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At Least Avatar Fans Have a Solo Toph Graphic Novel on the Way!

Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy comic cover.

Following the excitement from the [email protected] Avatar: The Last Airbender panel with creator Michael DiMartino and writers Faith Erin Hicks, F.C. Yee, and Gene Luen Yang, a new standalone ATLA comic from Dark Horse was announced: Toph Beifong’s Metalbending Academy, arriving in February 16, 2021!

Not long after the panelists discussed a mutual obsession with the series, the news dropped that Katara and the Pirate’s Silver would no longer be the only standalone graphic novel.

The Toph graphic novel will be written by Faith Erin Hicks, in collaboration with series writer Tim Hedrick, and illustrated by Peter Wartman and Adele Matera. Toph’s story will take place after the events of “The Rift Part Three” comic by Gene Luen Yang, Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.

For many fans, this is a huge reason to celebrate. Toph is one of the most iconic and beloved characters within the Avatar franchise, with many audiences eager to know more about what happened to her between the end of the original ATLA series and The Legend of Korra.

This graphic novel may just have the answers that many viewers pine for, and if it doesn’t, it will still be pretty awesome because it’s about Toph. From her tenacious and hardcore personality and Earthbending to her notorious “Twinkle Toes” nickname for Aang, being the creator of metalbending, and having a mystery father to her daughters, there isn’t anything that isn’t interesting about Toph.

Part 3 of “The Rift” left readers with an appreciation for preservation and evolution as Aang and other members of team Avatar created the Spirit’s Friendship Festival for another classic town celebration, after Aang and Toph worked together to save the metal benders.

Toph’s solo story will take place shortly after those events, with more insight into Toph’s life and new adventures to come.

Here’s the official synopsis, from Dark Horse:

“Things are looking bright at the Beifong Metalbending Academy! But after all the adventures Toph’s had with Aang, Sokka, Zuko, and Katara, things feel dull. Luckily, Sokka and Suki come to visit and reintroduce some familiar faces from their wandering days. And while out and about to celebrate, Toph discovers something that just might put the spring back in her step.”

The storyline seems playful and fun while offering readers the chance to catch up with some of their most beloved characters. It also sounds like everyone’s favorite Blind Bandit is going to find a new and exciting way to pass the time, and knowing her, it’s going to be pretty hardcore.

During [email protected], Hicks mentioned that it’s tricky to have limited page counts that prevent longer fight sequences. She had wanted to do Shonen manga-like fight sequences in previous graphic novels, and it’s possible that she’ll have the opportunity for this novel, fingers crossed. For previous works, the writers have been able to work with martial arts consultants for the drawing sequences. Even in graphic novel form, the Avatar series has always been primed for authenticity.

Speaking of which, fans are also anticipating the arrival of the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series that is set to arrive on Netflix, though that excitement has been subdued a bit by the series creators publicly leaving the project over creative differences.

Many wonder who could even begin to successfully portray Toph in live-action form. Some fans have been rooting for Aubrey Anderson-Emmons from the popular sitcom Modern Family, while others have been suggesting Lana Condor from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

It’s truly difficult to imagine any actor successfully filling Toph’s little but mighty shoes.

One of the most interesting casting possibilities is Peyton Elizabeth Lee, from Disney channel’s Andi Mack. Lee certainly resembles Toph’s petite stature and looks, and there are many fan pages dedicated to seeing her play the part. She also shows up on the live-action cast IMBd page, which almost makes it appear to be official. However, no formal announcement has been made by the series, so it’s to soon to tell.

With so many delays and time for speculation and debate, there is going to be plenty of time to read the new solo Toph adventure. The novel will be arriving on February 16, 2021 for $12.99 and is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and local comic shops.

(image: Dark Horse Comics)

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Danielle Broadway is an English Literature MA student at California State University, Long Beach. She has been published in Black Girl Nerds, LA Weekly, Cosmopolitan and more, is a writer and editor for CSULB’s Dig Magazine and an assistant editor at Angels Flight • literary west. She’s an activist and educator that is inspired to make social change both in the classroom and beyond. Twitter: @DanielleBroadw1 Instagram: