The development of Riri's character reflects a comics industry that has made strides to expand its default superhero archetype — that of a straight, white male — to reflect broader diversity in race, gender and sexuality.
In June, Marvel announced the creation of Morris Sackett, or Mosaic, a black basketball player who is given mysterious powers after an encounter with an otherworldly vapor.
Last year, Marvel introduced a female Thor and the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates was commissioned to reintroduce the Black Panther to fans.
And last month, AfterShock Comics announced that it would debut Chalis, after a fan had asked the writer, Paul Jenkins, for a transgender superhero. A teenage Muslim heroine from New Jersey, Ms. Marvel, has been popular since her introduction in 2013.
But aside from Storm, the white-haired mutant featured in "X-Men" in 1975, the Marvel world has lacked black female characters who are central to a story.
Even so, Mr. Bendis told Time that some fans were dismayed at the creation of another character of color.
"All I can do is state my case for the character, and maybe they'll realize over time that that's not the most progressive thinking," he said.
While the move to create Riri has drawn praise for making steps to greater inclusion, some writers and illustrators used the development to spotlight the need for more female writers of color in an industry known for a lack of diversity.