Friday, May 24, 2024

Black Woman to Become Next Iron-Man in Marvel Comics

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*Marvel has revealed that a black woman will suit up as the comics’ next Iron-Man, with the transition set to take place after Marvel wraps up its current “Civil War II” storyline.

As Marvel’s superheroes continue to wage war against themselves, a 15-year-old MIT engineering student named Riri Williams has been busy in her dorm room reverse-engineering one of Tony Starks’ old Iron Man suits.

Riri is the creation of Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis, who previously created the black Hispanic character Miles Morales to take over the role of Ultimate Spider-Man in 2011.

“One of the things that stuck with me when I was working in Chicago a couple of years ago on a TV show that didn’t end up airing was the amount of chaos and violence,” Bendis told Time of creating Riri’s character. “And this story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life—just random street violence—and went off to college was very inspiring to me. 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 says racists have already popped up on the Internet voicing opposition. “Some of the comments online, 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,” Bendis said. “But increasingly we see less and less of that. Once Miles hit, and Kamala Khan 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, and now that it’s here, you’ll go online and be greeted with this wave of love.”

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