To say Ariell Johnson is a comic book fan would be an understatement. Johnson turned her love of collecting comic books into a career and now owns Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Inc. in Philadelphia, the only black woman owned comic book store on the East coast.
And thanks to her colleague, Johnson has now become immortalized with her very own comic book cover.
The 33-year-old will appear on a variant cover of “Invincible Iron Man #1.”
The first image of the book, which goes on sale next month and features Johnson having a meal with new Marvel superhero RiRi Williams.
“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 says it’s great to have a character like Riri Williams to diversify comics.
“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. I always felt like I was watching other people’s adventures,” she explained. “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].”