Marvel Introduces Black Female Teen as New Iron Man

Creator and writer of Iron Man, Brian Michael Bendis, talks about the creation of Riri Williams, who will take over the Iron Man suit from Tony Stark.

AceShowbiz - Marvel has announced a black female teenager named Riri Williams to take over Iron Man suit from Tony Stark in the upcoming "Invincible Iron Man" comic book series. Creator and writer of Iron Man, Brian Michael Bendis, told TIME about the creation of Riri.

Riri is a science genius who enrolls in MIT at the age of fifteen. She attracts the attention of Tony when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm. Bendis revealed that Tony would be stepping out from his suit at the end of Civil War II storyline. He said, "In the latest issue of 'Iron Man', Tony is in a lab talking to himself, and he's already aware that there's some student at M.I.T. that's reverse-engineered one of his old armors all by herself in her dorm room. He's aware of her immediately."

"His best friend died, his company is collapsing and he's finding out who his biological parents were all at the same time. That's stressful for a character who is wired the way Tony is wired and has dependency issues the way Tony does," Bendis explained the reasons that make Tony Stark step out of the suit.

"Tony is also a master at not paying attention to the thing that's most important and distracting himself with Avengers stuff. How that all shakes out such that Tony is no longer in the armor?" he explained how Tony's leave could create a path for Riri Williams.

Bendis pens the new "Invincible Iron Man" with Caselli. It marks the latest attempt to diversify Marvel's cast of characters by having woman and people of color play the iconic heroes. Bendis has previously introduced black Miles Morales as Spider-Man, Pakistani-American Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel and Jane Foster as female Thor. This diversity, however, has stirred some controversies among fans.

The creator said, "I don't think people even realize how racist they sound. I'm not saying if you criticize you're a racist, but if someone writes, 'Why do we need Riri Williams we already have Miles?' that's a weird thing to say. They're individuals just like Captain America and Cyclops are individuals. All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they'll realize over time that that's not the most progressive thinking."

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