Avatar: The Last Airbender | The Rift (Part Three) created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, script by Gene Luen Yang, art by Gurihiru, lettering by Michael Heisler
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As Part Three opens, Toph Beifong is “literally carrying the weight of our world.” She’s trapped underground, with Katara, Satoru, her father, and many others as they wait for Sokka to return with help. Even “the greatest Earthbender of all time” can sometimes use a little assistance from her bestest students. Besides, desperate times call for desperate reactions: Toph’s father, now known as “Boss man Lao,” finally admits, “Not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought of you,” he says with tears streaming down his cheeks. “I love you, my daughter. And I’m sorry for everything.”
That’s one rift repaired, thank goodness, but more destruction is about to go down …
While Aang is communing with his past selves to figure out how to rebalance the world, Boss man Loban decides he’s cutting his losses from “Coward Lao” and taking his iron treasures far away. Bad idea: theft doesn’t make behemoth General Old Iron particularly happy, and he’s ready to wreak revenge upon the greedy humans. Aang is convinced he’s got to stop the destruction caused by the refineries by leveling the buildings, but Toph believes the refineries are a symbol of peace between once fractious nations and must to be preserved. While Aang and Toph vehemently, violently disagree, the angry General is raining abuse on them both.
Two friends, two opposing views about the future: such an all-engulfing rift has to be stopped – world peace most definitely is at stake here. More so than in other Avatar adventures, the multi-layered outcome here is not a simple right-or-wrong fix. This time, sacrifices and compromises must be made … and uncertainty about the future is never far. Peace is precious, yes, but sometimes, its cost can prove to be quite precarious, as well.
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult