The New Iron Man Is 15, and a Girl—Here's What You Need to Know About Riri Williams
Marvel's Tony Stark is stepping aside for a new Iron Man to take his place—in the comics, at least.
Her name is Riri Williams. She's 15 years old, African American and a science genius, securing a free ride at the prestigious university MIT with her engineering skills. Plus, she kicks a lot of butt.
So how exactly does a 15-year-old become the next Iron Man?
Riri is deeply influenced by Tony's technological advancements. Drawing inspiration from an old Iron Man suit, she reverse-engineers the technology, allowing her to create her own suit using "borrowed" parts from school.
After building her suit, Riri flies it nightly to master the controls. One night, she happens to be in the area of a couple of escaped prison inmates, so of course she thwarts their plan.
It's not long before Tony hears of her accomplishment—and her custom-built suit—and shows up on Riri's doorstep, encouraging her to continue fighting crime.
It also happens that (in the movies, at least) Tony Stark programmed the J.A.R.V.I.S. AI, inspired by his childhood butler Edwin Jarvis, as a home computing system that also helped guide his Iron Man suit. Similarly, Riri programs the artificial intelligence that powers her suit based on Tony's personality. It's pretty cool to see that concept come full circle!
Though we've seen a bit of her story in the comics so far, we can't wait until next month for the next edition of Invincible Iron Man to see Riri become Ironheart. It's a much better name than "Iron Woman," if you ask me.
There are still no plans to see Riri as Ironheart in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but a girl can can dream.
According to comic book artist Mike Deodato, Jr., Riri's physical appearance was inspired by Disney Channel actress Skai Jackson. Maybe she'd be up for taking the role if it ever comes to the big screen?
Riri is proof you don't need superpowers to be a superhero. Click HERE to see our favorite comic book heroines without powers.