There’s A New Iron Man And She’s A 15-Year-Old Black Girl

by Grace Easterby

Marvel released some cool news yesterday, informing the public that in the new Invincible Iron Man comic, a young black girl will be the star. The character, Riri Williams, was introduced in Invincible Iran Man #9  after she was kicked out of MIT for creating her own Iron Man suit—keep in mind she is 15-years-old. So, not only is the new character a black girl, but she is also portrayed as an engineering genius, something to be celebrated.

And Riri isn’t the first person of color or women to take the spot of a traditionally white, male comic character. Throughout Axel Alonso’s time as editor-in-chief at Marvel Comics five big character shifts have been introduced: one Spider-Man is biracial, Hulk is Korean American, Ms. Marvel is Pakistani American, one Captain America is a black man, and Thor is a white woman. We have big hopes in the continuation of these changes but have one recommendation. 

As the faces of the comic heroes shift, it would be great to see writing and illustration jobs given to women of color, seeing as most comics are still being written by white men. And it’s not for lack of options, there are sites brimming with interested, aspiring artists. Women in Comics is an international collective that highlights women in comic work and Cartoonists of Color provides over 900 people-of-color comic book creators. As the twitter account, Black Girl Nerds points out, having WoC write the comics that portray WoC would be cool, AKA necessary and overdue. 

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Top image courtesy of Marvel’s twitter

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