Next up in the Avatar comic series is The Rift, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and written by Gene Luen Yang. Initially, The Rift was released in three separate mangas. I decided to read the deluxe version, which combined all three issues into one.
Unfortunately, this is my least favorite installment in the Avatar series. I'm turned off and unsure if it's because of the story direction or the situation between the characters. I appreciate Yang's writing style dealing with duel lessons and observations. However, I feel he missed the mark on this one.
Toph's character is still very bullheaded, and Aang is likewise stuck in the past. He was trapped in an iceberg for 100 years, so the past is all he knows. Throughout these tales, we see the reluctance to change that I do not think is going away. Aang is the last Airbender in the world, and he wants to preserve his nation the best way he can. His expectation is for the others to follow in his footsteps happily. It is at this point that Toph enters.
Toph Beifong, the greatest Earthbender in the world, is still a little girl running from her past. She is stubborn and unapologetic in expressing her feelings. I found her delivery to be somewhat rude but agreed with Toph when it comes to following traditions. I also think that she could come across less irritating if she would've aired out her many grievances by talking to someone. The Rift could have been a much better story if Toph had seen the bigger picture.
There were no lessons learned in the subplot of this issue. Hugging it out with a silent apology is only going to work for so long. If triggered, Toph would still fly off the handle, and Aang would continue to be old-fashioned without considering others' feelings.