Marvel comics announced Wednesday (July 6) that there’s a new Iron Man in town — and her name is Riri Williams.
In an interview with TIME, writer Brian Michael Bendis talks about introducing Williams at the end of the comics event “Civil War II.” She’s a prodigy who catches Tony Stark’s eye when she reverse-engineers her own Iron Man suit in her MIT dorm room at the age of 15.
Bendis realizes not all fans will be excited about a young, black, female Iron Man. “There are fans who say, ‘Don’t do anything different from when I was a kid,'” he says. “So when you’re introducing new characters, you’re always going to have people getting paranoid about us ruining their childhood.”
However, Bendis knows there may be criticism that has nothing to do with “ruining their childhood.”
“All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they’ll realize over time that that’s not the most progressive thinking,” says Bendis.
Zap2it thinks it’s an exciting time for comic book fans, with the introduction of female superheroes like Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan and the female Thor in “Goddess of Thunder.” With that in mind, here are five dream casting choices for Riri Williams in the (inevitable) movie where she debuts…
This 16-year-old actress has been showing off her comedic chops on “Black-ish” for two seasons as Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross’ eldest daughter, Zoey. Since the Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man has always needed his quick wit by his side, Shahidi seems like a perfect choice.
Despite being from one of the most well-known families in Hollywood, Smith hasn’t really made her mark in the acting world yet. She appears in her father Will’s 2007 movie “I Am Legend” and in the 2008 American Girl movie “Kit Kittredge,” but perhaps Iron Man is how she’ll burst onto the scene. You can’t deny the draw of a big name like Smith.
Stenberg is best known for portraying Rue in the first “Hunger Games” movie, which she filmed when she was just 12 years old. Even then she responded to the online haters with class and grace. But that was four years ago and she has since grown up into a beautiful young woman who would make an excellent Iron Man.
This young woman won over Hollywood in the 2012 film “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Her Oscar nomination at the age of nine made her the youngest person to ever receive such an honor — and means we know she can handle the dramatic storylines. Also, since she is currently only 12, by the time this hypothetical movie gets around to being filmed, she would be the closest to the Williams’ age.
Zendaya (honorable mention)
This “It Girl” for the past few years seems like an obvious choice to step into Iron Man’s boots. However, she’s already part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as one of Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) classmates in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” So unfortunately, that doesn’t really work.