James Cameron's Avatar: The High Ground Vol. 1

Cover art for issue 2 is out saw this from Exostrike on a discord...
As interesting as this cover art may be, I'm also getting worried here. I can't help but feel this whole premise of Na'vi going into space will end up being ridiculous. After seeing this cover, I can't help but picture that scene from James Bond Moonraker, where the astronauts from the space shuttle and from the bad guy's space station come out into space in platoons to start firing blue lasers at each other like some literal star war. I had to laugh out loud at the absurdity when I first saw that scene. I am wondering how I could take this comic seriously after seeing this cover.

I admit, a part of me is finding the idea awesome, but it feels more like some fan fiction, rather than something that would actually be logically happening in the universe that James Cameron created with the first movie.
 

Wameyn

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This is by far the worst official image I've ever seen from the franchise. I never realized just how shocking it is seeing the Na'vi outside of Pandora, and with, ugh, space suits on.

I'm not worried about it because it really could mean anything, could be an idea Jake has of how to stop the RDA, or a dream, or any number of things. Comics are notorious for drumming up excitement or interest by wild covers. But if it's taken at face value and Na'vi actually go into space in spacesuits and fight the RDA, well I'm quite sure that's not my cup of tea. :P But hey I'll reserve judgement until whatever happens happens, but I have only dread towards this cover.
 
I will admit the cover is a bit out there(no pun intended) and if it was just a comic that was commissioned by Lightstorm, then I would be more uneasy, but the High Ground is based off of JC's ideas for the sequel at one point, and I just can't see JC being THAT far out there from his own idea, so I am really interested into seeing either if this is just from a Jake brainstorming session or if it is Na'vi in space, how JC gets there.
 

Wameyn

dreaming of iknimaya
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"But, any chain of events is only as strong as the weakest link, and in this case the weak link is human nature. As the plan unravels, Jake and Neytiri must race against time to return to Pandora and save their children before the starships land.

James Cameron’s epic original story “The High Ground” continues in this graphic novel adaptation written by award-winning author Sherri L. Smith (The Toymaker’s Apprentice, Orleans) and illustrated by Diego Galindo (Stranger Things: The Tomb of Ybwen, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers). Avatar: The High Ground Volume 2 takes fans to parts of the Avatar universe never anticipated!"

Well...sounds like they are going to space
 
I think that Na'vi going into space in the story could be an interesting idea if handled properly and within believable territory. For example, they could show the effect of isolation from Pandora on the characters. But this pulp cover is just bad taste unbefitting of being part of Avatar canon regardless if it will represent only a brainstorm or not.

There must be several reasons why this story did not end up being used as the story for the main movie sequel. I sincerely hope that sheer silliness of the premise was not one of them. I know I should have faith in James Cameron, but honestly, imagine if Aliens had included a scene with the Xenomorphs floating in space and the colonial marines coming out of the ship to shoot at them instead of "nuking them from orbit" or just using a plain old convential bomb on them. Just imagine that for a second...either as a brainstorm or as an actual scene.
 
I'm just going to hope JC had some cool idea to make it work, maybe we will find out more later, I will say IF he did have a good plan, this, this would have been one Heck of a twist, I wouldn't have guessed it.
 

Wameyn

dreaming of iknimaya
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There is a 10 page preview up on Amazon now, if you want to avoid all spoilers leading into Avatar-The Way of Water I'd recommend skipping the preview and this book in general.

TheHighGround8.jpg
 
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There is a 10 page preview up on Amazon now, if you want to avoid all spoilers leading into Avatar-The Way of Water I'd recommend skipping the preview and this book in general.

View attachment 120
Lot's of cool details and hints at what's to come in that preview. This comic is going to be a true prequel to the new movie.

I've enjoyed the other comics, but I don't think any of them have been as ESSENTIAL to fans as this appears to be. It's going to be a lot of fun reading these in the months leading to The Way of Water.
 

Wameyn

dreaming of iknimaya
Donator
Kiri sayz work smart, not hard. 😏
She's good...real good!

Lot's of cool details and hints at what's to come in that preview. This comic is going to be a true prequel to the new movie.

I've enjoyed the other comics, but I don't think any of them have been as ESSENTIAL to fans as this appears to be. It's going to be a lot of fun reading these in the months leading to The Way of Water.
You nailed it, this one is essential, and I hope the interest from these helps drive people to pick up the past series as well.
 
James Cameron spoke (briefly) to Total Film about the High Ground graphic novels.

Here's the relevant James Cameron quotes:
What happened was, we were noodling around. I was working with a team of writers. We had a lot of ideas. We kept trying to corral it into a box, and it never quite fit. So at a certain point, I said, 'I'll just finish it and see if it's a movie.' I did. It came out, I think, at 130 pages. It was like, 'Man, this is a great story. This is a hell of a read.' But it was missing one of those critical elements about sequels, which is that it didn't go enough into the unexpected. It also didn't play enough by 'Avatar' rules, which is to connect us to the dream world, that which has a spiritual component that we can't even quite quantify in words. It ticked every other box, but it didn't tick that one. And I thought,' We shouldn't make this movie.' So I set it aside.
There's some great stuff in it. I mean, you've got the Na'vi fighting with bows and arrows in zero-G. I mean, I'm there! I want to see that movie. But it just didn't achieve enough of the overall story and thematic goals that I had in mind. So we're turning it into a Dark Horse graphic novel. You'll be able to see that interim battle that took place between movie one and movie two.
 
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Thanks for posting that. Nice to see some direct quotes from Cameron on this topic. I think we already understood previously in this thread that the High Ground was based on one of the rejected sequel scripts. Good to know the reason that it was rejected.

But he really does say "Na'vi fighting with bows and arrows in zero-G", so obviously what was shown on that pulp cover is going to happen. Impressive as that could be, I would be interested in knowing how Jake will motivate his warriors to do that, how he would prepare and train them for that, and the logistics of getting Na'vi-sized space suits, complete with room for their tails and queues. It sounds like an undertaking that would take months to prepare. Or they would be rushing in, possibly with severe and unforeseen consequences.

The other comic, the Next Shadow, implies that Hell's Gate is (obviously) short on resources after the bulk of the RDA personnel was exiled, so I am then wondering where they suddenly get those capabilities.
 
Na'vi in space. I've only read fanfiction with this as only Jake bringing Neytiri with him because she's curious about how he or others got to her world. Not to mention just like humans, zero gravity messes with orientation and she gets sick from nausea. Not much different than car sickness. It would be funny, but also you feel sympathy to her or any Na'vi not used to this. Depending on how long she's up there, the symptoms pass after a day.

Norm's Living God line fits this too as he, as a human, can lift a Na'vi on one finger. Astronauts can do this with heavy 30 ton equipment.
 
Have issue #1 read, very Interesting indeed!
I just got my copy too and read it in one sitting.

Definitely a must read for fans before the new movie comes out.

I love the brother sister relationship Kiri and Spider have. And I love seeing appearances from Ikeyni and General Ardmore. Which I wasn't expecting.

It all but confirmed the theory that Spider is Quaritch's kid in my mind. They definitely treat the identity of his biological dad like it's a secret that they aren't supposed to reveal.
 
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I had the opportunity to read volume 1 as well, courtesy of Wameyn/AvatarSeaofBlue & Discovering Pandora and their YouTube channels (many thanks, guys)

Both the read itself and the discussions around the pages were interesting. I still have some difficulty accepting this whole space angle, though.

Jake is right that it would probably be the last thing the RDA expects to happen, but the whole idea of an attack in zero-g runs a bit on the rule of cool if you ask me. How did they have those space suits made? (It was stated they made them instead of them already being on the base before the RDA left). A spacesuit should realistically be more than some white spandex, a glass bowl and an airtank. Also, how is it that they just happened to have a Valkyrie shuttle standing around to ferry them to space for apparently regular trainings? The ISV Venture Star had 2 Valkyrie shuttles, one of which was destroyed during the assault on the Tree of Souls and the other was used to ferry the RDA personnel back to the ISV after the defeat. It is implied in volume 1 that another ISV was scrapped and put in a graveyard orbit, so maybe the shuttle has come from there? Considering that Jake and co. appear well prepared for their mission regardless of how believable it is, I would say I can at least accept the logistical aspect.

But I found the Na'vi willingness to go along with something this extreme (compared to what they are used to) to be poorly explained. Especially since the three laws of Eywa were mentioned and highlighted in the same volume, I would think that more Na'vi would simply reject ever going into space on principle, regardless of whether or not it is technically possible for them to do so. I mean, they didn't even want roads or beer or jeans. Now they are fine with spacesuits and leaving their planet? It just doesn't quite fit with the characterization of the Na'vi that the first movie set out in the sense of "There is nothing that we have that they want." For sure I can imagine certain curious and maverick Na'vi individuals who might want to try it, but the comic didn't really shed any light on why all of them are just OK with it. And this flimsy explanation of the Na'vi having been born for zero-g... I'm sure they are naturally adept at handling extreme physical conditions regardless of what those conditions are, but what about it fitting into their worldview?
 
Has anybody read volume 2 by now?

I'm not sure what to say or think about it. To me, it did not really feel like it was set in the same Avatar universe from the movies. It does give a bit more background to the RDA's return and what happened in the one year skip in TWOW, but I think it is good the movie did the skip...

Without giving too much spoilers, I shall summarize it with two pictures and descriptions:

A man Na'vi called Horse Jakesully
gvo0LMk5EWwsypsXl2i25D83ztm.jpg

Replace lasers with arrows
IdZrwiD.gif
 
I've bought and read all 3 volumes and boy am I glad this was abandoned as a film script. I just don't buy the whole Na'vi in space thing. I'm glad we went to the ocean instead. And I don't want to sound too critical, but the illustrations are atrocious, especially the faces. Half the time I couldn't tell who was who. "OMG is that supposed to be Jake?" A few times I had to re-read several pages just to try to figure out what was going on. I found the illustrations very chaotic and difficult to decipher, but I'm also not a regular comic book reader. "Oh, ok, those purple blobs are the pali running away". This is definitely the worst illustrated and my least favourite of the 4 comic adaptations. Too bad it was also the most expensive at $33 CAN per volume. At over a hundred bucks total (with tax) I expected better illustrations that actually looked like the characters. I wish that Alex Ross could have illustrated these. That guy can draw any face perfectly.
 
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I just don't buy the whole Na'vi in space thing.
Me neither. Na'vi in zero G, I could maybe buy, but them actually wearing full suits in the vacuum of space and moving around without tethers or propulsion... That would just guarantee death, but I guess in this universe one can just swim through space... Then there is the statement that the suits itch (no liquid cooling garments?) and that they can't relieve themselves, as if half-heartedly trying to convince the audience to stretch their suspension of disbelief... Oh and apparently Jake and Neytiri are perfectly fine after being exposed to the vacuum of space without their helmets.

I don't know how much creative control Cameron had over this, but I would have expected something a bit more grounded in reality than what we got here. Honestly, it felt like I was watching some Saturday morning cartoon in comic format, like for example Centurions from the 80s. Maybe awesome when you are a kid...but not much else.

And I don't want to sound too critical, but the illustrations are atrocious, especially the faces. Half the time I couldn't tell who was who. "OMG is that supposed to be Jake?" A few times I had to re-read several pages just to try to figure out what was going on. I found the illustrations very chaotic and difficult to decipher, but I'm also not a regular comic book reader. "Oh, ok, those purple blobs are the pali running away".
I agree here as well. Even more jarring was that volume 1 was the worst offender, while the art style changed in volume 2 and 3 to have the characters be a bit more recognizable. But it was still all over the place. Especially bizarre is that Tuk is drawn as a muscled young man in volume 1... I too had to reread pages like that multiple times to figure out what was going on.

This is definitely the worst illustrated and my least favourite of the 4 comic adaptations.
The other comics were way better with their illustrations, I agree, especially Tsu'tey's Path and Adapt or Die. So indeed, it's not as if nobody knows how to draw good Avatar artwork.

Between the hard-to-buy plot, the lousy illustrations, the dozen delays, the premature release announcements, the failure to release before the movie despite being touted as a must-read prequel to TWOW, and the eventual release of volume 3 before volume 2, I do wonder now, what the hell were those people smoking out there?
 
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