Two years ago in the comic book series Invincible Iron Man, Tony Stark met a young super genius named Riri Williams, a black teen who had successfully reverse-engineered his famous armor.
Riri, who uses the super hero codename Ironheart, has since become a fan favorite, and today Marvel announced she’ll be getting her own series, with the first issue due out Nov. 7. Chicago-based writer and sociologist Eve Ewing announced today that she’s writing the series with artist Kevin Libranda.
Ewing is the author of the poetry book Electric Arches and is a professor of sociology, focusing on education, at the University of Chicago. She’s a popular voice on Twitter, and the strong reaction to her announcement (11,000 likes on Twitter at time of writing) demonstrates the resonance of a black woman writing the story of a black girl superhero.
“Riri’s identity and the place where she comes from means she sometimes has a different perspective than some of her peers on how to deal with people who are doing wrong. There’s a reason she doesn’t just go around blasting everybody to high heaven because, to be real, she definitely could do that if she wanted,” says Ewing in a Q&A published on Marvel’s site. “But she’s a very tender person at her core, and she doesn’t just want to be a senseless weapon.”