Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 Review - The Na'vi return in this great first issue

Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 (Image via Dark Horse Comics)
Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 (Image via Dark Horse Comics)

Avatar: Adapt or Die is a comic based on the hit film franchise Avatar. Published by Dark Horse Comics, the story is written by Corinna Bechko with a cover by Mark Molchan. The illustrations are by Beni R. Lobel, colors by Wes Dzioba, and letters are done by Michael Heisler.

Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 takes place a decade after the humans arrived on Pandora. The comic follows Grace Augustine and the Omatikaya tsahik, Mo'at, as they both negotiate to open a school for the children. Majority of the comic deals with that aspect and has a nice sense of flow with its story.

Avatar: Adapt or Die moves at a great pace and sets up the next issue quite well

Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 page (Image via Dark Horse Comics)
Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 page (Image via Dark Horse Comics)

What the majority of the comics usually get wrong with their first issues is that they set up for everything to come and forget telling a story at first. Luckily, Avatar: Adapt or Die doesn't run into that issue. Rather, it tells the story at a great pace that helps in building up the issue quite well.

Readers see Grace Augustine (played by Sigourney Weaver in the 2009 film) try and open a school for the Na'vi children. The Na'vi, not wanting the sky people to interfere with their culture, are a bit cautious about it, but they still end up taking the chance.

After going to a base of the sky people, Grace is able to show the Na'vi children how the humans work on their planet and about their culture. However, things quite predictably don't go according to plan - after returning to the hometree, the children start falling sick.

The comic features significant character development

The character development here moves at a steady pace. Characters learn and grow, and with just 22 pages to tell a story, it is quite impressive.

Mo'at, in general, has the best amount of development as she takes risks and chances in the story. That's what makes here such a compelling character. Grace's compassion for the Na'vi is explored very well, and that makes her all the more likable.

There are also a few characters from the 2009 movie Avatar who make a cameo. One of the biggest is, though in a small capacity, Neytiri. It was fun to see her as it just helped the story feel more lived in.

The art fails to hit the mark

Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 page (Image via Dark Horse Comics)
Avatar: Adapt or Die #1 page (Image via Dark Horse Comics)

While the story itself was fun to read, the art left more to be desired. There is particularly nothing bad about it, but Pandora as a whole just felt dull. The 2009 movie treated the fans to beautiful locations and graphics, but that isn't the case with the comic.

While the characters look nice, the comic overall fails to instill in fans the otherworldly feeling that they would expect from Avatar. Hopefully, there is more diversity with the art in the next few issues.

Final verdict

Avatar: Adapt or Die was quite the fun read that has fans very excited for the next issue to come out. While the art itself felt a bit lackluster, there was no denying that the story setup will keep readers hooked.

Edited by Rhythm Bhatia
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