Black Girl Magic is proving to be contagious, and that’s definitely a good thing.
The beloved Iron Man series is introducing a new character: a 15 year old black girl named Riri Williams. According to TIME, the events of the comic book series Civil War II will pick up in the upcoming Invincible Iron Man series with Williams’ character donning the Iron Man suit as Tony Stark puts it down. It hasn’t been decided if Williams will stick with the name “Iron Man.” The character is said to be inspired by the work Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis did in Chicago a few years ago.
“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,” he said. “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.”
But Riri Williams isn’t just any college student. She’s a 15-year-old at M.I.T who has reverse engineered one of Iron Man’s old armors in her dorm room by herself. According to Bendis, the increased diversity being pushed at Marvel is pure reflection of the world around them.
“Talking to any of the older creators, it’s the thing they said they wish they’d done more of—reflecting the world around them. It just wasn’t where the world was at at that time.” However, Bendis says the reaction from fans who feel they are finally being represented in the Marvel universe is a sign things are clearly moving in the right direction.
Although the writer wanted to prevent spoiling any further details for the fans, Bendis did suggest the two may meet after Iron Man hears that she’s flying around the middle of America with his armor on. Details for the release of the new Iron Man story have yet to be revealed, but we’ll definitely be waiting for more.