Today, Marvel announced that post Civil War 2 Tony Stark, aka: Ironman would be stepping down. But this is not the end of Ironman, it’s an all new, all different beginning.
The new Ironman is a 15 year old girl called Riri Williams. She’s an engineering prodigy who in between college classes manages to reverse engineer a Starktech Ironman suit. This immediately gives her some tech based credibility, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of crime fighter she becomes.
As far as we know, Riri will keep the name Ironman, not create a new persona or develop a variant such as, Iron woman, lass or maiden. This could just be as not to turn off fans who are unaware of the changes or maybe so her inevitable MCU appearance is more integratable. Or maybe, Riri identifies as a man.
All new All different Marvel is infamous for replacing heroes of yesteryear with new, younger and more diverse personalities and having one of the most prominent and popular heroes in modern day pop culture be a young transexual or non binary character would be a huge step for progressiveness and inclusion. It also means, an Ironman 4, much like a Thor 4 or Captain America 4 would be pretty easy to market.
I personally, as a fan of Tony Stark think its a shame he’s taking a back seat but am optimistic and hopeful regarding Riri and what she brings. Plus, I imagine Stark will adopt a role similar to Steve Rodgers or Peter Parker – keeping an ongoing series alongside their newer counterparts. Although I am slightly confused regarding how this will effect Tony’s two current titles, although I imagine Marvel, like always, have a plan.
I look forward to seeing the new direction Riri takes Ironman in, just as I am looking forward to seeing Ironman coping with the aftermath of a second Civil War. I’d quite like to see a Batman: Beyond like set up, where Tony takes a mentor role, while still struggling with his demons.
Whatever is in store, I’m optimistic and look forward to new layers for existing characters and the potential impact on the Marvel Universe a character can have.
Ps.Riris’ afro is pretty cool, and makes her design stand out, plus I imagine titanium-platinum alloy girl isn’t quite as catchy as Ironman. Maybe Riri also studied marketing.