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"Suki, your friends love you. They have not abandoned you. You are not alone."
Avatar Kyoshi to Suki.

Suki, Alone is a standalone graphic novel set in the Avatar universe, sometime between the events of "Appa's Lost Days" and "The Boiling Rock". The graphic novel is written by Faith Erin Hicks in collaboration with Tim Hedrick and illustrated by Peter Wartman and Adele Matera. It was scheduled to be released on June 22, 2021, but was later delayed to July 27, 2021.[1][2]

Overview

Even a Kyoshi Warrior can find herself in trouble.

Suki is captured by the Fire Nation and brought to the Boiling Rock, a grim prison in the middle of a dormant volcano. Separated from Team Avatar and her Kyoshi Warrior sisters, she decides to build her own community among other prisoners. But it's going to take more than an encouraging word to build trust among so many frightened people. Suki will need to draw on all her resources to do it, and even that might not be enough.[1]

Synopsis

Azula taunts Suki when she is about to be transported to the Boiling Rock.

At a Fire Nation camp, Princess Azula stands in front of a line of prisoners that are about to be transported to the Boiling Rock, including Suki. The firebender asks the Kyoshi Warrior if she has any last words to say before being sent to the prison, but Suki decides to stay silent. Azula then keeps taunting her by asking if she has a message to send to "that boy with the boomerang", referring to Sokka, so she can tell him how desperate she is to be rescued, to which the warrior responds that she does not need anyone to rescue her. The princess then begins to explain the hard life in Boiling Rock, especially without her fellow Kyoshi Warriors, who are now in ruins thanks to her failures. She claims that Suki is her favorite prisoner and so she deserves the best the Fire Nation can offer its enemies. Getting no response, Azula walks away, wishes Suki to have fun while she destroys her friends, and gives the order to the soldiers to take the prisoners away in the hot air balloon.

When the group of prisoners are close to the island, one of them mentions to have heard many stories about the Boiling Rock, and that people go in and they do not come out. When they are moved into a gondola, a guard turns to Suki and tells her to leave any dreams of escaping behind as she belongs to them now.

A young Suki reminds her sisters how she wishes to become a Kyoshi Warrior when she grows up.

Suki recalls an episode from her childhood in Kyoshi Island when she is leading her friends, including Mingxia, to a place from where they can spy a group of Kyoshi Warriors doing some training and meditating. Suki observes in awe and claims that when she grows up, she is going to be just like them, to which Mingxia sarcastically says that she only tells them that every day. Then, Mingxia reveals a bamboo pan full of steamed buns, which they eat and finish. However, Oyaji approaches the resting girls and informs them that a pan of steamed buns has gone missing from the village, asking them if they know anything about it. Suki glances at Mingxia and then lies, claiming that they do not have any, and Oyaji expresses his disappointment that she would lie to him in front of her sisters. As no one reveals who stole the buns, all the girls are sent to scrub the kitchen as punishment. Later, in the kitchen, the girls are working and scrubbing the floor. Suki and Mingxia look at each other and say "sisters forever" with a smirk on their faces.

Back at the Boiling Rock, Suki is put into a cell that only has a bed. She closes her eyes and begins to meditate in the style of the Kyoshi Warriors, practicing moves until she accidentally hits her fist against the wall. When she sits down on the floor, she notices a single dumpling weed growing between the floor and the wall. The sight of the plant leads Suki to recall another episode of her childhood in the island when she and her sisters are cultivating dumpling weeds from a rocky ground. In her prison cell, Suki stares at dumpling weed that she as picked up, as it is a piece of Kyoshi Island "at the end of the world".

Suki introduces herself to Biyu after she complains about the food.

Later, in the prison cafeteria, Suki sits at a table, listening to a female prisoner complain about the food. The Kyoshi Warrior approaches, introduces herself, and sits next to the girl, who warns her that if she does not have something edible to offer, she does not want to know her. With a smirk, Suki says that she might, but demands introductions first. The prisoner introduces herself as Biyu and asks Suki what took her to the prison. She begins to tell her about the Kyoshi Warriors and how they lost a battle against Princess Azula. Impressed, Biyu tells her that she was a thief and that the reason she was sent to the Boiling Rock was because she stole the heart of the son of a prominent general of the Fire Nation. Once introductions are done, Biyu asks about the promise, and Suki feeds her the dumpling weed before taking her outside to show an idea.

After finding more dumpling weed growing on the ground, Biyu proposes to divide them, but Suki stops her and states that they need to save half for seeds. She shares her idea to plant seeds so that they have a stash of food for later and then share with the other prisoners. At Biyu's retort, Suki declares that she cares about them because if they can get everyone better food, there is a chance for pushback against the guards and maybe even a chance to escape, getting the girl to reluctantly agree.

Suki, Mingxia, and her sisters begin harvesting dumpling weed in order to help their village.

Suki begins to recall a "Kyoshi training" day in her home island. She and Mingxia talk about how low the village's food reserves are as the harvests have failed this year. When Mingxia suggests to open the island's borders to buy supplies from other nations, Suki reminds her that Avatar Kyoshi would disagree as she removed them from the mainland for a reason. Her friend replies that Kyoshi never could have predicted they would be facing famine and starvation and so they have to ask the leaders to reach out for help. However, Suki remembers the dumpling weeds they used to gather when they were younger and starts collecting them with her friends to offer them as food to the villagers. Despite this, Mingxia refuses to change her mind as she still believes that Kyoshi Island should open its borders and stop hiding away in isolation. When she adds that she is going to talk to the village leaders about her idea, she asks for Suki's support, but she says she cannot do that and apologizes.

The next day, Mingxia shares her proposal to Oyaji and a female leader, but it is rejected. Later, Mingxia says goodbye to Suki as she has decided to leave the island. Suki cries and reminds her friend that they are sisters, but she claims that she cannot turn her back on the world the way Kyoshi wants them to, and that there are people she wants to meet and experiences she wants to have. The two girls hug and promise to miss each other before Mingxia sails away.

Suki and Biyu tend to dumpling weed at their secret garden.

In the Boiling Rock, Suki and Biyu sneak into the laundry room. Another prisoner called Han keeps watch as they crawl into a tunnel that leads to a hidden spot where they have been growing dumpling weed for two weeks. While they are tending to their secret garden, Han returns to announce that the warden is coming for a surprise inspection. The two girls quickly crawl back and hide in the laundry. From under some Fire Nation uniforms, the two of them watch the warden come into the room accompanied by two guards. After making sure everything is in order, the man leaves and Suki and Biyu come out of hiding before sitting down with three other inmates so they can share some vegetables.

When they are alone again, Biyu expresses her amazement at how other prisoners listen to Suki and risk their safety in order to cover for her. She adds that she usually just looks out for herself, but she is beginning to see the advantage of having friends around. Suki clarifies that it is not about advantages, but about community, and that if they stand together, they all have a better chance.

Suki and Jie argue about the idea of the Kyoshi Warriors intervening on the Earth Kingdom mainland.

Back in her village, Suki is helping Jie, one of her friends, to clean up the mess that the Fire Nation left after Avatar Aang's visit. Suki confesses that she has been thinking about how they have refused to help the people suffering because of the war, and that they should not remain separate from the rest of the world while the Fire Nation is destroying homes and villages. Jie accuses Suki of sounding like Mingxia, to which the warrior responds that she now understands their friend's rejection of the island's isolationism and that it should be their job, just like the Avatar's, to involve themselves in the world's problems in order to help people because they are Kyoshi Warriors and they have spent their whole lives training to protect those in need, both in and out of the island. She then declares that she is leaving Kyoshi Island as she wishes to follow in the Avatar's footsteps, and that while she is their leader, she will not order any of her warriors to come with her. At least three of them agree to accompany Suki, and they later leave in a ship.

In the prison's cafeteria, Suki quietly hands Qing, another prisoner, some of their vegetables, but when a guard catches him adding them to his food, he accuses him of owning contraband. A riot soon ensues and Suki joins the fight against the guards, but when they start to firebend, they warn the prisoners that everyone will spend time in solitary confinement as punishment for disobedience. Suki is put into a small cell and begins to meditate until the door is opened by two guards who take her to the warden's office. There, the warden shows the Kyoshi Warrior some legumes on his desk, but Suki denies to know anything about them. The man suggests that they are the reason why his prisoners have been so willful lately and demands the warrior to stop lying as they have found her garden. Suki argues that it was a chance to build community and support each other as human beings so that one day they could escape. However, she is taken aback when the warden claims that she has been betrayed by one of the prisoners she has been working with, and so she is now completely alone. The two guards come back to take her back to solitary confinement. On the way, Suki spots Biyu talking to other guards and wearing different clothes. Back in the small cell, Suki repeats to herself that she is not alone.

Suki and Mingxia meet again at Full Moon Bay.

Another flashback comes back to her, this time of the days she worked as a security guard at Full Moon Bay. There, she walks into Mingxia and the two are happy to see each other. They begin to catch up and Suki explains to her sister the reason why she decided to leave the island before apologizing for not listening to Mingxia before when she wanted to open the island's borders. Mingxia then takes her to her group of refugee friends: Dandan, Fenfang, Peng, and her girlfriend Meilin. One of them explains that they are going to Ba Sing Se in one of the ferries that is leaving soon, but before they can leave, Suki stops Mingxia and the two sisters hug each other goodbye.

Two weeks later, Suki's punishment in solitary confinement ends. When she starts to look for Biyu, she learns that she is not in the general population anymore. Instead, she has now a fancy room and full privileges, which leads the warrior to confirm her suspicions. Later, when Suki finds Biyu, she chases her and attacks her from behind, pinning her down against the ground. Biyu argues that a girl has to survive and that the plan to build up their own strength to fight back was Suki's plan and not theirs. She adds that the difference between them is that Suki needs to be part of a community while she does not, as all she needs is to get through her sentence in the most comfortable way possible. The Kyoshi Warrior gets angry after Biyu denies to having been her friend, and grabs the traitor by her collar, threatening to let her fall from the metallic bridge they are standing on. Biyu begs for forgiveness and Suki violently puts her down before walking away.

A vision of Avatar Kyoshi appears to Suki.

Back in her cell, Suki trains and meditates one more time, repeating to herself that she is not alone while recalling the moments with Mingxia and her sisters. However, when she finds herself in an empty cell, she drops to her knees and begins to cry. A vision of Kyoshi suddenly appears before her. The Avatar calls her by her name and reminds her that her friends love her and have not abandoned her, and that she is not alone. When Suki asks how she knows this, Kyoshi only smiles and starts to vanish.

Outside the Boiling Rock, Sokka and Zuko approach the island in a Fire Nation hot air balloon.

Production notes

Transcript

Main article: Transcript:Suki, Alone

Goofs

  • In course of the comic, Suki refers to herself as leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, despite only being the leader of a Kyoshi Warrior group representing one of several villages of the island.[3]
  • The comic ignores many basic facts known about Kyoshi Island. It ignores the confirmed existence of other villages besides Suki's on the island, the fact that the island is known to be a popular stop for traders and travelers,[3][4] its status as part of the Earth Kingdom, and the fact that a governor rules the island.[5]
    • The comic portrays the island once being threatened by famine due to agricultural crop failures, not addressing that fishing has traditionally provided Kyoshi Island with a second food supply,[3][4][6][7] to the point of elephant koi being the island's main export.[8]
    • The comic claims that Kyoshi Island had closed its borders and did not trade in food with outsiders during the Hundred Year War, despite the fact that The Warriors of Kyoshi has the island trading fish with the mainland Earth Kingdom as a major plot point, as this allows Zuko to discover Team Avatar's presence on the island.[6]
  • At the start of the comic, Azula tries to taunt Suki by referencing her relationship with Sokka. However, in the animated show, she only learned of Suki's relationship in the episode "The Crossroads of Destiny", long after the interaction as portrayed in the comic.[9]

Trivia

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER--SUKI, ALONE TPB. Penguin Random House (December 8, 2020). Retrieved on December 8, 2020.
  2. AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER--SUKI, ALONE TPB. Dark Horse. Retrieved on April 3, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Creature: Kyoshi Island.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yang, Gene Luen (writer), Hicks, Faith Erin (artist), Peter, Cris (colorist), Heisler, Michael (letterer). "Shells" (May 3, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  5. Avatar Extras for "The Warriors of Kyoshi" on Nicktoons Network.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Malis, Nick (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 4, 2005). "The Warriors of Kyoshi". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  7. Yee, F. C. (author), DiMartino, Michael Dante (author). (July 16, 2019). Chapter Two, "Nine Years Later". The Rise of Kyoshi. Amulet Books.
  8. From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com. Encyclopedia now broken, archived at The Lost Lore of Avatar Aang - Creature: Elephant Koi.
  9. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & DiMartino, Michael Dante (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Crossroads of Destiny". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  10. Highlight: Dark Horse Comics: New Comic Book Day Rundown Oct. 14, 2020. DarkHorseComics - Twitch (October 14, 2020). Retrieved on December 13, 2020.
  11. Avatar: The Last Airbender - Suki, Alone Live Reading with Voice Actors and Comic Creators. DarkHorseComics - Twitch (September 22, 2021). Retrieved on October 6, 2021.
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