Fans of the Marvel universe were introduced to Tony Stark‘s Iron Man replacement – 15 year old MIT science genius Riri Williams.
In an interview with Time, Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis talked exclusively about the creation of Riri and her importance to the Marvel universe, especially as a young, incredibly intelligent, black woman.
“I think that’s most important,” Bendis told Time, “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.”
Riri Williams takes over Stark’s suit at the end of the comic book Civil War II. Current Marvel movies only bring the characters as far as the first Civil War which pitted Iron Man and Captain America against each other. The first issue of Civil War II was released in June and sees Iron Man and Captain Marvel and their respective teams coming to blows.
Though Bendis is staying mum on the specifics surrounding Stark’s departure from the Iron Man role, he does say that Stark’s three major storylines are going to converge and somewhere in there Williams will step in. Though Bendis was quick to point out that knowing Stark is stepping down doesn’t mean you know the ending.
When asked about the controversy Riri Williams might have stirred up, Bendis was dismissive of the negativity.
“Increasingly we see less and less of that,” he said. “Once Miles hit and Kamala Khan hit and female Thor hit – there was a part of an audience crawling through the desert looking for an oasis when it came to representation, and now that it’s here, you’ll go online and be greeted with this wave of love.”
The Civil War II series is set to wrap up in October.