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15-Year-Old Black Girl Replaces Tony Stark as Iron Man

The teenagers in the Marvel Universe are taking a stand, including Riri Williams, the new Iron Man.

In the aftermath of Civil War II, there will be a new Iron Man: Riri Williams. The teenage tech genius will be taking over the role of Marvel's iconic character in the fallout of Marvel's summer event. However, just because someone else is taking over the mantle that doesn't mean readers know how it is all going to play out.

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Writer Brian Michael Bendis revealed the major change, which will affect the current title Invincible Iron Man. Williams has already appeared in the series multiple times. Williams reverse-engineered her own Iron Man suit of armor in her dorm at MIT. This caught the attention of Tony Stark.

In an interview with Time, Bendis discussed the creation of the character and how she came to be: "One of the things that stuck with me when I was working in Chicago... was the amount of chaos and violence. 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."

Marvel has been developing and creating a more diverse roster at the company, including characters who come from all walks of life. However, Bendis realizes there will still be criticism attached to adding a new black character to Marvel's already deep roster.

"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. They're individuals just like Captain America and Cyclops are individuals. All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they'll realize over time that that’s not the most progressive thinking."

Recently, Marvel has also revealed some promotional art for the upcoming Fall books. Williams is on the frontline on the right side of the piece, in a gray Iron Man suit.

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"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" explained Bendis. "Now, when you have a young woman come up to you at a signing and say how happy she is to be represented in his universe, you know you’re moving in the right direction."

Neither Bendis or Marvel have revealed a specific timeline for when Williams will take flight. At this time, she'll be donning the iconic armor in a post-Civil War II Marvel Universe this fall.