A black female teen is comics' new Iron Man

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10 Secrets About Iron Man

In the pages of superhero funnybooks, the faces of the Marvel pantheon have been changing dramatically. First, we got an Afro-Latino Spider-Man in 2011; then came a female Thor and a black Captain America in 2014; most recently, we've seen an Asian-American Hulk. Later this year, readers will see a black teenage girl assume the chrome mantle of Iron Man. In an exclusive interview with Time, veteran comics scribe — and current writer of two Iron Man monthly series — Brian Michael Bendis announced that 15-year-old Riri Williams will take over for Tony Stark in a few months.

If you've never heard of Riri, you're not crazy — even most comics geeks haven't. She only just made her first appearance in one of the aforementioned Bendis titles, Invincible Iron Man, in March. She's a prodigious MIT student who crafted her own version of Tony's armor technology, but other than that, we know very little about her. Tony is in the midst of a big crossover event called Civil War II (a spiritual sequel to the decade-old Civil War event that sort of inspired Captain America: Civil War ... look, superhero fiction is complicated), so Riri's ascent could be the result of Tony's death (which wouldn't be permanent, obviously; this is comics we're talking about) or retirement.

In the case of all the above identity shifts, the original white-dude versions of the characters are still hanging out in the Marvel Universe, often using their old super-titles alongside their successors. So maybe that'll end up happening? It's also unclear whether she'll still be, y'know, Iron Man, or whether a new moniker is in order. We know oh so little, but this being geekdom, it's time for everyone to get excited, get mad, wildly speculate, and argue with one another!

RELATED: See photos of Robert Downey Jr. through the years:

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Actor Robert Downey Jr. (R) and his wife, producer Susan Downey, attend at the BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards, October 30, 2014 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. . AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. (R) poses belly-to-belly with his wife, producer Susan Downey, at the BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards, October 30, 2014 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. . AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. (R) poses belly-to-belly with his wife, producer Susan Downey, at the BAFTA Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards, October 30, 2014 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. . AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and producer/wife Susan Downey arrive for the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures And Village Roadshow Pictures' 'The Judge' held at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and producer/wife Susan Downey arrive for the Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures And Village Roadshow Pictures' 'The Judge' held at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been converted from color to B/W) Actor Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Producer Susan Downey arrive for the Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures' Premiere of 'the Judge' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 04: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey attend 'The Judge' premiere held at at Roy Thomson Hall on September 4, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA- APRIL 24: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey arrive at the 'Iron Man 3' - Los Angeles Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California.(Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 24: Actor Robert Downey, Jr. and wife Susan Downey arrive at the 'Iron Man 3' - Los Angeles Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 24: Actor Robert Downey Jr. (L) and his wife Susan Downey attend the U.S. Premiere of Marvel's Iron Man 3 hosted by Audi at the El Capitan Theatre on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Audi)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 24: Actor Robert Downey Jr. (L) and his wife, Susan Downey, attend the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' 'Iron Man 3' at the El Capitan Theatre on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 24: Actor Robert Downey Jr. (R) and wife producer Susan Downey attend the premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' 'Iron Man 3' at the El Capitan Theatre on April 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 11: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey arrive at the premiere of Marvel Studios' 'The Avengers' at the El Capitan Theatre on April 11, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey arrive at the 25th Annual American Cinematheque Award Honoring Robert Downey Jr. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 14, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey arrive at the 25th Annual American Cinematheque Award Honoring Robert Downey Jr. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 14, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife, Producer Susan Downey arrive at the premiere of 'Unknown” in Los Angeles, California on February 16, 2011. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife, Producer Susan Downey arrive at the premiere of 'Unknown” in Los Angeles, California on February 16, 2011. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 28: Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'Due Date' at the Grauman's Chinese Theater on October 28, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife producer Susan Downey arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Iron Man 2' at the El Capitan Theatre on April 26, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Actor Robert Downey Jr and his wife, executive producer Susan Downey (R) arrive for the world premiere of Iron Man 2 at the El Capitan Theater n the Hollywood section of Los Angeles on April 26, 2010. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Actor Robert Downey Jr. (L) and wife Susan Downey attend the 82nd Annual Academy Awards held at the Kodak Theater on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 07: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Downey arrives at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards held at Kodak Theatre on March 7, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02: Robert Downey Jr. (R) and his wife Susan Downey (L) attend a game between the Indiana Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 13: Actor Robert Downey Jr and wife producer Susan Downey attends 'Sherlock Holmes' premiere at Kinepolis cinema on January 13, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 13: Actor Robert Downey Jr and wife producer Susan Downey attends 'Sherlock Holmes' premiere at Kinepolis cinema on January 13, 2010 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey attend the premiere of 'Sherlock Holmes' at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on December 17, 2009 in New York, New York. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 18: Actor Robert Downey Jr. (R) and wife Susan Downey arrive at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival's Opening Night Premiere of 'Paper Man' held at the Mann Village Theatre on June 18, 2009 in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 15: Actor Robert Downey Jr. kisses his wife Susan during a game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on March 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 21: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Levin attend the Creative Coalition party for festival film 'A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints' at the Racquet Club during the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2006 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
TORONTO - SEPTEMBER 08: Actor Robert Downey Jr. and wife Susan Levin attend the Toronto International Film Festival premiere after party for 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' at PUR September 08, 2005 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
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