She’s young, she’s black, and she’s smarter than Iron Man.
A female character will take over as hero in a new Iron Man comic book series, "Invincible Iron Man #1."
Writer Brian Michael Bendis made the revelation to TIME on Wednesday. This fall, the popular series will see 15-year-old Riri Williams replacing the original Iron Man character Tony Stark, said a Marvel press release.
Marvel announced that a young female character named Riri Williams will take over from Tony Stark in the new “Iron Man” comic books. (Cover courtesy of Marvel)
Williams is a science genius who — just like Stark himself — enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at only 15. Bendis said he was inspired by a young woman in Chicago whose life was marked by violence, but managed to go to college anyway.
Stark, the "cool exec with a heart of steel," notices Williams busy reverse-engineering his Iron Man suit in her dorm room, the press release said. They'll interact "very shortly" before Williams takes on the hero's armour on her own.
William's genius and raw talent strike are what strike Stark's interest. “Her brain is maybe a little better than his,” Bendis said.
"It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture.”
Bendis is also the writer behind two of Marvel’s biggest franchises with female leads: Jessica Jones and Alias. He credited timing and current events as the genesis for Riri Williams.
“We never had a meeting saying, ‘we need to create this character.’ It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture,” he said.
The new Iron Woman is the latest in a string of diverse comic book characters, starting with TChalla the Black Panther, who was created in 1966. There’s now a pregnant Spider Woman, a Pakistani-American superhero named Kamala Khan, and a black Green Lantern, John Stewart.
Also on HuffPost