First black woman comic book store owner makes Marvel comic cover

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Ariell Johnson, who is reportedly the only black woman to own a comic book store on the East Coast, is appearing on the variant cover of Marvel’s “Invincible Iron Man #1.”

The comic features the new Iron Man, RiRi Williams, a 15-year-old black genius who enrolled in MIT as a teenager and is heir to Tony Stark’s legacy.

Johnson, who owns Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in Philadelphia, can be seen posing next to RiRi in the variant cover, which she says is the result of the work of her colleague Randy Green.

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“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,” she told ABC News. “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 also spoke about the importance of inclusion in comics, saying that Storm of the X-Men inspired her by allowing her to see herself in superhero stories.

“When you are a person of color, you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone you can identify with. I always felt like I was watching other people’s adventures,” she said. “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].”