A Starkly Different Iron Man: Black, Female, and 15 Years Old

bradl

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If Nerd Hath No Fury Like a Woman Thor, it will be interesting to see what happens when we have a new Iron Man (Man??).

Enjoy!

http://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2016/07/06/484945363/a-starkly-different-iron-man-black-female-and-15-years-old

A Starkly Different Iron Man: Black, Female, And 15 Years Old
July 6, 201612:21 PM ET
By Glen Weldon

Her name is Riri Williams. She reverse-engineered her own version of the Iron Man battlesuit in her MIT dorm room, got kicked out, and struck out on her own to do the superhero thing. Clumsily at first, but she's learning fast. So fast she's impressing Tony Stark, who's questioning his status as the Marvel Universe's go-to, super-powered Campbell's soup can. Readers first met her in the March issue of Invincible Iron Man.

And according to an interview in TIME with Brian Michael Bendis, who's writing both that Iron Man title and this summer's comics crossover event, Civil War II, she's about to take over for Tony Stark when Invincible Iron Man relaunches in the fall.

It's the latest in a series of moves that's slowly but steadily transforming the Avengers' roster from a team with more white dudes than a Harold Bloom syllabus into a super-group that more accurately reflects the world off of the comics page.

First came Miles Morales, a black Latino kid who stepped into the role of Spider-Man. Next came Kamala Khan, a teenage Muslim from New Jersey who assumed the title of Ms. Marvel, and America Chavez, a Latina lesbian who adopted the name of Golden Age hero Miss America. Recently Sam Wilson, the former Marvel hero The Falcon, took over as Captain America (not for the first time). Two years ago, Jane Foster, the girlfriend of Marvel's resident God of Thunder, replaced him, becoming the female Thor.

It's worth noting that in every one of these cases, the new character has simply assumed an existing hero's shtick. That's because it takes years for brand-new characters to establish themselves, if they ever do; there's certainly no guarantee readers will accept an original hero in a genre as steeped (read: wallowing) in history as mainstream superhero comics.

Having a new character take on the name and powers of a long-established hero offers an effective shortcut, and one that assures three different but coequal outcomes:

  1. The sheer name-recognition of the superhero in question will generate coverage, like this blog post;
  2. A subset of hardcore fans who believe superhero comics should be fixed in a permanent, "iconic" stasis (read: should always remain exactly the way they were when these fans were thirteen years old) will rise up in protest; and
  3. Readers who have rarely seen themselves represented in superhero comics in such a high-profile way — people of color, LGBT people, people of different faiths — will at least investigate a new take on a character. Whether or not they stick with it depends, of course, entirely on the execution; representation does not guarantee readership, nor should it. But comics, like any medium, grow more interesting, more relevant, and more revelatory as they grow less monolithic. And that's what moves like this set out to do.

In that interview in TIME, Bendis was asked why it's taken so long for changes like this to occur in comics. He said:

Talking to any of the older creators, it's the thing they said they wish they'd done more of — reflecting the world around them. It just wasn't where the world was at at that time. Now, when you have a young woman come up to you at a signing and say how happy she is to be represented in his universe, you know you're moving in the right direction.​
There's more to come on this.

BL.
 

RootBeerMan

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Good for Marvel. It makes sense for there to be multiple Iron "Men" and there's no reason one of them can't be a young, black woman who's also a scientific prodigy.
 
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rhett7660

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Good for Marvel. It makes sense for there to be multiple Iron "Men" and there's no reason one of them can't be a young, black woman who's also a scientific prodigy.
Exactly. I actually really liked the Thor run, so I will be interested in seeing what they do with this character. I would like see how or if they are going to use any of the character flaws of Ironman!?
 

mscriv

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Interesting, but it's not like there haven't been multiple "Iron Men" before with characters like Iron Patriot and War Machine. Comics have to evolve if they want to stay relevant and appeal to a broader audience.
 

Technarchy

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Interesting, but it's not like there haven't been multiple "Iron Men" before with characters like Iron Patriot and War Machine. Comics have to evolve if they want to stay relevant and appeal to a broader audience.
I have no issue with characters being ret-conned to maintain relevance but turning over the Iron Man to a 15 year old female makes absolutely no sense, while Rhodes as Iron Man while Stark was a drunk makes far more sense.

And everyone knows this a pandering blip storyline because in the end comic fans will demand that Stark be Iron Man.
 

kazmac

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Any place but here or there....
I have no issue with characters being ret-conned to maintain relevance but turning over the Iron Man to a 15 year old female makes absolutely no sense, while Rhodes as Iron Man while Stark was a drunk makes far more sense.

And everyone knows this a pandering blip storyline because in the end comic fans will demand that Stark be Iron Man.
What will probably happen given Marvel's current habits, Stark will eventually suit up and there will be two Iron "Man"s as it were. And why ignore Rhodey? Me, I'll probably listen to Floor's "Iron Girl" if I ever decide to read this because that is what I think of when I look at her character, "Iron Girl". I have no problems with change if it's done to honor the characters who came before, but all this pandering has pushed me away (along with the more obnoxious price point, crappy art and storylines). Meanwhile, they still have no idea what to do with Bucky since Ed Brubaker bailed.
 
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Technarchy

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What will probably happen given Marvel's current habits, Stark will eventually suit up and there will be two Iron "Man"s as it were. And why ignore Rhodey? Me, I'll probably listen to Floor's "Iron Girl" if I ever decide to read this because that is what I think of when I look at her character, "Iron Girl". I have no problems with change if it's done to honor the characters who came before, but all this pandering has pushed me away (along with the more obnoxious price point, crappy art and storylines). Meanwhile, they still have no idea what to do with Bucky since Ed Brubaker bailed.
I have no issue with Rhodes because his storyline highly suggested he was only going to be Iron Man temporarily. Stark wasn't going to be a drunk forever.

As a story it actually worked. Rhodes was an adult with a history with Stark, mature and a combat vet.

The story just worked. It worked so well that Rhodes has been with us for over 30 publication years, and is in several cartoons and films.

Furthermore, the Iron Man job is incredibly high risk. You can't turn that job over to a child.
 
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bradl

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Furthermore, the Iron Man job is incredibly high risk. You can't turn that job over to a child.
Funny you should say that.

My son and daughter got into Iron Man due to the show Iron Man: The Armored Adventures. In that show, Stark, Rhodes, and Potts are in high school, with an entire storyline built around him, Obadiah Stane (as an adult), Whitney Stane (also in high school), the Mandarin (also in high school), and Stark's father.

Coincidentally, my kids have been asking for it ever since they took the show off of Netflix.

BL.
 

kazmac

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I have no issue with Rhodes because his storyline highly suggested he was only going to be Iron Man temporarily. Stark wasn't going to be a drunk forever.

As a story it actually worked. Rhodes was an adult with a history with Stark, mature and a combat vet.

The story just worked. It worked so well that Rhodes has been with us for over 30 publication years, and is in several cartoons and films.

Furthermore, the Iron Man job is incredibly high risk. You can't turn that job over to a child.
You make good and very valid points, no argument there > but knowing Marvel they'll ignore such things and plow through anyway.
 

Technarchy

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Funny you should say that.

My son and daughter got into Iron Man due to the show Iron Man: The Armored Adventures. In that show, Stark, Rhodes, and Potts are in high school, with an entire storyline built around him, Obadiah Stane (as an adult), Whitney Stane (also in high school), the Mandarin (also in high school), and Stark's father.

Coincidentally, my kids have been asking for it ever since they took the show off of Netflix.

BL.
I watch many of the marvel cartoons with my kids. However they aren't canonically true, and are outside the primary continuity Marvel 616 so they don't count.

Usually they are entertaining with just enough respect of the source material to not be annoying.
 

bradl

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I watch many of the marvel cartoons with my kids. However they aren't canonically true, and are outside the primary continuity Marvel 616 so they don't count.

Usually they are entertaining with just enough respect of the source material to not be annoying.
No argument there. They did (and do) have to tone down the violence in them, because you have to admit, they couldn't include the death of Stane in a kid's cartoon. Just wouldn't work well.

Similar to how they arced off Transformers: Rescue Bots from the current Transformers storyline.

BL.
 

Technarchy

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You make good and very valid points, no argument there > but knowing Marvel they'll ignore such things and plow through anyway.
Marvel has been a lost cause for awhile now. I just tell myself Adam Warlock took all of 616 and encased it in the soul gen after Infinty Gauntlet and everything after has been in another multiverse. Especially if Bendis is involved.
No argument there. They did (and do) have to tone down the violence in them, because you have to admit, they couldn't include the death of Stane in a kid's cartoon. Just wouldn't work well.

Similar to how they arced off Transformers: Rescue Bots from the current Transformers storyline.

BL.
Good example. My kids love Rescuebots but it's unwatchable compared to the Gen 1 series from the 80s.

The tone of the 80s series was much darker. Especially Transformers: The Movie. The comic was quite brutal as well.
 

bradl

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Good example. My kids love Rescuebots but it's unwatchable compared to the Gen 1 series from the 80s.

The tone of the 80s series was much darker. Especially Transformers: The Movie. The comic was quite brutal as well.
After the movie, Transformers got REALLY dark. They dealt more with death in the season after the movie than anytime in the run of the series. For a moment, every Transformer had died except Grimlock, who then found a way to revive them. but again, that season was completely floundering.

I haven't, nor won't show my kids Transformers: The Movie. Their 4 and 6 year old minds are not ready to see Optimus Prime die. Hell, it was that scene that got all the parents to complain so loudly from their kids crying over it that they forced Hasbro to come up with a way to bring him back.

But when they are 10 - 12 years old, yeah, they'll watch it (I was 11 - 12 when it came out), but right now, no. My daughter thinks that Transformers: Robots In Disguise (the one where Bumblebee is one of the leaders) is too dark and scary.

BL.
 

skottichan

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To be fair, Riri will be "Ironheart", just as Pepper is "Rescue" and Rhodey/Bethany were "War Machine".

The one who's taking the "Iron Man" name is this guy...

infamous-iron-man-concept-1-3c2b5.jpg


That's right, Victor von Doom will be Iron Man.

Stark's still going to be around, but after the events of Civil War II, he's going to be taking a break as a superhero and getting to know his birth mother and getting Stark Enterprises back on its feet.
 

bradl

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Shrugs ^ back to their making villains heroes schtick I see. So not into this, but Iron Heart is a neat title for Riri.
It worked for Magneto.. I mean, he was the head of Xavier's School for Gifted Children.

BL.
 

63dot

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There were times when Spiderman was the most popular superhero. What drew readers to him was that he was a teenager, like his readers, and had girl issues like many a young man. He was someone you could look up to but also relate to.

Now Ironman as a teen girl could be very popular and relate to the audience better than a 45 year old Batman or similar superhero. Add some boyfriend issues, dealing with high school, and fighting crime secretly and you should have a winning formula.

Make her like Uma's character in Kill Bill using martial arts and other things to take down villains but keep her fully feminine. If she is the nerd type, have her retain a certain social awkwardness and never be able to woo the boy she likes. Have her successes in crime fighting be met with her failures in getting the guy. Never resolve the issue in just one movie, or TV season, and keep the fans coming back for more. How many years did Spidey try to even get a date with the girl? How long was it before the girl noticed him?
[doublepost=1477075648][/doublepost]

So she flies out of MIT and makes her first mission with a meeting the cops who try to arrest her. This is so Stark and maybe they will make her a rebellious type of superhero.
[doublepost=1477076020][/doublepost]I know they must be talking major big budget movie already, and my vote goes to Kylie Bunbury. OK, so maybe a 27 year old can't be cast as a teenager but she does show as a 20 year old in flashback scenes from TV show Pitch so it's somewhat plausible. She looks young enough.
 

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