There was a long—long—time between Avatar and The Way of Water, and in the decade-plus it took James Cameron to make his sequel and bits of bobs of maybe another three movies beyond it, there were many ideas for what came next in Jake and Neytiri’s stories that were left off the table. But now you can take a look at one of those ideas in a form that won’t take up three hours of your life in a dark room.
To celebrate the launch of The Way of Water, io9 has a look inside the second two volumes of Dark Horse Comics’ Avatar: The High Ground. Written by Sherri L. Smith, the graphic novel trilogy—featuring art by Guilherme Balbi, Michael Atiyeh, and Wes Dzioba, on Volume 1; art by Diego Galindo, Gabriel Guzman, George Quadros, and DC Alonso on Volume 2; and art by Augustin Padilla, Miguel Angel Ruiz, and Michael Atiyeh on Volume 3, all with lettering by Michael Heisler—is an adaptation of one of Cameron’s early ideas for the plot of his second Avatar movie, and one we only get a taste of in The Way of Water’s opening act. Even if it means we missed on seeing the Na’vi shoot people in space with bows!
Set over a decade after the end of the original movie, The High Ground follows Jake and Neytiri after they’ve built a family of their own together, when they discover the terrible news that the RDA is returning to Pandora, bringing war with them as they attempt to reclaim the planet as humanity’s new home. Now with a family to defend beyond the choices he made in the original movie, the stakes are higher than ever for Jake—and set the stage for the conflicts we see in The Way of Water.
Click through to see a preview from both volume 2 and 3 of The High Ground, both of which are available now.