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New Iron Man, Ironheart Riri Williams, is smarter than Tony Stark

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Marvel

Budding superhero Riri Williams will have some big metal shoes to fill when she takes over for Tony Stark in the pages of Marvel Comics’ Invincible Iron Man this fall. Fortunately, she’s more than qualified for the job.

In a new interview with Time, writer Brian Michael Bendis said the teenage science prodigy is even brainier than her predecessor.

“She’s smarter than Tony,” Bendis said of Riri, who will go by the moniker Ironheart when she dons her high-tech armor.

An accompanying sneak peek at the comic reveals that Riri was pegged as a “super genius” at age 5, and her parents were told to nurture her intellect, heart, and soul. Failure to do so could lead to their child growing bored and turning her back on the world.

“My wife and I always thought that was one of our jobs as parents,” Bendis said. “But then I discovered, through research, that it is a thing that gifted children need desperately. As we say in the story: High intellects, out of frustration, can sometimes retreat into their own world. This young woman has had that burden, but she also has a grounded parent who helped her get to this point. But she also has had terrible tragedy that has informed her more than anything.”

Introduced to the world in July, Riri continues Marvel’s recent efforts to diversify its superhero ranks on the page. Among others, Ironheart joins a black-Hispanic Spider-Man (Miles Morales), a female Thor (Jane Foster), a Muslim Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), and an Asian-American Hulk (Amadeus Cho).

Check out Bendis’ full interview and a preview of Invincible Iron Man at Time.