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Marvel's new Iron Man will be a black teenage girl

LOS ANGELES -- A black female teenager will be the new Iron Man.

Marvel Comics veteran writer Brian Michael Bendis says in an interview Wednesday with Time that Tony Stark will step away from his superhero alter-ego and a new character named Riri Williams will assume the laser-blasting role.

This image released by Marvel Entertainment shows the cover of "Invincible Ironman #1," featuring the character Riri Williams, a science genius, who will replace Tony Stark in the super hero role. The comic will be released in the fall. Marvel Entertainment via AP

Bendis describes Williams as a science genius who enrolled in MIT at the age of 15. Williams comes to Stark's attention when she builds her own Iron Man suit in her dorm.

Marvel has bestowed several diverse characters in recent years with long-running superhero mantles, including a biracial Spider-Man, Muslim Ms. Marvel, female Thor, African-American Captain America and Asian-American Hulk. However, those characters have yet to appear in Marvel film or TV adaptations.

Williams will debut in "Invincible Iron Man" comic book this fall.

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