Last month, Marvel Comics dropped quite the bombshell, revealing that an African-American teenage girl named Riri Williams will take over as the new Iron Man. Of course, this major change also meant that this iconic superhero name will have to change as well, when she fully takes over as the hero in Invincible Iron Man #1, debuting in November. Today we have new artwork from this comic, which reveals that Riri will now be known as Ironheart.
Riri Williams and Tony Stark recently met in the current run of Invincible Iron Man, after Tony discovered that she made her own Iron Man suit in her MIT dorm room, at the age of 15. After the events of the Civil War II comic book run, Riri will take over as this iconic character, although it isn't exactly known what will happen to Tony Stark. Wired caught up with Brian Michael Bendis, who revealed that it took some trial and error to come up with the right name.
"Iron Woman seemed old fashioned to some. Iron Maiden looked like a legal nightmare. 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."
It was also revealed that the "in-armor AI" for Riri's suit will be based on Tony Stark's personality, with editor Tom Breevort teasing that Tony will "always be soaring along with her spiritually." Last month, Robert Downey Jr., who plays Tony Stark on the big screen, took to Twitter shortly after the announcement was made, to praise this move, proclaiming "Get ready for a new generation of Marvel BAMF..." Of course, it remains to be seen how this news will affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is just the latest in a string of moves aimed at improving diversity among comic book characters.
Last year, Marvel announced that Jane Foster will take over as the new Thor, while Kamala Khan has been revealed as the new Captain Marvel and Amadeus Cho will also become the new Hulk. Brian Michael Bendis is also responsible for creating Miles Morales, the young African-American teenager who becomes Spider-Man and has been a beloved character in the comics and on various animated TV shows. Take a look at the new Invincible Iron Man comic book cover artwork featuring Riri Williams as Ironheart.