Some Fans Could NOT Handle News Of A Black Female Iron Man

Photo: Courtesy of Marvel Comics.
This summer, Marvel made a major announcement about the future of Iron Man: Tony Stark will hand the reigns over to Riri Williams, a Black woman, who will be known as Ironheart.

It's a groundbreaking move that was hailed by many Marvel fans — and even Robert Downey, Jr., who plays Stark in the Iron Man and Avengers films. But while we were out celebrating diversity in the Marvel comics world, some fans were straight up angry.

In an interview with, writer Brian Bendis revealed that the reaction to the initial announcement was "crazy" and fueled some of the strongest responses he's ever seen. The bad news is that after Robert Downey Jr. gave his endorsement, some fans went into an anger spiral.

"The unintended consequence, however, was that quite a few people misunderstood his endorsement to mean that Riri would be taking over Tony’s role in the movies," Bendis told

You read that correctly: People were mad that it might mean that Iron Man could eventually be played by a Black woman on screen.

Bendis makes it clear that there are no plans for Williams to show up in a Marvel film in the near future, but would it really be that bad if there were plans to diversify the Marvel heroes on the big screen?

Apparently, the answer is yes for some fans who even went so far as to send the man hate mail. Bendis even revealed that "Neo-Nazis were recently targeting" him.

Though, in addition to hateful messages and being on the radar of Neo-Nazis, Bendis said he also got tons of headshots from women of color who were hoping to get a chance to play Ironheart on screen.

"It was such a bummer because you could feel how hungry these actors were for a role with this kind of potential, you know?" he said. "It just revealed how shallow the pool is for women of color in certain roles. There’s evidence we’re on the right track, but still much more to do."

More from Books & Art


R29 Original Series