|The Promise Part 2|
Aang and Katara are working tirelessly for peace when an impasse between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei over Fire Nation colonies within the borders of the Earth Kingdom threatens to plunge the world back into war. Meanwhile, Sokka helps Toph prepare her hapless first class of metalbending students to defend their school against a rival class of firebenders.
Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph are riding on Appa's back in the Earth Kingdom. Sokka begins to get uncomfortable as he sees Aang and Katara cuddling and begs Toph not to leave him with them. Subsequently, Toph decides to bring him to appraise her metalbending school.
After they land, Toph explains to Sokka what inspired her to start teaching metalbending. As Sokka meets her students, they inform Toph they have been kicked out of their school by a firebender named Kunyo, who is starting another class in the art of firebending. He claims that as the new Fire Lord declared, they are taking what is rightfully theirs. Kunyo also thinks there is no such thing as metalbending, until Toph bends a metal spear around his head. As the two of them prepare to fight each other, Sokka interferes, coming up with a less destructive solution. He suggests for the two classes to face off in a competition in three days. The sole condition was whichever team forced a member of the other team to sit would net victory. As Sokka and Toph exit, Toph worries that her students cannot bend metal yet, and after seeing Kunyo's students train, she is sure that her own will be defeated decisively.
Avatar Aang and Katara finally find themselves in the Earth Kingdom. On the way to the Royal Palace, Aang meets a group that refers to itself as the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club. They ask Aang if he would be willing to spend the night in their clubhouse, which has been designed to look like the Western Air Temple. Aang gladly accepts, but Katara is unsure of her position with the group, and feels jealous.
In the Fire Nation, Zuko asks his imprisoned father for advice, regarding the colonies as the ongoing dilemma regarding their fate weighs heavily on the young Fire Lord. Ozai begins telling Zuko a story, involving them, having a vacation on Ember Island. Zuko, then only three years old, witnessed a turtle crab being attacked by a hawk. He rescued the crab as fast as he could. After rescuing the crab, Zuko realized he was condemning the hawk to starve. Zuko stood on the beach, debating whose side to take, until a wave washed him in the sea, forcing Ozai to dive in the sea and save him. However, Zuko did not understand how this story could help him with the Fire Nation colonies, and he left his father's cell.
The following morning, Zuko brings in tea to his father's cell and again confronts him concerning the significance of the tale, to which Ozai sternly responds that either decision he would have made regarding the fates of the hawk or the turtle crab would have been the correct one, because the Fire Lord's decision, by divine imperative, would always be the right one.
A bitter argument then ensues between father and son, with Zuko angrily denouncing Ozai's lack of belief in right and wrong and promising that he, Aang and the Earth King would come to an agreement as to the fate of the colonies. Ozai responds that he has heard rumors regarding the Harmony Restoration Effort and chides his son for continuing to pursue a negotiated settlement to the crisis. Ozai believes the Earth King will stiffen his resolve this time out and use force to remove the Fire Nation colonials from Yu Dao to save face following years of incompetent rule and past Fire Nation humiliations. He says if Zuko were a true Fire Lord, he would defend the Fire Nation colonials with equal vigor because his subjects are an extension of his divine will. However, when Zuko firmly places faith in Aang's efforts to resolve the crisis because he is on the side of right, Ozai angrily declares that the Avatar is a relic of the past attempting to impose his will on a situation that can only be decided by force and implies his son trusts Aang's judgment over his own. When Zuko fails to respond to the obvious insinuation, an enraged Ozai then orders his son to remove himself from his sight. As Zuko angrily departs the prison, his departure is witnessed by Suki, who had secretly followed Zuko there, concerned over his frame of mind.
Back in the Earth Kingdom, Toph's students are training hard, but to no avail; they still cannot metalbend. In the other room, Sokka and Toph discuss her students, and come to the subject of how she recruited them. She explains to Sokka that her bracelet 'found' them. When she was in public, the bracelet would shiver ever so slightly, especially around emotional people. Toph hypothesized that the people who made her bracelet shiver could be metalbenders, so she recruited them but, it was still a theory, because none of them has bent metal yet. Sokka offers Toph his service as a 'motivational bender', saying he would motivate her students. Putting a headband on, he attempts to inspire them, but Toph and her students seemed skeptical. Sokka makes them take a strong stance, close their eyes and feel the Earth. He then starts throwing coins at them, hoping that the students would metalbend, but only achieves knocking them down. After seeing his failure, Toph starts making fun of his methods and headband.
Aang becomes distracted by the fan club, enjoying spending time with the girls. Growing more jealous, Katara reminds Aang of the main reason they are in the Earth Kingdom. The two leave, and Aang tells Katara even though it was a silly fan club, that the girls reminded him of being back with the Air Nomads. Sometime later, Aang and Katara greet the Earth King. Earth King Kuei thanks them for taking care of the Yu Dao protest a few days ago. Kuei thinks that Zuko desires to keep the colonies, contrary to their past agreement. Aang and Katara suggest setting up a meeting between him and Zuko.
Toph's students continue their training, but still cannot metalbend. Toph is so disappointed and worried that she does not even yell at them. Sokka suggests Toph a new idea; they have to get her students really emotional, to get them to metalbend. Both of them try to figure out a way to get the students emotional. For Ho Tun and Penga, its doom and shoes. It turns out that The Dark One, as revealed by Toph, has a name that really embarrasses him, which is the cause of his spiteful behavior. Toph agrees to tell Sokka the name, only on one condition; Sokka must not reveal it to anyone. He gives Toph the idea to construct something out of metal. Toph shows him the armory below the school, containing kid-sized Fire Nation armors. Sokka instructs Toph on what to build.
Aang and Katara meet up with the Earth King Kuei, saying that they wish to talk to him about the situation in Yu Dao. They inform him that Zuko has withdrawn his support, and inform the Earth King that it is not about the Fire Lord being greedy and wanting to keep his land. Katara especially persists Fire Lord Zuko has some legitimate concerns about what would happen to his people. Either way, Kuei is not pleased by the news.
Inside the Fire Nation colony of Yu Dao, Kori Morishita, the colonial earthbender, trains with her firebending and earthbending cousins, preparing themselves to defend the city from the growing threat of battle following the massive anti-Fire Nation protests outside the city gates days earlier. Kori's boyfriend, Sneers, appears following the end of her training session, and she learns from him that he was leading the protests together with Smellerbee. An argument ensues to which Sneers gives Kori an ultimatum as to where her loyalties lie, either with the Fire Nation or the Earth Kingdom. Kori angrily responds that she is both an earthbender and a citizen of the Fire Nation, and in return tells Sneers to choose between her and Smellerbee, before storming off.
Meanwhile, Sokka and Toph's students are enjoying the night outside, sitting down near a campfire. Sokka tells a scary story about a 'winged boar spirit' that haunts the mountain, when suddenly Toph comes out disguised as the 'winged boar spirit', which she made due to Sokka's request. The pupils scream, but The Dark One easily discovers Toph inside of metal winged boar. In order to get him emotional like the other pupils, Toph then says his name: Moo-Chee-Goo-Chee-La-Poo-Chee the Third. After all of them are emotional, Sokka attempts to inspire them to beat the firebending rival class. The students, however, are too panicked to listen.
While Aang and Katara are eating, the Earth King enters, proclaiming he has come up with a decision; He is going to enforce the Harmony Restoration Movement by ordering his troops to march on the colonies. Aang and Katara try to dissuade him, but fail. Earth King Kuei goes as far as to say that if Aang does not join his cause, he stands against him.
Sokka meets Toph in front of the metalbending school. Sokka tries to tell Toph about another idea for motivating Toph's students, but Toph interrupts him, telling him how she achieved metalbending. She tells him that when she first performed metalbending, it was in a tiny, metal cell when Xin Fu and Yu were taking her back to her parents. The thought that she was going to be made into something that she is not caused her to experience pain and pressure, and from now on she will not try to make her students be something they are not: metalbenders. Unbeknownst to Toph and Sokka, Ho Tun, Penga, and The Dark One listen in on the conversation and decide to stay, and do their best to become metalbenders.
Aang and Katara decide to travel to Yu Dao to evacuate the colonists before the Earth Kingdom's army arrives. Yee-Li, who is spying on the couple, sends a messenger hawk to the Yu Dao Chapter of the Avatar Aang Fan Club stating that their help will be needed.
The next morning, the rival firebending class comes to the school. Their teacher is ready for the match and taunts Toph. Knowing that her students cannot metalbend, she says he already won. Ho Tun suddenly enters and bends a few coins of metal, hitting Toph. The other two students are also present and start metalbending at the firebender students. They release a barrage of coins at their opponents, causing them to win the match and their school. Afterwards, the students explain to Toph and Sokka how Toph's words inspired them to learn metalbending.
Back at the Fire Nation Royal Palace, Mai confronts Zuko, and they have an argument. Mai, upset that Zuko is keeping secrets from her, tells Zuko that she believes he cares more about his secrets than about her, and Mai tells Zuko that she is leaving him, and then exits despite Zuko's pleas that he still loves her. As she leaves, Suki enters the throne room, asking him if she or the Kyoshi Warriors could help in some way, and that they are worried about him. She then states that she, specifically, is worried about him. General Mak enters the throne room, reporting that the spies from the Earth Kingdom have sent a message saying that the Earth King and his army are ready for an invasion of Yu Dao.
In the Earth Kingdom, Kuei has gathered his soldiers, ready for war. Near the Earth Kingdom, Fire Lord Zuko has gathered his fleet, ready to fight for the sake of the colonies.
Less than a month after Part 1 's own publication, The Promise Part 2's release date was quickly revealed to be May 30, 2012 upon the previous installment's immediate success. Sales for Part 2 eventually sky-rocketed to far above its predecessor's; while The Promise Part 1 and Part 2 both reached the top of BookScan charts, it was revealed in an official press release that Part 2 had also attained the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and it held the title for at least one week.
Bamfas was one of the first media sources that was given the chance to preview The Promise Part 2; it did so over a month before the graphic novel's initial release. Bamfas concluded, "With lots of quirky humor, Avatar: The Last Airbender Volume 2—The Promise Part 2 continues to be a good read. It's well written and has a nice flow to it, because of that, the story is developing quite nicely in this volume. [...] With that said, The Promise Part 2 is must pick up for all fans…", awarding an overall four-out-of-five star-rating.
Speak Geeky To Me criticized the comic for not taking advantage of Gurihiru's artistic talents in this installment, but called it "incredibly fun" even though "it contain[ed] a fair amount of plot filler", supposedly ruining chances for a perfect ten-out-of-ten. "Never-the-less [sic]," it continued, "Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Part 2 is absolutely amazing for any fans of the TV series and easily deserves its 8 out of 10." Comicsgirl praised Gurihiru's "incredible sense of layout and color" and "can't imagine this book in anyone else's hands," as well as commended Gene Yang for his ability to fit so much into one volume, saying, "It's a fun, easy read and doesn't let you realize how much information and depth is packed in until it's over."
Some reviews were less positive; Bookyurt was disappointed in Part 2 because it "ended up feeling mostly like a filler". Despite "expect[ing] more from Team Avatar" (especially in comparison to Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra), Bookyurt gave Part 2 a B+.
- Main article: Writing in the World of Avatar
Series continuity Edit
- The comic occurs immediately following the events of The Promise Part 1, after Aang and Katara go talk to Zuko to organize a meeting with Earth King Kuei.
- When Toph is telling Sokka about why she started her metalbending school, she stated that after training Aang, she realized how fulfilling teaching could be. Sokka responded that she just liked yelling at people, referencing to when she taught Aang in "Bitter Work".
- On page eighteen, it looks like there is a merchant pushing a wagon filled with cabbages.
- When first trying to find a room to stay for the night on page eighteen, Katara suggests going to Iroh's, referencing to "Sozin's Comet, Part 2: The Old Masters" when Iroh said that he would "recapture his tea shop and play Pai Sho every day" in Ba Sing Se.
- On page twenty five, Sokka says, "Oh how I miss you, space sword!", referencing to the sword that he made in "Sokka's Master", and lost in Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang which was made of the same meteorite as the one for Toph's bracelet.
- On page thirty five, Aang comments that, "I know it's just a silly fan club, but for a moment there, it almost felt like...like I was at home again. With my people." foreshadowing when Aang would form the Air Acolytes in The Promise Part 3 with the members of the Official Avatar Aang Fan Club.
- On page forty-four, Sokka says, "Now remember what you did during our final battle with Ozai? In the cabin of the Fire Nation airship?" referencing "Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno" and "Sozin's Comet, Part 4: Avatar Aang" when they took out a fleet of Fire Nation airships; Toph metalbent the rudder so it was jammed in a turning position, causing the ship to crash into the other airships.
- When Toph explains to Sokka why she was going to close down her metalbending school on page fifty-nine, she explains to Sokka how she discovered metalbending, "I discovered metalbending in a tiny metal cell, when Master Yu and Xin Fu were taking me back to my parents." referencing to "The Guru".
- On page sixty one, Hei-Won sends a message by messenger hawk to the Official Avatar Aang Yu Dao chapter, who would later aid Aang in fighting for the Harmony Restoration Movement in The Promise Part 3.
- When Mai breaks up with Zuko on page seventy-two, she states that," Lately I've realized that you love your secrets more, referencing to when Zuko did not tell Mai that he went to Yu Dao for a week in The Promise Part 1.
- Katara's change in opinion about the Harmony Restoration Movement becomes more clear, foreshadowing when she would help Aang understand fully what lives they would be destroying (including Aang and Katara's lives together) in The Promise Part 3.
- On page five, Katara does not seem to have her water skin, but on page six, the water skin is there. At the Avatar Aang Fan Club, she still has her water skin; however, at the Earth King's palace and when getting on Appa, she once again does not have her water skin.
- On page eight, the part of Toph's belt that hangs down seems to have disappeared.
- On page twelve, the strings that hang from Kunyo's belt seem to have disappeared in one of the panels.
- On page fourteen, in the second panel, Sokka is not wearing gloves, but he is in the other panels.
- The number of buckles on The Dark One's legs changes from one on both legs, to one on one leg and two on the other numerous times.
- The metal "hat" that Toph bends onto Kunyo's head changes shape: on page fourteen, the side that sticks up on Kunyo's left has the spear and the one on the right is bent twice. On the first panel on page sixteen, the one on the right is bent only once. Then, in the second panel, Toph metalbends the "hat" so that the spear is on the right and the two sides cross. However, in the bottom right panel, the spear is on the left. On the next page, when the disciples are giving the "Kunyo salute", the two sides are not crossed. And again on page sixty-two, the two sides are not crossed and are back in their original positions. The spear also seems longer.
- On page twenty, there is one panel in which the top-knot in Katara's hair is missing.
- On page twenty-nine, on the first panel (top left) Sokka is wearing a headband but in the same panel (top right) his headband is missing.
- On page twenty-nine, in the background there is a visible gap between the forked spear and the knife spear and spaced unevenly. Then on the next page, the forked spear and knife spear are next to each other and spaced evenly.
- On page thirty-three, the tattoos on Aang's arms are missing. Additionally, on the lower right panel, the rest of his right arm seems to be missing.
- On pages fifty-eight (lower left panel) and sixty-one (upper left panel), the tattoos on Aang's arms go over his biceps when they should be going under.
- On page sixty-one, there is one panel where the tattoos on Aang's arms are missing.
- On page seventy-two, Mai's eyes are colored yellow, but in the animated series they were a purplish gray. A similar goof occurs on page seventy-four where Suki's eyes are colored green, but in the animated series her eyes were purple.
- On the last page, in the second panel, the Fire Nation guards behind Zuko seem to have their shoulders behind Zuko's shoulders, both in front of the door. In the next panel zoomed out, however, the guards seem much more far apart, not behind any part of Zuko or in front of the door.
- In the final two scenes, Fire Lord Zuko travels to Yu Dao aboard a Fire Navy warship, while the Earth King travels to the colony via a hot air balloon. Their means of travel represent the elements of the two nations not participating in the conflict, as well as the bending element opposite to the element of each nation.
- The two Chinese characters on Sokka's motivational headband are 加油, an expression that literally means "add fuel", but is figuratively used as a cheer of encouragement.
- ↑ The Promise Part 1 credits Comicraft as letterer; various review websites, however, cite Michael Heisler as the letterer for this and Part 3. This review is the first to give verification that both deserve credit, for it is the only review of Part 1 that cites Michael Hesiler as letterer even though the credits in the back of the book credit Comicraft. Dark Horse Comics has been a client of Comicraft in the past, and Heisler and Comicraft have collaborated on occasion.