Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search Part 2
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Gene Yang
Being a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender means that you probably want to know where Zuko and Azula’s mother is. The Search isn’t really a book for anyone new to the series, let alone a story marked Part 2 for that matter. So how does it hold up if you are a fan of the series? Let’s find out, SPOILERS AHEAD.
The book continues right where Part 1 left off, with Zuko reading a letter supposedly from his mother claiming that Fire Lord Ozai is not his father. The problem I had with Part 2 was it mostly felt like filler. A lot of this stuff feels like it might have been split up and added to the back of Part 1 and the beginning of Part 3, and just make The Search into a two-parter. There is some nice stuff in here, but nothing that feels like it needs to be its own part.
While reading this I kept wanting them to meet Zuko and Azula’s mother, and then maybe Part 3 could be entirely spent telling us what happened in the past. This one feels like we keep getting closer and closer, but in a padding out sort of way instead of in a fulfilling kind. I enjoyed parts of this, but I still feel like The Search would have been better served as a two-parter with each volume being larger to allow all the necessary stuff in it.
I noticed that whenever we were in flashback to Ursa’s story, that was when I was most interested. I felt like when we jumped back to the present day search it shook me out of the story. I really like these characters, too, so it was weird to want them to disappear for a while so I could get this other story. I was always fascinated with Ursa and her disappearing to save her child’s life. The ending of Part 1 had me anxiously awaiting this book, and there was some good stuff in this, just not enough to feel like it needs a whole book’s worth of material.
The art is still really good and feels like the cartoon does. I love seeing the expressions in this, especially Azula as she deals with her own issues as she sees and hears her mother when no one else can. The bending still looks very beautiful when you see the mixing of elements as they clash and fight one another. If you enjoyed the look of the show you’ll enjoy the art here.
Overall the book is alright, but I feel like most of what happens in it could be explained rather quickly before Part 3 comes out. Super fans will want to check it out, but I could see them feeling like the book is mostly filler. This part will be fine in the collected edition, but what I really want is Part 3.