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Ironheart Set to Make MCU Debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

ironheart issue # 3 cover art from marvel comics

Ironheart will be entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe much sooner than we all thought.

Variety has confirmed that actress Dominique Thorne, who will star as the superhero Ironheart in her own Disney Plus series, is going to be in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

This makes another great addition to the already rich cast of the film, which has just recently added I May Destroy You tri-creative, Michaela Coel, in the film in a role that has yet to be unconfirmed, but is highly speculated. I am excited about this development because I think blending in more Black heroes in this project is an excellent way to pay tribute to not only those characters, but to the inclusive Black creative process that late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman helped create.

Ironheart aka Riri Williams was initially created by writers Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato. No offense, but the character was later redesigned and improved by Eve Ewing and Kevin Libranda. In the comics, Williams is a 15-year-old engineering student/genius. Dominique Thorne is 23, so it’s unclear how old her Riri will be depicted as in Black Panther.

Like many talented children in comics, she is the daughter of the late Riri Williams Sr. and following his death, she goes to live with her mother Ronnie and her aunt Sharon in Chicago. As a certified super-genius, she attends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on scholarship where she crafts her own Iron Man suit and ends up fighting crime. Her turn in a super-suit is blessed by Tony Stark and she becomes the superhero Ironheart.

Initially, the character got a lot of flack—because like most BIPOC legacy characters, there is always a lot of pushback. Bendis had already worked to create Miles Morales and would go on to create Naomi for DC. With the relaunch of the character, Riri was allowed to really stand out in her own way and stand apart from the usual genius teen archetypes that fill comics. I’ve recommended Ewing’s run and I stand by it; it’s an excellent introduction to the character.

Wakanda Forever will be coming to theaters on July 8, 2022, and production began in June 2021. Wishing all the best and hoping to see a Black woman brought into the team to continue the amazing work that Eve Ewing and Kevin Libranda laid the foundation for. We know that’ll happen on the Ironheart Disney+ series, but this is just another reason for me to be excited about Wakanda Forever.

Director Ryan Coogler has a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but I have faith in him and this project.

(via Variety, image: Marvel Comics)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.