Arielle Johnson (known for being the first black female comic book store owner on the east coast) not only sells comic books in Philadelphia’s Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse, she’ll be gracing the cover of one in November.
Johnson was understandably excited. With the help of colleague and cover creator Randy Green, she was able to not just make it on the variant cover of a comic, but on the variant cover of a comic about a black female superhero. She’s going to be on the cover of Invincible Iron Man with new character Riri Williams (Ironheart) in November.
“When the email went out about potential variants for stores, he was really excited and took it upon himself to work out the [details]. It was really his hard work,” Johnson told ABC. “I knew what it was supposed to look like, but having the actual art in front of you is so much different. It’s really exciting.”
Johnson had this to say about the significance of the character:
“To think I made it a decade-plus and I had never seen a black, woman superhero is crazy because little white boys have so many [with whom they identify]: ‘I want to be Iron Man!’ ‘I want to be Batman!’ ‘I want to be Superman.’ ‘I want to be Han Solo!’ When you are a person of color, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone you can identify with,” she said. “I always felt like I was watching other people’s adventures. Being introduced to Storm was a pivotal moment for me because had I not come across her, I might have grown out of my love for [comics].”
Variants can sometimes be tricky to spot, and I know this one will be in demand. Talk to your local comic store now! This is a much needed positive bit of cover news for the comic, given it’s recent problems with the sexualization of the 15 year old character on J. Scott Campbell’s variant cover. After an outcry on the internet, it was pulled. This one should be a bright spot for the title.
JL Jamieson is a strange book nerd who writes technical documents by day, and book news, reviews, and other assorted opinions for you by night. She is working on her own fiction, and spends time making jewelry to sell at local conventions, as well as stalking the social media accounts of all your favorite writers.