Your Favorite Superhero Iron Man is Getting a New Name (and Gender)

The image of a womanizer is synonymous with Iron Man: Marvel’s much loved superhero. But, in an exclusive story by Wired, the successor, Riri Williams, has got an official name too. Ironheart.

Image courtesy: Marvel
Image courtesy: Marvel

Although the news of Iron Man’s successor has been around for a month, the superhero name was never confirmed by Marvel. We only knew that a black teenage Science prodigy named Riri Williams will be the replacement. And before we go any further, let’s clarify that these changes are only for comic book aficionados. So far. But since changes to the comic books eventually find their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe too, it might not be long before Ironheart gets a theatrical release.

Who’s Riri?

Riri Williams was first introduced as a character in the Invincible Iron Man #6 in a subplot. Even then she was shown working away at a body armor that she was making with “borrowed” components from the MIT campus. So we know she’s smart, just like Tony Stark and likes bending a few rules too.

Image courtesy: Marvel
Image courtesy: Marvel

That’s not all, the similarities also extend to being impulsive and not really thinking about the consequences of her actions. Though, since she’s still a teenager, we’ll cut some slack for here there.

But when she puts on that armor and dons the Ironheart identity, she’ll definitely need a mentor to guide her.

Beginning of a New Era

Writer Brian Michael Bendis spoke to Wired on the naming of the new character and explained, “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.

But this is not the end of the road for Tony Stark. In-fact, Riri Williams in-armor AI is molded on Tony Stark’s personality. The writers haven’t yet revealed what will happen to heir of the Stark Empire, but it’s safe to assume that will possibly signal the end of one of Marvel’s beloved superheroes.

Times, they are A-changing

The decision to replace Iron Man with an African-American teenager is one of many that has led to a more inclusive Marvel universe, where we don’t just see white male superheroes. Some recent changes are Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales as Spider-Man, Jane Foster as the new Thor, and Amadeus Cho as the Hulk. This has kicked up its own set of controversy, not only in the online world, but in the comic book universe too.

ALSO READ: 13 Cool Marvel Movie Universe Wallpapers for Every Marvel Comic Fan

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