Archive for June 2016

Episode 28 - The Search

June 16, 2016 @ 6:39 pm

This week The Avatar Returns returns to the Avatar. We continue our discussion of Dark Horse Comics' ongoing Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel series with Volume 2 - The Search. We talk about how the shift from the larger, more epic story told in Volume 1 - The Promise to this much smaller, more intimate tale works for us, and more importantly for the characters. Whereas the previous book explored issues we didn't even know we wanted to explore, such as colonialism and cultural appropriation, this book focuses on the bonds of family, born and found, particularly the relationship between brothers and sisters. It also addresses ideas of identity, be they physical, societal, or emotional. We praise writer Gene Luen Yang's astounding gift for continuing and building on this world and these characters we've come to love so much. And we wax embarrassingly rhapsodic about the work of art duo Gurihiru, which just keeps getting better with every volume, every chapter, every page.

There's also banter this week. We say just a few words (for now) about the first season of DreamWork's Voltron: Legendary Defender, and we say way too many words about "adult" coloring books. Seriously, no one cares as much about these things as at least one of our hosts apparently does.

Next: we take a week off in a desperate attempt to prepare ourselves for the following week's watch of director M. Night Shyamalan's 2010 "masterpiece," The Last Airbender. (We promise, The Legend of Korra Book Two is coming. Assuming we survive this.)

The Breakdown

  • Intro / Banter (00:00 - 16:30)
  • Main Topic (16:30 - 1:52:42)
  • Outro / Next (1:52:42 - 1:54:56)

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Episode 27 - Skeletons in the Closet / Endgame

June 10, 2016 @ 5:54 pm

Book One of The Legend of Korra closes with a bang as Team Avatar and the United Forces face off against Amon and the Equalists. Chapter 111, "Skeletons in the Closet" finally reveals the true identity of Amon, and reminds us just how truly horrific bloodbending can be. And chapter 112, "Endgame" rings out the season with Asami confronting her father, Korra getting "unbent," and an argument for why villains should invest in oil-based makeup. Through all of this the boys defend murder suicide, compare The Legend of Korra to Speed Racer (Amon is Bender X?!), and explain why that ending is NOT just another "deus ex Aang."

Does the show resolve Korra's identity crisis? Does she overcome her case of Avatar block? Do benders and non-benders learn to live together in harmony? This and much more this week on The Avatar Returns! Featuring music by Arlo and The Love Trapezoids.

Next: we step away from silly cartoons to talk about funny books. Our look at Dark Horse Comics' official tie-in graphic novel series continues with Volume 2: The Search.

The Breakdown

  • Main Topic (00:00 - 1:34:50)
  • Outro / Next (1:34:50 - 1:37:24)

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Episode 26 - When Extremes Meet / Out of the Past / Turning the Tides

June 5, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

This week on The Avatar Returns it's action, action, and more action! In chapter 108, "When Extremes Meet," we get a full-speed car chase, and a villain stands revealed as Korra goes one-on-one against Tarrlok...the bloodbender! Dun-dun-duuuun! Then in chapter 109, "Out of the Past," Lin Beifong suits up, and we learn that Tarrlok is Yakone's son. (He's whose what now?) It all makes sense at last! (Wait, does it?!) And finally in chapter 110, "Turning the Tides," Team Avatar takes on more mechatanks, Lin and the kids defend Air Temple Island, and Naga bitchslaps the Moustache Guy. Through it all we discuss superhero tropes, fascism vs. due process, and the physics (and genetics) of bending, be it blood-, zipper-, or fartbending.

Plus Iroh is back (sort of), and we banter just a bit about the announcement of the upcoming Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man animated feature film.

Next: The Legend of Korra comes to the end of Book One as we discuss chapter 111, "Skeletons in the Closet" and 112, "Endgame."

The Breakdown

  • Intro / Banter (00:00 - 07:35)
  • Main Topic (07:35 - 1:09:40)
  • Outro / Next (1:09:40 - 1:12:11)

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