A couple of months back, a new Iron Man was announced: Riri Williams, a 15-year old African American girl. Speculation around the name she would adopt has been the topic of numerous debates. Would she be calling herself Iron Man? Iron Woman? Fans have been waiting, and now they have been rewarded. Riri Williams will be calling herself Ironheart. Riri Williams, along with Miles Morales (Spider-Man), Khamala Khan (Ms. Marvel), Jane Foster (Thor), and even Amadeus Cho (The Hulk) are all part of trend by Marvel to make a much more inclusive universe, a departure from the traditional white, male heroes.
The announcement for the name dropped today, and it appears to have come from Joe Quesada himself, according to Brian Michael Bendis. Other names were getting some attention, but one seemed to be off the table early on: Iron Maiden. According to Bendis, it would have been “a legal nightmare” And as for why Iron Woman didn’t work? “It seemed too old fashioned…” according to Bendis.
What’s still unknown is what role Tony Stark will be playing in this new story arc, as he is stepping down from being Iron Man in the Marvel comic universe (at least for now) Tony will likely be playing a more advisory role, as was surmised earlier, but a new detail was revealed in the announcement today.
Riri Williams’ A.I. will be based off of Tony’s personality, which is a neat touch. So while Tony may not take a direct role in Riri Williams mentoring, a version of the original Iron Man will be keeping her safe when she takes on the mantle of one of the most iconic heroes in Marvel history. The book will debut this fall.