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The Joy of Seeing Riri Williams on Screen in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Riri Williams making her Ironheart suit in Wakanda Forever

The minute that Riri Williams was introduced into the world of comics, she became a fan favorite—and for a good reason. The prodigy who is so smart that she got into M.I.T. at 15 years old, Williams becomes Ironheart and is an important figure in the younger generation of heroes in the Marvel world.

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When it was announced that she was getting her own show on Disney+, I felt like my head was going to explode out of excitement and that’s not even an exaggeration. I screamed so loudly that I saw stars because that’s how brilliant of a character Riri is in the comic world, so I could only imagine what actress Dominique Thorne was going to bring to the character.

Somehow, I didn’t expect the level of perfection we got in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. But that’s what it was: Perfection. My love of Riri Williams had me buying her comics and sharing them with the younger women in my family and reading them to my niece. I wanted everyone to find strength and love in Riri in the way that I did. Seeing Dominique Thorne bring Riri to life with that same energy that came across on the page filled me with so much joy, it’s honestly hard to put into words just how good Thorne is as Riri.

We meet her at M.I.T. when she is 19 years old and thriving in her classes. Hearing that she made the Vibranium detector that the government stole just because her professor told her that she couldn’t do it? That’s my Riri Williams and she just kept getting better and better throughout the movie.

The first moment she appeared on screen, I knew that this was going to be the perfect iteration of the character. What’s so fantastic about Thorne’s take on the character is that it truly does feel like Riri was taken straight from the comic pages we all love so much and brought to life. It’s also so great to know that we don’t just get to enjoy this character in this one movie, because Riri already has a future mapped out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I can’t wait for Ironheart.

riri in her suit in black panther wakanda forever

I was already excited for Ironheart—again, I nearly blacked out when the news dropped—but this movie just made the wait insufferable because I want to see her in her own element and making her suit and dealing with her own villains. This movie gave us the introduction we needed for Riri and said “okay now wait.” But I don’t want to wait!

She was truly and honestly so perfect that I just smiled out of pride for this character I’ve loved in the comics coming to life on screen. If that’s how I was from just her introduction into the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, I can’t wait to see what she does in her own show.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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