Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path #1 Digs Just A Little Deeper Into Lore

by Brendan M. Allen

Tsu’tey, proud warrior of the Omatikaya clan, betrothed to Neyteri, has his life turned upside down by the arrival of Jake Sully of the Sky People. Reveals events only hinted at in James Cameron’s Avatar!

Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path #1 opens up just a few days prior to the introduction of Jake Sully to the Omatikaya clan in the James Cameron film. Tsu’tey is tasked with training a group of green hunter/warriors. He and the trainees stumble on the Dreamwalker, and you probably know the rest if you’ve seen the film, which, I mean, come on, who hasn’t already?
Sherri L. Smith has a great feel for the source material, and does a good enough job adding a little depth to the situation, but there wasn’t a whole lot left unexplained in the film up to this point. The characters are natural extensions of what we’ve already seen, but this first chapter relies heavily on the fact the reader is already intimately familiar with the setting and the principals.

The art team of Jan Duursema, Dan Parson, and Wes Dzioba nail the aesthetic. The linework isn’t quite as detailed as the film, but is dialed back just enough to retain likenesses and the general feel of the setting.
I’m not sure exactly where I’m at with this one as a reader. I mean, it isn’t a bad comic. It’s pretty good. I just don’t think we’ve seen anything we didn’t already know. This isn’t quite a shot for shot adaptation of the film, but it comes close.
The success of the series is really going to depend on where the story goes next. This first chapter basically established the timeline, which is parallel to the film. We also know from the title where this thing will end, since, well, you know Tsu’tey’s fate at the end of the film. 
If you enjoyed the film, but wanted to dig just a little deeper, pick this one up. If you haven’t seen the film, think Fern Gully, with giant blue aliens.

Avatar: Tsu’tey’s Path #1, Dark Horse Comics, released 16 January 2019. Written by Sherri L. Smith, pencils by Jan Duursema, inks by Dan Parson, colors by Wes Dzioba, cover by Doug Wheatley, variant cover by Shea Standefer.

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