History Comicbook / AvatarTheLastAirbenderThePromise

2nd Feb '18 12:52:51 PM Twiddler
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A trilogy of GraphicNovel digests published by Creator/DarkHorseComics in the ''[[Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar]]'' franchise, acting as an {{Interquel}} between ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and its SequelSeries, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''. The story is written by Gene Yang (''ComicBook/AmericanBornChinese'') with input from series' creators Creator/MichaelDanteDiMartino and Creator/BryanKonietzko, with illustrations by Japanese art duo Gurihiru.


A trilogy of GraphicNovel digests published by Creator/DarkHorseComics in the ''[[Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar]]'' franchise, acting as an {{Interquel}} between ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and its SequelSeries, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''. The story is written by Gene Yang Creator/GeneLuenYang (''ComicBook/AmericanBornChinese'') with input from series' creators Creator/MichaelDanteDiMartino and Creator/BryanKonietzko, with illustrations by Japanese art duo Gurihiru.
19th Oct '17 10:54:17 AM Scabbard
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* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Read this as a 21st-century Westerner, familiar with the concept of dual-citizenship and naturalization, and it'll seem like the characters are holding the IdiotBall. But, if you remember that people in the Avatar-verse have been raised with strong senses of ethnoccentrism, and consider that such views have been popular throughout human history, and still are in some parts of the world (Japanese-born Koreans still can't vote), you begin to realize why the characters are facing this dilemma. Even [[WhoopiEpiphanySpeech Katara]] - ''who is devoutly and joyously '''practicing''' that lifestyle'' - only realizes this during a EurekaMoment of [[Awesome/AvatarTheLastAirbenderComics Awesome]].


* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Read this as a 21st-century Westerner, familiar with the concept of dual-citizenship and naturalization, and it'll seem like the characters are holding the IdiotBall. But, if you remember that people in the Avatar-verse have been raised with strong senses of ethnoccentrism, ethnocentrism, and consider that such views have been popular throughout human history, and still are in some parts of the world (Japanese-born Koreans still can't vote), you begin to realize why the characters are facing this dilemma. Even [[WhoopiEpiphanySpeech Katara]] - ''who is devoutly and joyously '''practicing''' that lifestyle'' - only realizes this during a EurekaMoment of [[Awesome/AvatarTheLastAirbenderComics Awesome]].
18th Sep '17 8:05:44 PM Scabbard
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** Aang's is people treating his culture like a game or their uniforms & tattoos like cosplay.


** Aang's is people treating his culture like a game or their uniforms & and tattoos like cosplay.
7th Sep '17 5:01:11 AM StFan
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Added DiffLines:

[[caption-width-right:350:[[SeanConneryIsAboutToShootYou Aang is about to shoot elements at you.]]]]

A trilogy of GraphicNovel digests published by Creator/DarkHorseComics in the ''[[Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender Avatar]]'' franchise, acting as an {{Interquel}} between ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and its SequelSeries, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''. The story is written by Gene Yang (''ComicBook/AmericanBornChinese'') with input from series' creators Creator/MichaelDanteDiMartino and Creator/BryanKonietzko, with illustrations by Japanese art duo Gurihiru.

With Ozai defeated and the war over, Team Avatar and the world's governments set to work restoring balance to the world. Zuko, worried that he might go mad with power like his father, makes Aang promise to kill him should he ever become a threat. One year later, a dispute breaks out over the Fire Nation colonies in the Earth Kingdom, and war may break out yet again. Worse yet, Zuko is taking the colonies' side, making the conflict worse and forcing Aang to accept that he may have to fulfill that promise after all.

The first volume was released on January 25, 2012, the second on May 30, and the third on October 9, with a hardcover compilation of the trilogy released February 20, 2013. A second comic series by the same creative team subtitled ''[[Comicbook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheSearch The Search]]'' began in March 2013, detailing Aang and Zuko's search for Zuko's MissingMom while dealing with Azula, whose discharge from mental care Zuko has ordered so she may aid in the eponymous search.

!!''The Promise'' provides examples of:

* EightiesHair: Early preview images showed Zuko sporting a sort of mullet. The ensuing negative fan reaction led to Zuko being redesigned.
* ActionGirl: Kori. Borders on being a DarkActionGirl, since she's a WellIntentionedExtremist who was probably loyal to Ozai.
* AmazonBrigade: The Yu Dao chapter of the Avatar Aang fan club style themselves like bodyguards.
* {{Animesque}}: It's ''Avatar'', what do you think? Of course it continues using this art style from the cartoon.
* AscendedFan: [[spoiler: Yu Dao chapter of the Avatar Aang fan club becomes the first official Air Acolyte community in one hundred years and is recognized as such as by the last living Air Nomad.]]
* AsleepForDays: Zuko is under immense stress and can barely sleep, which only gets worse as the plot progresses. When [[spoiler:the Yu Dao conflict is resolved and it turns out he wasn't turning into his father]], he promptly collapses. Later, he mentions that he feels like he's been asleep for weeks; Aang replies that it's only been ''four days''.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Like every Fire Lord, Zuko personally leads combat and is more effective than his soldiers.
* BadassCape: Part of Zuko's new, I-Am-Now-The-Fire-Lord wardrobe is a spiffy cape.
* BadassNormal: The Yu Dao chapter of the Avatar Aang fan club [[spoiler:diminish casualties in the climax by fighting the professional, bending soldiers from two armies.]]
-->'''Sokka:''' Not bad for a bunch of non-bending bald girls!
* BerserkButton:
** Being compared to his father is one for Zuko, but what really pushes him over the edge is being considered a traitor and coward to his nation.
** Katara's can be summed up in eight words: [[PunctuatedPounding "STOP... TRYING... TO... SET... MY... BOYFRIEND... ON... FIRE!"]]
** Aang's is people treating his culture like a game or their uniforms & tattoos like cosplay.
* TheBigDamnKiss: The one from the finale of the show appears again (and [[MomentKiller Sokka helpfully ruins it]]), followed by another one near the end of Part 3.
* BigEntrance: Toph uses Earthbending to leap into Appa's saddle. Mid-flight.
* BigThinShortTrio: Toph's metalbending students, Ho-Tun, The Dark One, and Penga, respectively, for the distinctiveness.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Aang successfully averts the war between the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdom, Yu Dao becomes the center of a new dynamic between the nations, and Aang finds a way to carry on the beliefs of his people through the newly-formed Air Acolytes. However, Aang severs his spiritual connection to Roku, since Roku's outdated worldview and insistence that the Avatar must be willing to kill clash with Aang's ThouShaltNotKill attitude and new worldview. By extension, the other Avatars are a no-go in this department, as well. Zuko realizes his internal conflicts will continue in spite of his HeelFaceTurn, and in pursuit of finding peace in his familial roots resorts to enlisting his currently straitjacketed sister on a quest to find his still-missing mother. Finally, Mai breaking up with Zuko over his secret-keeping isn't resolved by the end. It remains to be seen if Iroh II's grandmother is another woman or not.]]
* BlatantLies: The firebending teacher, on seeing that he can't get rid of the spear wrapped around his head, claims he's keeping it as a convenient way of carrying flags around and that he can remove it anytime he wants.
* BodyguardBabes: The Kyoshi Warriors serve as Zuko's personal bodyguards after his previous guards fail to intercept six assassination attempts.
* BookEnds: Near the beginning, Zuko is asking Ozai about his mother. In the last scene, Zuko, having realized Ozai will not help him, turns to [[spoiler:his sister Azula]].
* BoringButPractical: Once Toph's students manage to metalbend, they train by spinning a metal helmet in the air. Toph is unimpressed, but it turns out to be a useful skill to [[spoiler:neutralize a squad of helmeted soldiers.]]
* TheBusCameBack:
** All remaining Freedom Fighters, including the long-vanished Sneers who makes his first appearance since "Jet," return with Smellerbee as their new boss.
** Earth King Kuei has gotten back in the political game pretty quickly after Ozai's defeat.
** [[spoiler:Iroh and Azula]] finally make appearances in Part 3, with the former commenting that Zuko should really learn to come to him sooner.
* CallForward: Goes with being an interquel. The most obvious is Aang's fanclub, a group of Air Nomad enthusiasts that evolve into the Air Acolytes of ''The Legend of Korra''.
* CatapultNightmare: In part three, Aang and Zuko have the same nightmare. Aang wakes up this way, while Zuko's reaction looks a little more realistic.
* TheChainsOfCommanding: Zuko struggles with how to do right by his people while not doing it at the expense of the other nations. He's so torn up about this that he goes to ''Ozai'' for advice on how to deal with the pressures of the job.
* ChekhovsGun: One that was set up but never fired in the TV series returns here, that Toph realized [[spoiler:her space metal armlet]] could alert her to potential metalbenders.
* ChekhovsSkill: Spinning helmets [[spoiler:is very helpful in subduing soldiers without killing them.]]
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: Played with. Kori wears both red ''and'' green, as she's an Earthbender yet also legally a Fire Nation citizen and thinks of herself as such.
* ConflictingLoyalty:
** Zuko, once again, has to deal with it (his people and others). Later, Aang does too along the same lines.
** Defied by Kori, who is an Earthbender and a Fire Nation citizen, is proud of being both, and is sick and tired of being told that her loyalties between the two ''have'' to conflict.
* ContinuityNod: While tunneling underground courtesy of Toph, Suki is about to remark on how she can't see anything. Sokka quickly stops her as it's a sensitive topic with Toph, referencing his own slip in "The Drill" and Toph's sarcastic response.
-->'''Suki:''' It's so dark down here. I can hardly see anything!\\
'''Sokka:''' ''Shhh!'' Toph's really touchy about that!
* CooldownHug: Katara continues to pull Aang out of the Avatar State when she feels he's gone too far.
* CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot: Zuko boxes himself inside the city of Yu Dao as part of his withdrawal from the Harmony Restoration Movement. After an escalating series of scuffles nearly culminates in Aang making good on his [[KryptoniteRing Promise]], Zuko says they should talk about this... prompting Aang to flip his lid and say that's what he came here for in the first place.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Not only is it showing that the ending for the series is not [[EarnYourHappyEnding the definitive one nor as happy as it initially seems]], but [[spoiler:both Fire Lord Zuko AND Earth King Kuei slip into WellIntentionedExtremist territory]]. A hundred years of warfare can't be unmade in just a few months, after all.
* {{Deconstruction}}: The series ended on a note of hope for the future, with the new Avatar Aang and Fire Lord Zuko as the vanguard of peace among the four nations. However, the idea of leaving a group of [[WideEyedIdealist idealistic teenagers]] in charge of a world that's been festering in complicated political problems for more than a hundred years is quickly shown to be an unrealistic solution. Their initial solution--simply deport all Fire Nationals in the colonies back to the Fire Nation--is quickly shown to be extremely naive and causes problems due to people having already-established lives in the colonies and interracial marriages.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Read this as a 21st-century Westerner, familiar with the concept of dual-citizenship and naturalization, and it'll seem like the characters are holding the IdiotBall. But, if you remember that people in the Avatar-verse have been raised with strong senses of ethnoccentrism, and consider that such views have been popular throughout human history, and still are in some parts of the world (Japanese-born Koreans still can't vote), you begin to realize why the characters are facing this dilemma. Even [[WhoopiEpiphanySpeech Katara]] - ''who is devoutly and joyously '''practicing''' that lifestyle'' - only realizes this during a EurekaMoment of [[Awesome/AvatarTheLastAirbenderComics Awesome]].
** Doubly so [[FantasyCounterpartCulture given what the Earth Kingdom is based off of]]. China does ''not'' recognize the concept of dual citizenship, and still believes heavily in Ethnic Nationalism, that is to say, you are who you are born, and [[ImmigrantPatriotism any feelings otherwise]] are [[CategoryTraitor traitorous]] and [[NoTrueScotsman false]].
* DesignatedVillain: Zuko is this InUniverse to many of the Earth Kingdom people and the Freedom Fighters, and even some of the Gaang like Sokka and Toph. Yes, he's being an idiot, but everyone's treating him like he's already as bad a dictator as his father. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] considering that they just wrapped up a century-long world war where the Fire Lord was the face of their enemy.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Toph to her students. A typical communication goes like this, "Stop slacking off, lily livers!"
* EmoTeen: Toph's metalbending student, who prefers to be known as "The Dark One". (His real name is [[spoiler:[[EmbarrassingFirstName Moo-Chee-Goo-Chee-La-Poo-Chee]] [[OverlyLongName the Third]]]].) On finding it out, Sokka is no longer surprised at his attitude.
* EndOfAnAge: [[spoiler:The finale cements this as modernization continues, progressivism wins the day, and the differences in philosophy between Aang and the previous Avatars result in him disowning them as mentors]].
* EnemyMine: [[spoiler:Zuko asks Azula for help finding their mother.]]
* EpicFlail: Kori wields a meteor hammer. Because the 'ball' is made of stone, she can manipulate it with her earthbending for easy retrieval and trick moves.
* EvilMentor: Like he once did with Uncle Iroh, Zuko goes to his father for advice. He knows what his dad is like, though, and is more than willing to call him out when he smells a load of crap.
* FanGirl: Aang and Katara meet a group of Avatar fangirls, many of whom are also fans of Air Nomad culture.
-->'''Won-Yee:''' What an honor it is to meet Avatar Aang's first girlfriend!\\
'''Katara:''' Why thank you, I -- wait, what do you mean, "first"?\\
'''Won-Yee:''' ''[smirks]''
* ForegoneConclusion: This will ultimately end in the founding of [[CityOfAdventure Republic City]], as seen in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', or at the very least the first steps toward that end. Additionally, though Zuko had at the time of the comic's release not yet appeared nor had any direct mentions in ''The Legend of Korra'', he had been confirmed by WordOfGod to be alive, so Aang will never have to make good on his promise.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Kuei being willing to go to war to recover the Fire Nation colonies, telling Aang he was either with him or against him, coupled with Aang's decision to have the matter of the colonies dealt with by a council (which will clearly end up leading to the creation of Republic City) points ahead to the Earth Queen being so resentful of said city and being willing to do anything (including [[spoiler:conscripting the new airbenders as an army]] and turning Korra over to the Red Lotus) to get the land back.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: There's a {{running gag}} about Momo trying to steal Bosco's hat.
* GladIThoughtOfIt:
-->'''Sokka:''' Wait! You can't leave me alone with ''them''! The [[SickeninglySweethearts oogie-osity]]'s only gonna get worse when you're gone! How am I supposed to keep my food down?\\
'''Toph:''' Well, you could come with me. \\
'''Sokka:''' No, no. Hey, how about I go with you?\\
'''Toph:''' Great idea Sokka. Wish I'd thought of it.
* GoodVersusGood:
** The conflict between the Fire Nation colonists (and Zuko) who do not want to lose their homes and the people who want to remove them (the Gaang, Earth Kingdom) from land conquered during the war.
** A smaller-scale example is Aang and Zuko's philosophical divide over Yu Dao's social order. While Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation citizens live and work together in the colony, Fire Nation citizens are still firmly on top of the social ladder. Aang takes issue with this oppressive inequality but Zuko, while admitting things aren't perfect, feels that such inequality is an acceptable price to pay because everyone is better off than they would otherwise be.
* GreenEyedMonster: Katara, briefly, when Aang hangs out with some fans. Justified, as one of them calls her Aang's ''first'' girlfriend. She's quick to apologize after Aang mentions how his fans made him feel like he was with his people again.
* GrayAndGrayMorality: The themes regarding the dangers of nationalism and ethnocentrism not withstanding, the fact remains that the Fire Nation seized land from the Earth Kingdom during a war THEY instigated, suppressed the people they subjugated, and all the while committed numerous war crimes. It's not surprising that the Earth Kingdom's citizens would be outraged over Zuko going back on a peace treaty by allowing Fire Nation citizens to remain in the colonies despite them never having any legal basis to live there.\\\
This is even acknowledged ''in-universe''; simply returning the stolen territory wouldn't work because numerous multi-ethnic families have formed during the war, so it would either break up those families or expel people from homes they ''did'' have a hereditary right to (the war lasted one hundred years, after all). On top of ''that'', in many cases the territory in question was a lot less valuable (to the point that the Earth Kingdoms didn't ''care'' about "losing" it a hundred years ago) prior to the Fire Nation industrializing it, so "returning" the territory wouldn't be fair either. In the end, [[spoiler:the Fire Nation and the Earth Kingdoms ''both'' surrender the territory in favor of building an independent fifth Nation.]] [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Seventy years later]], [[spoiler:season 4 BigBad Kuvira justifies the '''biggest battle in recorded history''' over reclaiming that territory.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: Zuko pulls out of the Harmony Restoration Movement without notifying his friends, presumably acting quickly so no more of his citizens would have to be taken from their homes against their will, and justifies this as being the right thing to do by his people. See below for how this almost leads to PoorCommunicationKills. This later comes back to bite him in the butt with the Earth King; having broken one treaty without so much as a warning, Kuei sees no point in negotiating with Zuko again after he's proven himself to be untrustworthy.
* HypocriticalHumor: Throughout Part 2, Sokka gripes about Aang and Katara being all "oogie". [[spoiler:When Suki shows up in Part 3, he starts acting the same way. It's kampshaded by Toph.]]
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Kori and her mother are Earthbenders, a fact the former doesn't reveal until long after Zuko has taken her prisoner and then uses to easily escape her bonds.
* IgnoreTheDisability: Averted. Earth King Kuei compares the Fire Nation colonies to an old scar on the Earth Kingdom... in front of [[MarkOfShame Zuko]]. He immediately apologizes, though Zuko doesn't take offense.
* ImmediateSequel: When Gene Yang said ''The Promise'' would begin '''exactly''' where the TV series left off, [[http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_luolcnpQy31r27wz9.png this is what he meant.]]
* IndyPloy: Sokka does this as usual. He admits as much after he has had Toph, Suki, and himself hijacking a Fire Nation tank as part of a plan.
-->'''Toph:''' Step one complete! What's step two?\\
'''Sokka''' ''[shrugs]'' Not sure. I was sorta hoping step two would come to me while we were working on step one.
* InnocentlyInsensitive: The Yu Dao chapter of the future Air Acolytes didn't entirely appreciate that permanently tattooing themselves with airbending mastery tattoos (which, understandably, they have no way of actually earning) might not sit well with the only living airbender/Air Nomad. When he calls them on it, they immediately cover the tattoos out of respect to him.
* InstantlyProvenWrong: A firebender says Toph is selling a fantasy, as everyone knows metalbending doesn't exist. Next panel, his new hat is a spear twisted around his head.
* InstantWakingSkills: Zuko. Both times he gets up, he's alert and looking for another assassination attempt. Justified, as this has happened five times in twelve months and he's having trouble sleeping.
* InsultBackfire: Toph disappointedly tells Sokka that she expected her students to become Metalbenders but that they keep failing. They overhear this and are motivated by discovering that she had any expectations in the first place.
* {{Interquel}}: Takes place between ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: Iroh invents [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_tea bubble tea.]] Aang and Zuko are not appreciative, and Iroh calls himself a man ahead of his time.
* KansasCityShuffle: The Freedom Fighters use a battering ram to break into Yu Dao. Aang stops it and Smellerbee points out that it was a distraction; their true means of breaching the walls was [[spoiler:a drill machine like the Fire Nation used in "The Drill", albeit much smaller.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Kori never faces any punishment for attempting to assassinate Zuko (the Fire Lord). Granted, she had her reasons, but she never even tried to talk to him first. She continues to act like this for the rest of the series, picking fights with anybody who didn't agree with her side on a very complicated issue (which nobody ever calls her out on).
* KryptoniteRing: Of sorts. Zuko knows that, if he turned evil like his forefathers, Aang would be the only one capable of preventing another world war—by killing him. The "ring" in this case is the promise Zuko extracts from Aang, who normally won't kill ''anyone'', even genocidal child abusers.
* LadyLooksLikeADude: Sokka confuses Smellerbee for a "he." Katara quickly corrects him.
* LateArrivalSpoiler: Zuko having a HeelFaceTurn and becoming Fire Lord were major plot points during the show's final season. Here, you learn about it in the first couple pages.
* LikeFatherLikeSon: Zuko becoming like his father is a big worry for both Zuko and Aang, forming one of the main dramatic arcs of the trilogy. [[spoiler:Zuko even tries to commit suicide when he realizes that he took the same action his father would have, even ''if'' the motivation was different.]]
* LineageComesFromTheFather: Despite being both an Earthbender and of mixed nationality in a country that was until recently Fire-supremacist, Kori is legally a Fire Nation citizen because her father is one.
* MamaBear: Kori's unnamed mother. She single-handedly Earthbends boulders in front of the Fire Lord and his personal guard's faces in order to safeguard her husband and daughter.
* ManipulativeBastard: Ex-Fire Lord Ozai shows that he's definitely where his daughter got it from by attempting to mold the new fire lord, the very one who deposed him.
* MomentKiller: The cartoon series ended with TheBigDamnKiss—the comic starts with Sokka walking in on it.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution: Kori defaults to violence to solve any problem. Her EstablishingCharacterMoment is her attempt to assassinate Zuko, as opposed to some sort of rational discourse about the problems he's causing. She doesn't get better about it as tensions increase.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: "That's it! Don't you dunderheads know who I am? I'm Toph Beifong, the greatest earthbender of all time!"
* NeverSayDie: Toph's student Ho-Tun is constantly worried about everything being 'doomed.' [[http://www.avatarspiritmedia.net/interviews.php?id=24 According to Gene Yang]], Ho-Tun was originally worried about ''death''. Nick nixed that as being inappropriate for the comic's younger demographic. The titular promise also uses "end" instead of "kill". That said, the direct words are used as often as the euphemisms.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In Part 3, what started as a stalemate between the two armies escalates into a battle when Toph, on Sokka's suggestion, disassembles the Fire Nation tanks. The Earth Kingdom general, up until that point wary of starting hostilities, sees his opening and takes it.
* NotSoDifferent:
** Toph nearly abandons teaching metalbending when she thinks she's acting like her parents did by trying to force her students to be something they're not.
** [[spoiler:Zuko also realizes at one point he's acting like his father would, and doesn't take it well.]]
* OddlySmallOrganization: For the strongest nation in the world with the finest military of the three nations and several deadly canon organizations and individuals (the Yu-Yan archers and the Combustion Man), Fire Lord Zuko having only two rather incompetent bodyguards that can be taken down (not to mention a stronghold easily infiltrated by a single teenager) after five repeated assassination attempts shows a lack of planning. [[JustifiedTrope On the other hand,]] it's mentioned that the assassination attempts are coming from ''within'' the Fire Nation, so there is a good chance that Zuko not only can't rely on larger numbers to counter planning or foreknowledge, but also must make do with people he absolutely trusts. After all, what's the point of setting up twelve guards around your room if ten of them are potential assassins?
* OccupiersOutOfOurCountry: The motivation of the Freedom Fighters and their fellow protesters.
-->''Fire Nation out! Harmony now!''
* OpeningNarration: In Part 1 by Katara, as per usual.
* PoorCommunicationKills:
** Zuko's turnaround on the colonial issue comes across as inexplicable to the Gaang and makes Aang seriously consider invoking his promise to Zuko. When Aang and Katara go to meet him, the hostile reception Yu Dao's soldiers give to Aang and Katara provokes a fight that only stops when Aang starts to go into the Avatar State. It's only after that close call—and Katara pulling him out of it for the nth time—that Zuko is finally able to explain his position.
** Virtually ''all'' the tension is a consequence of Zuko not telling anyone anything before making his decisions (repeatedly lampshaded by Mai). Comparisons can be made to how the ''entire war'' only began because Roku and Sozin were unable to calmly discuss their own problems, something that Roku regularly angsts about.
* PowerBornOfMadness: Played for laughs. Toph finds candidates for metalbender training when they demonstrate extreme emotion, which can ever-so-slightly affect nearby metal....But the only people who get extremely emotional in public are, in Sokka and Toph's words, "crazy people."
* PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy: The Avatar Aang Fanclub makes some pretty ridiculous attempts to imitate Air Nomad culture. For example, they try to imitate the architecture of the Western Air Temple by turning their furniture upside-down. However, they get enough right to make Aang happy until he finds out the arrow tattoos they're wearing are permanent. This [[BerserkButton makes him angry]] as the arrow tattoos are only meant for master airbenders.
* PreviouslyOn: The book opens with a modified version of Katara's OpeningNarration from the cartoon, which briefly sums up the events of the series.
* ThePromise: It's right there in the title. A great deal of tension lies in Aang's promise to kill Zuko if he were to become too much like his father.
* ProperlyParanoid: Zuko fears attempts on his life, and wakes up just in time for one to happen.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
** Zuko hits Ozai's BerserkButton by claiming he trusts Aang more than Ozai or even himself, causing Ozai to roar "LEAVE. MY. PRESENCE!"
** Katara's PunctuatedPounding moment.
* PunctuatedPounding: Katara waterbends several Fire Nation soldiers while shouting "STOP! TRYING! TO! SET! MY! BOYFRIEND! ON! FIRE!"
* PuppyDogEyes: Sokka uses them while he pleads with Toph to tell him what The Dark One's real name is.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: Smellerbee gives Aang three days to settle matters with Zuko before the Freedom Fighters take matters into their own hands. [[spoiler:Aang runs out of time]].
* RageAgainstTheMentor: [[spoiler:Aang eventually denounces Roku as his advisor.]]
* RealityEnsues: The long-term consequences of a century-long war of conquest and genocide will not simply go away because one of your friends has replaced the EvilOverlord in charge of the aggressor nation and is perfectly willing to make any reparations requested. Even if both sides have well-intentioned individuals in charge, there is still the potential for conflict simply because some things ''can't'' be fixed, and instead have to be ''lived with.''
* RelationshipUpgrade: Katara and Aang are now a full-blown couple and deeply in love... to the annoyance of their friends, who find it difficult to put up with the [[SickeninglySweethearts cuddles and pet names]].
* ReleasingFromThePromise: [[spoiler:In the end, Zuko takes the burden away from Aang, admitting to Aang that, in making the promise, he had forced Aang to be the person to decide what right and wrong was for Zuko.]]
* TheReveal: Zuko's final conversation with his father Ozai (which was cut off halfway after Zuko asked where his mother was) is shown in full here. [[TheUnreveal Ozai taunts Zuko by answering]] ''[[TheUnreveal nothing]]'' [[TheUnreveal about Ursa]].
* RivalDojos: The Beifong Metalbending Academy and Master Kunyo's firebending school stage a duel over the property rights to a training dojo. [[spoiler:The metalbenders win]].
* SavedByCanon: ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has established that the main characters all live into their forties, at least. Katara and Zuko in particular are still alive. It should be said that the comics take full advantage of what ''Korra'' doesn't confirm, [[spoiler:breaking up Zuko and Mai and teasing that he might hook up with ''Suki'' instead.]]
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Sokka, when taking an underground slide. He blames the scream on Suki.
* SequelHook: The same one as the cartoon, in fact. [[spoiler:Zuko asks a ''different'' family member what they know about his mother.]]
* ShipTease: Zuko/Suki in Parts 2 and 3, interestingly enough, though Part 3 also reaffirms Sokka and Suki's relationship.
* ShootTheDog: Roku advises Aang to do with Zuko what Roku should have done with Sozin, should it become necessary.
* SickeninglySweethearts:
** Yes, it's Kataang.
--->'''Toph:''' ''Sweetie?'' Seriously?\\
'''Sokka:''' I know, right? '''Sooo oogie.'''
** Sokka and Suki aren't much better, at least in Toph's opinion.
* SingleTear: Aang, when [[spoiler:severing his spiritual link to Roku]], because regardless of disagreements, it is a painful parting.
* StandardFemaleGrabArea: Played with. Zuko catches Katara off-guard from behind, grabs both of her arms, twisting one around behind her back (which is a known real-world submission hold) and has her other arm outstretched above her head so that she can't move it easily. Katara's dialogue makes it appear that she could still break free and continue attacking him, but she's reluctant to because he's her friend.
* StopWorshippingMe: Aang is quite upset when he encounters members of the Avatar Aang fan club who wears clothes in his style and even have tattooed arrows like his own onto to themselves. While he acknowledges that they might do it in reverence of him, he still tells them that they have no right to do so as they do not fully understand the symbolism behind these things, and he feels the gesture reduces the Air Nomad culture into a "game". In the end, though, after seeing them putting their lives at risk on the battlefield in the name of peace, he realizes that their hearts are in the right place so he decides to becomes their teacher in the ways and philosophy of the Air Nomads.
* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler:Zuko admits to Aang that the promise was an "escape hatch" if he couldn't handle the pressure of being Fire Lord.]].
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: Sokka goes with Toph to her school, not because Katara and Aang's oogies are bothering him or anything.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: When Katara is talking Aang out of the Avatar State, she appears to have all the time in the world to do so. Probably because everyone else is scared stiff.
* TautologicalTemplar: Ozai's philosophy on what being the Fire Lord means:
-->'''Ozai: ''There is no right or wrong apart from what you decide.'''''\\
Who you choose to defend deserves to be defended simply because ''you'' chose them.\\
You are the '''''Fire Lord.''''' What you ''choose,'' by definition, is ''right.''
* TimeSkip: The comic starts ''immediately'' where the original series left off and then skips to a year later.
* TitleDrop: The Promise happens right in the prologue.
* TooManyBelts: The Dark One; it's part of the Goth thing.
* TookALevelInBadass: Earth King Kuei in Part 2, as he steps up to declare war on the Fire Nation. [[spoiler:Reversed in Part 3; once the battle starts he's cowering in fear.]] He wanted to invoke this to show that he is a manly king.
%%* TookALevelInJerkass:
* TragicBigot: Given the Fire Nation's long-standing and very recently ended reign of terror, one would be hard-pressed to find a single person prejudiced against firebenders and the Fire Nation that wouldn't qualify as this.
* UglyGuyHotWife: Girlfriend in this case with Sneers and Kori. A RunningGag in Part 3 is that everyone who finds out about them first confusedly confirms that they're together, then enthusiastically congratulates him.
* UnexplainedRecovery: Smellerbee and Longshot were last seen on the show in a hopeless-looking situation, buying the Gaang time to escape Lake Laogai. They reappear here with no explanation of how they got out themselves.
* UniversalDriversLicense: At this point we really need to ask if there's a vehicle Suki ''can't'' drive. Let's see - Airships, check. Hot air balloons, check. ''A freaking Fire Nation tank''? Yup, ''check''.
* UnusualEuphemism: "Monkey feathers" makes a return, though the situation becomes bad enough that Aang uses "monkey feathers on top of monkey feathers".
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Suki, by [[spoiler:going to Mai with her concerns about Zuko, ends up causing her to leave him, thus driving him further into despair and worsening the overall situation]].
* ValleyGirl: The Ba Sing Se chapter of Aang's fangirls speak like this. It is one of many contrasts with the straight-speaking Yu Dao chapter.
* ValuesDissonance: InUniverse. This is the reason why [[spoiler:Aang breaks his connection with Roku and all the other previous Avatars, as their world views don't line up with the changing times]].
* VillainHasAPoint:
** [[spoiler:He may be evil, but Ozai is a good judge of character. He accurately predicts that King Kuei, after years of his kingdom being the whipping boy of the Fire Nation and his own ineptitude concerning [[PuppetKing Long Feng's manipulation of him]], will resort to military force to remove the colonies.]]
** Also [[spoiler:Ozai's]] advice to Zuko about believing in the rightness of his decisions. Everything he says sounds downright psychotic the way Ozai says it, but the point behind it is that a good leader ''can't'' have doubts regarding his actions, which is something a lot of people and even books on the topic will vouch to. Much like Alec Baldwin's iconic speech to the closers in ''Theatre/GlengarryGlenRoss'', everything he says can only make Zuko a more effective force, if he gets past the deliberate antagonistic delivery.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Surprisingly, Ozai, in the eyes of the colonials. He's a genocidal maniac, but at least he never betrayed his citizens like Zuko is supposedly doing.
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: Katara wipes out a group of Yu Dao guards because they attacked Aang.
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Zuko gets these at several points:
*** From some of the residents of Yu Dao for giving it back to the Earth Kingdom.
*** From Aang and the Freedom Fighters for changing his mind on the Harmony Restoration Movement.
*** From Ozai about being indecisive.
** Aang also gets offended by some of his fans imitating his tattoos, saying that they're an important part of Air Nomad culture.
* WhiteMansBurden: ''Fire Man's'' Burden in this case. Despite stridently rejecting the idea that the war was the Fire Nation's way of sharing its greatness with the rest of the world, Zuko comes around to thinking that the war accomplished something positive in the colonies. He defends Yu Dao, social inequalities and all, to Aang and Katara in terms reminiscent of the White Man's Burden. It very much mirrors Rockefeller's ideology of common wealth; even if wealth is not shared equally among all parties, if the standard of living has become higher for all people involved, than it is fair to say that everyone has benefited.
-->'''Katara:''' It doesn't seem like the Fire Nation citizens and the Earth Kingdom citizens share equally in that [great] wealth.\\
'''Zuko:''' It's not perfect, Katara, but all the city's people, including the Earth Kingdom's people, are better off now than they were a hundred years ago.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: Both Sokka and Toph can't believe anyone would name their kid The Dark One's real name. The answer to this is obvious, since he's "The Third": his grandfather and father obviously decided that their suffering needed to be passed on to later generations.
* WithDueRespect: An Earth Kingdom General yells this to Zuko during their battle, while rebutting his points.
* WithUsOrAgainstUs:
** Kori to Sneers, after he lets it slip that he's part of the protest looking to evict the Fire Nation from Yu Dao. Although rather than frame it as an issue of nations, as she had done to Zuko in the first volume, Kori presents it as protecting the city of Yu Dao itself.
** Kuei tells this to Aang, after making it clear that the Earth Kingdom will re-take Yu Dao as per the Harmony Restoration treaty.
** Sneers uses a guilt-trip version of this on Aang.
--->'''Sneers:''' This is it, Aang! You choose to either defend Yu Dao with us... or '''doom us'''.
This list shows the last 4 events of 4. Show all.