Avatar: The Last Airbender may be complete, but the stories of Aang and Team Avatar continue in Dark Horse Comics' excellent series of canon Avatar: The Last Airbender comics. Until now, the comics have continued the story past the Avatar: The Last Airbender finale. The latest installment turns back the clock to some time during the show's second season, "Book Two: Earth." While that may disappoint some, Katara and the Pirate's Silver allows Katara to show why she may be the world's greatest waterbender. SPOILERS for Avatar: The Last Airbender—Katara and the Pirate's Silver by Faith Erin Hicks and Peter Wartman follow.
The story begins with Team Avatar, having already recruited Toph to teach earthbending to Aang, flying across the Earth Kingdom atop of Appa. In something of a role reversal, Katara encourages everyone to relax. At the same time, Toph plays the uptight one, suggesting no one should relax while the Fire Nation is on their heels. The argument ends with, essentially, the other members of Team Avatar telling Katara that she's not nearly as badass as Toph.
It doesn't take long for Katara to get a chance to prove her teammates wrong. Fire Nation forces in the area spot Appa and fire catapults at him. Appa swerves, but Katara falls off of his back and down into the water below. Appa eventually lands, but the rest of Team Avatar doesn't know where to find Katara.
Katara soon discovers that she's in a town controlled and cordoned off by the Fire Nation. She needs to find a way out, but one soon finds her. When a Fire Nation guard notices that Katara is from the Water Tribe, she uses her waterbending skills to take him down. She believes she's pulled it off stealthily enough to avoid notice. That turns out to be true for other guards, but not when it comes to the local pirate crew.
The pirate captain Jiang happens to require a waterbender to help get her ship and crew downriver. She offers to provide Katara with passage out of town if she can give them the ability to make a quick getaway if Fire Nation troops get suspicious. Katara reluctantly agrees.
Katara starts off trying to act tough by imitating Toph's behavior, puffing herself up and spitting in the street. But the issue gives Katara a chance to show that her waterbending skills are every bit as formidable as Toph's earthbending abilities regardless of their differences in mannerisms.
The pirate's escape from town doesn't go as smoothly as they'd like. They're recognized, and the Fire Nation closes in. Rather than making the quick getaway she promised, Katara steps off the boat and reveals herself. She then bends the river to sink the Fire Nation's bridge where the Fire Nation troops where they stand.
She doesn't stop there. When the pirate ship begins to sink, Katara uses her abilities to claim a Fire Nation ship. She controls the river to maneuver the Fire Nation vessel towards the pirates, allowing Jiang's crew to jump over, taking as much of their cargo as they can grab.
By the end of the skirmish, Katara has frozen the remaining Fire Nation pursuers in place. The pirates make their getaway.
If you are wondering about the ethics of Katara allying herself with pirates, don't worry. Katara worried about that as well. By the end of the issue, Jiang reveals that the supplies she's been smuggling -- medicine and the like -- are for abandoned or ignored Earth Kingdom settlements in need.
Team Avatar follows Katara's path of destruction and reunites with her. Her piracy tale is incredible enough that the others don't believe her initially, not until Jiang shows up to confirm the story.0comments
Katara in the Pirate's Silver is a fun story that feels like an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Faith Erin Hicks takes a little leeway with her characterizations to setup Katara's adventure. Considering the payoff, it's worth it, especially with Peter Wartman's fantastic artwork. Avatar: The Last Airbender fans, especially Katara lovers, will want to give this book a look.
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