Marvel is a business that has been running for decades and decades. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that it continues to exist because it has been tailoring its products to the preferences of the latest versions of its customer base, which is as true in the present as it was in the past. This means that Marvel has been introducing a wider range of characters with a wider range of backgrounds to better reflect the more diverse readership of modern times, with an excellent example being Ironheart. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Ironheart:
1. Connected to Iron Man
It isn’t uncommon for comic book publishers to introduce new characters using the series of their established counterparts. In Ironheart’s case, the established character would be Iron Man, which is perhaps unsurprising considering her name.
2. She Is a Young Girl Named Riri Williams
With that said, Ironheart is a superhero name rather than the character’s real name. In short, Ironheart is the superhero name of a 15-year-old engineering student named Riri Williams, who is the daughter of a deceased engineer named Riri Williams Sr.
3. She Possesses Super Intelligence
Super intelligence is something that can show up in a wide range of forms in fiction. For example, one super-intelligent individual might use their capabilities to perform miraculous feats of science that might as well as be magic. In contrast, another super-intelligent individual might use their capabilities to make prescient predictions. For those who are curious, Williams’s super intelligence is similar to that of Tony Stark’s, which is to say, she is an incredible inventor who can make things that even the conventional science of a superhero setting can’t hope to match.
4. Goes to M.I.T.
In-setting, Williams attends M.I.T. on a scholarship. Amusingly, the real M.I.T. has rolled with this, as shown by how its admissions teaser in March of 2017 featured the character going to class, wandering around the campus, and building her Ironheart suit in her dorm room. On the whole, the admissions teaser was a neat way for M.I.T. to show that there is more to the school than just studying, studying, and studying.
5. Built Her First Suit Using Stolen Materials
Williams built her first suit of power armor using materials that she had stolen from M.I.T. As for how she was able to build her suit, most of it was her own super-intelligence. However, it is interesting to note that Williams also incorporated technologies that she had managed to reverse-engineer from Tony Stark’s Iron Man Armor Model 41, which had been designed for going into outer space. Amusingly, the in-setting M.I.T. higher-ups have brushed over the incident, which makes a fair amount of sense considering the school’s chosen fields of specialization.
6. Got Endorsed By Tony Stark
With that said, while Williams built her first suit using stolen materials, it is clear that she didn’t have any particularly bad intentions for her creation. For instance, while she was testing its flight capabilities, she actually used it to stop a group of inmates from escaping prison. Eventually, Tony Stark heard about her accomplishments, with the result that he stopped by her home to support her interest in becoming a superhero.
7. Sided with Tony Stark in the Second Superhero Civil War
So far, there has been not one but two Civil War crossover events for the Marvel setting. For those who are curious, Civil War II was centered on a precog who used his powers to help the superheroes prevent a serious threat. Due to this, Captain Marvel wanted to use his powers to prevent potential disasters from coming about, whereas Iron Man was opposed because there was still too much that was unknown as well as unreliable about the precog’s powers. It should come as no surprise to learn that Williams sided with Iron Man in the ensuing conflict.
8. Became Queen of Latveria
At one point, Williams claimed to be the Queen of Latveria, though it was for no more than a very short period of time. In short, what happened was that S.H.I.E.L.D. came under attack by a Latverian supervillian named Lucia von Bardas but was unable to retaliate because there was no official evidence of her involvement. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. convinced Williams to oust the supervillain, which was followed by Williams declaring herself the new Queen of Latveria, negotiating a truce with the Latverian military, and then abdicating to clear the way for Latveria to hold free elections. On the whole, it was a very comic book moment.
9. Has Been Endorsed By Robert Downey Jr.
For the time being, Robert Downey Jr.’s long involvement with the Marvel Cinematic Universe has come to a close. However, that doesn’t change the fact that he is seen by a lot of fans out there as the “face” of the movie franchise, meaning that what he says continues to have a fair amount of influence on said individuals. For proof, consider the wave of interest that followed when he said that he would be interested in seeing Ironheart in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
10. Currently Being Written By Eve Ewing
Currently, Ironheart is being written by Eve Ewing, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago who is involved in writing, visual arts, and academic matters. Her appointment is no coincidence, seeing as how one of the earlier criticisms directed at Ironheart was that the character didn’t actually resemble a black female teenager much. At the time when Ewing was chosen to head up the writing for the character, there were many people who criticized her using her lack of comic book experience, which was countered by more supportive voices such as that of Neil Gaiman of Sandman fame.