In recent years Marvel has diversified its roster of iconic superheroes while adding new ones into their popular comic book universe. Ms. Marvel‘s Kamala Khan; Spider-Man‘s Miles Morales; Thor‘s Jane Foster; and a number of superheroines that even have their own Netflix series (looking at you, Jessica Jones).
Sure, the entertainment company has gotten some criticism from devout comic book fans (read: dudes that need to grow up and accept that representation in comics is a great and necessary step forward for the industry) but they continue to stick to their guns, using these characters as a means of telling new stories through these superheroes we’ve come to love.
The latest one? Riri Williams, a black girl that will take over the role of Iron Man following the end of the comic book event series Civil War II.
According to TIME Williams is a 15-year-old science genius at MIT, who gets the attention of Tony Stark when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm. The series’ creator, Brian Michael Bendis, said the inspiration for the character came when he was working on a TV show in Chicago a couple years ago.
“…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. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place.”
It’ll be interesting to see where the series goes when Williams and Stark finally meet, as well as that inevitable moment when she dawns the Iron Man costume. And although we have some critiques of our own in regards to what will hopefully happen with the comic book (maybe a name change — she is a teenager after all. Also, maybe hire a black artist?), it’s definitely cool to see this happening.