There is nothing that hurts more than seeing your favorite Avenger bite the dust. For many, that was Tony Stark aka Iron Man. The movie Avengers: Endgame was the final piece de resistance in the saga of the Armoured Avenger. While it was the Infinity Gauntlet arc that was supposed to be the culmination of 22 movies of the MCU, many believe that the MCU was also a decade long character development arc for Tony Stark, who grew from being a careless billionaire weapons manufacturer who was nicknamed the “Merchant of Death” to the guy who would not just save the whole world but the entire universe by sacrificing his own life. But it is time to look forward. Iron Man is no more. In the comic books, Iron Man’s next successor is Riri Williams, also known as Iron Heart. If the MCU will bring her into the foray in some form, we need to know some facts about her before we jump into that basket. Presenting – 10 Incredible Facts you need to know about Ironheart – Marvel’s new Iron Man!!
1. She is only 15
Tony Stark was well into adulthood when he realized that he could make a suit of armour to become a superhero and save the world. It took a lot of time and patience for the readers to see Tony blossom into a selfless, kind human being who genuinely wanted to help people. Riri Williams has already achieved that level of maturity and that too at the age of 5 years. That’s right!! Riri Williams is almost half the age of Tony Stark when he first donned the suit of armour to become Iron Man. She does not just have a brain as smartest as Tony but she is also younger and already has a better judgment of what to do with her life. There are only a few superheroes in the MCU that could boast of having a younger age. Riri Williams could complement Peter Parker in that age category in the MCU from Phase 4 and beyond.
2. She has a genius level intellect
Riri Williams is one of the most gifted minds in Marvel Comics. She was only 15 when one of the most prestigious private research organizations working on cutting edge technology that could help reshape the world invited her to work on one of their most important projects to date. She is also one of the youngest students to get a scholarship degree at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study engineering. The only person whose genius and age comes close to Riri’s is Spider-man, who has also several accolades and achievements in the scientific community. But that is only in the comic books. Peter Parker is kind of a brute in the movies. His level of genius is not as well portrayed in the theatres.
3. She does not have a father
Unlike Tony Stark, Riri grew up without a father figure. Tony lost her parents when he was young but he had almost his entire childhood and teen years spent under parental care before Bucky killed them as shown in Civil War. Riri, though, grew up entirely without a father. Her father died when she was just a toddler and so she was raised by her mother and her aunt from her mother’s side. Her aunt would grow fond of Riri and care deeply for her. She also opposed Riri’s choice of becoming a superhero. When Riri returned from a superhero adventure with her suit badly damaged, her aunt almost had a panic attack.
4. Her suit is made up of stolen tech
Riri, for all her qualities that make her the next Iron Man successor, lacked one thing when she built the armour suit – money. While studying in Massachusetts, Riri would seldom get access to costly and sophisticated technology to make her suit. So she turned to the tried and tested method of stealing the technology for herself by breaking into the college vault after the office hours. Riri’s acts went unnoticed until campus security realized she was inside the room. Riri completed the suit before they could break in and flew away in it. On the way, she also stopped two dangerous prisoners from escaping the New Mexico Penitentiary.
5. Tony Stark has endorsed Riri Williams
If you think Tony is jealous of Riri taking up his place, you are dead wrong. Tony loves Riri Williams’ ambitions and respects her goal to become the new Iron Man. After her heroic deed when she stopped two prisoners from hurting innocent people, Tony decided that he must endorse Riri Williams. He publicly applauded Riri’s efforts. Though he is not alive in the MCU anymore, Pepper Potts, whose role as Rescue played a significant role in Riri’s journey into becoming Ironheart in the comics, could fill in Tony’s shoes for the time being.
6. She was a controversial wild child
If you are creating a teenage black superhero that screams diversity, the last thing you would need is the entire team to be a team of white men and women. Enter Marvel! They had the brilliant hindsight that Riri Williams must be created by Brian Michael Bendis, a white man, who will lead a team that does not have a shred of POC members in it. After receiving general flak since Riri’s portrayal did not meet the average American Black teenager, the crew was shifted to work under the supervision of Eve Ewing, an African-American writer, and sociologist whose depth of knowledge in terms of African-American history proved vital for the rise in popularity of Ironheart.
7. She defeated Hydra
The Secret Empire story-line tells of a bleak reality where Hydra takes over the upper echelons of authority in the United States and becomes its ruler. The superheroes band together to stop Hydra! After Las Vegas is annihilated by the terrorist organization, Hydra sends a team led by Blackout and Baron Zemo to fight a team of superheroes who were sent to look for survivors and help them pass onto friendlier territory. The latter team was led by Iron Heart, who was extremely helpful in fighting and defeating Blackout, who had encapsulated the entire city with his Darkforce after being supercharged by the Darkhold.
8. She was once a Queen
Just when you thought it could not get any better than this, it doe!! While fighting a terrorist leader that was trying to take over the advanced European nation of Latveria, the Kingdom of Doctor Doom, she declared herself Queen of the country. She then agreed to a deal with Shield where she would let go of her title in return for Shield coordinating the country’s first national elections. Now that is a selfless superhero right there. She had all the power she could ever ask for and she let it go when she realized that it was for the greater good. Now, who does that remind you of?? You guessed right!!
9. Tony Stark personally tutors her
Well, he does tutor him, in a way. Tony Stark has mapped his own brain and created Artificial Intelligence constructs that are basically formed out of copies of his own neural network. They act, talk and behave like him and call themselves to be the parts of the “essence” that is Tony Stark. One such A.I teaches Riri Williams on how to be a superhero. Maybe they could take a leaf from the comic books and bring back RDJ this way. Food for thought Marvel Studios. Food for thought!!
10. She is a vital member of the Champions
The champions are a new team of superheroes formed recently in the year 2016. The team is composed of famous superheroes like the Hulk, Spider-man and even Cyclops of the X-Men. A lot of other superheroes like Ms. Marvel and Nova are also part of the team. With the Nova movie almost a possibility and Marvel reportedly in talks with Mindy Kaling to play Ms. Marvel in a separate solo production, the Champions coming to the Big Screens looks inevitable.