After the series came to a fiery end with Aang taking away the Phoenix King’s bending therefore ending the Hundred Year War; Avatar: The Last Airbender looked like it had covered all the primary bases. However, there were many others that had not been resolved, and so the tie-in comics were introduced. Avatar: The Search was one of them.
Without a doubt, Avatar The Search has to be one of the most important Avatar comics. Since the entirety of the Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra hit Netflix in May last year; there has been an increase in the franchise’s interest. This has awoken the section of fans that complain about not having received closure from how the series ended.
One great way to fix this problem would be to venture into the world of the comics; particularly Avatar: The Search, and bring it to life on the small screen. Turning it into an animated movie would definitely give it more exposure, seeing as a lot of people skipped the supplementary material. It has all of the closure any Avatar fan could ever need, and would definitely reach a wider audience.
Avatar The Search
As Avatar: The Last Airbender ended with Aang’s turn (on screen) as the Avatar; the fate of Azula and Zuko’s mother were left untouched. Fans will remember it to be a major plot point in the series; especially after it was revealed her disappearance was linked to Ozai becoming the Firelord after his father Azulon’s mysterious death.
Between 2008 and and 2013, five years would have passed before any questions to the aforementioned questions would be answered. The answers came in the form of the graphic novel; Avatar The Search, a three part followup to the show. It did the job of addressing exactly what fans had been wondering after the show’s end. It also addressed other subplots, such as the relationships between some certain characters.
One major reveal from Avatar the Search was that it solved the mystery of Zuko’s mother Ursa; details about her disappearance, and where she had been. It also revealed some long hidden facts about her marriage to Fire Prince Ozai.
Ursa’s Marriage To Ozai
So, it turns out that Zuko’s mother Ursa’s marriage to Ozai was a completely arranged one. This reveal might not be so surprising, considering that from what we know from the show; it was clear Ursa resented Ozai. And really, who wouldn’t?
All jokes aside, we see just what led to her getting married to the future Phoenix King. It turns out that Ursa is a direct descendant of the great Avatar Roku; Aang’s predecessor. Her marriage to Ozai was arranged by Fire Lord Azulon; as a move to mix his family’s bloodlines with another influential family’s blood. This was a ploy to ensure that his family would have continued rule over the Fire Nation.
Azula And Zuko’s Relationship In Avatar the Search
Zuko and Azula might have ended the Avatar series on opposite ends and as enemies; but they do have some touching moments in Avatar The Search. Even though they often turn out to be crazy. It’s clear that there is still some degree of love between them both. This is something that is increasingly important for everyone to see; not just because it helps Zuko’s character progression; but also because it is a dynamic that progresses the ever complex and tortured character that is Azula.
Avatar The Search: The Spirit World
This is another area of the Avatar mythos that gets explored in Avatar The Search is the spirit world. We see that spirits, just like humans, also have families and familial bonds. There are also some spirits that are so powerful and strong; that they can move between both the human world and spirit planes. We also see that some of the spirits have existed long before time itself started counting. An example of such spirits is one that we are already acquainted with in the series; Koh the Face Stealer.
He is one of these ancient and mysterious beings that was born outside of time to a very powerful god-like mother. Anyone who saw Koh in his only appearance in the show; was instantly marked with his terrifying nature – and he has since become a major talking point of the franchise. Through Avatar The Search, we learn more about Koh the Face stealer; where information on him was previously scarce. One major reveal was that he is the son of the mother of faces; who in turn was the one who helped Ursa, Zuko’s mother disappear.
The Search finds a way to uncover more about what this memorable creature is by weaving it into the fabric of the central character’s lives. It would be the very first time a spirit would get this kind of treatment; something that would become more rampant in the Legend of Korra. Safe to say that Avatar The Search led the way in giving the world of spirits such depth.
Why A ‘The Search’ Movie Would Be Great
We have already seen Netflix attempt a number of adaptations; and two of those have been expansions of already completed Nickelodeon shows; Rocko’s Modern Life and Invader Zim. The result was two very okay films. Judging from this, we can expect that an on-screen adaptation of Avatar: The Search would be just as great. It most likely would be treated with similar care. It would also be in line to say that Netflix could be missing out on a great opportunity to bring one of Avatar’s most hidden gems to wider exposure. The franchise has an extensive fan base spanning millions all over the world; with more to join thanks to Netflix’s streaming and it would be an opportunity missed to not capitalise on this.
Contributing to the franchise through comic adaptations would not only be smart business; but also an opportunity to give fans something that they probably thought they would never get – closure.