A 15-Year-Old Black Girl Is Going To Replace Tony Stark As Iron Man

It looked like Riri Williams was going to be the next War Machine, taking the spot of the recently deceased James Rhodes. But it turns out that the subplot involving the teenage genius will be going somewhere else entirely. Marvel says that Riri will be wearing red-and-gold power armour soon and becoming an Iron Person.

The news comes via Time's interview with Brian Michael Bendis, who says that events in Civil War II will lead to Tony Stark moving away from full-time adventuring:

We're in the middle of a very big Tony Stark storyline — actually three storylines converging. His best friend died, his company is collapsing and he's finding out who his biological parents were all at the same time. That's stressful for a character who is wired the way Tony is wired and has dependency issues the way Tony does.
Tony is also a master at not paying attention to the thing that's most important and distracting himself with Avengers stuff. How that all shakes out such that Tony is no longer in the armour? You'll have to wait to find out for the end of Civil War II. But it does create a path or Riri Williams, who Tony will know and will be interacting with very shortly in the comics.

Riri has already been seen in recent issues of the Invincible Iron Man series, cobbling together crude armour out of whatever she can find lying around the MIT campus. In my talk with Bendis last month, he said that her intelligence rivals that of Stark's:

So as a bit of a segue, it seems that you're setting things up with Ri Ri in Invincible Iron Man.
Bendis: Yeah. Perfect example, by the way of what I'm talking about. There's a lot more going on in the books than just that. I'm sorry. Go ask your question.
Should we not be surprised to see her stepping up in a bigger role in the Marvel Universe?
Bendis: Well, a lot is going to happen in Civil War 2. There's a lot going on with that character, we just introduced her. We don't even know her backstory or her family situation or anything like that. We do know that she's probably smarter than Tony, which is a lot of fun to write in a book starring the man who is always smarter than everybody in the room. Or thinks he is.
I will tell you we're enjoying her a great deal on our end. I'm curious to see what people think of her in a few months. But yeah, you're going to see more Ri Ri coming up.


Comments

    I'm over being angry about these "for the sake of diversity" replacement characters. What I'm more angry at is the fact that this news also mentioned that Marvel is going to do another relaunch of their lines under the "Marvel NOW!" brand again.

      Honestly. I don't have so much an issue that Tony Stark is being replaced by a female African American. It's the 15 year old child prodigy added to it that kind of sticks out.

        Gotta get those teen readers in the mix somehow

          How to you even identify with a 15 year old super genius? She looks like a 25 year old super model toy starters, which is kind of creepy in itself.

        Don't forget that we once had Peter Parker and Kitty Pride and Jubilee and Johnny Storm, etc. We once were teenagers and had the chance to have characters of our age to relate in Marvel comics. It is entirely fine that today's teenagers have that chance as well. It seems that in the meantime Tony will be taken through a very adult and personal gauntlet which is something that I, as an old fan that now is around his age, can appreciate.

      Agreed, but in their defense, this one makes more sense than some (many (all)) of the others.

      Tony gets someone whose intelligence he respects (they're few and far between) to represent him in the suit after he gets tired/scared/jaded/disillusioned with the job.

      Far more sense than "Thor dies - chick picks up hammer - becomes God of Thunder"

    God damn people and their diversity..... as long as they dont touch DC stuff im sorta ok with it.
    but god why you had to change a famous character to a chick..

    im all for diversity and fair representation, but when it feels manufactured and contrived its a pile of crap

    But where will I get my fill of adult straight white male superheroes now?!

    They will revert back like every other story, there will be change to spark new interest, but long term its all the longer term readers will want Tony back so he will return in a couple of years and take the helm again.

      He will come back the second they realise that they are infact indebted to the hungry comic book nerd... and not the stingy sjw.

    This is how Marvel does their community good will runs, they drive their own sales down; thus allowing the starved DC and indie scene editors to eat.

    Just putting out there but Rhodes will always be the best replacement... even if Bhendis is smoking crack.

    Last edited 07/07/16 4:27 pm

    I dont care what her age is. I dont care what her skin colour or gender is. I only care that these characters arent simply shoehorned in to pander to people instead of being interesting in their own right with their own story to tell.

    Im taking bets now on how long they take to decide she identifies as gender neutral or some such horseshit.

    Looking forward to seeing Ant-Man hand over the mantle to a 70 year old, Asian, transgender dwarf next.

    Tony Stark has always read as semi-boring. New character under the mantle could be entertaining for at least a little while.

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