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Move over, Tony Stark: new Iron Man is a young woman of color

riri-williamsWhat happens when a brilliant MIT student gets her hands on a set of Iron Man armor and has the brainpower to make it work?

Marvel is kicking off the next storyline after Civil War II with teenaged Riri Williams, the new Iron Man. The series is written by Brian Michael Bendis, who came up with Riri while working on another project, according to an interview with Time. 

“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,” said Bendis.

While Tony Stark recovers from the blows dealt during Civil War II, will he stay out of Riri’s way, mentor her, or do something else? Stay tuned, fans. Riri is set to debut in the comic later this year.

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Victoria Beckham boosts The Global Goals’ girl power video

It’s been 20 years since the Spice Girls took the world by storm with “Wannabe,” but the song’s message has an even bigger meaning in 2016. The organization The Global Goals made a new video for “Wannabe” with girls from around the world, emphasizing the things they really, really want: equal pay for equal work, quality education, an end to child marriage and stopping violence against women. The video received an extra boost from original Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who posted it on her Facebook page. Beckham also said she was very proud of The Global Goals for empowering a new generation of young women.

Take a look at the embedded video below, then make your own video and join in. Your own goals could be presented to world leaders at the United Nations in September!

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Comic book review: Gotta have ‘Faith’

FaithcomicThere are a lot of superhero comics competing for eyeballs out there, but as soon as I heard about Valiant’s series Faith, I knew I had to read it. Faith Herbert is a wonderfully geeky fangirl with the power to fly and move objects with her mind, talents that categorize her as a psiot. As the hero Zephyr, she was part of the Harbinger series but has now struck out on her own to become a gritty, down and dirty superhero.

One more thing.

Faith is also a plus-sized young woman, something not usually depicted in comic books. I steeled myself against the inevitable references to her weight throughout the first two issues, but those references never came and I breathed a sigh of relief. This, so far, is truly a body-positive series that focuses on life instead of looks.

Faith has a timid secret identity as a viral content writer, and the breathtaking art switches between daydreams of gorgeous rainbow fantasy sequences (done by Marguerite Sauvage) and the stark, bold lines depicting reality (drawn by Francis Portela), whether it’s a tedious nine-to-five job writing click-bait critiques of her ex-boyfriend’s reality show or investigating the disappearance of fellow psiots as Zephyr and blaming herself for a fiery tragedy. As she delves into the mystery, she’ll have the chance to show the world what a superhero truly looks like. This short four-issue series is written by Jody Houser, and it has me rooting for Faith at every turn.

The series is easy to jump into without any previous knowledge of Harbinger, and the few overlap characters are clearly defined, like Faith’s ex-boyfriend and another team member who scouts out missions. I hope Valiant has a longer run planned for the future, because I gotta have Faith.

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Woman-themed coloring books for International Women’s Day

colorfulwomeninhistoryWomen’s History Month kicked off with a bang of the gavel, thanks to SheKnows‘ Ruth Bader Ginsburg coloring book. Since today is International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate by highlighting more coloring books fueled by girl power!

Dover Publishing has a fantastic selection of women’s history coloring books. Famous Women Aviators features 44 women of air and space like Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride, while Famous African-American Women showcases Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, and more. There’s also Famous American Women, covering Susan B. Anthony to Oprah Winfrey; Famous Women of the Civil War; America’s First Ladies; and, for a bit of swagger,  Pirate Queens: Notorious Women of the Sea. Color in famous female pirates like Huang P’ei-mei,who had a fleet populated with 50,000 plunderers who answered only to her, and you’ll have a sudden urge to wear a sword and an eyepatch to your next office meeting.

On Etsy, you’ll find Coloring Outside the Kitchen,  a hand-created labor of love created by teacher/librarian/artist Casey Landau, which rounds up a host of outstanding women, including Annie Oakley, first African-American female millionaire Madame C.J. Walker, artist Frida Kahlo and many more.

Author and illustrator Lisa Graves has created her own coloring books on Amazon: Colorful Women in History and The Witches. Both celebrate the true stories of women’s triumphs and challenges through the ages. Want something in a different size? Try Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace, a fun, body-positive coloring book by Theo Nicole Lorenz which shows women kicking butt and taking names in the final frontier.

 

 

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Filed under Books, History, pop culture, Space, Uncategorized, women