Tony Stark is out, and Riri Williams is in.
A black woman is taking over Stark’s Iron Man suit as part of Marvel’s “Marvel NOW!” relaunch this fall.
Williams is a 15-year-old student at MIT who comes to Stark’s attention when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm.
“Her brain is maybe a little better than his,” Brian Michael Bendis, Williams’ creator, told TIME. “She looks at things from a different perspective that makes the armour unique.”
This is the latest addition to Marvel’s plans to diversify its classic superheroes. There’s already a female Thor, a Muslim-American Captain Marvel named Kamala Khan, and a black Latino Spider-Man named Miles Morales — who was also created by Bendis.
Though many see the new additions as a a step forward in Marvel’s long tradition of making white men the superheroes, there is still pushback to the new class of diverse heroes.
“Some of the comments online, I don’t think people even realise how racist they sound,” Bendis said.
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