Following with all the gender and race changes to characters going on at a crazy pace in Marvel Comics at the moment, a new Iron Man series is following the trend. The iconic Iron Man comics, which for the most part have had rich businessman inventor Tony Stark wearing the iron suit, have chosen to switch things up dramatically.
The Invincible Iron Man series will interconnect with Marvel’s Civil War II story, and by the end of that, Tony Stark will be passing on his legacy. He manages to find a young inventor who reverse engineered some Iron Man armor for herself.
Tony Stark searches for the young genius, and eventually finds Riri Williams, a young black female teenager. She impresses Tony, who gives her some more official armor to wear.
Brian Michael Bendis tells Time how Tony got the urge to track down someone flying around in armor like his.
“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 armor? You’ll have to wait to find out for the end of Civil War II. But it does create a path for Riri Williams, who Tony will know and will be interacting with very shortly in the comics.”
The change is engineered over at Marvel by the same guy responsible for introducing Miles Morales, the young black-Hispanic teenager who became the new Spider-Man. Bendis, one of Marvel’s current top writers, will have Stark give Riri the chance to suit up and take the mantle of the iconic character.
Bendis feels that he is doing fans a service by creating racially diverse lineups of characters who reflect a racially diverse world. He knows some Marvel fans don’t agree, but thinks many see it as progress.
He also thinks that all the old comic book writers who created a world of mostly white men also agree with what he is doing. He said that they wished they had done what is now going on at Marvel.
“Talking to any of the older creators, it’s the thing they said they wish they’d done more of — reflecting the world around them. It just wasn’t where the world was at at that time. Now, when you have a young woman come up to you at a signing and say how happy she is to be represented in his universe, you know you’re moving in the right direction.”
Bendis doesn’t want you to think he is artificially and unnaturally inserting characters into this universe based on their race or gender. He sees it as almost natural, and that the characters’ story arcs come about naturally.
But he also doesn’t want readers of the current Civil War II happenings to think they know it all just because they now know about Riri. Even though Iron Man is changing, he says that there is still much more to come.
“More people are going to be upset that they think they know the ending to Civil War II now than anything we just talked about. But I can tell you just because we’re hearing what we’re saying doesn’t know you mean how Civil War II ends. We’re not telling you the end, at all.”
The newest issue in the Civil War II series already dealt quite a shock to fans when one iconic member of the Avengers was killed at the hands of another. The comic books definitely do not represent what is going on in the Marvel movies, where things are a bit more regular and standard, perhaps easier for the movie going public to swallow.