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Comic Book / Avatar The Last: Airbender - Rebound

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Another installment in the Interquel comics set between the series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra and part of the overall Avatar universe. Written by Gene Luen Yang, it was released on May 4, 2013 (Free Comic Book Day) and takes place either in-between or alongside the plots of The Promise and The Search. It was later reprinted alongside the other Avatar Free Comic Book Day specials and several new stories as part of the anthology Team Avatar Tales.

The story follows Mai after she left her boyfriend Fire Lord Zuko in The Promise when she grew fed up with him continuing to keep her in the dark about things, especially his secret meetings with his imprisoned father. She's gotten a job in her aunt's flower shop but still misses Zuko. When a customer asks her out on a date, she accepts, hoping the change of pace will cheer her up.

Mai's date takes her to what turns out be an underground meeting of the New Ozai Society, a faction of Ozai loyalists led by Mai's father, the former Governor of Omashu/New Ozai, plotting to overthrow "the usurper" Zuko and restore the proper Fire Lord to the throne. Her father wants Mai to join them and tell them anything she can about Zuko that might help them overthrow him.

Mai, however, is not pleased with her father's schemes and even less pleased that he's brought her baby brother Tom-Tom to this place to be properly taught his duty to his nation. Mai declines her father's invitation and fights her way out past the other members, taking her brother with her.


Avatar: The Last Airbender - Smoke and Shadow continues both Mai and the New Ozai Society's story.

Rebound provides examples of:

  • Believing Their Own Lies/Twisting the Words: Mai's father tries to claim Zuko threw her out. Mai tells him he knows it wasn't like that.
  • Big Sister Instinct: It's revealed for the first time how close Mai and Tom-Tom actually are when her little brother runs right into her arms the first time he sees her in who-knows-how-long. Mai picks her little brother up, gets a good look at the cult he was going to be raised into, tells Tom-Tom to hang onto her; and cue the following trope.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: That fight was so unfair... the entire New Ozai Society didn't stand a chance against Mai.
  • Dartboard of Hate: The New Ozai Society's meeting place features a straw dummy adorned with a headshot of Zuko; the dummy has several swords stuck in it.
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  • A Day in the Limelight: For Mai.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: When Mai rejects her fathers offer and decides to leave, he makes it clear that he doesn't want either of his children harmed in the ensuing fight.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: This seems to be a running theme for Mai, as her father felt confident enough that she would join his side to lead her right to their secret meeting place and tell her everything about their intentions. Clearly, it never crossed his mind that she would turn him down. He miscalculated her about as badly as Azula did.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: Just because the Evil Overlord was defeated doesn't mean his empire fell with him. While The Empire is fractured, a new order of Ozai's loyalists (dubbed the New Ozai Society) is on resurgence with the Imperialist ideals still alive.
  • Foreshadowing: The New Ozai Society threatens Zuko's regime in the upcoming comic book trilogy Smoke and Shadow.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Mai's father has become this since his loss of Omashu. Now, he leads a faction of Ozai-Loyalists, becoming a potential threat for Zuko.
  • Hero of Another Story: Rebound is the Other Story to The Promise and The Search.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Mai protests when Kei Lo begins leading her down a dark alley, telling him he's crazy if he thinks she's "going down a dark, deserted stairwell with a guy I just met." Of course, he has something different in mind.
  • Interquel: An interquel within the interquels, in fact.
  • It Meant Something to Me: Kei Lo insists to Mai that he enjoyed this assignment because he really is attracted to her. However, Mai doesn't buy it, because she feels like he set her up.
  • Plot Parallel: Mai's father tries to persuade her to join him in a move similar to Hiroshi Sato's offer to Asami in The Legend of Korra.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mai has a blunt comeback for every complaint her father makes about Zuko.
  • The Remnant: The New Ozai society are loyalists to Fire Lord Ozai's regime who still believe the war was justified and do not recognize Zuko as their leader.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: When faced with a band of rebels trying to turn her against Zuko, Mai's only rebuttal is to start throwing knives.
  • Tranquil Fury: When she discovers her father plans to indoctrinate Tom-Tom with pro-Ozai sentiment.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Mai nips her father's plan to invoke this trope with Tom-Tom in the bud.
  • Undying Loyalty: Zuko is a lousy boyfriend, but Mai still believes in him.
  • Unknown Rival: Mai's father is basically this to Zuko.
  • We Can Rule Together: This works about as well for Mai's father as it does for most evil parents with heroic children.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The New Ozai Society are La Résistance in their own eyes but terrorists in Mai's.