Mai Free Comic “Rebound” Scans and Review
As I am sure you are all aware today is free comic book day. A free Avatar comic was available. I went really early and still could not get a hold of it and I am sure there are many in a similar position. So we have decided to post scans of this comic on the site. We are doing this only because it is a free comic (hence why there are no scans of The Search or The Promise on this site). Not everyone has a local comic store and being May the 4th the Star Wars book (which the Avatar story is a part of) is insanely popular, so even if you attend the event you may not get a copy. What I will say is support your local comic store (if you have one) the whole aim of Free Comic Book Day is to promote comics in general and comic stores. Definitely support Dark Horse Comics, who publish the Avatar Comics.
Major Thanks to forum member Trojan People for supplying me with these scans.
Written By – Gene Luen Yang
Art By – Ryan Hill
Letters By – Michael Heisler
Published By – Dark Horse Comic (Support them, they are awesome)
I will start with some general thoughts on this 8 page free comic. I think this is a pretty good story, it manages to do a huge amount in just 8 pages. I had certain expectations going into this book and they were blown away. It is by no means the best Avatar comic ever, but it is right up there with any of “The Lost Adventures” short stories of similar length, but this one obviously advances Mai’s story into somewhere new.
I will begin with the Art, Ryan Hill had a gargantuan task to even come close to being as good as Team Gurihiru. They have had 280 or so pages in a row and have been beyond perfect, so how does Ryan Hill stack up with just 8 pages ? His art is very nice, it is nowhere near Team Gurihiru’s level, but I would find it hard to name any comic artist near them. His style is better than a lot of “The Lost Adventures”. One issue I would have is that the cover is not amazingly representative of the interior artÂ , the faces in the comic seem a bit different to the cover image. Other than that I have very little issue with the art, the backgrounds are nicely detailed and the faces while a bit odd are pretty expressive. As you can see he has a very good sense of action, you can instantly tell what is going on from panel to panel in the brief fight scene. So overall I think Ryan Hill should get more work on Avatar, if Team Gurihiru are tied up on The Search or another Avatar series I would be delighted to see Ryan Hill do some art.
Now onto the story itself. I mentioned my expectations earlier on and how the book surprised me, I will explain that. I expected once I found out (from Gene Yang himself) that it was an 8 page story a super fast paced story following these rough story beats: Mai ponders her break up with Zuko, meets new boy, connects a bit with the boy, is betrayed somehow by the boy and she then fully realises she loves Zuko, but that she cannot be with him until he sorts out his issues with being the Fire Lord and his mother. The story managed to include a lot of surprises while hitting many of the same rough points.
The political side of the story was the biggest shock and how much was said and shown in such a brief pagecount. This story tells us what happened to those that remained loyal to Ozai and that Zuko gave (at least some of them) a job offer in his own government. Some refused and set up this “New Ozai Society”, led by Mai’s own father, which itself tells us a lot about how Mai’s father feels about Zuko. This also led to one of my favourite parts of the story, Mai’s care for her brother Tom-Tom and what seems to be a split from her parents. At the start she is already more friendly with her Aunt than her father and her father mentions it has been a long time. I just loved seeing Mai make the decision to take her brother away from a group of people who would continue to support someone like Ozai. It also gives Mai a perfect reason for why she is not immediately going back to Zuko, she has to look after her brother (though that raises the question of where their mother is?).
This book does an excellent job at keeping the Maiko ship alive without the two just getting back together. Because of how untrustworthy her date, Kei-Lo turned out to be she realised how much she cared about Zuko. The final panel is the definition of “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
Where this book ends is also of interest, Mai is staying with her Aunt to look after her brother. So the next time we see Mai will be very interesting as will her and Zuko’s next meeting. I feel that “Rebound” is leading into something, The New Ozai Society as well as Mai’s feelings about Zuko are clearly set up for something. We know Mai is not in The Search, so that must mean we have another book coming at some stage.
Check out the Mai comic discussion thread on the forums.
What are your thoughts on this story ?
You Might Also Like