All change for Iron Man as Riri replaces Tony Stark

7 Jul 2016

Invincible Iron Man by Jeff Dekal

Marvel has decided Iron Man needs a bit of a new direction, so a 15-year-old black girl called Riri Williams is donning the suit in future.

The comic book behind the major blockbuster movie series Iron Man is soon to undergo one of the more drastic overhauls in storylines, according to Marvel.

A science prodigy who builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm after enrolling in MIT at the age of just 15, Riri comes to Tony Stark’s attention as Civil War II heats up.

Future Human

Iron Man

Without revealing the ins and outs of the upcoming episode, writer Brian Michael Bendis has said Tony Stark will leave the famous Iron Man suit before year’s end.

While the name Iron Man could well change, I’m putting my neck on the line and going for the out-there idea of Iron Woman, but it has not been confirmed yet.

Bendis told Time recently that it was real-life superhero events that determined where the Iron Man story is headed. Or, rather, his real-life events working on a fictional TV show that never made it to air.

“This story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life — just random street violence — and went off to college was very inspiring to me,” he said.

“I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for a while until I had the right character and the right place.”

Riri reverse engineers an Iron Man suit in the upcoming comic and, as “three storylines converge”, it culminates in a brand new superhero.

This is part of a growing trend it seems, with remakes of sci-fi films including increasing numbers of female characters in prominent roles. Ghostbusters is the most high-profile example of this, with a potential new episode in the Ocean’s Eleven franchise aiming for something similar.

While there are always those that complain, if anything it highlights just how few major female characters do exist in these types of stories.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic