic up, physical copies will probably be hard to find after today, so do everything you can to get your hands on the first ever Korra comic. I know I am so happy to have a hard copy in my collection, it may end up being one of the rarer Avatar comics considering it is exclusive to Free Comic Book Day.

Check out my video review here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAavAfCV1SM

Check back here tomorrow for a super in-depth Podcast Review for this comic.


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Comments - 1 Post

  1. CeCekorra Said: Comment by CeCekorra on August 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Love this!!!!!



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