Marvel’s New Iron Man Is A Black Teenage Girl, Which Is The Best News Ever
I’m not going to lie — I couldn’t give any less fucks about comics. The only reason I sat through Jessica Jones was for the hunky bartender fling and because I liked watching her swig booze like it was NBD. But I do give a fuck about representation, and the fact that Marvel’s new Iron Man will be a black teenage girl is some of the best news I’ve heard all summer.
It’s pretty badass. Taking Tony Starks’ place is RiRi Williams, a 15-year-old genius at MIT who makes her own Iron Man suit, drawing Stark’s attention. Writer Brian Michael Bendis told Time that the character came about organically and not just because of recent calls for a more diverse set of characters. “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,'” he said. “It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture.” Bendis said he knows most of the old creators wish they had been more diverse in the past, but it wasn’t “where the world was at the time.”
The reception surrounding the news is going over very well on social media already. Because it’s about fucking time that they cleared some space in the hordes of white men for not just women, but women of color.
Then again, people are still a little upset that the story is written by a man. And a white man at that.
It’s a very good fucking point, but I’m happy for any small victory we can get.
There should be more where RiRi came from, too. What’s great is that her superpowers have nothing to do with being sexy AF either. Brandis told Time, “It just seemed that sort of violence inspiring a young hero to rise up and act, and using her science acumen, her natural born abilities that are still raw but so ahead of where even Tony Stark was at that age, was very exciting to me.”
Her smarts are even written into the script. “Her brain is maybe a little better than his. She looks at things from a different perspective that makes the armor unique,” Brandis said.
It’s a little sad that it is such a big deal to have a female of color as the lead character in a Marvel story. But it is really good news that the guys who write the stories have finally gotten it through their heads that we need more females and minorities represented.