IronHeart Origins

IronHeart Origins
VOICE OVER: Andrew Tejada WRITTEN BY: Jonathan Alexander
This Young Avengers member has an awesome origin story! Today we're breaking down the origins of Ironheart. For this video, we'll be looking at how Riri Williams went from teenage genius to flying around in her own super suit.

Ironheart Origins

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re breaking down the origins of Ironheart.

For this video, we’ll be looking at how Riri Williams went from teenage genius to flying around in her own super suit.

What aspects of Ironheart do you most want to see in the MCU? Let us know in the comments!

Riri Williams, named after her late father, had seen her fair share of tragedy before she ever put on a metal suit. At just fifteen, she’d already lost a father, a stepdad, and a best friend. But, Riri was a certified tech-prodigy, and was determined to do something constructive with her grief. So, she put her brains to work designing her very own iron suit to rival Tony Stark’s. Admittedly, she had to steal a few parts from her university, but she eventually succeeded in making a working prototype. Later, she showed off her knack for crime-fighting when she stopped two inmates from escaping prison. Not too shabby for a first mission.

In fact, it was so impressive that it caught the attention of Tony Stark himself. He tracked down Riri and officially brought her on as his protege. Though, she quickly proved herself more than a mere sidekick. During the second “Civil War” storyline, Riri came into her own by allying with Iron Man’s ideology in the hero vs. hero conflict. Later, when Tony fell into a coma, Riri took it upon herself to continue her mentor’s legacy. Albeit, with a new name: Ironheart. Of course, it helped that she had Tony’s consciousness in an AI chip for any time she needed a good pep talk.

Riri may have worn a strikingly similar suit, but she was not just a new Tony. That became abundantly clear when her heroics drew S.H.I.E.L.D. to her front door. They recruited her to invade the impoverished country Latveria to take down a dangerous fugitive. Riri made relatively quick work of the actual villain, but then stayed in the nation long enough to negotiate a peace treaty between Latveria and S.H.I.E.L.D. By the time Riri left, the country was having its first free election, ever. This storyline proved instrumental in showcasing that Riri could fight with her heart just as much as her brain.

But, soon enough, there was a new kind of trouble brewing. Namely, a ultranationalist lookalike of Captain America, who allied with Hydra and tried to conquer the whole world. It was definitely an all-hands-on-deck situation, which led Riri to join the underground resistance. There, she befriended the teenage superhero team, the Champions, and became something of an honorary member. Unfortunately, a botched operation left Riri and the others in a prison cell for most of the action. But, in the final battle, they made up for lost time by busting quite a few Hydra heads. With the real Captain America reinstated, the Champions eventually thanked Riri by officially inducting her into their ranks.

With a new team, a new purpose, and even a new suit, Riri was positively soaring with the group. In fact, she ended up getting a bit too close with one of her teammates. The android Viv Vision developed romantic feelings for Riri, but the introverted tech genius didn’t have the social skills to politely refute the advance. The resulting tension weighed on the whole team, and left Riri emotionally conflicted. Her mind became so vulnerable that she fell prey to the mind-control powers of the villain, Blackheart. Ironheart unwillingly fought all of the Champions, and may have caused some serious damage if Viv hadn’t knocked her out of it. After the traumatic battle, Riri and Viv finally accepted they were better off as friends.

Afterwards, things quieted down a bit, and Riri completed more solo ventures. Until, suddenly: zombies! The dead were rising, and Riri took it upon herself to investigate why. She stopped the outbreak by defeating the villain, Eclipse, but quickly learned there was a much larger plot afoot. A consultation with Doctor Strange led her to Wakanda in search of the ancient Wellspring of Power. There, she discovered that the Wellspring was leaking, and unleashing endless shadowy monsters onto the world. So, teamed with Shuri, Okoye, and Silhouette, Ironheart set off to reseal the Wellspring’s energy.

But, it’s never that easy. The four discovered that the secret society, the Ten Rings, was trying to open the Wellspring for good. The heroes sliced-and-diced their way to stop them, but came to a screeching halt due to a surprising family matter. One of the villains, Dune, was actually Riri’s father. All those years ago, he’d faked his own death to saddle up with the shady organization. The family reunion got cut short when Riri, confused and angry, accidentally fell into the Wellspring. Inside, she faced her inner turmoil, and later reemerged to save the Wellspring, Wakanda, and the entire world. After handily cleaning up the Ten Rings, she parted ways with Shuri and the others as a new friend to their country.

Afterwards, Riri took a well-deserved vacation. Except, it quickly turned into a forced retirement. The government passed the Underage Superhuman Welfare Act, which outlawed teenage vigilantism. That meant Riri and the Champions had to either hang up the capes or be branded as outlaws. Fearing the retribution that would befall her mother, Riri seemingly powered off her suit for good. Her controversial decision had many of the hot-headed teen heroes believing she was a double agent. The Champions confronted her, but only succeeded in giving away her address. With no more choice in the matter, Riri went on the run with the others.

Later, the real traitor ended up being the presumed-dead Viv Vision. She ensured the Champions were never far from capture. Thankfully, the team got a welcome assist from the X-Men, who know a thing or two about hiding from the government. Under their protection, Riri got to meet her idol, Storm, who inspired the young girl to face her enemies head on. The Champions later reconciled with Viv, and waged a war on the new law in the headlines instead of on the battlefield. Eventually, the mounting pressure repealed the bill for good, letting Riri and the others continue their heroic endeavors.

As a relatively new addition to the Marvel canon, Ironheart hasn’t had many chances to show off her stuff outside of the comics. An animated special, a few video games appearances, and the infrequent guest spot is really all she has to her name. Though, that’s changing very soon with newcomer Dominique Thorne taking over the role for a lengthy flight in the MCU. She’ll first appear in the hotly-anticipated “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” before headlining her own series on Disney+. In a post-Iron Man MCU, Riri is the perfect choice to bring some tech back to the next phase of the franchise.