Avatar: The Last Airbender: Imbalance is the sixth plot arc to stem from the animated series fans have fallen so in love with. After the popularity bump that came when Avatar: The Last Airbender moved to Netflix, I was inspired to read through as much of the comics as possible. So far, it's been absolutely worth it!
Imbalance brings us back to a town and setting that fans of the comics will recognize – It's the one introduced in The Rift! All of the advancing technology has created new problems, mainly problems between the benders and the non-benders, and that leaves Team Avatar desperately looking for a solution.
I really enjoyed Imbalance. It did a great job of showing how there are still so many problems in this world, problems that could require an Avatar to step in. In this case, though, I would be curious to know if there were other solutions as well, just because of the concerns raised.
I feel like this plot in particular really pushed Aang to his limits, and I absolutely adore some of the pointed questions asked in his direction -mainly from Katara. As a bonus, it helped soften that saccharine sweetness those two have been clinging to.
Here's the downside to my binging the series all at once like this – it's getting a little fuzzy for me, the differences between The Rift and Imbalance. To be fair, the two do work together very nicely. I'm just struggling to remember where one ended, and the other began.
Anyway, back to the actual focus of this review! I love how Imbalance wasn't afraid to go a bit darker. In many ways, I think that this was a necessary step for the series, especially as the audience keeps growing up. It also felt fitting, to actually bring up these discussions and allow room for them to grow as well.
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Aang faces a decision from which there is no return!
When Aang, Katara, Sokka, and Toph return to Earthen Fire Industries--the factory owned by Toph's father--Aang is surprised when their arrival is met with a cold shoulder. As soon as the team is asked for help at a business council meeting, the reason for the slight becomes clear: a massive bender-versus-non-bender conflict has gripped the town and is threatening to turn violent. In order to heal the divide and save the town, Aang and the team will all face tough decisions about power and identity that could tear them apart.
Written by Faith Erin Hicks (The Adventures of Superhero Girl, The Nameless City) and drawn by Peter Wartman (Stonebreaker), in collaboration with Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, this is the ultimate continuation of Avatar!
Collects Avatar: The Last Airbender - Imbalance parts 1-3 (ATLA volumes 16-18).