Warning: The following post may contain some minor spoilers for Marvel’s Civil War II event.
Marvel Comics is in the midst of another nasty bit of superhero infighting, and naturally Civil War II is going to result in the usual handful of major changes. In fact, even though Civil War II is only half over, Marvel is already spilling the beans about one of the post-war shakeups you can expect. Don’t worry, they promise this info won’t spoil who ultimately wins the war.
According to Marvel and Civil War II mastermind Brian Michael Bendis, Tony Stark will be stepping away from adventuring and passing the Iron Man mantle to teenage genius Riri Williams. Bendis explained why Tony will be giving up the armor.
“We’re in the middle of a very big Tony Stark storyline — actually three storylines converging. His best friend died, his company is collapsing and he’s finding out who his biological parents were all at the same time. That’s stressful for a character who is wired the way Tony is wired and has dependency issues the way Tony does. It creates a path or Riri Williams, who Tony will know and will be interacting with very shortly in the comics.”
For those who haven’t been reading, Riri Williams is a 15-year-old MIT student who reverse engineers one of Tony Stark’s old armors. Bendis did a bit of hinting about how Tony and Riri might come together, and why he’ll be giving the helmet to her.
“In the latest issue of Iron Man, Tony is already aware that there’s some student at MIT who has reverse-engineered one of his old armors all by herself in her dorm room. He’s aware of her immediately. To distract himself from all the things going on in his life is he goes to find this young woman who is flying around the middle of America in an armor that’s not completely made to try to find out what her deal is. He’s also aware that this young woman is flying by him in terms of how quickly she’s doing it. Her brain is maybe a little better than his.”
It’s certainly heartening to see Marvel add a new high-profile black female character to their roster, but some might question Tony Stark’s decision to put somebody barely out of middle school in the Iron Man suit. It’s weird enough when Batman does the Robin thing, and being Iron Man is a much more public, and arguably dangerous, gig. But let’s be honest, Riri Williams isn’t taking over as Iron Girl/Woman/Person permanently. Let’s just hope Bendis introduces Riri in a smart way and builds her into a character readers will want to continue following after Tony takes back the armor.
What do you think? Think Riri will work, work, work, work, work as Iron Man?