Marvel Unveils All-New Black, Female Iron Man

Invincible Iron ManFollowing the events of Marvel’s current Civil War II story line, Tony Stark will be stepping away from being Iron Man. Enter Riri Williams, a genius MIT student who catches Tony’s attention after building her own Iron Man suit at age 15. Marvel Comics has revealed that Riri will soon take up the Iron Man mantle after Tony steps down.

In an interview with TIME, writer/creator Brian Michael Bendis spoke about the creation of the character, as well as diversity in comics. Obviously, changing the role of Iron Man from a white male to a black female is going to cause some controversy and anger some readers, so Bendis makes sure to mention, “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.”

Using characters like Miles Morales/Spider-Man and Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel as examples, Bendis points to Riri Williams as another step in the right direction leading to a more diverse set of characters and more representation from Marvel Comics.

Bendis also points out that just because we now know Tony Stark will be stepping away from being Iron Man does not mean we know how Civil War II will end. In the meantime you can catch the beginnings of Riri Williams’ new role in the pages of Invincible Iron Man. Issue #11 hits store shelves and digital platforms today, July 6.