We've finally got new updates and information about the first and second installments of The Promise, the postwar comics coming out next year, all thanks to Uiop60 and, of course, Gene Yang, who provided us with information. The Promise Part One, the first graphic novel, is going to be released on January 25, 2012. Now, while we're all really excited for Legend of Korra, I'm more excited for these comics. They are like a bridge between our beloved original series and the new sequel spin-off. First of all, I've seen that there have been concerns about Aang's face, which supposedly looks "younger" and "like a nine-year-old child". The cover art for The Promise Part Two, however, denies such concerns as Aang clearly looks his age. Secondly, from the first few pages, it definitely looks that the comic is going to be worth the wait!
Now, for my opinions. After watching Gene Yang's youtube upload regarding this comic, I must say that I absolutely love Toph's redesign. She looks older and more mature. Katara's redesign is my second-favorite. Plus, after seeing some panels, I'm really impressed by Gurihiru, the team of artists behind the graphic novel! Their illustration is simply awesome and breathtaking! But, the thumbnail for the cover art of The Promise Part Three was the one that took my complete interest. It looks awesome, and I don't think I'll be able to wait until it is released. Seriously, I'm sure I can't. By the time I saw it, I was already speculating and forming my own, not to mention stupid, theories about what's going to happen. From what we know currently, Kuei is going to reappear (I've my own theories as to what he did during his exile), along with, of course, my second-favorite animal in Avatar, Bosco, too!
Now, now, you might have obviously known that I'm super-duperly excicted. What are your opinions?
Note: If you haven't read Part I, look at the previous BSST first. Also: Be prepared for references to everything imaginable, including The Lion King [my point exactly,
Zuko's Scar]. This contains a bloody lot of references, for example, to the beginning of a certain Harry Potter book where Snape catches Harry asleep on a train. If you'd like any explained, contact me. ;3
There she was. Sitting on the little step with a suitcase full of Aang memorabilia, hair a zoo as always, searching vainly over one of Sokka's expensive atlases possibly to find where her future boyfriend had gone.
Now here's the question: About whom am I talking?
Anyway, as I was sitting on the little step scouring through the atlas, I was surprised to hear a whiny little voice start wailing. "Do you know where Aang is? Do you know where Aang is? Do you know where Aang is?"
Seething with as much rage as a sadistic pacifism who desperately wanted to see certain people burn - I'm looking at you, User-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named - could muster, I lurched up, put the atlas away, grabbed my super special Avatar soft drink cup
that only cost me three hundred rice bag labels, shrugged, and went on sitting on the step. I was waiting for the Suki-Sokka-Toph love triaangle to come back from a "night at the theatre", reversed last syllable and all, and I was definitely not going to miss the opportunity to destroy everything in the apartment, then blame it on pirates. Or ninjas. Pirates or ninjas? What about ninja-pirates? I flashed a grin. Oh yes, ninja-pirates would work.
By the time she came into view, the house was ransacked, every article of clothing switched and/or burned and/or washed with the colors and whites together, and the salt and sugar [gasp] switched, and I was back in Aang-fantasy-la-la land. My favorite kind.
So, sniggering about expandable arrows, I almost didn't see her approach, until she screamed: "It's a map!"
"No duh, Admiral Ackbar," I answered absentmindedly, turning the page and seeing a detailed thingymajigger of the Fire Nation, hoping that someone had been smart enough to map the Avatar's location. Then again, knowing Sokka . . . no matter.
A giant hand came out of nowhere and slammed the book out of my grip. Finally enraged, I looked up and tried not to gag.
A wild Meng appeared!
"Who are you?" she snapped.
I raised an eyebrow. "Come to challenge me at a Pokémon battle, Blue?"
"Name's Meng." She giggled, a sound like a thousand kitten heads being wrenched off and the jugular blood spurting all over a freshly waxed floor. Pity for those who waxed it. "It rhymes with Aang. We're engaged to be married, you know."
I blinked. "That's funny. I thought he was Katara's girlfriend. I mean - boyfriend."
She waved her hand slightly. "Bah." If she had a tail, she'd have been wagging it. "Maybe he is, but I'm his fiancé."
I put the atlas down and stood up to my full very impressive 5'2 frame and squinted at her and then did some other actions will total and utter disregard for the serial comma. "What's that, little girl?"
"You jelly?" She snorted with laughter like a crazed cow hippo. I frowned.
"I hope you taste as good as cow hippo," I muttered under my breath.
Meng froze. "Whah?"
"Because I'm going to kill you." I snatched the nearest weapon I could find and threw it as hard as I could at her head. She pitched backwards, just barely able to straighten herself, and I attempted to roundhouse kick her in the chest only to lose my balance and fall onto the road myself. Before an ostrich horse cart could run me over, I scrambled back onto the step and pushed Meng's whiny little face into the ground. "The Zutaracaust is now an anti-Kataangcaust! Kill all the haters!"
"Kill all the haters?" she squeaked.
[Godwin’s Law. It’s a law.]
I paused for a moment, considering, my hand now around her throat. "Maybe that was a bit of a hyperbole and a half, but . . . come on."
"Maybe I could make a proposal," she wheezed. "I know where he is!"
I let her go instantly, then gasped as she tumbled backwards into the street. My arm snapping forward, I grasped her collar and held her up against the wall, growling. "I hate proposals. Where is he?"
"Let - me - go - first!" I dropped her like the sack of moldy potatoes she was, and she rubbed her throat, staring at me with such venom in her eyes she was practically shooting daggers, but the Copyright Ghost magically appeared, screamed, "Copyright! Copyright!" at the top of his lungs a few times, and ordered her to stop copying off of Mai.
I plunked down next to her on the step and nudged her with my elbow. Time to play good TAD-bad TAD. "Hey, listen, I'm really sorry." I sniffed. "I think we got off on the wrong . . . foot."
"Whatever." Meng tugged on her hair, but it only sprang up to its previous bouncy-ness. I think I'd rather see Zuko with a mullet than Meng with - no, no, anything is better than Zuko [shudder] with a mullet. "Here's my proposal: I give you the directions, you give me transportation."
I mentally reviewed all of my transportation-giving options and realized that I had a grand total of absokutely none. Then I turned to my evile but necessary friend and nodded. "Sure, I can get you transportation."
"Great." Meng clapped loudly, startling the oogies out of me, and grabbed the atlas in my hands, lifting it up so proudly I could have sworn I heard African chanting in the background. With a flurry of pages and the sound of my eyebrow being raised so far it might have disappeared from my face altogether, she tapped a map of the Fire Nation and pointed to the Capital. "He's taking an interview and posing for some Gene Yaang guy," she expounded, and I found myself wishing that explanation verb was 'exploded'. "There's going to be a lot of posing, if you catch my drift."
I stared at her incredulously, mouth having fallen to the ground. "The Promise isn't po - !" I yelled, loudly enough to startle a few characters returning just at the wrong moment, as always.
"What was that, TAD?" Sokka inquired as he and Suki apparated next to me, he with the remains of a bag of flaming fire flakes, she with a giant plush badgermole in her arms. "Who's that girl?"
"I'm the biggest Aang fangirl in the world," Meng boasted.
I glared at her. "Maybe, but I'm the biggest faangirl."
Toph showed up shortly thereafter, just in time to see Meng and me duking it out like like a pair of ferocious faangirling felines. She bit my arm; I slugged her face hard enough to knock her unconscious. "Good thing I practiced that maneuver on my sister," I muttered, stretching, then glancing up at the trio of Team Avatarites. "S'up?"
"Cool story bro fight it again," Sokka answered instantly, and I frowned at the usage of the Internet meme, considering that the Internet had yet to appear in the World of Avatar - take that, continuity addicts - and pinched the bridge of my nose in exasperation in a very Zuko-esque move.
Toph tapped a foot on the ground. "Sorry, am I interrupting something?"
"Fun time with you guys, but I'm leaving. I've got bigger birds to fry." I licked my lips. "I'll be seeing you
'round, yes, no, maybe, lobster?"
Sokka burst into loud chortles. "Lobster!" he howled. "Lobster!"
Suki glanced at him, frowning at his immaturity, then turned back to me. "Do we really have to lose you as a secretary?"
I shrugged. "Sorry, but, uh, I don't think that my skills were really vital to your success anyway. Just have Toph answer them. She'll do as good a job as I was, anyway."
At this point Sokka got over his insanity and now started to realize the truth of the situation. He threw himself at my feet. Well, not really. But if it weren't for Toph restraining him . . . "No, please!" he pleaded. "You have to stay!"
Meng blinked. I narrowed my eyes and put my hands on my hips. "Oh really?"
I scoffed, which was very difficult to do considering that I've only ever read the word scoff but still have no idea whatsoever as to what the Spirit World it means. "No way. For what?"
"You're the Meat God!" he cried out. "You're the only person in the entire team who will give me as much cooked meat as I want for free!"
"It's about to be sans gratis. Get out of here." I put my hand on his chest and tried to push him across the room, but I suppose it only works at teenage-infested drunk parties on the beach. I hear the surfing's choice, though.
With that, I spun around, hooked my arm into Meng's, hissed at the contact, and left, proud and triumphant, feeling like a movie.
Just kidding. I then had to go back, gather my meager things into a ratty old suitcase, and burn with discomfort as Sokka kept begging me for meat and Meng kept begging people for Aang artifacts. I shook my head and ignored the lot of them. Eventually, I actually left the house and disappeared, but not before giving in and cooking Sokka one last meal. I felt like a prison warden about to execute him, which is hilarious considering that they would probably forget me in about five-point-six minutes. Toph might remember me a bit longer, but Sokka? Just until the meat ran out. And even then, in his tiny brain, he likely couldn't think "TAD" and "meat" at the same time. Either way, I bundled myself up, and then Meng and I were running full-tilt towards the train station. I bought the tickets with counterfeit money and threw myself into a seat. Meng grumbled about transportation. I ignored her and asked for my complimentary bag of peanuts.
After two weeks or so on train and then at sea - on a ship called the Monkey Emu, so I could make as many monkeyfeathers quips as I wanted - we ended up on the shores of the Fire Nation. As I was paying for more train tickets, I eyed Meng and my suitcase, calculating their respective volumes, then bought just one ticket.
"Meng," I whispered urgently, "I just have enough money for one train ticket, so we'll be smart and pull the old Jewish tradition of getting two people on a train for one, okay?"
She hesitated. "Okay."
And that was how after listening to her squirm in a suitcase for a few days, I grinned to myself as I left her there on the train, enjoying my sadistic pacifism in all of its glory. Natural selection. Survival of the fittest.
Hopefully Severus won't mind my little "present". Maybe he'll even forget about the "missed the train, took a flying bison instead" incident.
[Side note: Professor Snape, if you're reading this, the tooth fairies infesting your office are not in fact mine. I blame Halloween. I suggest you call an exterminator. Or at least Hellboy.]
Now, to find my precious Avatar and [removed by the Commission for Removing Avatar Prawn (CRAP)].
Oh for the love of expletive deleted!
Dear M. Night Shyamalan:
I’ve been a viewer of some of your movies since I was in middle school when I saw The Sixth Sense, which was one of the better thrillers I had seen in a while. It was not necessarily my favorite, but as a fan of horror movies, I did enjoy the plot and the twists involved. Unfortunately, I could not say the same about The Signs or The Village, which came out in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Finally, there came Lady in the Water – the ultimate disappointment for me. Frankly, over time, your movies have become vaguer, cornier and harder to follow.
But enough of that. Let’s talk about the movie that’s most important – and that the people reading this are most interested in. That would be The Last Airbender, which is a live-action adaptation of one of my favorite shows. Let me just say that this stands out in my mind above everything you’ve ever done, so that none of the previously-mentioned movies matter to me anymore. This movie defines my image of you. And it was... awful.
The casting was poorly-done in relation to the show. The actors did not hold a candle to the personality of the characters I have come to know and love in the animated series. Some make a not of the races involved and while I personally don’t put as much weight on that myself, I do think it makes the movie less true to the cartoon series. The lines that were said that were meant to be witty came off as ridiculously corny. The bending was lame, the special effects were poor and the story was static. By taking all the personality and charm out of the characters, you have literally sucked the energy out of something that I love. Whatever good intentions you had, I’m afraid I cannot let that slide. I have heard that it is uncertain whether or not you will have the opportunity to direct the sequel or not. To be honest, I am rooting for the latter.
But there is still hope. No, I kid you not. Things can still work out between us. After all, The Phantom Menace was the worst of the new Star Wars trilogy, but by the time of Revenge of the Sith I was willing to forgive that disaster. If you do indeed get green-lighted for a sequel and make some serious improvements, all can be forgiven.
First off, forget the idea of a trilogy in this case. That’s the way it was with the Books of the TV series, but you’ve already changed so much and you have to change this to make it right. Make it a quartology, with Book 1: Water, Book 2: Earth and Book 3: Fire split into one movie leading up to the invasion and one with Sozin’s Comet in it.
So, taking your misguided character name pronunciations and lack of understanding of Avatar in general to the third movie, lets try to get right to the good part of the second season. Go to the meeting with Toph and make her as in-character as possible with an actress that actually looks like her. If she’s in-character and you get her to interact right with the other characters, people will almost forget how hopelessly out-of-character everyone else is. Almost. Whatever you do, don’t put Bumi in the movie. You heard me – DON’T put him in. He’s one of the best minor characters there is and I’d just like to keep him sheltered from you for now. I don’t trust you with him, even if things do get better. For the remainder of the second movie, try to incorporate "The Library" if possible, even if it makes the movie 3+ hours long. It would make the movie feel more like the show, which is something you badly need. After that, focus on the conflict between Team Avatar and Team Azula up until Ba Sing Se when the Dai Li come into the picture. Once it gets to the climax, don’t mess it up like you did by turning Koizilla into a giant wave or something like that.
In the third movie, you’re only working with half a season and you should take advantage of that by including more material from the show. As you’re building up to one of the great climaxes of the show, you should take a break and throw in some charming points from episodes such as "The Headband" and "The Painted Lady". Also, "Combustion Man" is an absolute must! I don’t care how you explain it in terms of your bending universe, just do it. You’ve taken too much bending action out of the show and you must make up for it somehow. The latter part of the movie will obviously be the invasion and this is where you need to incorporate some real bending. I’m not talking about “there’s earth beneath your feat” or the ability to “make fire” – I mean fire flying around left and right and fast-paced action the whole way through. Add some variety to the different Fire Nation opponents Team Avatar encounters. Also, it couldn’t hurt to have the Great Gates of Azulon scene from the show, since I could see that working well on a big screen.
As for the fourth and final movie, you need to make the scene with Zuko joining Team Avatar believable. Feel free to borrow some writing from the show, since I don’t fully trust you to pull it off on your own – no offense. When it gets to the final part with Sozin’s Comet, I don’t know what to tell you on that since the four episodes fit together into an awesome movie that’s essentially written for you. I wouldn’t try to invent the wheel on that. If you change some things, try to enhance the effects of the airship scene and the Agni Kai between Zuko and Azula. Also, ditch the idea of the Avatar not marrying somehow so that Katara and Aang end up together. A lot of fans need that to happen!
That’s my two cents for the day. In the unlikely event that you ever read this, I hope it helps you out.
Recently, as the collective group of Avatar Wiki users know, I published a blog on likely connections between the Book of Genesis and "Zuko Alone", to unexpected success and praise from many readers. I did however have a few detractors, but they only represented a few of those who posted comments in response to the blog. In the same comments section, I mentioned that should I find more links to the Torah (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament), I would post them in a successive blog posting. In this blog I will be analyzing and commenting on allusions to the Book of Exodus (the second of the five books, and perhaps the most well known of the books, ahead of Genesis) from a few episodes in the series, rather than on one specific episode. Granted, these allusions will not be nearly as strong or notable as the ones mentioned in my previous blog, but I will attempt to highlight and interconnect them to the best of my abilities.
Before I conduct my analysis, a disclaimer: What I've written in my previous blog as well as what I'm about to reveal here is not trying to argue that a specific viewpoint is more recognized than any other interpretation. The three monotheistic religions (one God) (Judaism, Islam, Christianity) each portray these events in their respective religious texts with slightly different interpretations from one another. I'm portraying it from Judaism's point of view because that's what I know, and that's the religion in how I was raised growing up.
For the first possible Exodus allusion, we head to the final episode of Book 1, "The Siege of the North, Part 2". Almost immediately after Zhao killed Tui, the Moon Spirit, by slicing the koi fish with a Firebending slash, an angry and disheartened Aang went into the Avatar State and merged with a seemingly wrathful La, the Ocean Spirit and became "Koizilla". Koizilla went on a rampage, killing off as many Fire Nation troops as it could, until it managed to vanquish the Fire Nation's flotilla (shortly after which Tui was revived using Yue as a willing host for its human form, and Zhao was subsequently drowned by a vengeful and defused La). In one of the scenes where Koizilla kills troops, Water Tribe warriors and Fire Nation soldiers were fighting each other on either side of a small canal, when the fused behemoth's mighty figure interrupted them. The Water Tribe warriors immediately bowed down, while the Fire Nation soldiers stood guard, raising their weapons at the giant. The warriors were spared while Koizilla drowned the soldiers with a simple wave generated by its large arm. This alludes to the ten plagues brought down on Egypt, specifically the last one: The Death of the Firstborn (in Hebrew: Makat Nechorot [pronunciation]), where each of the firstborn of the Egyptians was struck down by the Angel of Death (God), including Pharaoh's own child. The Israelites were saved from the same fate by painting their doorways with the blood of a freshly-sacrificed lamb. The Angel "passed over" (this is how "Passover" came to be named) the houses of the Israelites and smote the firstborn of the Egyptians. An interesting and ironic revelation of this plague was that the Pharaoh himself was a firstborn, but God saved him from death, to witness the grave destruction and sorrow caused to his people, as well as to his own family. Heavily distraught and in a state of grief, he demanded Moses and the Israelites leave Egypt, which they did in haste. The Pharaoh changed his mind soon after and ordered his surviving armies to chase down the slaves he only recently released, but they were all drowned once the troops arrived at Red Sea, where the parted waters were reunited. Looking back at the event in the episode, it isn't difficult to surmise that Koizilla represented the Angel of Death carrying out the final plague, "passing over" the Water Tribe warriors and striking down the Fire Nation soldiers.
The second possible allusion takes place at the end of "Avatar Day", when after saving Chin Village from the Rough Rhinos, Mayor Tong rededicated the festival to honour the Avatar rather than the original purpose of villifying the spirit. One of the measures was to make cookies in Aang's image by simply using uncooked dough. This was to signify that Aang was not boiled in oil, as his original punishment stipulated, but rather that he protected the village from capture and destruction by the Rough Rhinos. In the haste to leave Egypt after the Pharaoh's command, the Israelites did not have time to allow their bread to rise, as is normally done when baking it. As a result, they were left with partially-baked and unleavened bread, known as matzah, which is the primary food eaten during Passover. Granted, this is a very weak comparison, as Lady Lostris pointed out in the comments section of my previous blog since it only relies on the coincidence of one small item (the food).
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The last allusion takes place in "The Serpent's Pass", when Katara and Aang help their group (incluing Sokka and Hope's parents) cross the watery expanse in between the two sections of the Serpent's Pass, by splitting and forming a water barrier around them using Waterbending. The allusion only focuses on the part where the water is parted, and not the barrier afterwards. The scene alludes to Moses parting the Red Sea to cross the expanse leading towards the other side, representing freedom from Egypt. As the Israelites were crossing, Pharaoh and his armies chased them down, but were temporarily halted when Moses summoned a large pillar of fire to halt the military's progress. Once the Israelites and Moses crossed over, the pillar vanished, enabling the forces to enter the partition, when they were subsequently drowned by the rushing waters reuniting. Accounts of the Pharaoh after the incident are ambiguous as to what really happened. Either he died with his men, or as "The Ten Commandments" (1956) and "The Prince of Egypt" (1998) illustrate, he remained on shore while he was forced to watch his men drown. What supports the latter opinion is that it seems God prevented the Pharaoh from going with his men in order to have him watch his armies' demise at His hands.
These are three events that tie the series to the Book of Exodus. Hopefully you were intrigued y the blog's contents and feel free to comment below. Thank you for reading.