There was talk going around that Dominique Thorne would appear in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for a few weeks. Today, Marvel’s Kevin Feige came out & revealed that the small talk was true & most fans jumped for joy knowing that the first time they’d see Riri Williams, also known as Ironheart, would be in the next Black Panther film. However, people were left wondering how Marvel could fit Riri into this film without it seeming out of place & I may have figured it out.
First, let’s shed a little light on Ironheart for those unfamiliar with the character. Riri Williams was created by Brian Michael Bendis & Mike Deodato & first appeared in Invincible Iron Man (Vol. 3) #7 on March 2, 2016. Riri is a super-genius who, at the age of 11, got a scholarship to M.I.T.. Riri’s life was flipped upside down when her best friend & her step-father were caught in the line of a drive-by shooting in Marquette Park & were murdered. Sometime later, Riri reverse-engineered the Iron Man Armor Model 41 & created her suit from stolen materials from the M.I.T. campus. However, a security guard stumbled upon Riri building her suit, which caused her to fly away from the campus. As luck would have it, Riri came across inmates escaping from the New Mexico State Penitentiary & thwarted their escape, which caused Tony Stark to notice her & endorse her dream to become a superhero. Down the line, Riri joined Tony (Iron Man) in the second Civil War, but this wouldn’t end well for Tony as he fell into a coma fighting Captain Marvel. Afterward, Riri decided to continue Tony’s legacy by becoming Ironheart with the help of an A.I. duplicate of Tony.
Now it’s pretty clear that Disney & Marvel will be putting their spin on the origin of Ironheart mainly because Tony is dead & a second Civil War hasn’t happened within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So how can Marvel introduce Riri Williams in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in a way that makes sense? Well, I believe we already saw Marvel laying down the groundwork for this at the end of Black Panther. If you recall, at the end of Black Panther, T’Challa takes Shuri to California & they have a very interesting conversation in front of the building where T’Chaka, their father, killed their uncle. Shuri thinks they are destroying the building, but T’Challa reassures her that this is not the case & that he has purchased the building & those surrounding it & that this will be the first Wakanda Outreach Center. T’Challa also tells Shuri that she will be spearheading the science & information exchange.
I think that they will have Riri living in California instead of Chicago & have the murder of her best friend & step-father still take place. Also, instead of having her attend M.I.T., she will attend the Wakanda Outreach Center, where she will create her Ironheart suit under the watchful eye of Shuri. It would make sense to have Shuri be what Tony was to Riri in the comics, in the MCU. I mean, we know that they’ll address the fact that T’Challa will no longer be with us & having Shuri & Riri experience loss of family would bring these two closer together while developing Shuri’s character more throughout the MCU. Riri will have to connect with someone in the main lineup of heroes & Tony has already established that fatherly role to Peter.
Now they can still keep the M.I.T. part of Riri’s story in the MCU, but I honestly feel that the Wakanda Outreach Center, Shuri & Riri, will find themselves hand in hand in the MCU. But what do you think? Do you think this could be the path the MCU takes for introducing Riri? Let us know!
Sean is the jock-like but lovable geek from N.Y.C. who knows his way around a T.A.R.D.I.S. or two. If you ever wanted to know what a time capsule stuffed with pop culture looked like, Sean is it. Anime, movies, television shows, cartoon theme songs from the 80s to the early 2000s, video games & comics this man knows is all. Sean created 4 Geeks Like You back in 2012 as a platform where every form of pop culture could be discussed. Sean has his Bachelor of Science in Nursing & is a vegan.