Ironheart: How this Marvel genius’ Disney Plus show can work in the MCU

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 09: Dominique Thorne attends the "If Beale Street Could Talk" U.S. premiere during the 56th New York Film Festival at The Apollo Theater on October 09, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 09: Dominique Thorne attends the "If Beale Street Could Talk" U.S. premiere during the 56th New York Film Festival at The Apollo Theater on October 09, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images) /

How can Ironheart be a hit on Disney Plus? By following the four steps mentioned below. 

This is an amazing age if you’re a fan of the newer Marvel Comics heroes. Miles Morales and Kamala Khan are among the younger comic book stars that people adore. They’re also generational heroes who proudly carry out the names of their predecessors. The good thing is they do it differently. Ms. Marvel (Kamala) and Spider-Man (Miles) aren’t like their namesakes. It’s part of what makes them special.

Once upon a time, Riri Williams took over as Iron Man. She was still Ironheart, but she represented him with his red and yellow. While she’s another armor wearing superhero, the two of them couldn’t be more different. They weren’t raised the same nor do they have the same attitude or approach to saving people. However, when Tony Stark “died” he trusted her with his legacy (see Invincible Iron Man by Brian Michael Bendis for more on that).

Ironheart on Disney Plus is going to attract a lot of viewers. Not only will people get a new Iron Avenger of sorts, they’re going to learn more about Riri Williams. Actress Dominique Thorne will debut the role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but that’s only her intro. The Disney Plus series is where she’ll truly shine.

These next four sections are necessary to making sure Ironheart is the hit it should be.

Iron Heart’s origin

Riri Williams was a super-genius by the age of five. Her principal noticed this when she started acting out due to boredom. He also mentioned that she wouldn’t be able to relate to most people – her parents included. This left Riri isolated. One day, however, Natalie came along. While she wasn’t a genius, Riri and her became best friends immediately. Then, something unfortunate happened as Natalie and Riri’s step-father were killed in a drive-by.

Every hero has a tragedy. Uncle Ben for Spider-Man, Bruce Wayne’s parents, and the million terrible things that happened to Logan; Riri’s isn’t just a catastrophic origin, it’s reality. Where she grew up is dangerous. Innocent people die from gun violence almost every day. A harsh truth that needs to be addressed. Some people may think it’s too heavy, but it’s something that people should know about.

After everything that happened, Riri wasn’t looking to make more friends. She didn’t have one going on two years after Natalie died. She was already isolated and couldn’t relate to people. Now, she had to start all over, but couldn’t. She dove deeper into her work. Even in M.I.T. (where she built her first Iron Man armor out of spare parts), she couldn’t connect with other geniuses.

There’s so much to get into with Ironheart’s origin. Thankfully, this will be a show and not a film. This means more time will be dedicated to showcasing her story. That means the horrible truth will be displayed as well as her triumphant rise to herodom.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Shuri (Letitia Wright)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018 /

Help from Wakanda

Riri Williams will make her first appearance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It’s likely that Shuri will take an interest in Riri during her time at M.I.T. That’s on top of whatever happens during the sequel. The relationships she gains from Wakanda should leak into Ironheart.

In Marvel Comics, Riri had Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence to help train her to be a superhero. As great as it would be for Robert Downey Jr. to return, it isn’t going to happen. Since that’s the case, another young genius from Wakanda could help her. Again, the clear answer here is Shuri since she’s not only a super-genius, but she’s fought in multiple big time battles.

Smartest person on the planet

There’s a debate as to who the smartest people in Marvel Comics are. Reed Richards, Tony Stark,  and Victor von Doom are always the first to be mentioned. Well, the three of them will have to step aside. Riri Williams is also looked at as one of the smartest people in the pages of Marvel Comics (the others being Valeria Richards and Lunella Lafayette who haven’t been introduced yet).

The best thing to do is to start Riri Williams out on the right foot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. How to do that? Make her the smartest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Regardless if she remains the most intelligent, she should always be in the top three.

Ironheart armor

The Iron Man armor is classic. The red and yellow loom is easily recognizable and it’s become synonymous with the Marvel hero. However, Riri Williams isn’t Tony Stark. She’s her own woman and her own hero. What started as Iron Man’s look in the comics evolved into her own. Her colors are yellow, black, and pink. The design is different as well. For example, the chest beam is over Riri’s heart. A simple, but noticeable difference.

There should be more discernible changes to this in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to separate her from Iron Man. Also, we’ve seen how smooth the armor can look. Hopefully, Marvel doesn’t skimp on the design budget.

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What do you think? Are there other things needed to make Ironheart successful? Let us know in the comments below.