Ironheart (character)

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Riri Williams on a variant cover of Ironheart #1. Art by Luciano Vecchio.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceCameo appearance:
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7 (May 2016)
Full appearance:
Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #9 (July 2016)
Created byBrian Michael Bendis
Mike Deodato
Eve Ewing
In-story information
Alter egoRiri Williams
Team affiliationsChampions
Notable aliasesIron Man
Lady Ironheart
Queen of Latveria
AbilitiesSkilled inventor and engineer
Super Genius-level intellect

Ironheart (Riri Williams) is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by the American publisher Marvel Comics. The character was created in 2015 by writers Brian Michael Bendis, and artist Mike Deodato, and later redesigned by Eve Ewing and Kevin Libranda.

Publication history[edit]

Riri Williams on a variant cover of Invincible Iron Man vol. 3 #1. Art by Jeff Dekal.

Riri Williams, created by Brian Michael Bendis and designed by Mike Deodato, first appeared in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7,[1] written by Bendis and drawn by Deodato.[2][3] She then made her first significant appearance two issues later.[4]

Williams later starred in the third volume of Invincible Iron Man, starting in late 2016,[3] under the codename Ironheart,[5] using armor designed by Stefano Caselli, the artist of the new volume.[6]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Riri Williams is a 15-year-old engineering student who is the daughter of the late Riri Williams Sr. Following Riri Williams Sr.'s death, Riri lived with her mother and her paternal aunt Sharon. She started attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on scholarship.[7] Working alone, Riri designs a suit of armor similar to the Iron Man armor using material stolen from campus. When campus security knocks at her door, she flees by putting on the suit and escaping.[8]

When Williams prevents two inmates from escaping the New Mexico State Penitentiary, her suit is damaged.[9] Upon returning to her mother's house, Riri continued to work on improving the suit, much to the dismay of her aunt. Tony Stark hears of Riri's accomplishment and goes to meet her. During their meeting, Tony Stark states to Riri that he will endorse her decision to be a superhero.[7]

Appearing in her Rescue armor following the "Civil War II" storyline, Pepper Potts confronted Riri Williams and her Tony Stark A.I. in an attempt to tell Riri the problems of being a superhero only for them to be attacked by Techno Golem and her Biohack Ninjas.[10] As Riri flees, Pepper fights against Techno Golem and her Biohack Ninjas as Techno Golem tries to get answers from Pepper on how she knows Riri.[11] When Techno Golem's armor breaks and Tomoe tries to attack Riri, Pepper fires her Rescue armor's gauntlets at Tomoe which knocked her out. Upon Sharon Carter formally meeting Riri after the arrest of Tomoe and the Biohack Ninjas, Pepper states to Riri that they will talk again as she flies off in her Rescue armor.[12] Pepper Potts was present with Mary Jane Watson, Friday, the Tony Stark A.I., and Tony Stark's biological mother Amanda Armstrong when they are in the Hall of Armor where Riri voices her knowledge of each of the Iron Man armors. When Amanda Armstrong offers to have Riri let Tony Stark's labs be her base of operations, Riri is hesitant as Pepper encourages her. The next day at her home, Riri's family is visited by the headmistress at M.I.T. who would like Riri to continue working there as it has gotten sloppy since she left. In addition, Riri will be allowed to use the laboratories there. After her work in one of the laboratories, Riri has the Tony Stark A.I. find her something to blow off some steam on. The Tony Stark A.I. finds Armadillo on a crime spree enabling Riri as Ironheart to defeat Armadillo. Afterwards, she is approached by the Champions who offer her membership into their group.[13]

During the Secret Empire storyline, Ironheart is seen fighting the Army of Evil at the time of Hydra's takeover of the United States. After Baron Helmut Zemo has Blackout surround Manhattan with Darkforce upon enhancing him with the powers of the Darkhold, Riri has the Tony Stark A.I. send a distress signal to all available heroes to meet her in Washington DC as fast as they can. Following Hydra's takeover, Ironheart and Falcon II join up with the Champions when they assist the Underground. She and the Champions later followed Black Widow when she makes her own plans for Captain America. During their training, the young heroes argue over Black Widow's brutality and mercilessness. During a mission, the heroes infiltrate a Hydra base to find someone crucial to Black Widow's plan. They're later told by Black Widow that they are going to kill Steve Rogers, after Hydra attacked the Underground's hideout and destroyed it. In Washington DC, at the beginning of their assault, Spider-Man begins to fight Captain America when Black Widow intervenes and gets killed. Just as Spider-Man is about to kill Steve Rogers, the others convince him to not do it and get arrested.[14] She also helped the Champions in searching for survivors in Las Vegas, Nevada after it was destroyed by Hydra.[15]

Riri is later startled to learn that her android teammate Viv Vision has developed a crush on her.[16]


Date Sales rank Issue Price Publisher Units sold to comic stores
November 2016 5 Invincible Iron Man 1 $3.99 Marvel 97,713[17]
Dec 2016 13 Invincible Iron Man 2 $3.99 Marvel 81,271
Jan 2017 346 Invincible Iron Man 3 $3.99 Marvel 44,181
Feb 2017 56 Invincible Iron Man 4 $3.99 Marvel 36,600
March 2017 51 Invincible Iron Man 5 $3.99 Marvel 38,746
April 2017 69 Invincible Iron Man 6 $3.99 Marvel 31,561
May 2017 89 Invincible Iron Man 7 $3.99 Marvel 28,266
June 2017 64 Invincible Iron Man 8 $3.99 Marvel 33,428
July 2017 71 Invincible Iron Man 9 $3.99 Marvel 30,128
Aug 2017 80 Invincible Iron Man 10 $3.99 Marvel 27,675
Sept 2017 62 Invincible Iron Man 11 $3.99 Marvel 34,015
Nov 2018 45 Ironheart 1 $4.99 Marvel 40,739
Jan 2019 123 Ironheart 2 $4.99 Marvel 17,507
Feb 2019 123 Ironheart 3 $4.99 Marvel 14,189


The character of Riri Williams received criticism for having an inaccurate portrayal of a typical black female teenager,[18] and the lack of an actual black female writer for the character.[19]

Alternate versions[edit]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the 2017 comic Spider-Men II, an Ultimate version of Riri Williams is seen as a member of the Ultimates alongside Hulk, Human Torch, Captain America, Giant-Man, Thor, Spider-Woman and the original Spider-Man of 1610.

In other media[edit]


Internet video[edit]

  • In March 2017, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's admissions department released a short live-action video where Riri Williams / Ironheart, played by student Ayomide F., walks around campus, attends class, and builds an Ironheart suit in her dormitory.[21]

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ "Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3: Civil War II (Trade Paperback)". Marvel Entertainment. 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  2. ^ Johnston, Rich (2016-07-10). "Invincible Iron Man #7 Hits $49 For First Riri Williams". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2016-08-30.
  3. ^ a b Dockterman, Eliana (July 6, 2016). "Exclusive: Marvel's New Iron Man Is a Black Woman". Time. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  4. ^ Mike Deodato, Jr. [@mikedeodato] (2016-07-11). "Riri Williams was based on the beautiful young actress @skaijackson" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2017-10-23 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Bien-Khan, Joseph (August 22, 2016). "Exclusive: Marvel's New Iron Man Will Be Known as ... Ironheart!". Wired. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  6. ^ Lovett, Jamie (2016-07-07). "Marvel Reveals Riri Williams' Iron Man Armor Design". Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  7. ^ a b Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3 #12
  8. ^ Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3 #7
  9. ^ Invincible Iron Man Vol. 3 #11
  10. ^ Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4 #3
  11. ^ Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4 #4
  12. ^ Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4 #5
  13. ^ Invincible Iron Man Vol. 4 #6
  14. ^ Secret Empire #0-7
  15. ^ Champions Vol. 2 #11
  16. ^ Champions Vol. 2 #27
  17. ^ "November 2016 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops". Comichron.
  18. ^ Busch, Caitlin (2016-10-19). "Marvel's New Riri Williams Cover Has a Lot of Fans Pissed Off". Inverse. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  19. ^ Riesman, Abraham (2016-07-07). "Geeks Are Angry About Iron Man Becoming a Black Girl — But Not for the Reason You'd Think". Vulture. Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  20. ^ Sorrentino, Mike (October 2, 2018). "Iron Man Riri Williams is making her animated debut in Marvel Rising". CNET. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  21. ^ "MIT's admissions teaser features the new Iron Man — a black female superhero - The Boston Globe".
  22. ^ "Piecing Together Marvel Puzzle Quest: Riri Williams".
  23. ^ Marvel: Future Fight [@Marvel_FFightUS] (2017-01-11). "Kate Bishop, Ironheart, and Medusa are joining the fight. Check them out in the v2.8.0 update, now live!" (Tweet). Retrieved 2017-10-23 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ "Dani Chambers Resume". Retrieved 2019-04-19.

External links[edit]