Podcast: Commentary and Review of The Rift – Part 1

As most of you probably already know, Dark Horse recently released the next installment of Avatar comic books.

The next installment – titled The Rift – takes place after The Search trilogy, which revealed the fate of Azula and Zuko’s mom, Ursa. The Rift is expected to give fans more background on how Republic City was established in the first place.

Like The Promise and The Search, The Rift will be a trilogy of comic books that will be released over the course of this year. The Rift – Part 2 is expected to hit shelves on July 29th, so fans will have a bit of waiting to do until the story officially continues.

I’m not much of an expert on any of the comic books, since I haven’t read any of them (although I plan too). The folks over at Cast Bender, however, have read the comic books and they’ve catered this week’s podcast to The Rift – Part 1. Be sure to listen in as the trio provide their commentary and review for the first installment of The Rift trilogy.

Just a heads up – I will be joining Cast Bender on their Podcast in June to interview Gene Yang, author of the Avatar comic books. We should have some interesting content for all you readers to listen in on, so be sure to look out for that. This week’s episode of Cast Bender is just over an hour long. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts on the show.

  • Ariana Moreno

    i just wish that avatar would stick with animation, not comics. sure, the story is interesting, but everything would be so much better to hear the voices of the characters, see their facial expressions change, and see the action animated to the fullest. when the comics first started coming out, i thought, cool but it isn’t the same as the amazing show. i wish they kept all the comic stuff in the show instead. that is, if it would be relevant to the plot and not something just for fun.

    • Cast Bender Podcast

      It is just an addition, more content. I understand that the show most of the time can be better for a lot of people, but the comic content in the show… I’m not quite sure that would work. Most fandoms have various other resources for content like: comics, encyclopaedias, etc. the more the merrier!

      • Ariana Moreno

        that’s why i’m saying if it was relevant and would add more to avatar, you know, not if it was useless subplots and stuff like that for the purpose of just fun, that stuff would hinder the show and distract fans and sue, like i said, the comics are interesting, but i still like the show better. that’s my preference

        • Cast Bender Podcast

          The comics are relevant and do a great job to fill the gaps and the otherwise lost tales of Avatar: The Last Airbender, you are correct! Now, lets keep this chat about The Rift and what people thought.

          • Ariana Moreno

            em, okay, and i never said they were irrelevant, all i said was i prefer the show….can i state my opinion? i mean you responded and i’m responding to you, so, i think my one statement was fine….

          • Cast Bender Podcast

            Ariana… I said you were right in regards to your comment.

          • Ariana Moreno

            okay XD just wanna make sure i understand where this is going. anyway, carry on :p

    • Legama

      The problem is that this comics are fan service, it’s the only thing we can have besides Korra. Nick refused to make more ATLA. So this is at least something small we can enjoy.
      Now if Nick could make an animated movie out of ATLA and LOK, that would be great.

    • Wyatt

      The comics are a nice diversion from the standard ATLA/LOK plots since they are able to cover aspects of the universe that the shows wouldn’t have time to delve into. However, there’s a notice drop in quality of storytelling, writing, and some other features due to Mike and Bryan’s lack of involvement.

      • Cast Bender Podcast

        Let’s be honest, the comics can’t do what the show can in terms of storytelling, writing, etc. what that even expected? Bryan and Mike actually play a role in writing it as well. I never expected the comics to be like the show, why would they? Wyatt what do you think?

        • Wyatt

          Mike in Bryan are a little involved, but they aren’t the head writers (I think they only oversee some of the storytelling, but the only the I heard of them even doing that was with The Search trilogy). In terms of the storytelling and writing, the show and the comics are on the same playing field since storytelling and writing are not influenced directly by the medium they are performed in. There are particular elements of the tv series that cannot be translated properly over to the comics, such as the music and choreography, but the quality of the writing and storytelling is not obstructed, and thus the difference in quality does NOT originate from the difference in medium, but rather from the difference in skill, as the creators of the comics are less skilled storytellers and writers than Mike and Bryan. Does that make sense?

          • Cast Bender Podcast

            Understood, I however believe Gene Yang is no less of a writer or storyteller than Mike and Bryan. Mike and Bryan have screwed up many of time. The comics don’t have the luxury having the music (one of Korra’s defining and best features and adds a bit of flair to ATLA) thus, hindering the comics in that regard. Though, there is merit to the fact that Mike and Bryan regardless of if they actually write good content makes fans think they are perfect. Think of George Lucas, he wrote Star Wars in many cases they were worse than what other people wrote (Episode 5 and 6 were written by other people) but it doesn’t matter because Lucas wrote the original and regardless of if he is a good storyteller or not his content is where it began so any other writers come second.

            I’d argue Gene is at an unfair advantage in this regard. Everyone seems to think that something isn’t done perfectly it isn’t worth even exploring which if that was the case not anyone would be watching Korra nor ATLA for that matter. Gene represents the plots, symbols, conflicts and everything else better than most would expect in their wildest dreams.

          • Wyatt

            I agree with everything you said, except I’m a bit hesitant to give Gene Yang too much credit just because he’s not as popular as Mike and Bryan… I will say that Gene Yang has done a solid though.

  • Link9150

    Would you guys consider doing guest spots with people from the blog, like you did with Keval.

    • Cast Bender Podcast

      Do you mean the people who comment?

      • Link9150

        Yeah

        • Cast Bender Podcast

          I’d like to say yes, however we are fairly scheduled with cast members, crew, other celebrities that watch Avatar and Korra and people that help run the other fan websites. The only way for a someone in the comments to get on the show is through donation, it is a perk.

          • Link9150

            Ok. Thanks for the info.

          • Cast Bender Podcast

            No problem, I wish I could do more, but with editing, figuring out how to get people on through Skype and recording it consumes a lot of time otherwise devoted to our studies at university.

          • Link9150

            Yeah, I totally understand. It can be a huge pain in the ass. No problem though keep up the good job.

          • Cast Bender Podcast

            Thanks Link, means a lot!

  • Legama

    This comic seems to be going to an interesting direction. Not spoiling or anything but I’m starting to think this trilogy will focus more on Toph, and I think they are going to tease who’s Toph’s husband. It also appears that it will tell us more about Republic City creation, cause it has some direct connections to LOK.

    • Cast Bender Podcast

      Yes, we enjoyed how much Toph came to the forefront here.

      • Legama

        Yeah she was completely missed at the rest of the comics, she hasn’t had an important role on them.

    • MG

      Considering how the first two trilogies (The Promise and The Search) teased the respective LOK Books, I too feel that The Rift would be a teaser to Book 3, mainly on the Beifong theme.

  • Sibis

    This comic is the better of the bunch so far. Toph is back, yay. I really miss her jabs at the other characters. Aang, Katara, and Sokka were strained to the point of being such a drag the last arc. Toph is like the only character now (exception being Azula) who challenges the others on things while the rest are kiss ups to Aang.

    I also liked the part where Aang tries to pull the Avatar card to be above the law/rule, but the guy didn’t buy it. Really nice to see not everyone on the Avatar bandwagon and still view him as a child.

  • Link9150

    Meh… Avatar comics have never really appealed to me. The only one I read is “The Search” and that didn’t go too well. Avatar is a franchise that solely works in animation. What made it good in the first place is seeing the bending and that amazing soundtrack made by the Track Team, take that away and what do you got? A picture of Aang punching and fire coming out of it, if I wanted to see something like that I’d rather read a series that has actually started as a comic/manga like Dragon Ball or Naruto. Another example that came to mind is Sokka. His cracking voice was part of his character, take that away and you just got cheesy lines written down in a dialogue bubble. Nah, Avatar is made to be a TV show.

    • Cast Bender Podcast

      The thing is it really isn’t the ATLA plot. It is what happens after, the formation of Republic City which people want to see, Zuko finding his mother, again people wanted to see. The comics aren’t for everyone and that is fair, but to belittle is an over exaggeration. They are beautifully done, the pacing it better than more episodes of Korra and the characters are still very similar to what we see in ATLA. Now, the comics aren’t perfect. I’d like to change a handful of things as well, the romance between Katara and Aang for example is not my favorite.

      Avatar isn’t the first fandom to do this, Avatar has almost no world building through EU (Extended Universe). People thrive and create this content so that our favorite characters are expanded even more. I’d also argue that Gene and co. do it the best. From other fandoms there is some pretty bad stuff, a lot (example being Star Wars) and we should feel lucky we have someone who puts so much time and investment in the series.

      Lastly, you don’t like them the wonderful thing is you don’t have to read them. They won’t harm anyone, or their “vision” of what ATLA was. The comics are successful so most people must know they fill a role.

  • Mitch

    The dialogue in the comics is absolutely horrendous. And what is with Sokka? He’s more like his Ember Island Player counterpart than the character from the original series.