Big news over in the Marvel Universe: a new Iron Man, well Iron Lady, will be taking over for Tony Stark. (The writers are still working out what to call her but I think that has a nice ring to it.) This happens at the end of the Civil War 2 series. Her name is Riri Williams and get this: she is only 15 years old and African-American. Don’t worry, the ending to Civil War 2 does not tell the end of Tony Stark. Writers want to make sure that you realize this reveals little about the end to the second Civil War.
Brian Michael Bendis, creator and writer of Invincible Iron Man, said in an exclusive interview with TIME Magazine that the new character was actually inspired by a real woman who overcame a very rough upbringing and still managed to overcome that and go to college. "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,” Bendis said. Williams has the same type of background except she not only goes to college but ends up at one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation: MIT. On top of that, she has made a working prototype of the Iron Man suit in her dorm room! Of course this brings her quite a bit of attention which is how Tony Stark discovers her.
The reception of this new character as a whole has been mostly positive especially after the introduction of Miles Morales as the new Spider Man and Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel. It is great to see the Marvel Universe with some diversity especially in this changing world. Though, not all die-hard fans have been so receptive. But only time will tell.
I am extremely excited for this new character. My only problem is that most new comic book portrayals of black woman, minus Storm (who was a mutant by the way,) all have the same features and look mostly the same. The new Iron Lady looks just like a new version of Misty Knight. Tanya Spears, the new Power Girl, has quite a similar resemblance as well. They are both young and both go to MIT. Is it a coincidence that one is in DC and the other Marvel? Maybe.
But I do think the backstory is a great way to introduce a character. Anyone smarter than Tony Stark is someone who we all need to look out for in the future. Her first appearance should be coming out later this year. Look out for it and tell us how you feel about her.