When the dust from “Civil War II” settles, a new Iron Man will stand tall, and she’s a black, 15-year-old science wiz.
At this point, we don’t know much about Riri Williams’ path to become the Iron Man successor yet, but what we’ve seen has been intriguing. And, with Riri’s position on the recent Marvel NOW! teaser, where she’s front and center against a field of young heroes, there’s little doubt that Marvel has big plans for her.
Introduced in Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato‘s “Invincible Iron Man” #7, then in full War Machine-esque armor in #9, Williams is a student at MIT set apart from her peers by her intellect. What began as a personal challenge for the 15 year old genius ended up as a secret project dedicated to cobbling together an Iron Man flight suit equivalent from scratch — and it worked.
Prototype in hand, Riri did perhaps the most Iron Man thing imaginable — she got herself in hot water with campus officials and took flight in the suit. From there, she proceeded to do some more very Iron Man-like things, including wrangling some fleeing inmates in New Mexico and fracturing her suit while stopping a speeding truck, resulting in her catching the eye of James Rhodes, who brought her to the attention of one Tony Stark.
Beyond that, her co-creator Brian Bendis — who will script Riri’s upcoming “Invincible Iron Man” series — hinted at more of her past in an interview with TIME. “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,” Bendis said of Riri’s backstory. “I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place.”
“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,” Bendis added. “But I can tell you just because we’re hearing what we’re saying doesn’t [mean you know] how Civil War II ends. We’re not telling you the end, at all.”
Brian Michael Bendis and Stefano Caselli’s “Invincible Iron Man” #1, starring Riri Williams, arrives in October