The upcoming Ironheart series clears doubts regarding Spider-Man being Iron Man’s replacement in the MCU. Riri Williams is our new Iron-Man.
The upcoming Ironheart series announced by Kevin Feige at Disney Investor Day 2020 fixes issues about Spider-Man being Iron-Man’s replacement in the MCU. The death of Tony Stark AKA Iron-Man in Endgame led everyone to think that Marvel would pass his mantle to Peter Parker. But with the announcement, Marvel made it clear that Riri Williams will be Tony Stark’s protégé, just as in the comics.
MCU’s New Avengers Rank
Post Endgame, many films and series announcements have brought in new hero filling the ranks of MCU’s founding superheroes. For example, Steve Rogers passed on his shield to Sam Wilson AKA the Falcon, at the very end of Endgame.
Watch: MCU Ironheart on Disney+
And we will see Sam carrying the legendary shield in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier alongside Sebastian Stan. We know that Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova will be the next Black Widow. Even Chris Hemsworth’s Thor will have a female counterpart in Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) as female Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder. Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfield) will debut in She-Hulk and Hawkeye series respectively, on Disney+. So, the only one who remains to pass on the mantel is Iron-Man. And till now, the only candidate has been Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
Tony Stark’s and Peter Parker’s relationship in the MCU
While viewers have loved MCU’s take on Spider-Man, it has exaggerated his relationship with Iron-Man. And it has indeed received a lot of criticisms, especially from Marvel readers. Although every character in the MCU thrives on connectivity, the relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker is something that Marvel highballed. This is visible in both the Spider-Man movies of MCU. In both of them, Peter’s main objective was to face the consequences that linked to his mentor’s (Tony’s) past actions.
Another thing was to show Peter put on suits that were designed by Tony Stark. Even the iconic red-and-blue suit was made by Stark himself. This is in “stark” contrast to the comics where Peter uses his intellect to create his suits. And all this has established a strong mentor-student relationship between the two characters. Moreover, with Tony dead, there is nothing more that can be done to undo it, no matter how much fans dislike it.
Marvel may not be able to undo what it has done. But it made use of the only way it could, to not make matters worse. With the introduction of Ironheart, Marvel made it clear that Spider-Man won’t be Iron-Man’s successor but Ironheart AKA Riri Williams.
Ironheart in Marvel Comics
Created by Brian Michael Bendis in 2016, Riri Williams debuted in Invincible Iron Man Volume 2 #7. A teenage genius, much like Tony, she attends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at age 15 and eventually creates her armor. Riri then receives an official sponsorship from Tony Stark, and this establishes her as Ironheart. According to the comics, Riri has her lab at MIT, where she develops her own AI (like Tony’s JARVIS) and calls it NATALIE- after her late best friend.
Riri Williams’ Debut in the MCU
The Disney+ series may not borrow much matter from the comics due to obvious reasons (Tony’s demise). But there are still some ways for Marvel to incorporate them. For example, in the comics, Riri takes on Tony’s role when he goes into a coma after facing Captain Marvel in Civil War II. Also, Ironheart is one of The Ten Rings’ main targets. This naturally links Riri Williams with the upcoming Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings movie. We also have Disney+ series Armor Wars that will have Tony’s best friend Rhodey AKA Colonel James Rhodes as War Machine. It seems likely that the show might also feature Riri alongside Rhodey as both of them take Tony’s legacy further.
Dominique Thorne will play the role of Riri Williams in Ironheart that will tentatively come out sometime in 2022 or 2023.
Riri and Peter together On-screen
Latest reports suggest that Sony and Marvel are talking over a new deal that will incorporate three more Spider-Man movies. Two events precede this report. The first one is of Sony snatching away Spider-Man’s rights from Marvel after the success of venom. The other is a new deal that came up afterward. This deal said that would keep Spider-Man in the MCU for at least two more movies. A part of this was due to the reaction of fans who were dissatisfied with Sony’s decision.
But now, it seems that Sony and Marvel will sign a new deal that will lead to a Spidey-trilogy that will showcase Peter’s college years. So, this adds to the chances of us seeing Peter and Riri together on-screen. And it will no doubt be a treat to watch both of them share a chemistry, with the dope Tony Stark as both their mentors. More so, it can also mean that we might just see a special appearance from Robert Downey Jr in the future.