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Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South, Part Two: 02/11/17

Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South, Part Two by Gene Luen Yang

Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South, Part Two by Gene Luen Yang continues the plot of Part One in the Southern Tribe village, turned city. Katara and Sokka are upset over their father's new girl friend, a developer from the Northern Tribes. They have a festival to attend where Malina and Maliq will be introducing their development plans.

I can't help but think the plot of this trilogy is in direct response to the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL controversies. Native Americans have been protesting the laying of oil pipelines on their land, near precious drinking water.

Here the Southern Water Tribe is facing a similar situation. The Northern Water Tribe development team in conjunction with Toph's Earthen Fire Industries have found oil under Southern Water Tribe. Their plan involves the pumping and transport of that oil for Northern Water Tribe use and profit, and the colonization of the Southern Water Tribe.

With two very similar cultures (though separated by thousands of miles) Gene Luen Yang is able to explore the ramifications of colonization, of one people taking the natural resources of another people, without falling back on historical tropes. It's a way to see both sides of the issue without a clear good guy, bad guy (even if Maliq is very clearly taking the roll of bad guy).

Five stars

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