DIVERSITY: Teenage black girl Riri Williams unveiled as the Marvel’s new 'Iron Man'
COMIC BOOK maker Marvel has revealed a 15-year-old black girl will be donning the famous armour of Iron Man in an upcoming episode of the series.
Civil War II sees Tony Stark hang up his boots to be replaced by Riri Williams, the company said.
The character is a Chicago-born teenager and genius student who enrolled at the famous technology university MIT years before her time.
Williams grabs the attention of the original Iron Man Tony Stark when she engineers her own version of his highly equipped armour putting her in line to replace the ageing superhero.
Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis told Time magazine he came up with Williams' character after being struck by the "chaos and violence" of Chicago while working in the city.
"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.
"I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard."
Response to the news has been mixed, while many welcome it as a step forward for more diverse characters, others have critiqued the comic giant's commitment to broadening its workforce.
Ira Madison illustrated this point when she wrote on Twitter:
"Marvel Comics: Iron Man as a black woman would be dope.
Black Woman: I would love to write –
Marvel: “We have white people for that."
The Iron Man character first appeared in 1963. The series focuses on billionaire weapons inventor Tony Stark.