Marvel’s new Iron Man will be a 15-year-old Iron Woman of color

Step aside, Tony Stark. A new Iron Man is in town, and she goes by the name of Riri Williams. 

In Marvel Comics’ relaunch of “Invincible Iron Man,” a 15-year-old black woman will take over Stark’s role and step into the armor for a more contemporary superheroine story.  

The cover of
The cover of "Invincible Iron Man" with Riri Williams. (Jeff Dekal / Marvel)

According to “Iron Man” writer Brian Michael Bendis, Williams attends MIT and builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm room. Bendis told Time magazine that the idea was inspired by young people rising up from street violence.  “[I]t 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.”

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Introducing diverse major characters to the Marvel Universe is nothing new for Bendis. The writer created a black Latino Spider-Man. And gender-swapping heroes has lately become an interesting change of pace at the comic book shop; in 2014, Marvel introduced a female Thor. 

“Once Miles [Spider-Man] hit, and Kamala Khan [Ms. Marvel] hit and female Thor hit — there was a part of an audience crawling through the desert looking for an oasis when it came to representation. … Now, when you have a young woman come up to you at a signing and say how happy she is to be represented in his universe, you know you’re moving in the right direction,” he said.

Along with her new appearance, Williams will come with a fresh perspective and might even be a little more intelligent than the billionaire playboy. Bendis even went as far as to imply that Williams’ “brain is maybe a little better than his.” And that will change everything, including the traditional Iron Man armor. 

The “Invincible Iron Man” relaunch is set to take off this fall. 

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