Marvel and Midtown Comics pulled its “Invincible Iron Man #1” variant cover featuring Riri Williams off comic racks on Thursday after fans criticized the drawing for sexualizing a teenage girl.
Is this how people see 15 year old black girls? I keep seeing these cover variants for Riri Williams and maybe 2 or 3 she has looked 15. pic.twitter.com/zlCGJ1maFt
— MistyKnightsTwistOut (@Steph_I_Will) October 19, 2016
The decision comes just one day after Marvel revealed the cover, which quickly drew criticism over J Scott Campbell’s artwork due to claims that it appeared to over-sexualize the teen.
The writer of the series, Brian Michael Bendis, agreed with Marvel to pull the cover.
“Specialty covers are not in my purview and it was being produced separately from the work of the people involved in making the comic,” he wrote on Tumblr. “Not to pass the buck but that’s the fact. If I had seen a sketch or something I would have voiced similar concerns. I am certain the next version will be amazing.”
In the comics, Riri Williams has been endorsed by Tony Stark to inherit the Iron Man mantle, after impressing Stark with her genius in reverse-engineering his armor design.
Williams debuted in “Invincible Iron Man” No. 7 in March of this year. She was created by Bendis and artist Stefano Caselli.
The decision to incorporate Williams into the Marvel comic-books follows a trend in the last few years of more diverse characters. Bendis is also the creator of Miles Morales, a comic-book iteration of Spider-Man whose father is African-American and mother is Puerto Rican.
Kamala Khan, a teenage Pakistani American, first appeared in the comic-books as Ms. Marvel in 2013. In July, 2014, Marvel caused controversy over its decision to introduce the first female Thor, Jane Foster.
Williams, as with all the comic characters who have come before her, could potentially enter the Marvel cinematic universe.
The next Marvel films to hit theaters will be “Doctor Strange” on Nov. 4 and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” on May 5, 2017.