Marvel Comics has announced the relaunch of Invincible Iron Man, one of the flagship series of the All-New Marvel era, as part of Marvel NOW! In the wake of Civil War II, Tony Stark is no longer Iron Man. Stepping into those big, metal shoes is Riri Williams, a 15-year-old black girl (referred to as a "woman" in Time's reveal) who was introduced in the current Invincible Iron Man series. As a student at MIT, Williams has already built her own armor in her dorm room.
Williams' creator, Brian Michael Bendis, will stay on as the writer of the new volume of Invincible Iron Man and will be joined by Stefano Caselli on art. Bendis is no stranger to bringing diverse new characters to the Marvel Universe, as he tells Time.
"Thankfully because of my involvement in the creation of Miles Morales and Jessica Jones and some other characters, it's getting the benefit of the doubt from even the most surly fans," he says. "There are fans who say, 'Show us the new stuff,' and then there are fans who say, 'Don't do anything different from when I was a kid.' So when you're introducing new characters, you're always going to have people getting paranoid about us ruining their childhood.
"I've been down this road with Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Maria Hill. I knew I was in good hands with Mike Deodato and other artists who are helping visualize Riri."
Whether fans are excited to see Riri step into the armor or not, there's still the lingering question of Tony Stark's fate. Bendis cautions fans not to jump to conclusions.
"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 says. "But I can tell you just because we're hearing what we're saying doesn't know you mean how Civil War II ends. We're not telling you the end, at all."
The new Invincible Iron Man takes off this fall.