Marvel Comics’ decision to place a fifteen year old African-American girl at the helm of the Iron Man armor was pretty controversial. Then naming her Riri Williams was also controversial (I too hate her name). Finally, Riri calling herself “Ironheart” was even met with complaints. Thus, a character we thought would have been beloved from jump has been met with negativity, complaints, and skepticism from day one! Brace yourselves though, because the controversy is not done. Apparently Marvel has decided to pull an Iron Man variant cover with Riri on the front due to complaints from fans that she is “over sexualized!”
via Page Six:
After women on social media voiced their outrage over an image of the new “Invincible Iron Man” hero Riri Williams, who goes by the superhero moniker Ironheart, sporting a tight midriff bearing tank-top and low-cut black pants, the comic company decided to pull the artwork.
One Twitter user posted the image, posing the question, “Is this how people see 15 year old black girls?”
“Love seeing children sexualized on comics. But you know, black girls are FAST, so it’s fine. ://end sarcasm,” another writer tweeted.
Marvel Comics told the Daily News in a statement that the cover was a specific variant version meant only to be sold at Midtown Comics — but it will no longer be published.
“The variant cover features our new Iron Man character Riri Williams and was due to come in two varieties — one with the character in her Iron Man armor, and one in street clothes,” the company stated.
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The decision to pull the street clothes version of the cover was mutual between Midtown Comics and Marvel, according to a company rep.
Marvel posted several other drawings of Williams by artist Stefano Caselli after deciding to pull the work by J. Scott Campbell. Campbell defended himself against the backlash by showing the earliest image that was released of Ironheart and explained he was told to draw based off of it.
“Hmmm … This is the character I was asked to draw, people understand that, right? Is it THAT different? #nonconroversy #movealong,” he wrote, along with the initial artwork.
Marvel later tweeted a few additional images of how Riri Williams would be portrayed in the comic. The sketches were met with praise from fans, who felt the latest art depicted the character more like a teenager.
You can view those new images of Riri below
Honestly, I do not see Riri as being “over sexualized,” especially when you see how these other female characters are dressed. Storm, the quintessential Black superhero, has had some rather skimpy attire, Psylocke’s leotard barely covers her vagina, and let’s not get into it about Tigra. You might argue that these are all fictional adult women, but Riri is far more covered than they are–oh and she’s freakin’ Iron Man! Guys cut it out or Marvel will very quickly put Tony Stark back to the metal, something more fans want than not!
Written By: Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning