In 2019, Marvel’s Avengers Endgame brought the first few phases of a 10-year long franchise to an end with Ironman’s iconic line “I am Ironman”. As fans across the world grieved over the death of the iconic hero, many began to wonder who would take up the mantle of the iconic superhero. As of December 2020, Marvel has finally given fans an answer. At the 2020 Disney Investors Day, Marvel announced the development of two upcoming Ironman projects, Armor Wars and Ironheart. While Armor Wars is set to follow Don Cheadle’s War Machine, the Ironheart series will introduce Riri Williams to the MCU. Actress Dominique Thorne will bring Riri to life on the small-screen. Best known for her work in the critically acclaimed If Beale Street Could Talk, Dominique is just one of the many new actors joining the next phase of the MCU. But who is Riri Williams exactly?
A newer addition to the Marvel comics, Riri Williams was introduced in 2016’s The Invincible Iron Man comic book. After crafting her own iron suit on a dare, the 15-year old prodigy quickly rose to superhero status with the mentorship of an A.I. Tony Stark. Although Riri is fairly new to the crime-fighting scene the introverted genius has already taken on her share of formidable foes like Thanos and has even teamed up with Marvel’s Champions. Driven by the pain of losing her Stepfather and best friend in a drive-by shooting, Riri developed the byname Ironheart to honor the loved ones lost.
While Riri has made appearances on the small-screen before in an animated special, this upcoming series will be her first live-action adaptation. Although Marvel has yet to disclose any more information about the animated series it seems likely that the Ironhert series will contribute to the creation of an MCU Champions, with Ms. Marvel, Speed, Wiccan, and Kate Bishop already set to be introduced into the MCU. Although Riri’s new show Ironheart does not have a set release date it has been revealed that Marvel is interested in bringing Robert Downey Jr. back to reprise his role as Ironman for Riri’s AI mentor. As the beloved leader of the MCU, re-introducing Iron Man in this way could make for a smoother transition for Riri as well as offer her guidance that Cheadle’s War Machine may not have the time to offer. Either way, Riri’s addition to MCU is sure to provide audiences with a slew of epic stories and adventures to look forward to.