I’m Torn on Riri Williams, Marvel’s New Iron Man

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Riri Williams in Invincible Iron Man #1
Courtesy of Marvel

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 featuring Riri Williams, a black woman taking over for Tony Stark, hits stores this fall.  Here’s why I’m torn…

Okay, so our friends at Marvel Comics announced the new, game-changing, incredibly progressive Invincible Iron Man #1 featuring Riri Williams.  Williams, a black woman, will be taking over for Pretty Tony Stark after that whole Civil War II thing.

Riri Williams in Invincible Iron Man #1
Courtesy of Marvel

This is huge, man!  Iron Man has become one of Marvel’s most beloved characters.  For a black woman to take on the mantle of Iron Man?  Whoa!  With that said, I’m a bit torn about all this good news.

Looking at the Invincible Iron Man #1 cover, I couldn’t help but notice the resemblance between Riri and Mercedes Knight.  You do know who Mercedes Knight is, right?  No?  She also goes by Misty Knight.  And to my knowledge, she hasn’t headlined a comic since Fearless Defenders.  She’s currently Captain America Sam Wilson’s love interest and partner.  That’s cool, I guess.  However, Misty is such a rich, strong character (and fan favorite with black girl nerds like myself), that she deserves so much more.

Please believe that I will be up at 12 A.M. on Comixology ready to buy Invincible Iron Man #1 on the day it drops.  Trust me on that.  Also, I’m aware that Misty Knight will get her chance to kick ass in Netflix’s Luke Cage, eventually crossing over into Iron Fist.  I’m really excited to see one of my favorite, if not my favorite, comic book superheroes come to life on screen.  But, Misty Knight taking over as Iron Man, as opposed to Riri Williams, makes more sense to me.

For one, Misty and Tony have a long-standing relationship.  He did build her bionic arm after it was amputated.  Stark has also made improvements to Misty’s bionic arm over time.  He came to her about helping him find Captain America in Civil War. Misty and Tony may not have been best friends but they were friends.

I guess I want Marvel to give its promising comic book characters a chance to shine.  Fearless Defenders was good but it also had a tendency to go off on a tangent.  Misty more than proved herself worthy in that series just like she did in Heroes For Hire.

I look forward to meeting Ms. Riri Williams but I hope my main girl Misty (the reason I rekindled my love for comics) gets some shine too.  Think about it.  If Jane Foster can be the new Thor, Misty could have been the new Iron Man.

Official Press Release:

 

The Marvel Universe stands divided. As those who once stood together now stand apart, new heroes will rise to answer the call. This Fall, a new armored avenger suits up in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 – a new series launching as part of Marvel NOW! Superstar creator Brian Michael Bendis welcomes incoming artist Stefano Caselli to the ongoing adventures of Marvel’s newest leading lady – Riri Williams!

Making her debut earlier this year in the pages of Invincible Iron Man, Riri Williams will explode out of the pages of Civil War II and into the boots of the Armored Avenger. Reverse-engineering her own set of armor to make the world a better place, Riri will lead the charge as Iron Man! Well, for now. She’s working on the name! But what has become of Tony Stark? What could have happened during Civil War II to make him hang up the repulsors? That is, if he makes it out in one piece!

“We’re in the middle of a very big Tony Stark storyline – actually three storylines converging,” says Brian Michael Bendis, speaking with TIME. “His best friend died, his company is collapsing and he’s finding out who his biological parents were all at the same time. 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.”

Strap in and suit up, True Believer. There’s a new hero in town. And she’s ready to take the Marvel Universe by storm. Be there as Bendis and Caselli armor up to bring you a new armored hero for Marvel NOW! Don’t miss INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 – coming to comic shops and digital devices everywhere this fall!

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by STEFANO CASELLI
Promo Art by JEFF DEKAL
Coming Fall 2016!