Avatar: The Last Airbender is a TV show set in an Asian-inspired world where some people can control one of the four elements–earth, water, fire, or air–through a series of movements based on martial arts. Only one person, however, can control all four elements–the Avatar. The Avatar serves as an important figure who maintains balance in the world, and acts as a bridge between humans and the spirit world. Importantly, the Avatar also reincarnates, meaning each new Avatar has access to their previous lives’ wisdom when seeking to solve political conflicts.
The show spawned a franchise that includes an ongoing series of comics, a sequel TV show with its own comic series, and, most recently, a YA book duology about the teenage years of one of the most popular Avatars, Avatar Kyoshi. So where do you start? The original Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best place, but you could potentially also start with The Legend of Korra TV show or even the Kyoshi novels. Our guide explains your options.