Years ago, I found Avatar: The Last Airbender was included with Amazon Prime. I watched the first few episodes, liked what I saw, got busy…and when I tried to go back, it was no longer included.
Then Netflix acquired it, and I would rather not miss out on the series a second time, so I figured I better watch it now. And hey, that gives me more articles for here. I just needed to figure out when I would put it up. Should I pause Doctor Who and The Simpsons? Wait until one of my late afternoon/early evening show slots opens up?
But then Jenny raved about the show on the podcast, instead of trying Batman the Animated Series like she said she eventually would, so I decided to plug it into Jenny’s old cosplay-of-the-day slot for the foreseeable future. Here we go with “The Boy in the Iceberg”.
Yes, there’s a boy in an iceberg, and that kid has some powers. See, in this world, the four classical elements can be manipulated by people called “benders”. Most benders work with the same element and all come from the same geographical location. Every century or so, an “Avatar” is born of one of the four tribes with powers over all four elements.
But something went wrong with the last one. The Avatar came from the Air Nation, but the Fire Nation decided world conquest was a good idea. The Air Nation fell, the Avatar (whoever it was) disappeared, and a century later, the Fire Nation is on the verge of winning.
Cut to the South Pole, where siblings Katara and Sokka of the Water Nation are out fishing when, after a spat, they find an iceberg with a kid and a large, six-legged bison inside of it. And, well, both of them are still alive. Cutting the boy out shows he’s an airbender named Aang, and he claims the bison, Appa, can fly. So far, it does not. Katara, the only waterbender left in her village, decides to take him home in hopes for some lessons. Sokka, basically the only fighter left since all the men went off to war, is more skeptical, but he’s clearly a comic relief idiot so far.
Meanwhile, Prince Zuko of the FIre Nation prowls nearby with his wiseass uncle Iroh, searching for the Avatar to get his honor back.
Right away in just twenty or so minutes, the series sets out everything we need to know about the four main characters. Aang is immature and naive. Katara is very serious about being better at something only she can do. Sokka is a clown. Zuko is determined and the series antagonist at least to start. It’s a good start for a series I know by reputation to be quite a good one.
So, let’s hope Netflix doesn’t lose the rights any time soon. I’d hate to start over, especially as this episode ended with Zuko and his Fire Nation ship getting ready to attack the village our heroes are staying at.