The New Female Iron Man Was Inspired By A Real-Life Modern Day Superhero

She's also a science genius!

When Tony Stark exits the Iron Man suit for the last time in the comic book "Civil War II," a brand new Iron Man will take his place.


Well, rather, a brand new Iron Woman will be taking his place.

The new Iron Man is RiRi Williams, a science wiz and MIT graduate who catches Stark's eye at 15 when she creates her own iron suit.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis told TIME that Williams was inspired by a real woman who overcame a life of violence to attend college.

"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."

Bendis' experience creating a lineup of new characters (Miles Morales, Jessica Jones and Maria Hill) told him that people would gravitate towards the new Iron Man as well.

So far, the reception is "getting [the] benefit of the doubt from even the most surly fans," he told TIME.

While some may like their old Iron Man stories, the writer has no patience for people making racist posts online. When a commenter questioned why Marvel needed Williams as a character if it already had Miles Morales, a Spider-Man iteration of black Hispanic descent,  Bendis responded perfectly.

"They're individuals just like Captain America and Cyclops are individuals," he said. "All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they'll realize over time that that's not the most progressive thinking."

While this is her first cover, Williams also made an appearance in earlier comics.

The author also mentioned that old comic book writers regretted their past decisions to not make superheroes more diverse. Now that these new characters are coming out, the most rewarding part of it for Bendis is when young fans come up to him at a signing and tell him how happy they are to see themselves represented.

He said it was moments like those that let him know he's "moving in the right direction."


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