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Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search
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Caution: Spoilers! (For both the TV series and the comic itself.)

This is a three-part series, released in 2013. It is a direct sequel to the previous comic miniseries, The Promise, though the story it tells is about a different aspect of the Avatar-verse. It finally answers a question fans have been asking since season two of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and in particular since one of the final scenes in the series finale, in season three: What happened to Zuko's mother, Ursa? Throughout the story, there will be flashbacks that reveal certain details about her past. It begins in a small Fire Nation town called Hira'a. Ursa is in love with a young man named Ikem, and the two of them get engaged. But soon after that, Fire Lord Azulon comes to the town. He's been searching for the descendants of Avatar Roku (who was Ursa's grandfather). He believes that if the Avatar's descendant marries his son, Prince Ozai, it will create a stronger bloodline that will ensure his family's continued rule for centuries to come. So, Ursa is forced to leave her home and Ikem behind, and marry Ozai instead.

Meanwhile, in the present, Fire Lord Zuko is determined to find his long-lost mother. He lets his sister Azula out of the mental institution she's been locked away in since the end of the TV series, so that she can learn the truth about Ursa from their father, Ozai, who is in prison. She does learn the truth, but only agrees to share it with Zuko on the condition that she be allowed to travel with him to Hira'a, to look for Ursa together. In order to help him keep Azula under control during the trip, Zuko brings along Avatar Aang, Katara, and Sokka. Of course, Azula still tries to make trouble, because she's crazier than ever. She believes Ursa has been plotting against her, and that everyone in this group are Ursa's co-conspirators. In another flashback, we learn that Ursa had secretly been writing letters to Ikem; but Elua, the servant who was supposed to deliver them, had actually been filing them away for Ozai. However, one of the letters revealed a shocking secret, which we don't learn until later, at the end of part 1 of the miniseries, when Zuko finds that letter, which Azula had brought with her on the trip.

In part 2, the flashbacks mostly fill in new details about certain things we'd already seen bits of pieces of in flashbacks in the TV series. Mainly, we learn why Ursa had to leave the Fire Nation capital, and see that she returned to Hira'a. But before that, there's a flashback where we get to see Ozai say something to Zuko that Zuko had mentioned at the end of season one, so that was rather interesting, I thought. Meanwhile, in the present, the gang finally arrives in Hira'a, where they learn that after Ursa had first left the town, Ikem had gone to a forest called Forgetful Valley, from which no one ever returns. And there are rumors that Ursa had eventually returned to Hira'a, and then gone to the forest, herself. So our heroes (and Azula) go to Forgetful Valley to search for them.

In part 3, we learn more things about the past, but I don't really want to spoil any of it. I'll just say... throughout the series I had my guesses about certain things. I thought all might not be as it seemed. Was I right? Again, not spoiling. I'll just say all is as it is meant to be. Anyway, the whole miniseries has the same high quality I've come to expect of Avatar comics, in terms of art, drama, humor, emotions, twists, and overall storytelling. It's simply amazing, and I cannot wait for the next miniseries, "The Rift," coming in 2014.

P.S., it was kind of a shame not seeing Toph in this miniseries, but she was mentioned once, and something that was said about her I thought pretty neatly foreshadowed something about The Legend of Korra....

Dark Horse index

Untitled Document Avatar: The Last Airbender comics
The Lost Adventures * The Promise * The Search * The Rift * Smoke and Shadow * North and South * Imbalance * Team Avatar Tales *
Katara and the Pirate's Silver * Toph Beifong's Metalbending Academy * Suki, Alone

The Legend of Korra comics
Turf Wars * Ruins of the Empire