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Marvel's new Iron Man is 15-year-old black girl

07 Jul 2016 10:08 #49006 by fats
Comic book maker Marvel has revealed a 15-year-old black girl will be donning the famous armour of Iron Man in an upcoming episode of the series.

Civil War II sees Tony Stark hang up his boots to be replaced by Riri Williams, the company said.

The character is a Chicago-born science genius studying at MIT and made her debut earlier this year.

The news has prompted a huge reaction online, with many welcoming it as a step forward for diversity.

Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis told Time he came up with Williams' character after being struck by the "chaos and violence" of Chicago while working in the city.

"And 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 w
as very inspiring to me.

More here www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36731596

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07 Jul 2016 14:40 #49009 by lfan
Can't really say I have much of a reaction either way except to say it sounds eerily familiar to DC's recent treatment of passing the mantle of PowerGirl to a "young, brilliant, African-American girl".....

dc.wikia.com/wiki/Tanya_Spears_(Prime_Earth)

ElF





fats wrote: Comic book maker Marvel has revealed a 15-year-old black girl will be donning the famous armour of Iron Man in an upcoming episode of the series.

Civil War II sees Tony Stark hang up his boots to be replaced by Riri Williams, the company said.

The character is a Chicago-born science genius studying at MIT and made her debut earlier this year.

The news has prompted a huge reaction online, with many welcoming it as a step forward for diversity.

Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis told Time he came up with Williams' character after being struck by the "chaos and violence" of Chicago while working in the city.

"And 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 w
as very inspiring to me.

More here www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36731596

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07 Jul 2016 15:11 #49010 by Sarge395
I will pass. Come up with original characters without trying to force a feel good quota swap.
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07 Jul 2016 15:31 #49012 by Woodclaw

lfan wrote: Can't really say I have much of a reaction either way except to say it sounds eerily familiar to DC's recent treatment of passing the mantle of PowerGirl to a "young, brilliant, African-American girl".....

dc.wikia.com/wiki/Tanya_Spears_(Prime_Earth)

ElF


My sentiment exactly, plus I think that this is one of those moments when Marvel strive way too hard to show how progressive they are (cue in Monica Rambeau).
I'm not writing this one out yet because I think that they really hit on the head with the new Ms Marvel (Kamala). The big point will be if they're going to write her as a character defined by her ethnicity or a character that just happens to be of that ethnicity.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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07 Jul 2016 16:25 #49014 by AuGoose
Can I just say that sounds anatomically awkward?

It seems fine for -A- story, but Marvel knows damn well giving a nod will give them that feel good bump, but it's not a sustainable exchange. More of a back-door pilot, really.

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07 Jul 2016 17:06 #49015 by shadar
I seem to be hard-wired to enjoy blonde, blue-eyed superheroines (OK, redheads are fine too). Probably from growing up in a community full of tall, physically impressive Dutch blondes (near Holland, Michigan). But I look forward to moving past my formative limitations in the comics, as I already have in most other areas.

I think this is a great trend and a way to keep some very aging characters alive and relevant as we approach the third decade of this century. The best superheroes (and some of the most exceptional people) come out of adversity and from underdogs. The downtrodden. It's time that the comics reflect our times and not some vision of the world set when I was a kid (40's and 50's).

Most comic characters began as fantasies of Jewish men in New York a decade or so after the Holocaust. Nothing wrong with that, regaining a sense of empowerment was vital, but that's not where we draw our underdogs and downtrodden from today.

A genius girl from the mean streets of Chicago is perfect for Iron Man. Just as a Pakistani-American Muslim girl was for Ms. Marvel. This is so classically in the spirit of traditional comic books. The best characters come from the least plausible places.

As far as recycling old characters as opposed to creating new ones. I'd prefer the later, but I accept that the companies involved have intellectual rights to certain characters and that it makes business sense to recycle them. Not ideal, but I understand the financial reasons.

Shadar

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07 Jul 2016 21:08 #49021 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Marvel's new Iron Man is 15-year-old black girl
I tend to be pretty open about these things. I'll let the story tell me if it's any good or not.

One thing is this character has been popping up in Invincible Iron Man for a few months. This announcement really isn't that much of a surprise -- though I thought she'd be the new War Machine.

This is a better article as it has an interview with Brian Michael Bendis: time.com/4394478/iron-man-riri-williams-tony-stark/

One of the things he mentions is _why_ Tony might be given up the armor now. If the story is written/designed like: we need to replace Tony with a Person Of Color (let's committee on what he/she should be like, multiple attributes even better!) -- then there is a pretty good chance the story would suck.

OTH, the story doesn't seem to come from that. Rather it seems to come from the (not mentioned) time when RDJ isn't going to be the MCU Iron Man. This IS on the mind a Marvel, and those decisions tend to leak into the comics. Bendis mentions the reasons Tony might be giving up the armor -- one of which is a not subtle illusion to Tony's substance abuse problem (Alcohol) and how he uses Iron Man to avoid dealing with problems in his life. He has more than a few problems swirling around him right now, problems he's avoiding, and has been shown avoiding in his comic. He almost lost control of his company (again).

Bendis set this up via his story months ago, it's been a theme this entire run of Invincible Iron Man (it's on #11, she was introduced in #7, and the entire run has been easily leading up to this, though I don't think he started with knowing who the replacement was going to be). It was just hit upon in Amazing Spider-Man too (the one with Mary Jane Watson in the Iron Spider Armor on the cover), in a similar context. There is a brief moment where Tony takes a stark look at some of his character flaws and how he relates to people (re: Pepper) and what he needs to do to improve. You can see this a step in the path to him not being Iron Man. I like that this story is being written across months, telegraphed in advanced, and told in several comics.

This is the hallmark of someone trying to tell a good story about Tony Stark, and then take the opportunity to create a new character.

Miles Morales isn't a bad character (another Bendis creation) and Kamala Kahn is awesome. The only thing that really concerns me is the "she's even better than Tony" aspect. In some ways she SHOULD be at her age. Tony's old armor plans are now out there, so it should be possible for a REALLY bright person to cobble together some armor. So she should be more advanced than a 15 yo Tony Stark simply because she lives in a more advanced age with a better foundation to build upon. It's just that if you go too far, you're trying too hard to justify your character. Just let them BE a character, and have flaws, and not have to outshine everyone else. But we'll see how the character actually develops. (And it seems they are doing that, in the current issue, she stops a run away truck but her armor is destroyed in the process... it's still a work in progress.)

BTW, a similar analog is the new Thor. Thor Odinson was planned to loose his hammer -- and the seeds to that were shown MONTHS before they announce the female Thor (and even shown in the Avengers when they visited the future). In other words the plot direction is "Thor is going to be unworthy" => "we need a replacement Thor." And THEN the character is made. This is how writing should be done, and so far, the new Thor is a pretty good comic and (when they get around to him) showing the Odinson dealing with his fall has been a good story. (I could use some more of that, but don't really want to give up time spent on Thor)

And, in the end, we all know Tony will be back in the Armor, Thor is getting his hammer back, and Captain America isn't going to remain Hydra. The question here is if Riri Williams will survive past the time Tony re-dons the armor (if they don't replace War Machine, that's what they'll do). That will entirely depend on if she's a well written character or not, and resonates with fans. I'd say so far she's been doing ok, but we've not really seen enough of her yet.

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