With the world on his side, there is only one villain from Avatar: The Last Airbender big enough to unite Aang and his friends.
Avatar: The last Airbender Fans likely had the idea for a sequel to the beloved original series that crossed their minds when they first heard that Paramount Pictures had created Avatar Studios. Since the series ended in 2008, details about the show’s characters’ lives published in comics and books have only fanned the flames, providing insight into stories that some felt were worth exploring on the small screen.
However, even as fans clamor for more of their favorite characters, there is still the question of what threat could be big enough to merit the reunion of Team Avatar in its prime.
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Thinking of a sequel series beyond the comic book timeline is an attractive idea. While the comics tended to explore smaller-scale stories with fewer stakes and a more restricted cast, the original series established an ambitious, world-saving narrative that involved a team of growing young heroes honing their skills to meet the challenge they faced. they had ahead. It was only in the end that Aang became a fully realized Avatar, and it’s only natural that fans want to see him, Katara, Toph, and the others at the height of his abilities.
Unfortunately, that angle is incredibly difficult from a narrative standpoint, as there are few threats that can necessarily match the power that heroes bring to the table. The fully realized Avatar Aang, capable not only of entering the Avatar State at will but also of removing the ability to bend, would encounter few legitimate threats on his world. Toph and Katara were also arguably the strongest benders of their respective elements, and their only rivals for those top spots serve in the White Lotus, which represents the world’s bending elite. In fact, every government in the world is on Gaang’s side, and Zuko heads the most powerful military force in history.
So while it would be fun to see the first of a story where Gaang is able to show the full extent of his powers and influence, it would be an uneventful story if that’s all he has to offer. Instead, history would need to find a threat so great that it might be worth reuniting after years of peace. Bringing in a new threat would be difficult in such a fully mapped world and may seem contrived, but thankfully, the original series already featured the perfect threat to darken the world with disharmony: Koh the Face Stealer.
Used as a menacing source of information that Aang desperately needed while visiting the Spirit World, Koh the Face Stealer is one of the scariest characters in the world. Avatar science. While his conflict with Avatar Kuruk received a bit of exploration from the original series, other than that, there was never any follow-up to the spirit story. Parts of his lore grew organically in the comics and novels, but much of Koh’s story remains an intriguing mystery, making him the perfect villain.
Although no power in the human world would be great enough to threaten the Avatar and his friends, the Spirit World remains a potent source of malice. Koh could very well raise his own army of spirits, empower his own Dark Avatar, similar to Vaatu in The legend of Korra, or simply manipulate the politics of the human world to throw the Four Nations out of balance.
If a sequel to Avatar, the last airbender has any chance of living up to the hype, then it will have to conclude with an epic showdown, and who has a better face than Koh.
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