via The Telegraph
via The Tele­graph

Recent­ly, pop­u­lar Mar­vel artist J. Scott Camp­bell found him­self in hot water with a lot of Iron Man fans for his depic­tion of Riri Williams, who is the new face of the series, after Twit­ter user @Steph_I_Will ques­tioned how she was drawn. Riri was orig­i­nal­ly drawn with dark brown skin, yet William chose to draw her sig­nif­i­cant­ly lighter and with a much more sinewy, curvy body.
via CBR
via CBR

While Camp­bell became defen­sive and con­tin­ued to miss the point, insist­ing that his art was almost the same as the orig­i­nal, the issue in com­ic book cul­ture is big­ger than him. Mar­vel, in a bold move, decid­ed to pull Campbell’s cov­er as a retail exclu­sive, but this isn’t the first time the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a com­ic book char­ac­ter start­ed a firestorm. Often, young girls in comics are extreme­ly over-sex­u­al­ized and drawn with bod­ies most grown women don’t even have. This prompt­ed fans to start using the hash­tag #Teen­sThat­Look­Like­Teens, start­ed by user @Miz­CaramelVix­en, to show that there are many artists who know how to not over-sex­u­al­ize girls in their depic­tions, which will hope­ful­ly encour­age artists to stop draw­ing girls as 25-year olds. See some of the awe­some illus­tra­tions below:

You can check out more of the art on Twit­ter and Insta­gram. Hope­ful­ly, this is a step in the right direc­tion for chil­dren to be drawn as chil­dren instead of adults. Also, kudos to Mar­vel for pulling Campbell’s cov­er.


Elle is the edi­tor and cre­ative direc­tor of the YouTube chan­nel and blog, Quest for the Per­fect Curl at Her chan­nel focus­es on nat­ur­al hair, beau­ty, and fit­ness. She loves prod­ucts that smell like dessert, yoga, and glit­ter. Fol­low her @qftpc.

Leave a Reply

12 Comments on "‘This is How You Draw a 15-y-o Black Girl’: Illustrators Flood Social Media After Marvel Sexes Up the New Iron Man"

Notify of
Mrs. Curry

This is such a good thing. When you real­ly start look­ing, they (white soci­ety) has been sex­u­al­iz­ing lit­tle girls for the longest time now in EVERYTHING. Not only comics, but movies, mod­el­ling and ESPECIALLY porn (gives me creeps like no oth­er). It’s absolute­ly, atro­ci­u­osly dis­gust­ing. At least this once some­body said some­thing.


I don’t think you peo­ple spend time around 15 year old girls. They are VERY sex­u­al.


I wasn’t.

This is stu­pid. I don’t see any­thing wrong with the new pic­ture. First off… with regards to her ath­let­ic body, I assume she’s tak­en on the man­tle of iron man. Which means she does a lot of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, which means shes going to get more fit and tone. For the lighter skin tone? First pic­ture looks like the light source is com­ing from behind and to the right of the image, mak­ing every thing seem dark­er. Sec­ond image? Looks like the light source is beam­ing direct­ly at her and from the left of the view­er. So… this means her skin… Read more »

All the draw­ings are tru­ly amaz­ing! I love art lol! But seri­ous­ly I was shocked when I saw Riri Williams was only sup­posed to be 15, she looks 27..


Hey, great arti­cle!
I was won­der­ing if all the names were right in the first para­graph though?


Women are over sex­u­al­ized in com­ic books peri­od. The only rea­son this was noticed and caused an uproar is because the char­ac­ter is a young black women and we are STARVING for rep­re­sen­ta­tion. Both points are quite dis­heart­en­ing.



Milos Mom

I don’t have an issue with her body, though I liked the more real­is­tic one. My issue is with here skin tone and hair. It’s like they took the things that make her black and toned it down. 

Look­ing at his twit­ter account, I won­der if he (and Mar­vel etc.) real­ly gets it, or did they just give in.

Black women need to speak out against the bla­tant dis­crim­i­na­tion against dark skin black women in Hol­ly­wood enter­tain­ment media peri­od. The mar­vel char­ac­ter in Luke cage; Misty Knight was orig­i­nal­ly a Dark Skin Black woman… obvi­ous­ly. In the Luke Cage Series on net­flix, typ­i­cal Hol­ly­wood cast a light skin actress for the role. Storm in the orig­i­nal Xmen com­ic book was dark skin cause she was an AFRICAN woman. Who do they cast? halle berry and this new super light skin chick. There always has been a prej­u­dice against dark skin black women. Major­i­ty of lead­ing black women in film and… Read more »

Amen to all this


I like the dis­cus­sion behind this.