Chicago stand up, black scholarship and Marvel have teamed up yet again.
Monday (Aug. 20) Marvel announced the first solo series for heroine Riri Williams will be penned by academic Eve Ewing, a professor at University of Chicago and the author of Electric Arches, an afrofuturist collection of poetry, prose and visual art.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) August 20, 2018
Partnering with artist Kevin Labranda, Dr. Eve L. Ewing is looking to bring dimension to the Ironheart character. “His art is really incredible and really spirited,” she tells the Chicago Tribune.
Drawing inspiration from Nnedi Okorafor (who is set to pen a comic book series on Princess Shuri from Black Panther) and mentor Ta-Nehisi Coates (who penned recent iterations of Black Panther and Captain America), Ewing hopes to add rawness to the Marvel Legacy.
For those unfamiliar with the character, Riri Williams is a young black girl from South Shore Chicago. Having experienced the loss of her stepfather from gun violence at an extremely young age, Williams is learning how to navigate a life filled with violence and injustice. Reaching genius levels at the age of 15, Riri Williams attends MIT where she finds the resources necessary to build her very own makeshift Iron Man suit, sans Tony Stark. When Tony Stark hears of her accomplishments and meets with Williams, vouching her decision to become a superhero.
As a Chicagoan herself, Ewing plans to show the world “that there are superheroes all around us” by creating Marvel’s first black “around the way girl” superhero.
“Ironheart symbolizes what happens when you combine incredible strength and might with a sense of love, care, and a true desire for justice” Ewing tells Marvel. Aware of just how important a hero’s character is to their brand, Ewing strives to bring black girl realness to the series. As a teenage black girl living in Chi city, very different questions about justice, the “good” guy, and the “bad” guy will be brought to the table.
The first issue of Ironheart will hit shelves in November. For those looking to support the series, take a look at Ewing’s twitter thread below to learn how sales numbers work and why pre-ordering makes a difference.
wow, a true ally is one who lobs you the ball for the informational thread you had planned to write.
For those of you new to comics, here is a brief explainer of how comics sales work.
The tl;dr version is that if you want to support a title, the best way is to pre-order it. https://t.co/SbH7yO9YiL
— wikipedia brown aka eve ewing aka lil muji pen (@eveewing) August 20, 2018