The Last Airbender’s Next Chapter ‘Azula in the Spirit Temple’ Arrives This Fall
Azula will have a final chance at redemption in Dark Horse Comics’ new Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel, Azula in the Spirit Temple.
Warning: light spoilers for Avatar: The Last Airbender—Azula in the Spirit Temple aheadA controversial fan-favorite character from Avatar: The Last Airbender, Princess Azula – sister of the current Fire Lord Zuko – is getting her momentous chance at redemption, as Dark Horse Comics and Avatar Studios are set to publish the new graphic novel Avatar: The Last Airbender—Azula in the Spirit Temple this fall.
While former princess Azula has countless egregious sins to atone for, the world of Avatar is rife with redemption, like Fire Lord Zuko himself. So after years spent terrorizing Team Avatar and her brother there is still a chance that Azula’s upcoming time spent in the Spirit Temple could lead to her atonement. Screen Rant can exclusively announce that Avatar: The Last Airbender—Azula in the Spirit Temple will be available in bookstores September 26, 2023, and in comic shops September 27, 2023. The graphic novel is written by Faith Erin Hicks with art by Peter Wartman and color by Adele Matera, who all worked together on the last few Avatar graphic novels like Suki, Alone, with lettering by ComicCraft’s Jimmy Betancourt.
Azula Has One Last Shot At True Redemption
Of all the various villains throughout Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula has remained a fan-favorite throughout. The mentally unstable and wildly powerful – but surprisingly sympathetic at times because of her upbringing – firebending prodigy is known for fighting against Team Avatar and her brother at every turn. She eventually loses the Fire Nation throne to her brother in the Comet-Enhanced Agni Kai fight, with the timely help of Katara. Azula’s mental health challenges continue to escalate throughout the TV series, particularly after her best friends Mai and Ty Lee betray her to Team Avatar. Her final mental break happens after the Agni Kai, which lands her in a Fire Nation prison until Zuko frees Azula to search for their mother in The Search graphic novel.
More recently in the Avatar: The Last Airbender sequel comics, Azula has become obsessed with causing instability in her brother’s Fire Nation through political turmoil and upheaval. Azula sparks rebellions from supporters of former Fire Lord Ozai, she pretends to be the mythical Kemurikage, and she even goes so far as to kidnap Fire Nation children to encourage dissent. Dark Horse Comics’ synopsis for Azula in the Spirit Temple reveals:
In this story: Azula continues her destabilization campaign against the Fire Nation and her brother, Fire Lord Zuko. But after a failed attack on her latest target, Azula finds herself in a mysterious forest temple inhabited by a solitary monk. What first seems like a place to safely pass the night is quickly revealed to be something horrifyingly different. Azula is forced to confront her past and will finally face her chance at redemption…but will she take it?
One of the things fans love most about Azula is the fact that she is just so good at being a villain, representing a truly terrifying look at the power of obsession, familial pressure, and jealousy. As an added bonus, she is wildly powerful and her lightning bending and fighting style is stunning to look at. Azula was raised in the same household as Zuko, with the intense pressure from her father Ozai that Zuko had. She also felt neglected by her mother, though this was revealed in The Search to be untrue when Azula finds out their mother always loved her. In many ways Azula is the perfect representation of the phrase “Hurt people, hurt people,” and after the truly horrifying things Azula has done in her past, it begs the question: can someone like Azula ever really find redemption or reconciliation with her family?
Azula Epitomizes “Hurt People, Hurt People”
Azula is a complicated young woman with serious mental health issues and a traumatic past. She has done horrific things to her brother and nation, and it will be fascinating to see whether she is able to choose to atone for her sins and attempt redemption. Avatar: The Last Airbender fans will find out in the new graphic novel, Avatar: The Last Airbender—Azula in the Spirit Temple, if this new path for Azula can really last.
More: The Live-Action Avatar: The Last Airbender Is Still Stuck With The NameAvatar: The Last Airbender—Azula in the Spirit Temple from Dark Horse Comics and Avatar Studios debuts in bookstores September 26, and in comic shops September 27.