Critically acclaimed comic writer Brian Michael Bendis is no stranger to creating dynamic characters with gripping stories. In 2016, Bendis introduced readers to a young engineering student that gives Tony Stark/Iron Man a run for his money. How much do you know about this female powerhouse?
Riri Williams, created by Bendis and designed by Mike Deodato, made her first cameo appearance in Invincible Iron Man Volume 2 #7. Her first full appearance would arrive two issues later in Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #9. Daughter of the late Riri Williams Sr., Riri is a 15-year-old engineering student studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on full scholarship. Using her genius-level intellect, along with material stolen from campus, Riri manages to create a suit of armor similar to that of Iron Man. After campus security discovers what she has been up to, Riri dons the suit and escapes. Managing to prevent two inmates from escaping the New Mexico State Penitentiary in the process.
Unfortunately, her suit is is damaged and she must return to her mother’s house to work on improving the suit. At this time, Tony Stark learns of Riri’s accomplishments and agrees to endorse her decision to be a superhero. During Civil War II, Riri used a repaired version of her armor to help Iron Man fight against the forces of Captain Marvel. Following this intense battle, Tony Stark fell into a coma. Determined to continue his legacy as a hero, Riri created an all-new updated armor and took up the alias of the Invincible Ironheart. Helping Riri in this endeavor is an A.I. duplicate of Tony Stark that offers guidance during missions.
Throughout the Secret Empire storyline, when Hydra was taking over the United States, Ironheart teamed with Falcon II and the Champions to try and stop Hydra. Although this was a long process and saw many casualties, eventually Hydra was defeated and the healing process could begin. The 2017 comic Spider-Men II, features an Ultimate version of Riri alongside a grey Hulk, Human Torch, Captain America, Giant-Man, Thor, Spider-Woman, and the original Spider-Man of 1610.
Although she was only recently introduced into comics, and Bendis has since left Marvel, the future of Riri remains bright. Bendis even tweeted, “I have very good Intel that Miss Williams will live past me in the best way possible. Stay tuned. A lot of you ask me about Marvel’s plans and it’s really their plans to announce. All I can tell you is that very good people are making very good choices.” You heard the man Ironheart fans, stay tuned!