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Avatar: The Next Shadow Series Review Issue 1

Avatar: The Next Shadow Series Review Issue 1

As we wait for the 4th and final issue of the Avatar: The Next Shadow comic series, I wanted to do a recap of where the story has gone so far and the characters we’ve encountered. You can pre-order issue 4 right now at TFAW. I have really enjoyed the story, it’s been exciting for me because it takes place right after the movie. 11 years after the movie we finally have had a chance to see what Jake, Neytiri, and the Omatikaya Clan have been up to. 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 you local comic shop. So let’s jump in-

Issue 1

“Two weeks following the Battle of the Hallelujah Mountains, Hometree is in ruins. The recent loss of life and land weighs heavily among the Na’vi. Amid the continuing conflict with the humans, resentment between members of the Omatikaya intensifies.”

The first issue drops us right in with Jake who is visiting his former human body. We see his deceased body in a pile of dirt with plants already sprouting on top. Jake mentions he’s been in his new Avatar body for 14 days now, referring to when he passed through the eye of Eywa and became forever a Na’vi. Then Neytiri comes and tells him everyone is looking for him. The is the last we see of Neytiri for the next three issues though, as she is headed off to meet with Akwey and Ikeyni and their clans the Olangi and the Tayrangi.

Next we find out Jake has relocated the Omatikaya next to Hells Gate to try and forge a new future between the clan and the humans that are left. We see Norm Spellman, in human form, and meet Katherine Hale, another human. We also see Ka’ani again, who has had his backstory fleshed out more in the last comic series, Tsu’tey’s Path. Ka’ani isn’t happy with the humans who are still trying to mine Pandora, this time out of necessity to keep Hells Gate functioning. It takes Jakes leadership to make the humans and Na’vi both calm down. Although it’s obvious neither are happy with whats going on. Jake proposes no new mining for the time being and asks the humans to salvage what they can from the destroyed old RDA equipment. While this is a very temporary solution Jake is trying to buy time to smooth things over.

We then meet Tsu’tey’s family. His brother Arvok, his father Ateyo, and his mother Artsut. Ateyo works hard to convince Arvok he is the rightful leader of the Omatikaya and not Jake Sully. Arvok would rather follow Jake Sully and help make him the best leader he can be, but Ateyo insists that Arvok challenge Jake for the right of olo’eyktan. Ateyo tells him tradition allows for a challenge to an unfit leader by means of ritual combat. We then meet Artsut, and learn of the plan between Ateyo and Artsut to poison the knife blade Ateyo will be using against Jake. Their motives are revealed, they think this is the only way to get the Omatikaya people to a better future. With that the first issue concludes.

Send a message to our soon to be mother Avatar stuntwoman Alicia Vela-Bailey

Send a message to our soon to be mother Avatar stuntwoman Alicia Vela-Bailey

Hey guys, in case you missed it, last month Alicia Vela-Bailey announced she is 5 months pregnant, it will be her and her husband Matts first child. As soon as I heard the news I knew I wanted to do something community related to show her support during her pregnancy. It’s a bit hard to be a working stunt woman with a baby brewing, plus with Covid-19 affecting work for so many in the movie business, I thought it would be nice to help her and her husband out. She has spent years working on Avatar and the sequels, and shes a lovely person.

If you aren’t familiar with Alicia’s role in Avatar, here is just some of what she’s known for. She was the stunt double for Zoe Saldana/Neytiri. She played the young Na’vi spotted throughout the movie who only recently was named in the comics, Saeyla. She played another formally unnamed character who is a fan favorite, the ikran leader with the red war paint, Ikeyni. In the extended version she was the woman getting slapped at the bar on earth, who Jake Sully got thrown out trying to protect.

Originally we were going to take donations for her and Matt to help with any expenses they may have. After talking to Alicia she said they had been fortunate to have work recently and would take our donations and donate it to a charity of our choosing. So in light of that I’ll make a donation to them on behalf of the fandom, if you want to suggest a charity let me know. I’m going to get a card made with any messages you’d like to share with them.

If you have any well wishes please write to the email below and I’ll pass them along, Irayo.

wameyn@avatarsequels.com

Alicia doing performance capture as Neytiri.

Alicia as Saeyla, getting ready to begin Iknimaya.

Alicia as Ikeyni, Olo’eykte of the Tayrangi.

Alicia in the extended version on the bar in earth, right before Jake Sully intervenes.

Fan Theory: Eastern Sea Ikran Leaders name

Fan Theory: Eastern Sea Ikran Leaders name

The Eastern Sea Olo’eyktan (clan leader) is my favorite character not named Neytiri in Avatar. We know so little about her but I’ve noticed she has a lot of fans all over social media. That red war paint just looks so cool, plus she fearlessly leads her clan into battle after Toruk Makto comes and asks for their help. But after we see her and her clan fly into batter we sadly don’t see her again. So who is this red painted warrior who stands out in Avatar, will we see her again? Whats her clan name?

I think we might have some of the answers, although none of it is straight forward. Allow me to explain. Quite some time ago now Avatar.com updated and added some new information on their website. On thing added is a profile on some new clans. Some we had seen in Toruk: The First Flight, others we had seen in James Cameron’s: Avatar The Game, and others had been in Avatar the first movie, but their name wasn’t mentioned. We are only going to focus on one of those, the Tayrangi. Lets take a look at what Avatar.com says about the Tayrangi.

When I saw this the very first thing that stood out is the Eastern Sea Olo’eyktan is shown on her ikran in front, this screenshot Avatar.com used is taken from the final battle in Avatar. Also the Tayrangi “analysis” above describes what little we know of that clan. All they are mentioned in Avatar is by Jake, “the ikran people of the Eastern Sea.” So I don’t think its much of a reach to assume she is the Clan leader of the Tayrangi. She also shows up in the comic, Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path, in the very last issue although no new information is given. Here is her appearance.

This brings me to the newest information I’ve come across and this is from Avatar: Pandora Rising, the new mobile game. Currently it is not yet released in the US so I haven’t played it. However it is available in some other countries and people have shared screenshots of the characters bio’s from the game. From those bio’s we get the first names we’ve seen for members of the Tayrangi clan.

Nanti, while a seemingly cool character doesn’t seem to provide any further information on the clans Olo’ektan, however does Tsentey provide a clue? His bio says he is husband of “Ikeyni.” Sadly we don’t have a bio from the game of anyone named Ikeyni, but they mention her, making me think she is someone possibly of more importance than simply being his wife. It’s just a guess, and one that could very well be wrong but I am thinking Ikeyni may very well be our red war paint Tayrangi leader. The only other thing that might support this is the fact he is a veteran ikran rider, and I’m going to assume our red paint Tayrangi leader is also someone who is a veteran of a clan. I wouldn’t think the Na’vi select young clan leaders unless the older veteran leader has died or become unable to lead. So it would make sense to me if our Tayrangi leader has a husband they’d both be considered veterans.

What are you thoughts? It is admittedly a stretch to try and connect those dots, but I think it’s a solid theory with what little information we have so far. Let me know what you think via social media, or the comments! Thanks to Exostrike for showing me where the Pandora Rising bio’s were, and to Tsu’rat for sharing them with the community.

*EDIT* As of 6/16/20 we now have confirmation Ikeyni is indeed her name. Thanks to Olly on the LN discord server for sharing this and again Exostrike for alerting me.