Writer: Eve. L Ewing
Artist: Kevin Libranda and Luciano Vecchio
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Tony Stark…genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. Riri Williams…. genius, college student, awkward nerd, concerned citizen.
After a run in Invincible Iron Man, Riri Williams gets a new suit and a new title; Ironheart. Though she is a superhero in her own right, Riri still struggles with feelings that she doesn’t belong. In her first bout, the villain Clash antagonizes her with deliberate mockery against her age calling her Barbie Dreamhouse Iron Man and suggesting that she is from the “JV squad”. Even in her community, she is constantly correcting people who reference her as Iron Chick and Little Iron. As the only undergraduate student at MIT with her own lab she is subject to the spontaneous and uninvited visits from the Dean as he brings in spectators, affirming that her space is not really her own. Unlike Tony, she doesn’t have a billionaire inheritance and the dean reminds her that her innovations have costs.
Writer Eve Ewing brings relatability to the character by giving a realistic sense to Riri’s introverted and geeky nature making references to her Star Trek cosplay and her love of hip hop music. From her internal musings to her conversations with an old friend from home, Riri feels like someone we could know (or perhaps someone we do know). And with her successes, we also get to see Riri stumble as she works through making updates, enhancements and repairs to her suit. She develops a self learning artificial intelligence to assist her on missions and, to her surprise, it manifests itself as a version of her childhood best friend who was shot and killed and with whose death Riri is still struggling.
Ironheart is a great read so far with two solid issues that would appeal to pre-teen to adult readers.