Riri Williams will join Marvel Comics as the “new Iron Man”, but she’ll be calling herself “Ironheart”.
According to Brian Michael Bendis, her creator:
“Iron Woman seemed old fashioned to some and Iron Maiden looked like a legal nightmare.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ironheart was a name suggested by Marvel CCO Joe Queseda who said,
“[It] speaks not only to the soul of the character but to the Iron Man franchise as a whole.”
Bendis goes on to explain:
“Tony first put on the armor to save his heart, Riri puts it on for different reasons all together but it’s still heart related. When people see her story you’ll realize how simple and brilliant Joe’s suggestion was.”
Williams will be one of two replacements for Tony Stark as part of Marvel Now’s superhero line relaunch beginning in October. The other, headlining the series Infamous Iron Man will be Victor Von Doom, the former villain. If he’ll call himself Iron Man remains to be seen, as does the ultimate fate of Tony Stark.
The impact that Riri Williams has already been felt in multiple communities. While the reactions are overwhelmingly positive, it’s worth noting that at the moment Riri Williams doesn’t have any women or persons of color representing her interests or telling her story. While Tony Stark has inspired so many to get into comics, perhaps there are kids who could be inspired by Riri to join Marvel Publishing. As a young black woman, especially one interested in STEM, she has the potential to be a powerful role model.
She looks youthful and I see that melanin is still popping. I'm here for RiRi I'll be supporting as long as I can ? pic.twitter.com/fzISQMecxh
— MistyKnightsTwistOut (@Steph_I_Will) August 22, 2016
We’re sure that her writers have her best interests at heart, however we can only hope that with Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey taking on World of Wakanda, that eventually we might see POC writers get a chance to tell a story for Riri, something that can inspire kids. Just like Riri was probably inspired by Tony Stark and the Avengers herself to step up and lead – with her Ironheart.
Excited by the prospect of Riri Williams putting on the armor at last? Ready to welcome Ironheart to the Marvel fold? Tell us in the comments below.