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Avatar: The Last Airbender creator announces his next project, Threadworlds

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

In advance of San Diego Comic-Con, Bryan Konietzko has announced his first project since the final season of The Legend of Korra. Threadworlds is the story of a young heroine named Nova and her "long origin story as scientific superhero," said Konietzko in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Konietzko and his collaborator Michael Dante DiMartino conceived of the very first details of Avatar: The Last Airbender in 2001 and pitched it to Nickelodeon several weeks later. The animating/drawing/writing duo was involved in producing three seasons of the show and four seasons of its sequel, Legend of Korra, until the finale of that series in December 2014. Thirteen years is a long time to be working in a single universe, and since the Avatar setting was also the duo's first success as sole creators/showrunners, fans have been on high alert for whatever Konietzko and DiMartino might do next.


For Konietzko, the answer is Threadworlds, an original graphic novel. "Imagine five planets that share a single orbit. Imagine an inquisitive young scientist, curious about the world, setting out on adventures across the universe," says Entertainment Weekly when describing it.

Konietzko says that the book, which he is both writing and drawing, is a melding of fantasy and science fiction. "Threadworlds has high stakes, relatable characters and a wide range of tones — similar to the work I co-created with Michael. And though the focus is on science there will be plenty of action and adventure."

Preview art for the series features some elements familiar to fans of Avatar — lush backgrounds, distinctive architecture — and some not so familiar, like characters who appear to belong to a sort of rabbit- or kangaroo-inspired race.


That the hero of the book, Nova, is a young girl is also no accident. Says Konietzko:

"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. This is basically Nova's long origin story as scientific superhero. 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 first volume of Threadworlds will be available in 2017, from publisher First Second Books.


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