The Next Iron Man Is A Black Girl Named Riri

No, Rihanna isn’t joining the cast of the Avengers, but this news is still pretty exciting.

The next Iron Man will feature a young female African-American science genius named Riri Williams as the new hero of the comic book.

She’s been written an M.I.T student who captures Tony Starks attention when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her room. Marvel writer, Brian Michael Bendis spoke to TIME Magazine about creating Riri with artist Stefano Caselli, and the exciting number of diverse characters coming to the comic book universe.

“There was a part of an audience crawling through the desert looking for an oasis when it came to representation, and now that it’s here, you’ll go online and be greeted with this wave of love,” he said.

Brian, who also helped create Jessica Jones, says that many of the older comic book writers wish they’d been more forward thinking with their character representation in the past.

“It just wasn’t where the world was at at that time,” he said.

And numbers of female comic book readers are going up. “Women ages 17 to 33 were the fastest-growing group at comic book retailers nationally,” according to Fortune, and “recent estimates put the percentage of female readers at between 30% to 50%”

And just because we know Riri’s taking over, doesn’t mean it’s all over for Tony Stark. Stay tuned for the next series of comic books to be released, which is either appropriately or really inappropriately titled Civil War II.

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