Riri Williams: who is Ironheart?

Riri Williams: who is Ironheart?

Riri Williams

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was born in a cave. It is during Tony Stark's imprisonment that the genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist becomes aware of his heritage and wears the armor of his superhero alter ego for the first time, as recounted in 2008 in the first Iron Man. From this event comes the MCU, which was built on two pillars, Iron Man and Captain America, both of which left the scene with the ending of Avengers: Endgame. If the Sentinel of Liberty has already found an heir in Sam Wilson, as told in The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, to replace Tin Head seemed more difficult, but since last Disney's Investor Day the name of Riri has begun to be made Williams, a character who in the comic dimension of the Marvel Universe has become, for a certain period, the heir of Iron Man.

That the Marvel Cinematic Universe was ready to welcome Riri Williams was already known for some time, but in the latest hours Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, surprised everyone by revealing that Riri, played by Dominique Throne, will be present in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, an awaited sequel to the adventures of the Wakandian Avenger, due out next July. During Investor Day last December, the announcement of Armor Wars and Ironheart had already made readers of the Marvel Universe understand how the brilliant teen ager was ready to wear her armor.

The origins by Riri Williams

Supporting this debut was two big-name pieces from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland, both supporters of the character and eager to see her come into action. Holland, in particular, in July 2019 joined the Iron Man performer in pushing Riri Williams' nomination in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, when asked which heroine he wanted to see in a film of the franchise:

“His name is Ironheart, Riri. He would be a truly fantastic character to bring to the big screen… the multiverse opens so many doors through which fantastic characters like Ironheart can enter ”

Statements that carry a certain weight, especially considering that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is founding its new life on strong female characters. Orphans of Natasha Romanoff, last seen in the Black Widow flashback, the new MCU Phase Four has begun to place more emphasis on a fascinating and complex female figure like Wanda, without forgetting a heroine as thick as Captain Marvel. ready to return to action in Marvels. The introduction of Riri could be part of a desire to give more space to teenage heroes, an intention that could materialize with the arrival of other Riri peers, such as Kamala Khan (Ms. Marve l) and Kate Bishop (Hawkeye).

But in the comic book Marvel Universe, who is Riri Williams?

Following the events of Civil War II, in which the meathuman community was divided into two factions led respectively by Iron Man and Captain Marvel, Tony Stark apparently gets badly injured during the final fight, when following the fight with Carol Danvers he ends up in a coma.

Before this event, Stark had spotted a young MIT student, Riri Williams, a brilliant inventor who seemed figuring out how to replicate her armor technology, creating her own to become a Supereoine. The genius of Riri Williams is revealed already at an early age, when an aptitude test shows how her apparent frustration in her interpersonal relationships is caused by a precocious genius, which leads her to be welcomed at the M.I.T. just ten years old. Riri demonstrates a marked scientific attitude and a deep reverence for pop culture figures who are her embodiment, from astronaut Mae Jameson, the first black woman in space, to Lieutenant Geordi LaForge of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And of course, Iron Man, who when she was little had intervened to save and her stepfather Gary, when the prodigious mind of Riri had identified a defect in the Tinhead armor.

As per tradition in the house. Marvel, a traumatic event could not be missing. During an evening with her best friend, Natalia, and her stepfather Gary, Riri is involved in a shooting from which only 13-year-old Riri escapes unscathed. An event that pushes the young woman to close herself to the world, developing the idea of ​​creating an armor similar to that of Iron Man, with which to prevent others from suffering as happened to her. An intent that leads her to get into trouble, using materials from the M.I.T. with which he assembles a first, rudimentary armor in the garage of his house.

When the events of Civil War II lead to the apparent death of Tony Stark, Riri Williams receives a package that will change his life: a digitized version of the Stark consciousness, transformed into artificial intelligence. The intent is to guide young Riri in her growth as part of the superhero community, preparing her to become her potential heir.

First appeared in 2015 in Invincible Iron Man, the character created by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn by Mike Deodato, for several months Riri was, in fact, the student of Iron Man. Role played in a period in which the position left vacant by Stark was not only reserved for Riri, but was also in the aims of a character who apparently we would never have imagined wearing the Tin Head armor: Victor von Doom.

Convinced that he has the chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the world, Doctor Doom is convinced that he can start a new life as a hero by filling the vacant role of Stark, combining his mystical abilities with the technology of Iron Man. , of course, he couldn't keep, but that didn't even become Riri Williams, who didn't become the new Iron Man, but took on his own Ironheart identity.

lei Central to this passage is a meeting with Pepper Potts, Tony's friend and part of the all-female management of Stark Industries (composed of Mary Jane Watson and Stark's biological mother, Amanda Armstrong). Approaching Riri wearing the Rescue Armor, Pepper tries to explain to the young Riri what it means to wear the armor and being a hero, just before a fight that the two win, attracting the attention of the SHIELD, managed at the time by Sharon Carter. An essential step for the growth and definition of the character, who then assumes his Ironheart identity.

As a first impact, Riri Williams was not well received by readers, who accused Marvel of having created a character based on the racial stereotype of the black teenager, but not entrusting him to a writer who could enhance his character. A sensation that seemed to wane when the adventures of Ironheart were entrusted to Eve L. Ewing, an African American author with a background in sociology who helped her make Riri a more current and realistic character.

The cultural impact of Ironheart did not take long to make itself heard, so much so that MIT itself made a video in March 2017 in which a student plays Riri Williams, showing her life as a student and the moment she made her first armor.

The future of Riri Williams in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

After twelve years of Marvel Cinematic Universe films, we are now used to the fact that the origins of the heroes undergo changes from comics to the big screen. Even Riri Williams, therefore, may not be included in the continuity of the MCU respecting to the letter its paper origin, a detail that seems increasingly probable considering that her first appearance will take place in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a context far from her comics field.

Considering the legendary Wakandian technology, we can hypothesize that Riri is a young Wakandian genius, capable of creating an armor similar to that of the late Tony Stark, also by virtue of the girl's recent gumettistic acquaintances, which have brought her closer to the Wakandans. For sure, the Ironheart series, which will see the protagonist character, will give further thickness to this figure. The presence of Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his appearance in Avengers: Endgame wearing the Rescue Armor may lead us to think that we could see an exciting handover, while Rodey, as War Machine and a close friend of Tony, could do so. as a mentor, later involving her in Armor Wars. Romantically, it would be amazing to see the I.A. of Stark seen in comics appearing as Riri's guide, but considering that Robert Downey Jr. has hung his armor on a nail, this solution seems impractical. What is certain is that the young Riri will be one of the new, promising faces of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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