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NYCC 2016: Dark Horse: Classified Featuring “Avatar the Last Airbender” – Panel Summary

by on October 10, 2016

legend of korraThe big news about the upcoming release of The Legend of Korra comics from Dark Horse already broke out via Entertainment Weekly‘s interview with Avatar and Korra‘s co-creator, Michael Dante DiMartino, earlier this week before NYCC, so much of Dark Horse’s joint panel with Nickelodeon was used to cement some release dates and preview upcoming art from the graphic novel series. Joining the representatives from Nickelodeon and Dark Horse was surprise guest, Janet Varney, the voice of Korra herself!

The current Avatar: The Last Airbender series, North and South, is meant to explore Water Tribe politics and the tensions between the North and South after the previous series focused so much on the Fire Nation. It also gave series illustrator, Gurihiru, a chance to make new costume designs for Katara, Sokka, and Aang. The addition of the wrecked Fire Nation ship on the cover of Part 1 actually came about from a memo given to author Gene Luen Yang, who decided to add it to the story line. Part 2, coming out on Jan. 25, 2017, will reunite much of Team Avatar in the South as they try to deal with the tensions for unifying the North and South Tribes. Part 3 will come out on Apr. 26 and reunite the team with Zuko while dealing with Sokka and Katara differing feelings about their home. Another North and South couple, besides Kanna (Gran Gran) and Pakku, will also be introduced.

Coming out Oct. 11 is The Legend of Korra: The Poster Collection featuring a new Asami image that hasn’t been featured in any of the Korra art books or anywhere else. Like the Avatar: The Last Airbender poster book, the images will be arranged chronologically. Also, coming out later this month on Oct. 25, is the Avatar: The Last Airbender Coloring Book featuring pivotal scenes, in chronological order, from the series chosen by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko for Jed Henry to illustrate just for the book. All the images are done in traditional wood block style, making the images truly unique.

Avatar the Last AIrbender Coloring BookFollowing the Avatar: The Last Airbender Coloring Book will be The Legend of Korra Coloring Book coming out in July 2017. It will be also be done in wood block style featuring original illustrations by Jed Henry of pivotal scenes chosen by the series’ creators in chronological order. Some scenes featured (according to Janet Varney, who flipped through the book at the panel), are Korra and Mako kissing while Bolin cries in the background, Unalaq ripping Raava from Korra, Zaheer killing the Earth Queen, and Korra changing her look and lifestyle. The first scene sounded like a joke by Janet Varney though, so don’t count on it being in the book. Maybe.

The first Legend of Korra graphic novel is scheduled to be released June 2017. According to the Nickelodeon and Dark Horse representatives, they didn’t want to rush publishing the book until all the details were just right, since they wanted to make sure the fans would be happy with the story and illustrations. Heather Campbell, who illustrated the Free Comic Book Day Korra story, did the cover illustration for Part 1 of the Korra graphic novel. She will continue to illustrate the covers for Korra, leaving more time for series illustrator, Irene Koh, to do the interiors. The series will concentrate on the relationship turmoil between the Spirit World and the real world with a new villain in the mix whose name could not even be uttered by the Nickelodeon and Dark Horse representatives for fear it will spoil the whole storyline!

The rest of the panel was spent on a fan trivia contest for prizes as well as audience wishes for storylines that they would like to see from the comic series. Janet Varney went around the room with a microphone to every raised hand, so everyone got to voice their story wishes, all of which were actually written down by Nickelodeon and Dark Horse. Among the suggestions was a hope that the comics will show Korra and Asami kissing which Nickelodeon confirmed WILL be seen in series! Another suggestion was for a detective adventure with Lin Beifong and Mako which Nickelodeon also confirmed is actually in the works! So yes, there is hope that several backstories suggested at NYCC panel might be made, and there are definitely many more stories to be told.

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