Marvel just announced its new Iron Man and she’s a Black woman! The events at the end of the comic book series Civil War II will result in Tony Stark stepping out of the Iron Man suit for new character, Riri Williams to take his place, Time reports.
Riri is a science genius who enrolls in MIT at the age of 15. She captures Tony’s attention when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm. Creator and Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis spoke exclusively to TIME about the creation of Riri Williams with book artist Stefano Caselli and Marvel’s increasingly diverse cast of characters.
He came up with the character after hearing a news story about a brilliant young woman from Chicago who overcame a life marred by tragedy to go off to college.
“I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard,” he said. “And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place.”
He adds, “I think what’s most important is that the character is created in an organic setting. We never had a meeting saying, “we need to create this character.” It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture.”
The cover image of the new Invincible Iron Man features Williams standing proud with the Iron Man mask in hand, rocking giant hoop earrings and a bevy of natural curls.