Tony Stark has a lot on his plate lately. If you're a fan of Marvel comics and the ongoing Civil War II series, you'll know the man behind Iron Man has been dealing with the death of a friend, the collapse of his company and discovering his biological parents all at the same time. It hardly leaves much time and energy to fly around in that fancy suit, which is why his successor is on the way.
According to Iron Man writer and creator Brian Michael Bendis, a recently introduced character named Riri Williams will soon take over the suit. Her origin story is a little different than Stark's -- she's a black science whiz who enrolls at MIT at age 15 and creates her own Iron Man suit in her dorm room.
Bendis told Time he was inspired by real stories he heard of people overcoming chaos and violence in certain parts of Chicago.
"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. 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."
The intent was never to add another black female character just for the sake of doing so, Bendis said. "We never had a meeting saying, 'We need to create this character.' It's inspired by the world around me and not seeing that [more diverse casts of characters] represented enough in popular culture."
Tony Stark will seek out Williams and her home-built suit in upcoming issues, but Bendis stresses that doesn't mean we can easily guess the ending to the Civil War II series.
Fair enough, but it does seem like we know one thing that will have to happen eventually, and that's that the Iron Man moniker is going to need to be reworked.