Last month, Marvel revealed that Tony Stark would be passing on the Iron Man mantle to Riri Williams — a 15-year-old genius and the first young black woman to wear the famous armor. As we suspected at the time, Williams won’t be keeping the Iron Man name, and now, as reported by Wired, we know her chosen moniker: Ironheart.
Williams was first introduced to Marvel readers in Invincible Iron Man #9 back in May, when she creates her own Iron Man suit in her dorm room at MIT and gets kicked out of school for her trouble. Wired reports that Williams will get a proper introduction with the first issue of the next Invincible Iron Man volume coming out this fall, with Stark officially endorsing her new superhero role.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis spoke to Wired about the new name choice, saying the team had dismissed Iron Woman as “old fashioned” early on in the process. “Iron Maiden looked like a legal nightmare,” said Bendis. “And Ironheart, coined by Joe Quesada, after I told him my planned story for Riri, speaks not only to the soul of the character but to the Iron Man franchise as a whole. Tony first put on the armor to save his heart. Riri puts it on for different reasons altogether but still heart-related. When people see her story, you’ll be amazed at how simple and brilliant Joe’s suggestion was.”
As we’ve previously noted, Williams won’t be the first woman or person of color to take on the role of Iron Man, but her character’s introduction is indicative of a Marvel universe that’s aiming to be more diverse and inclusive. And for those that will miss Stark himself, the billionaire’s personality will apparently live on as part of Ironheart, forming the basis of the new armor’s AI.
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