Back in July, Marvel announced that there will be a successor to Iron Man. This left many to speculate who will be taking the mantel of one of Marvel’s most iconic character. What was not expected was that Iron Man’s successor will be a black female named Riri Williams. At only the age of 15, she attends M.I.T. and manages to build her own Iron Man suit that caught the attention of Tony Stark who decided to take her under his rocket boosters and teach her the ways of being a superhero. Today, it was revealed that her superhero name will be Ironheart.
Of course, this news left a lot of people with mixed feelings about Iron Man’s successor. Some believe that Iron Man should stay “true to the source” and if Tony Stark is to be replaced it should be by another man. And some believe that making Ironheart a teenage African American female would be completely changing the lore of Iron Man and will bring it to a completely different direction.
On the other hand, there are also a lot of people that are completely behind Riri Williams. By making Iron Man’s successor a female it has the potential to bring in a new audience to comic books. With Riri Williams having a focal point based on her intelligence rather than her being just another female with powers, it has the potential to influence a lot of females especially those who are African American.
I think Marvel made a good decision by making Iron Man’s successor Riri Williams. I know a lot of people think that it won’t match the back story of Iron Man, but I don’t believe that’s true at all. Iron Man isn’t really a character who has a concrete back story since he’s just a genius billionaire when you take him away from the suit. Therefore it makes him very interchangeable. Also since it was announced that her superhero name will be Ironheart, it’s not like it will take anything away from Iron Man since she now has a name of her own to build.
She could be a nice addition to the very few superheroes of color that we have at the moment. I do see that she’ll need to have a heart made of iron in order to withstand the criticism that she is bound to receive. Unfortunately, we won’t know how Ironheart will be until this November so be sure to pick up Invincible Iron Man #1 if you’re interested and/or if you’d like to support a superhero of color.