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Avatar: The Last Airbender Graphic Novel Reading Order
Reading Order

Avatar: The Last Airbender Graphic Novel Reading Order

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Avatar: The Last Airbender was a unique animated series for US television with a broad range of influences. The show stood out from everything else produced in the US at the time – especially on Nickelodeon, home of Spongebob Squarepants – by mixing Eastern mythology, martial arts, and fantasy. While it didn’t have a lengthy stay on television, lasting 61 episodes over three seasons, the show has developed a passionate fanbase – which continued to grow as more people discovered the cult series years after its conclusion. 

Luckily for fans, Dark Horse Comics acquired the right to continue Avatar: The Last Airbender in graphic novel form. Most of these pick up where the show left off after the conclusion of the Hundred Year War. Others are set in between episodes of the series. The result has been many stories that have been well-received by fans and critics alike. 

With more than 20 graphic novels already produced – and more on the way – it can be hard to keep up if you’re just discovering them now. Luckily, this reading order is here to make it easy. It lists all the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics in order and answers plenty of questions along the way. (Don’t worry if you’re not a regular comics reader. I’ll explain comics-specific concepts and link to handy resources.)

Timeline of events

Dark Horse Comics released the above timeline of events in 2016 in the lead-up to the Smoke and Shadows trilogy. This gives some story highlights for graphic novels published so far. Many more have been published since then, so this is out-of-date. However, it’s worth checking out if you’re looking to remember the broad strokes of what happened in some of the earlier graphic novels.

This reading order has expanded beyond the above graphic to include all the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics and graphic novels.

Are the Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels official?

Yes. Dark Horse Comics has permission from Nickelodeon to create Avatar: The Last Airbender comics and graphic novels. To make them as true to the show as possible, the creative teams work in close consultation with Avatar: The Last Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.

Where can I find Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels?

All the graphic novels mentioned in this guide can be found in all good comic book shops, online stores, eBay, Amazon/Kindle, and on Dark Horse Digital.

You can also find them at many local libraries. Use WorldCat to find out which libraries near you have Avatar: The Last Airbender comics available for loan.

RELATED: Where To Buy Comic Books, Graphic Novels, And Manga

Avatar: The Last Airbender- The Promise: Part Two cover by Gurihiru.
Avatar: The Last Airbender- The Promise: Part Two cover by Gurihiru.

How are these graphic novels structured?

The Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels are structured in two different ways – trilogies and standalone stories.

Dark Horse Comics started with trilogies, with each Avatar: The Last Airbender story told over three graphic novels. For instance, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise has a part 1, part 2, and part 3. Each of these focuses on Anng and his friends in an adventure set after the conclusion of the animated series.

More recently, the Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels have been standalone stories. Each concentrates on a cast member’s adventure, such as Katara, Suki, Toph, and Azula. These are set in different parts of the chronology, with some between episodes of the animated series and others after its conclusion.

Avatar: The Last Airbender- The Promise Library Edition cover by Gurihiru.
Avatar: The Last Airbender- The Promise Library Edition cover by Gurihiru.

Formats explained

Many people have asked me about the different formats of the Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels. This makes a lot of sense, as Dark Horse Comics has published these graphic novels in various ways to cater for different kinds of readers. However, doing so has created confusion in what stories are contained in each format and how they differ.

Below are the different formats that the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics are available in and what makes each unique.

Individual graphic novels: Avatar: The Last Airbender stories are first published in smaller-trim graphic novels. Each of these is approximately 80 pages in length.

Library Edition: Dark Horse Comics will collate an Avatar: The Last Airbender trilogy into a Library Edition once it is complete. Library Editions are oversized hardcovers, presented in larger dimensions than the average comic, and often contain extra material like sketches and character designs. These look great on a bookshelf and cater to readers wanting something more premium in their collection.

Omnibus: Approximately 18-24 months after the release of the Library Edition, Dark Horse will publish the contents in an omnibus. These are smaller-dimension softcovers that contain a lot of material. Each of these collects an Avatar: The Last Airbender trilogy in them. These are more affordable and easier to read than the Library edition, making them a good choice for binge readers.

Avatar: The Last Airbender reading order

As mentioned before, the Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels work in groups of trilogies which, to my understanding, each acting as the equivalent of a TV season. You can find a reading list of all the graphic novels, both released and soon to be, below.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Katara and the Pirate's Silver cover by Peter Wartman.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Katara and the Pirate’s Silver cover by Peter Wartman.

Katara and the Pirate’s Silver

Unlike other Avatar graphic novels, Katara and the Pirate’s Silver is an 80-page one-off story instead of a trilogy.

Katara and the Pirate’s Silver is set after the Season 2 episode “Bitter Work“.

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Suki, Alone cover by Peter Wartman.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Suki, Alone cover by Peter Wartman.

Suki, Alone

Written by Faith Erin Hicks and Tim Hedrick. Art by Peter Wartman and Adele Matera.

This standalone graphic novel focuses on Suki, where she has been captured by the Fire Nation.

Suki, Alone is set somewhere between the Season 2 episode “Appa’s Lost Days” and Season 3’s “The Boiling Rock“.

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Promise Omnibus cover by Gurihiru
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.

The Promise

Written by Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Gene Luen Yang. Art by Gurihiru.

The Promise: Part One

The Promise: Part Two

The Promise: Part Three

Library edition available: Yes
Omnibus available: Yes

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.

The Search

Written by Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Gene Luen Yang. Art by Gurihiru.

The Search: Part One

The Search: Part Two

The Search: Part Three

Library edition available: Yes
Omnibus available: Yes

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.

The Rift

Written by Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Gene Luen Yang. Art by Gurihiru.

The Rift: Part One

The Rift: Part Two

The Rift: Part Three

Library edition available: Yes
Omnibus available: Yes

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender – Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy cover by Peter Wartman.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy cover by Peter Wartman.

Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy

Written by Faith Erin Hicks and Tim Hedrick. Art by Peter Wartman and Adele Matera.

Toph has opened up an academy to teach metalbending. This standalone graphic novel reintroduces a bunch of characters from the show that we haven’t seen in a while.

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Smoke and Shadow Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.

Smoke and Shadow

Written by Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Gene Luen Yang. Art by Gurihiru.

Smoke and Shadow: Part One

Smoke and Shadow: Part Two

Smoke and Shadow: Part Three

Library edition available: Yes
Omnibus available: Yes

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - North and South Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – North and South Omnibus cover by Gurihiru.

North and South

Written by Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Gene Luen Yang. Art by Gurihiru.

North and South: Book One

North and South: Book Two

North and South: Book Three

Library edition available: Yes
Omnibus available: Yes

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Imbalance Part One cover by Peter Wartman.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Imbalance Part One cover by Peter Wartman.

Imbalance

Written by Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, and Faith Erin Hicks. Art by Peter Wartman and Adele Matera.

Imbalance is the last Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel trilogy before the structure changes to standalone stories. It has a new creative team with Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko joined by writer Faith Erin Hicks (The Nameless City) and art team Peter Wartman and Adele Matera.

Imbalance: Part 1

Imbalance: Part 2

Imbalance: Part 3

Library edition available: Yes
Omnibus available: Yes

Buy: eBay | TFAW | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Azula in the Spirit Temple cover by Peter Wartman.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – Azula in the Spirit Temple cover by Peter Wartman.

Azula in the Spirit Temple

Written Faith Erin Hicks. Art by Peter Wartman and Adele Matera.

The controversial character Azula is getting her own graphic novel. It will be set during the period where they left the Fire Nation.

Buy: eBay | Amazon/Kindle

Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Bounty Hunter and the Tea Brewer cover by Peter Wartman.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Bounty Hunter and the Tea Brewer cover by Peter Wartman.

The Bounty Hunter and the Tea Brewer

Written Faith Erin Hicks. Art by Peter Wartman and Adele Matera.

Iroh goes on a quest to find answers after the supply of tea dries up. His search will have him encounter familiar faces and reflect on his past.

The Bounty Hunter and the Tea Brewer will be available on 5th June, 2024.

Other Avatar: The Last Airbender comics

Dark Horse Comics has also published three other collections of Avatar: The Last Airbender material. Read on to find out more.

The Lost Adventures

Written and art by various.

This collects material from Nickelodeon Magazine and comics that were packaged with the DVDs.

Team Avatar Tales

Written and art by various.

A collection of short stories which were previously available as part of Free Comic Book Day.

The Last Adventures and Team Avatar Tales can also be read collected together in the Library Edition format.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Chibis Volume 1: Aang’s Unfreezing Day

Written by Kelly Leigh Miller. Art by Diana Sim.

All your favourite characters in chibi form!

Avatar: The Last Airbender webtoon

Starting in March 2024, Dark Horse Comics has begun to serialise the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics on WEBTOON. The comics on the digital platform have been reworked for the vertical-scrolling platform and read well on mobile devices.

The webtoon version will is beginning with Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise and will likely continue with The Search, The Rift, and so on.

You can read these webtoons on the WEBTOON website or app. New chapters of Avatar: The Last Airbender will be released every Saturday.

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars - Part One cover by Irene Koh.
The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars – Part One cover by Irene Koh.

What about The Legend of Korra?

Dark Horse Comics has also published graphic novels for The Legend of Korra. You can find out all about these in our The Legend of Korra reading order.

What about the Kyoshi novels?

Chronicles of the Avatar is a series of novels written by F.C. Lee and Michael Dante DiMartino. The follow Kyoshi and are set 400 years before the start of the animated series. While part of the wider Avatar: The Last Airbender canon, they don’t crossover with the graphic novels or comics due to their vastly different time setting.

Boxed sets

Dark Horse Comics has started to collect some graphic novels in boxed sets. See all the details below.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Boxed Set
Collects: Katara and the Pirate’s Silver, Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy, and Suki, Alone

Have your say!

Will you be reading the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics? Share your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook, X (formally Twitter), or Mastodon. You can also subscribe to the How To Love Comics newsletter.

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Comments (15)

  • So glad I saw this post, thanks alot 😌✨
    But I also wanted to ask if there’s an app(like a library app) that I can download them from because I haven’t seen any bookshop or library in my country that deals with any ATLA or LOK comics…

    Thanks 💫

    • Hey David, I’m not overly familiar with the different library apps available. However, I believe ATLA and LOK are both on Hoopla. Otherwise, you can purchase them through Dark Horse Digital or Comixology apps.

  • Hey there, there have been more books released like: Suki Alone, The Lost Advetures, The Rise of Kyoshi and The Shadow of Kyoshi.

    Where do those go in the time line?

    (thanks for the response)

    🙂

    • Hey Jaimy, great question. No word when a Library Edition will be available, but it is reasonable to believe that there will be one in the future.

  • Hi, my daughter Sophia just got the first book in the Smoke and Shadow series. She really enjoyed the book, but wants to read all the books as each trilogy was written. I think she needs to read the Airbender, the promise, the search, the rife, the next two smoke and shadows, and north and south? Is this correct?

    • Hey Gina, that correct! There’s more books on the way after North and South so I will need to update this reading order soon!

    • Library edition is basically all of the books combined for a library to rent out. It makes it easier to read is you go to the library a lot. It also makes less work for librarians. Hope this helped!

  • Love the show and love the graphic novels! Legend of Korra really draws you in after the first few episodes, even though I miss Aang and the original Team Avatar. I wish they would animate more! Please, Nickelodeon! Bring back Avatar Aang and continue where the north and the south part 3 leaves off!

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