Tony Stark to Be Replaced by Black Woman as Marvel's Comic Book Iron Man

Riri Williams, teenage genius, will take over as the armored hero this fall.
Courtesy of Stefano Caselli/Marvel Entertainment

Say goodbye to Tony Stark.

As part of Marvel Entertainment's Marvel NOW! relaunch this fall, the inventor of the Iron Man armor will find his place taken by Riri Williams — a teenage genius who built her own version of the Iron Man suit in a dorm room at MIT.

Williams debuted in Invincible Iron Man No. 7 in March of this year, and will headline a relaunched version of the title later this year as part of the Marvel NOW! relaunch. Created by series writer Brian Michael Bendis — who also co-created Miles Morales, the half-black, half-Latino Spider-Man who debuted in 2011 — and artist Mike Deodato, Riri has been shown to be even more resourceful than Stark himself, and just as stubborn.

Williams' ascension as Iron Man (The title of the series will remain the same, according to Marvel) continues a trend for replacing, or at least adding to, the traditional white male heroes with a more diverse cast over the last few years; in addition to the Miles Morales Spider-Man, Sam Wilson became Marvel's second black Captain America in 2014, the same year that Jane Foster took over as Thor.

Marvel is keeping the fate of Tony Stark quiet for now — although the already revealed cover to October's Civil War II No. 7 suggests that his fight with Captain Marvel isn't going to end well for him — but Williams is already at work in the Iron Man comic book; the 11th issue of the series, released today, shows her road-testing her homemade armor.


The new series of The Invincible Iron Man, by Bendis and artist Stefano Caselli, will launch at the end of the year.

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