Marvel, the comic book maker behind Iron Man, have announced that an upcoming episode of the long-running series will see the character of Tony Stark replaced by a teenage black girl named Riri. The move to diversify the comic book landscape will see Stark replaced by Riri Williams in the Civil War II episode. Williams, who is a Chicago-based science genius that studies at M.I.T., made her debut in the comics earlier this year. She comes to the attention of Stark after she builds her own Iron Man suit at home.
Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis told Time that the character was created during an "inspiring" time he spent in Chicago. "And 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," he said. "I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard."
Iron Man is one of Marvel's most popular and enduring characters. He is played by Robert Downey Jr. in Marvel's lucrative series of films.