Marvel's new Iron Man is a young African-American woman

Tony Stark is stepping out of the suit when Civil War II comes to a close, and the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist will be replaced by a brand-new Iron Man. Or should I say, Iron Woman? (Not her official name for now.)

Marvel has announced (via TIME) that new character Riri Williams will take over for Tony Stark after the events of its newest event mini-series. The character comes to Tony’s attention when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm (like Tony, she’s a science genius who enrolled at M.I.T. at 15).

According to writer Brian Michael Bendis, who created the character (as well as Jessica Jones, Maria Hill and new Spidey Miles Morales), the change doesn’t mean this spoils the end to Civil War II just yet. 

“More people are going to be upset that they think they know the ending to Civil War II now than anything we just talked about. But I can tell you just because we’re hearing what we’re saying doesn’t know you mean how Civil War II ends. We’re not telling you the end, at all.”

Here’s what Bendis had to say about the creation of the character, and how Riri Williams has been received by comic book fans so far:

“One of the things that stuck with me when I was working in Chicago a couple of years ago on a TV show that didn’t end up airing was the amount of chaos and violence. And this story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life—just random street violence—and went off to college was very inspiring to me. I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place.

As we’ve been slowly and hopefully very organically adding all these new characters to the Marvel Universe, it just seemed that sort of violence inspiring a young hero to rise up and act, and using her science acumen, her natural born abilities that are still raw but so ahead of where even Tony Stark was at that age, was very exciting to me.

Thankfully because of my involvement in the creation of Miles Morales and Jessica Jones and some other characters, it’s [the creation of the character] getting the benefit of the doubt from even the most surly fans. 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.

I’ve been down this road with Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Maria Hill. I knew I was in good hands with Mike Deodato and other artists who are helping visualize Riri.”

Have a look at the cover for All-New Invincible Iron Man #1.

(via TIME)

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