Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

We Finally Know Whether The Avatar: The Last Airbender Comics And Novels Are Canon

The world of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" has exponentially grown since the titular monk first burst from his iceberg back in 2005. There's a successful sequel series in "Legend of Korra," a live-action movie adaptation that exactly no one enjoyed (and certainly didn't get a sequel), and incredible video games from studios and ambitious fans alike. There's also been a Netflix adaptation in development, but it's been a rocky process. That's okay, though, because the tempestuous behind-the-scenes drama over at the popular streaming company lead to co-creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino exiting that particular production and forming Avatar Studios for Nickelodeon, leading to the "Avatar" world getting a whole lot bigger.

In the year since Avatar Studios was announced, fans have received a deluge of "Avatar" related announcements, including multiple feature-length animated films that promise to honor the source material, as reported by Variety. With all this incredible news, though, comes a tinge of worry. In the rush to create new content, fans are concerned that another preexisting facet of "Avatar" will be dismissed — and that's the comic books. 

Published by Dark Horse, the "Avatar" comics pick up the stories of Aang and Korra where their respective animated adventures leave off. They're compelling reads that expand upon the ideas created by the cartoons, but will Avatar Studios treat them as canonical stories, or officially licensed fan fiction? 

The Avatar comics are canon ... for now

On a recent episode of "Comic Con Meta*Pod," a self-described nerdy podcast about popular culture, "Avatar" co-creator Mike DiMartino stated that Avatar Studios was moving forward with an intent to honor the comics as canon ... mostly

"We've been involved in all those main ancillary stories, so in our minds, it's mostly canon," he explained. "There may be some little tweaks here and there, but as of right now we're proceeding as if all this stuff is part of the proper universe and hopefully building on it."

This is probably as promising an answer as fans of the comics will ever likely get. It's not uncommon for studios to demolish lore established in tangential media when moving forward with what is considered the primary medium. Consider "Star Wars," which infamously retconned entire swathes of its expanded universe (now referred to as "Legends"), changing the Star Wars universe forever to make way for more Disney-helmed Lucas content.

With such examples at the forefront of popular culture, the fact that DiMartino went on the record saying that he'd attempt to avoid such drastic measures is reassuring, even if he left himself some official wiggle room to renege his words later down the road. As noted by the website ComicBook.com, DiMartino also told listeners that they shouldn't expect visual retellings of the graphic novel adventures, either. That being said, he once again added that it wasn't entirely off the table.