“Ironheart” is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios is developing a Disney+ series based on the teen superhero, but it’ll be a while before it actually comes to fruition. The news came Thursday evening during Marvel’s portion of the Disney Investor Day presentation which saw a truly astounding number of new announcements for the “Star Wars” and Marvel franchises.
Ironheart — who will be played by Dominique Thorne on the show — is a relatively recently created character in the comics, so we’ll forgive you if you don’t know about her. So here’s a brief rundown on the characters as she exists in the comics.
In the comics, Ironheart is Riri Williams, a Black teen prodigy attending MIT who builds her own suit of flying armor that she reverse-engineered from Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit design. Williams is sort of an Iron Man fangirl — appropriate, as she’s pretty much as smart as Tony is. In terms of her role as a superhero, Ironheart/Williams doesn’t have any powers beyond the tech she puts in her suit. She’s pretty much another Iron Man in that respect.
In the comics, Pepper Potts mentors her in a similar fashion to how Tony took Peter Parker under his wing in the MCU, providing her with resources and a suit AI.
Ironheart is a very new character in the Marvel Comics universe, having been introduced in 2015. So she doesn’t have a lengthy backstory that might give us clues about what her place will be in MCU or how she will be introduced. But with Pepper fighting in her Rescue armor in “Avengers: Endgame” and Tony out of the picture in the MCU like he was in the comics when Williams was introduced (he was in a coma), it’s easy to imagine her as a sort of protege under Pepper’s guidance — that’s if Gwyneth Paltrow can be convinced to return to the MCU, which may take some doing.
With Ironheart’s comics background as an MIT student, you could easily have her armor-building efforts at least partially fueled by Tony’s September Foundation grant from “Captain America: Civil War.” While it’s unlikely that Williams would have been at MIT back then, that was probably just the first of a series of grants — Tony referred to it as the “inaugural” grant in “Civil War” so presumably that became an annual thing after.
Alternatively, they could also simply sub in Don Cheadle’s War Machine in for Tony. Cheadle will be starring in a different newly announced Disney+ series, “Armor Wars,” which should provide plenty of iron man suit-on-iron man suit action. Since these Marvel shows will interact with each other, it only makes sense that Ironheart would be involved in “Armor Wars” in some way or other. And it’s not a stretch to imagine that these two shows could be companion series.
We’ll find out for sure at some point down the line — Marvel boss Kevin Feige didn’t even give a target year for releasing “Ironheart” or “Armor Wars, so don’t expect much info on them for a while.