Riri Williams is the great new Iron Man with the same old

first_imgMarvel Comics is making some changes in their currently running Civil War II event, namely that Tony Stark is stepping down as Iron Man to make way for a new Iron Man, black teenage female RiRi Williams. Even though it seems like a big change in the status quo, the official word from Marvel is that this is not a spoiler forecasting Tony’s doom at the end of Civil War II, simply a product of the character going through a lot of stress narratively.Williams is a product of Brian Michael Bendis, one of Marvel’s creative core and writer of many successful runs on Marvel comics. Bendis created Miles Morales, the black/hispanic Spider-Man that eventually ported over into the main Marvel Comics universe and Jessica Jones, who got the Netflix series adaptation treatment. Support the ELEMENTS anthology, all PoC creators, many black women. @heyelements #elementsanthology https://t.co/tMSrlyBMVb— Nilah Magruder (@nilaffle) July 6, 2016The tenor of the discussion from comics fans of color has managed to sidestep any arguments against Riri Williams simply because Brian Michael Bendis is at the wheel. Instead, fans have begun to speak up about places to find minority comic artists and stories elsewhere. Marvel is in the process of diversifying and, as always, sales factor in. Most of these pro-active changes have been successful and there’s no reason to dislike a Riri Williams Iron Man.But, maybe also search for some hashtags on the subject. I think you’ll find your fellow comics fans ready with suggestions. RiRi Williams…..you are beautiful!! @BRIANMBENDIS you do great work and I can’t wait to get to know Riri! #InvincibleIronMan #RiriWilliams— Chunky Girl Universe (@ChunkyGirlComix) July 6, 2016The Marvel representation initiative has paid off for the company and managed to bring a more diverse readership to the comic books, which is all worthy of praise. However, as some have pointed out, Riri Williams is the creation of and will be written by Brian Michael Bendis, who is neither black nor female (he isn’t a genius teenager either, though fans of his work on Ultimate Spider-Man – like me –  don’t care).The observation isn’t meant as an insult to Bendis or any of the other writers who portray comic book characters outside of their own race and gender, we’ve seen Bendis pull off this feat many times before. It’s simply an observation that we’ve seen these changes before and they’re usually not coming from comic book creatives mirroring their race or gender identities. I’m happy for all of these Black women leads in Marvel comics, but really wish the publisher would give Black women a chance to write them— Black Girl Nerds (@BlackGirlNerds) July 6, 2016There are exceptions, right inside Marvel, like Ta-Nehisi Coates taking over writing duties on the Black Panther book. Black Panther #1 went to a third printing in June, and unlike Steve Rogers: Captain America #1, none of those copies were for frustration burning (it’s a Hydra joke). G. Willow Wilson kicked off the Ms. Marvel run as a female Muslim writing a female Muslim shape-shifter Inhuman, that also did big business, much of it on the ever-expanding digital front. When a beloved character is paired with a diverse writer.Jamie Broadnax, who hosts the Black Girl Nerds podcast, voiced this concern to Upworthy: “I think it’s important that black people are allowed to write black stories. I’m not saying that it should be exclusive to us, but I think that we should have those opportunities.” Broadnax also praised Marvel for their work in the comics and Marvel Cinematic Universe films.center_img That “white guy” writing new Iron Man Riri Williams? 1 Ethiopian daughter,1 African American.he created Miles Morales.. but ya’ll carry on.— War Machine (@00DeadlyVenom) July 6, 2016Riri’s taking over as Iron Man (and not becoming Iron Maiden) is the latest in Marvel Comics’ ongoing push for more representation among their heroes in the comics. Since the company has been finding financial success with titles like Miles Morales: Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel, who is now a Muslim American teenager named Kamala Khan. The mantle of Captain America passed to Sam Wilson, a black man, and the title of Thor was given to Jane Foster, a female, Amadeus Cho, a Korean American, became the Hulk. Existing Marvel female characters and characters of color began stepping forward in the comic book plots while the Marvel Cinematic Universe was still casting white men named Chris. I’m a black woman comics writer giving opportunities for other black comic creators bc we have to do it to ourselves https://t.co/LAkIgjezZG— #BlackComicsMonth (@MizCaramelVixen) July 6, 2016last_img read more