Holy sweet mother of Appa, this is exciting. Bryan Konietzko, the genius best known for co-creating Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, has officially announced his latest project: a graphic novel called Threadworlds to be released in 2017.
Set on five Earth-like planets, Threadworlds will follow Nova, a curious young “scientific superhero” (yes, please), as she moves through an intergalactic adventure – and like our favorites from the ATLA universe, we can expect to meet a myriad of interesting characters and creatures along the way.
“[Each planet has] evolved its unique intelligent species, each in a staggered state of technological progress,” explains the team at First Second Books, who have taken on the project. “With Threadworlds, Bryan further spreads his wings as an author and an artist, taking us to startling new worlds and creatures at once alien and brimming with familiar humanity. It’s daring, it’s deep, and like Avatar, it’s that rarest thing these days: a thrilling adventure that isn’t in the least cynical. And gasp-out-loud wondrous artwork to top it all off. I love what Bryan Konietzko does.” And so do we.
Of course, our first question was, “Can we expect to see any overlap between Threadworlds and Konietzko’s previous works?” But he assures us this is a completely new concept, with a completely new direction. “It will definitely stay independent of the Avatar universe,” he says.
But fear not, my bender-loving friends: while you might not get any Momo-mischief in this story, from the concept art, we can see the pages will be filled with the true-to-style bold colors and sweeping landscapes that made the ATLA universe so captivating in the first place. And now we get some ’50s-esque optimism and sci-fi tech to boot.
There’s also another familiar factor: the lead character. From Korra and Katara to Fire Nation princess Azula to earth-bending whiz-kid Toph, Konietzko has a long history of placing strong females at the center of his stories. And the decision to create Nova was no coincidence.
“I had been pondering what my next big project would be for the last several years,”he told Entertainment Weekly. “I was trying to think of a sci-fi idea, and separately a fantasy idea. When the concept for Threadworlds popped into my head, I found a way to weave those genres together. I definitely wasn’t aiming to be topical, but once science became the focal point of the story I knew it was important to me to have a young girl as the main character. I hope she’ll be inspiring to readers of all genders and ages, but especially girls who are interested in studying and pursuing science.”
“The things Nova wants to learn, I want to learn. I am compelled to go on this journey with her and explore these worlds together,” he adds.
If you’re wondering what the story is behind Nova’s celestial name, we were too. But Konietzko is keeping his lips sealed on all details for now as he works tirelessly to both write and illustrate volume one.
“All I know for sure is the deeper I get into the story and characters, the more excited I am to make these books and share them,” he says. “The focus is on science, but there will be plenty of action and adventure. That’s definitely me being true to myself as a creator.”
There are so many questions. Who are the rabbit people? Why are there rabbit people? What is that spider robot, and where can we get one? Excuse me, while I go ponder them for the next two years. Yip-fu**ing-yip!
ALL IMAGES: BRYAN KONIETZKO