Marvel has announced that there is a new Iron Man and she's full of #BlackGirlMagic. Riri Williams, the 15-year-old MIT genius, will assume Tony Stark’s throne as Iron Man at the end of the Civil War II comic series.
That’s right - a 15 year old, Black girl is the new Iron Man and I am all here for this! The news couldn't have dropped at a better time - we are 3 months away from New York Comic Con 2016 - so I'm already prepping my list of what we need to cover while we're there. Until then, Creator and Iron Man Marvel writer, Brian Michael Bendis, explained the change in Iron Man and Riri’s impact on the Invincible Iron Man series with TIME.com.
TIME: How did you come up with the character of Riri Williams?
Bendis: One of the things that stuck with me when I was working in Chicago a couple of years ago on a TV show that didn’t end up airing was the amount of chaos and violence. And this story of this brilliant, young woman whose life was marred by tragedy that could have easily ended her life—just random street violence—and went off to college was very inspiring to me. I thought that was the most modern version of a superhero or superheroine story I had ever heard. And I sat with it for awhile until I had the right character and the right place.
As we’ve been slowly and hopefully very organically adding all these new characters to the Marvel Universe, it just seemed that sort of violence inspiring a young hero to rise up and act, and using her science acumen, her natural born abilities that are still raw but so ahead of where even Tony Stark was at that age, was very exciting to me.
What have we seen of her so far in the Iron Man comics?
In the latest issue of Iron Man, Tony is in a lab talking to himself, and he’s already aware that there’s some student at M.I.T. that’s reverse-engineered one of his old armors all by herself in her dorm room. He’s aware of her immediately.
What’s been the reception of the character so far (before this announcement)?
Thankfully because of my involvement in the creation of Miles Morales and Jessica Jones and some other characters, it’s getting the benefit of the doubt from even the most surly fans. There are fans who say, “Show us the new stuff,” and then there are fans who say, “Don’t do anything different from when I was a kid.” So when you’re introducing new characters, you’re always going to have people getting paranoid about us ruining their childhood.
I’ve been down this road with Miles Morales, Jessica Jones, Maria Hill. I knew I was in good hands with Mike Deodato and other artists who are helping visualize Riri.
Marvel Comics’ diverse new cast has stirred some controversy among a subset of fans.
Some of the comments online, I don’t think people even realize how racist they sound. I’m not saying if you criticize you’re a racist, but if someone writes, “Why do we need Riri Williams we already have Miles?” that’s a weird thing to say. They’re individuals just like Captain America and Cyclops are individuals. All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they’ll realize over time that that’s not the most progressive thinking.
But increasingly we see less and less of that. Once Miles hit, and Kamala Khan hit and female Thor hit—there was a part of an audience crawling through the desert looking for an oasis when it came to representation, and now that it’s here, you’ll go online and be greeted with this wave of love.
I think what’s most important is that the character is created in an organic setting. We never had a meeting saying, “we need to create this character.” It’s inspired by the world around me and not seeing that represented enough in popular culture.
Why did it take so long to turn the Avengers from a team of mostly white dudes into a more diverse array of characters?
Talking to any of the older creators, it’s the thing they said they wish they’d done more of—reflecting the world around them. It just wasn’t where the world was at at that time. Now, when you have a young woman come up to you at a signing and say how happy she is to be represented in his universe, you know you’re moving in the right direction.
I don’t want to spoil anything for fans—
More people are going to be upset that they think they know the ending toCivil War II now than anything we just talked about. But I can tell you just because we’re hearing what we’re saying doesn’t know you mean how Civil War II ends. We’re not telling you the end, at all.
What led Tony Stark to a place where he’s stepping out of the suit?
We’re in the middle of a very big Tony Stark storyline—actually three storylines converging. His best friend died, his company is collapsing and he’s finding out who his biological parents were all at the same time. That’s stressful for a character who is wired the way Tony is wired and has dependency issues the way Tony does.
Tony is also a master at not paying attention to the thing that’s most important and distracting himself with Avengers stuff. How that all shakes out such that Tony is no longer in the armor? You’ll have to wait to find out for the end of Civil War II. But it does create a path or Riri Williams, who Tony will know and will be interacting with very shortly in the comics.
How do they meet?
One of the things Tony does to distract himself from all the things going on in his life is he goes to find this young woman who is flying around the middle of America in an armor that’s not completely made to try to find out what her deal is.
My natural curls didn't always look like this. Heck who am I kidding? There are still times when my natural curls are my worst nightmare. However, the past few months, they have been a breeze to work with and have really made me begin to question why I was flat ironing my hair for so many years.
So here is an easy way to get full and soft bouncy curls (without any heat) with your natural hair.
First, make sure that you cleanse your hair with a Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser. For the past few months, I've been using the Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser from SheaMoisture which helps to remove any build up and gives my hair the satisfaction of a shampoo wash without stripping my hair of its natural oils and still moisturizes my curls.
After cleansing my hair, I normally let it air dry and depending on how much time I have I may let it air dry for an hour to overnight before installing my styling tools. Now for my styling tools, I love using my flexi rods to give me defined curls without using any heat. I use the Diane By Fromm 42-pack Twist-flex Rods pack because it has a variety of rod sizes which I use throughout my hair for volume and definition.
Now you're ready to begin! You want to start off by sectioning off your hair which will make it easier to apply your styling products and flexi rods. Next, you may want to lightly spritz your hair with some water before adding in your oil and leave-in conditioner depending on how moisturized your hair is. I lightly mist my hair before applying anything just to help smooth out my hair and I also find that it helps to hold the curl longer (it does make the drying time a little bit longer though).
Once that is done, I take my Coconut Oil by OGX and mix it together with the Curling Gel Souffle from SheaMoisture and rake that through my hair. I follow this up by adding in the Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner because it works as a sealant to close the hair cuticle and locks in all of the moisture that I just added.
Now, you can take your flexi rods and start placing them in your hair. There are many different techniques to applying your flexi rods so try playing around with them to find out which works with your hair. I like to install them by starting at the end of my hair and then rolling them up to the roots. Once I reach the top of my head, I secure the rods by bending them in a comfortable position that will hold the curls.
And that's it! Normally, I will let these dry in my hair overnight or if I need a quick curl touch up in the morning, I will repeat all of these steps and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. Just to make it a little bit easier, I put together this quick pictorial to show you how I achieved these curls with no heat.
And the final outcome...Now we want to be able to preserve these curls for about 4 to 7 days. So before getting ready for bed, pull your hair up into a Pineapple on the top of your head with a hair tie wrapped around the hair once to lightly hold it in place. Then, wrap a satin scarf around your hair to help preserve the curls and keep them from frizzing. In the morning, all you have to do is unwrap your hair, remove your hair tie and shake out your curls. Oh and here's a tip! Once you get the hang of this, your second and third day curls will look even better than your first day of curls. The photos from this post (of me in the blazer and blue shirt as well as the pineapple picture) are of me rocking my curls on Day 4. Yeah...let that set in for a second.
Products used: Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioning Cleanser from SheaMoisture Diane By Fromm 42-pack Twist-flex Rods Coconut Oil by OGX Curling Gel Souffle from SheaMoisture Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner
So it's a brand New Year which means we all have these fabulous resolutions that we need to try to stick to. I don't know about you, but every year I try to tell myself to relax, and just continue doing what I'm doing - working as hard as I can everyday. Realistically, it's just another day that ends with a new number right? Since I'm always working, I hardly have time to go out and pamper myself, so I was excited to hear that the January Essence Beauty Box was a Pamper Party Box.
If you guys remember from my other posts, the Essence Beauty Box is a beauty subscription box that was designed for women of color by the experts from Essence magazine. Each box will contain 5 deluxe samples and you can sign up for $15 a month, however, they have been running sales for $10 a month.
As for the January box, it contains 5 deluxe samples that was curated together to create the ultimate pamper party box. First, there is a deluxe sample of SheaTerra Organics Rose Hips Black Soap Facial Wash. This is designed to gently exfoliate your skin and remove dead layers without any harsh ingredients - which is great if you have sensitive skin.
Next, there is a fat lip pencil by Laqa & Co. There are three different shades that are floating around online that people have received in their box and I received this orange shade that has subtle hints of red in it. It's a cute color and I love the thickness of the pencil itself, however, I did not like this shade for my skin tone. Personally, I do not favor lipsticks that have an orange shade or undertone to it. I mostly go for lipsticks with more of a blue based undertone just because I find that it suits my complexion better. I would love to be able to include these personal preferences to the subscription box.
The next sample is from tgin - Thank God It's Natural Green Tea super moist leave in conditioner. Now this is my favorite product in this month's box because I love trying new leave in conditioners to moisturize my curls and this is one of the quickest and most affordable ways that I've been able to test out new products that may or may not work for my hair.
A pamper party box wouldn't be complete without a nail polish for a manicure. This box included the Julep Jess nail polish. It's kind of like a brown color with hints of red in it. I've tried a lot of the Julep nail polishes before so I know that they have a great formula, however, I wasn't a big fan of this color. Lately, I've been more into the bright and holographic colors so I'm not going to get much use out of this product in the box. It is a great color though if you're looking for something a bit more subtle.
Lastly, the box included a Baby Soft Foot Mask by Leaders Insolution. This is a rejuvenating foot mask that has aloe vera extract and bees wax in it and I'll be honest, in the winter time, I tend to neglect my feet - I know I'm not the only one! This is going to rejuvenate the skin and leave your feet feeling as smooth as butter!
Did you guys get the January box? What did you think about it? Don't forget that if you sign up, please use my referral code 992-4D8B-00F2.
First, can I tell you guys how much I missed you?! I'm so happy to be writing for my blog again! It's been such a crazy transition and adjustment over the past few months but you know that I'd never leave you for too long. Now back to business - you know everyone has a beauty box now right? I think it's great because it's the best way to try out new products and introduce new brands to the consumer. However, as a woman of color, a lot of the products that are curated for these beauty boxes aren't really done with us in mind - and I mean that with no shade at all. It's just having a certain skin tone; having different undertones; having a different "type" of hair, I need products that are really curated to women of color.
So I was very excited to hear about the news that Essence was coming out with an Essence Beauty Box that was specifically curated by a team of African-American women with African-American women in mind. These are editors who have years of experience in the fashion and hair industry so I immediately knew that I needed to jump on this.
So before we dive into this inaugural box, the subscription is $15 a month and there's three different subscription plans that you can choose from - you can do a monthly payment plan for $15 per box and you'll be charged monthly; you can do a 6 month plan for $90 and you're charged upfront (still $15 per box) or you can do a 12 month subscription which comes to $165 and you're charged upfront (it comes to $13.75 per box). In each box, you're going to get five luxe beauty products. If you sign up, please use my referral code 992-4D8B-00F2!
So now let's get to it - you see what happens when I don't write for my own blog in forever and just live on social? I end up talking and talking and talking just because I missed you guys so much. But you'll see why I took a few months off...I needed to learn a few new tricks ;-)
So this first box includes five products it includes:
1. The Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In conditioner which is described as a daily conditioning treatment to improve manageability. It's a sulfate free formula that is supposed to be safe for color-treated, chemically treated, curly or straight hair. - Update - This is holy grail out of this entire box. I loveeee me a good leave in conditioner and it's coconut. I rub this on the end of my hair every night before going to bed. #Lifeismade
2. The Curls Crème Brule Whipped Curl Cream is a cream styler that will define, de-frizz, and moisturize your tresses, leaving soft curls without hold. - Update - I still love saying this name. Crème Brule. So sexy :-) Anyway, this is my second favorite product. I've been using this to tame my frizzy hair. I'll give you a better review once I keep my hair in a wash and go style.
3. The L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream which is a cream that is enhanced with 20% shea butter which is specifically designed to penetrate quickly in order to protect, nourish and moisturize your hands. - Update - Ok, this stuff is amazing and is the perfect travel size lotion. I love that I'm able to keep it in my coat pocket to keep my hands moisturized while I'm out. remember ladies, your true age will always show on your hands and your neck so it's best to keep them moisturized!
4. The Calvin Klein Eternity Now fragrance which is a bright addictive floral fragrance that features succulent fruits and radiant flowers that is enveloped in a soft cashmere veil. - Update - Full size bottle is already on my holiday wishlist! Do I need to say more?
5. Lastly, the Tarte Brow Architect which is an all-in-one brush, pencil and underscoring concealer With this tool, you can shape, line and define your brows with one simple tool. - Update - This is a really fun product that's great to travel with. Right now I'll be honest, I'm letting my eyebrows grow in because one looks like an evil twin. #NotCute
And are you ready for this? Here's a quick video of me styling my hair using some of my favorite hair products along with the Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Leave-In conditioner and Curls Crème Brule Whipped Curl Cream - which I've been using for about 3 weeks now and I am in love!
Overall, I'm really impressed with this box because they are including well-known brands along with new brands and it's great for exposure. Let me know in the comments what you guys think! Don't forget to use the #EssenceBeauty so we can talk!