A 15-Year-Old Black Woman Is Taking Over The Role Of This Marvel Superhero

by Anna Menta

In a huge step toward a more diverse lineup, Marvel announced in the world of the "Iron Man" comics, Tony Stark is stepping down, and Riri Williams, a black woman, is stepping up.

Calm down racist/sexist "Iron Man" fans: You'll still have your beloved Robert Downey Jr. on screen.

But in the comics world, after the series "Civil War II" ends, Tony Stark will depart from his famous role as Iron Man and a new character, a genius teenager at MIT named Riri Williams, will put on the suit.

Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis spoke to Time about the creation of the character and the decision to have a black woman as a major player in the Avengers.

He said,

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. [...] 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.

Sounds like a pretty great reason to have a black female Iron Man to me!

This is not the first move Marvel has made in an attempt to diversify their traditionally white male superhero universe.

Recently, Marvel had Jane Foster (Natalie Portman in the movies) take on the role of Thor, Mile Morales, who is Afro-Latino, as Spiderman, and Kamala Khan, who is Muslim-American, as Ms. Marvel.

Here's to hoping someday we get to see all these awesome female and non-white characters on the big screen! (My vote is for Kiersey Clemons for Riri).


Citations: Iron Man Is Going To Be A Black Woman (Refinery29), Exclusive: Marvel's New Iron Man Is a Black Woman (Time)