This is a continuation of the previous post, as I review the ongoing comic series, Avatar: The Next Shadow. As we dive in to issue 2 you can still pre-order the final issue of the series at TFAW. The 4th issue releases on 4/14/21. This post will include spoilers, so if you haven’t read the comics yet please help support Avatar and Dark Horse and pick them up digitally, order them online, or pick them up from your local comic shop.
Issue 2 First Blood-Last Breath!-
“As tensions rise between the displaced Omatikaya clan and the remaining humans in the Hell’s Gate settlement, Jake Sully struggles to keep the peace. But Jake is unaware not only of a looming challenge to his authority, but of the treachery being planned by Tsu’tey’s parents…”
Issue 2 First Blood-Last Breath picks up with Arvok, son of Ateyo and Artsut, brother of the deceased Tsu’tey, hunting either a tetrapteron (fkio) or a sting bat (riti). We can see what Arvok is thinking as he hunts, he’s walking a path he didn’t choose, feeling that this should be Tsu’tey in his shoes, should he defy Toruk Makto or earn the favor of his parents? Arvok goes on to believe he doesn’t decide his own path, he walks the path that is shown, as he paints his face with war paint he decides he will follow this path to the end.
Next we see Katherine Hale again, issue 1 wasn’t Katherine’s first appearance, she also shows up in Avatar: Pandora Rising. Pandora Rising is a mobile game that hasn’t fully released world wide yet. I do love the cross over of characters from other Avatar media, it helps unify the world building. Katherine is with a small group of humans, including Norm Spellman, who has discovered the Na’vi have ruined even more of their mining equipment. She asks Norm to speak to Jake on their behalf to make sure he realizes the humans need cooperation with the Na’vi. Meanwhile the former RDA soldiers she is with blow off some steam of their own by further shooting the mining equipment.
Back at the Omatikaya village we meet Yeyongo, a Na’vi mother with a child who is badly hurt. Mo’at is there working with the former RDA doctors to help those who are wounded. Artsut shows up and refers to the humans as devils, which doesn’t sit well with Jake Sully who also has arrived. Even though Yeyongo is hesitant the former RDA doctors are able to help her wounded child. Jake lets Mo’at know he couldn’t do this without her, and she tells him to worry about leading and she’ll worry about healing. She also reassures Jake that without him human and Na’vi wouldn’t be working together. Meanwhile Artsut starts to call Jake out on what she believes are the reasons he shouldn’t be leading. She continues on and calls out Mo’at and Neytiri for allowing Jake into the Omatikaya clan. Mo’at reminds her Tsu’tey chose Jake Sully to be his successor and that was Tsu’tey’s right. As Arvok appears it becomes evident he is there to challenge Jake, Mo’at explains the situation to Jake and soon the clan arrives to watch the challenger take on the Olo’ektukan. The rules of First Blood are simple, the first to draw a single drop of blood is the winner, and the outcome is binding. Meanwhile Ateyo is telling Arvok to keep going after he draws blood to humiliate Jake.
Jake Sully officially accepts the challenge from Arvok, as Arvok explains to him that his challenge stems from Jake being an outsider, and that he believes he has led the Omatikaya to ruin. Jake continues to take the challenge lightly and tries to joke with Arvok, however Arvok is serious and they begin to fight, each armed only with a knife. Jake easily defeats him, and purposely only draws a small amount of blood, enough to end the fight without major injury. Mo’at confirms Jake as the winner and confirms Eywa has chosen Jake yet again, but without warning Arvok throws his knife at Jake, which is poisoned without his knowledge. Jake catches the knife with ease but is cut, and quickly collapses due to the poison on the blade. Mo’at realizes he has been poised by Arvok, who quickly realizes what his parents have done without telling him, and with that we conclude issue 2.