Listen to The Avatar Returns Episode 49

Art from the ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ 15th anniversary steelbook Blu-ray.

The Avatar Returns episode 49 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Guess who’s back, back again…

A little flying lemur told us it was the 15th Anniversary of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and we thought, “Hey, we liked that show.” So here we are, Team TARP together again. We discuss our memories of the series, how it’s influenced pop culture, and whether or not that Netflix live-action series is ever gonna happen. We also talk about all the various ways this podcast could reincarnate in the future, be it for books, comics, or other animated series.

Also, our resident boozebender Eric Sipple creates an Avater-themed cocktail. (See the recipe below.)

Next: TBD

THE BREAKDOWN

Total Run Time: 01:40:55

  • 00:00:45  – Intro
  • 00:09:45  – AtLA 15th Anniversary
  • 00:43:33  – Netflix live-action update
  • 01:05:16  – Books & Comics
  • 01:10:30  – Animation
  • 01:20:06  – Speculating about new podcast projects
  • 01:37:20  – Outro / Next

THE MUSIC

  • “Avatar: The Last Airbender (Intro)” by Jeremy Zuckerman (2005)
  • “Airbending” by Mak11, Airbending (Single) (2019)

THE LINKS

THE AVATAR STATE RECIPE

  • 1 oz London dry gin (Air)
  • 1 oz Campari (Fire)
  • 1 oz Punt e Mes (Earth)
  • Fill an old fashioned glass with ice (Water). Add all ingredients to the glass and stir. Garnish with a thin slice of orange.

Listen to Gobbledygeek Episode 376 – “Four-Color Flashback: American Born Chinese (feat. Johny Ho)”

Art from ‘American Born Chinese’ by Gene Luen Yang & Lark Pien.

Gobbledygeek episode 376, “Four-Color Flashback: American Born Chinese (feat. Johny Ho),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

For the next installment of this year’s non-superheroic Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo are joined by their pal Johny Ho to discuss Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese. While they’ve previously discussed Yang’s work on the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics, Paul and Arlo discover a whole new side of Yang in this semi-autobiographical novel; while Johny finds pieces of his experience reflected in the story of Jin Wang, an Asian kid enrolled in a Western school. The gang discusses Yang’s simple yet exciting artwork; Lark Pien’s vibrant colors; the horrifying stereotypes Yang spotlights; the meaning of the Monkey King’s journey; and more.

Next: game over. Sarah Kosheff rides in on her dragon to talk Game of Thrones’ final season.

(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: American Born Chinese.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 48

Art from ‘The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, Part One’ by Irene Koh and Vivian Ng.

The Avatar Returns episode 48 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

We’re back for a brand new year with a brand new comics series! Following on the successful heels of their Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels Dark Horse Comics introduces the official Legend of Korra continuation series. The first story arc is called “Turf Wars” and it’s written by original series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino with art by Irene Koh. To go along with all the new we here at The Avatar Returns are trying a slightly new format in that we’ll be reviewing these books as they are initially released rather than waiting for the hardcover Library Edition collections. So in this episode we tackle Part One (of Three), and I confess that we struggle just a little bit. Picking up immediately where the animated series left off we follow Korra and Asami on their getaway into the spirit world, and while it’s wonderful to see these characters again the return isn’t quite as smooth as we may have hoped. Paul and Arlo are worried about a seeming return to Book One hotheaded impetuous Korra; Koh’s art is a significant change from Gurihiru in the ATLA books; there’s talk of the Dumbledoring of Kya; and Eric will not condone a course of action that will lead us to Turf War. (That’s a joke, he actually loves this book.)

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 48.)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 47

Art from ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender – Vol. 5: North and South’ by Gurihiru.

The Avatar Returns episode 47 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

We’re baaaaack. But there’s no cause for celebration as we’re forced to bid a sad farewell to our beloved comics creative team. One last time writer Gene Luen Yang and art duo Gurihiru spin a tale of Team Avatar for the official tie-in graphic novel series from Dark Horse Comics. Vol. 5: North and South sees Sokka and Katara return home to the Southern Water Tribe for the first time since setting off with Aang to end the Hundred Years War. But what they find may not be the quaint, egalitarian village they remember. As each volume before it, North and South explores issues of modernization, nationalism, societal and technological development. But for the first time our hosts don’t all necessarily agree on the quality of the story and/or art. One of them may or may not spend much of the podcast talking about loving the book while consistently nitpicking practically everything about it. Which one of them is being an Arlo? Press play and find out!

Also, there’s talk of “therapybending,” David Lynch’s inevitable contribution to the World of Avatar, spoilers for Lion King(?!?), and Tattoo Watch is officially over as someone earns their ink.

Next: there’s a change coming as the boys talk about how to continue the podcast in light of the glacial pace of new comics being released. There’s quite a bit of discussion at the end of the episode about what to do about that, but I’ll go ahead and spoil some of it for you now and let you know the next thing we’ll be discussing will be the first individual volume of the Legend of Korra graphic novel series Turf War. Date TBD.

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 47.)

Listen to the Final Episode of ‘The Avatar Returns’

The final episode of The Avatar Returns is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Goodbyes are hard. That’s why we drink. In this episode your sad hosts are sad. In the absence of new Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra chapters to discuss, we get slightly inebriated and try to make it a party. There’s trivia, “Who Said It” challenges, lists (because everyone loves lists), and lots of self-indulgence and time-wasting. We really do go out on the top of our game.

In all seriousness, we have had a tremendous time sharing this journey with each other and with all of our listeners. No one could have predicted how important this silly little project would become for all of us, and so reaching the end and having to step away is truly bittersweet. We’re all proud of what we’ve done, but we’re going to miss coming together every week to have these discussions. We will of course return from time to time with new episodes as the graphic novel series collected editions come out, so this isn’t goodbye forever.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has joined us along the way. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.

“The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 46.)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 42

The Avatar Returns episode 42 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This week on The Avatar Returns, it’s a Badass Bender Beatdown as The Legend of Korra Book Four continues. In this corner, wearing the simple green tunic, the Ever-Lovin’ Blue-Eyed Avatar (we still have one of those?), Korra! And in this corner, sporting a stylish Earth Empire ensemble of death metal, dancin’ and singin’ and movin’ to the groovin’, the Great Uniter herself, Kuvira!

But first we take a road trip with the Air Kids in chapter 404, “The Calling” as Aang’s grandkids finally get the spotlight. And Toph proves why she’s a master storyteller. Then in chapter 405, “Enemy at the Gates,” Zhu Li does the mecha suit thing better than anyone else, and poor dim Bolin slooooooowly starts to figure stuff out. And finally, in chapter 406, “Battle of Zaofu,” Kuvira smacks the taste right outta Korra’s mouth. LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE!

Paul murders Cousin Oliver after only one week. Eric murders a decades-old Brady Bunch meme. And Arlo murders any sense of even the most basic professionalism and respect for our audience. (Turn off your damn phone notifications, you ass!)

Next: for hopefully the very last time we take a week off to catch our breath. You guys just don’t understand how difficult it is to sit still for two hours once a week and talk into a microphone about things that we love passionately. It’s exhausting and just way too much to expect us pampered podcasters to pull off with any kind of consistency. So we’ll take one last pause in the action to prepare ourselves for an uninterrupted run through to the end. Back the week of April 12th we will be discussing The Legend of Korra chapters 407, “Reunion,” 408, “Remembrances,” and 409, “Beyond the Wilds.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 42.)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 41

The Avatar Returns episode 41 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Book Four: Balance begins as we move into the final season of The Legend of Korra. Time jumps in fiction tend to be something of a mixed bag, but as our story picks up three years after the end of Book Three it quickly becomes apparent the device works like a charm here, in what Arlo dubs the strongest start to any season in the entire Avatar Universe. In chapter 401, “After All These Years,” Korra is missing and former Zaofu Captain of the Guard Kuvira has become “The Great Uniter,” using military force to bring order to the chaos in the Earth Kingdom in the wake of the Queen’s death. Chapter 402, “Korra Alone” answers where exactly the Avatar has disappeared to, and why. (Hint: it involved Nega-Korra.) And finally it’s Toph love in chapter 403, “The Coronation” as the O.B. Original Beifong returns to go all Yoda on Korra’s ass.

Paul introduces the podcast’s version of Cousin Oliver. He and Eric both wax rhapsodic about Star Wars Rebels. And Arlo compares Mako to Vin Diesel. Not in a good way. (IS there a good way?)

Next: the next three chapters of Book Four; 404, “The Calling,” 405, “Enemy at the Gates,” and 406, “The Battle of Zaofu.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 41.)