Marvel’s New Iron Man – A Black Teenage Girl
With Civil War II underway, Marvel will be shaking things up again. Ironman fans, you know what’s coming… Tony Stark will be stepping out the Iron Man suit, making room for new blood. Series writer Brian Michael Bendis spoke to Time about some upcoming changes, and we’re pretty pumped.
Looks like Tony Stark will be passing the torch to a new character, fifteen-year-old Riri Williams— who will bring some much needed female and PoC representation to Iron Man.
Riri, who was first introduced to us back in May’s Invincible Iron Man #9, is a genius who enrolls in MIT at the age fifteen (NBD). She catches Stark’s attention when she builds her own Iron man suit in her dorm… Yeah, SHE CASUALLY BUILDS IRON MAN ARMOR IN HER BEDROOM.
According to Bendis, “One of the things Tony does to distract himself from all the things going on in his life is he goes to find this young woman who is flying around the middle of America in an armor that’s not completely made to try to find out what her deal is.”
Riri’s reception has been a mixed bag, but Bendis notes that this is nothing new when adding characters to a beloved classic.
“It’s getting the benefit of the doubt from even the most surly fans,” Bendis said. “There are fans who say, ‘Show us the new stuff,’ and then there are fans who say, ‘Don’t do anything different from when I was a kid.’ So when you’re introducing new characters, you’re always going to have people getting paranoid about us ruining their childhood.”
And Bendis has words for some fans who are complaining that adding diversity to Marvel’s cast of characters is “pandering.”
“Some of the comments online, I don’t think people even realize how racist they sound,” he told Time. “I think what’s most important is that the character is created in an organic setting. We never had a meeting saying, ‘we need to create this character.’ It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture.”
This is definitely a step forward for Marvel.