Marvel Comics will be relaunching the "invincible Iron Man" series with a new protagonist following the conclusion of their current comic-book event series, Civil War II, this autumn.
Tony Stark will be stepping out of the Iron Man suit and a new character, Riri Williams, will fill the iron boots.
Riri, a science genius who enrolls in MIT at the age of 15, comes to the attention of Tony when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm
This is not the first big change that Marvel have made to one of its popular characters. In recent years a half Black half Hispanic, teenage Spiderman and a female Thor have been added to their increasingly diverse roster of characters. While mostly welcomed by fans, especially by those who are glad of the representation, for some the change of the status quo have been a cause of controversy.
The Current writer of Iron Man, Brian Michael Bendis spoke to TIME about the change and his inspiration for the character, "As we’ve been slowly and hopefully very organically adding all these new characters to the Marvel Universe, it just seemed that sort of violence inspiring a young hero to rise up and act, and using her science acumen, her natural-born abilities that are still raw but so ahead of where even Tony Stark was at that age, was very exciting to me."
He added, "I think what’s most important is that the character is created in an organic setting. We never had a meeting saying, “We need to create this character.” It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture."
Marvel had zero female lead titles in 2012 but has jumped up to 16 titles as of last year.
What this means for the character of Tony Stark is yet unclear but Bendis wanted to quench any beliefs that the announcement of the character would spoil the ending of Civic War II,
"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."
Invincible Iron #1 will hit shelves in august