Tony Stark is dead and buried in the MCU, as Robert Downey Jr. finished his Iron Man contract with Marvel in the best possible way. The iconic superhero Downey Jr. played for more than a decade appeared in so many movies. Iron Man is a part of the MCU’s most exciting franchises: Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America, and Spider-Man. But he died a heroic death in Endgame, breaking the hearts of fans in the process. As a result, Iron Man replacements are on the way, including a fan-favorite Marvel superhero called Ironheart. Marvel confirmed that we will see Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne) in the MCU even before the Ironheart series hits Disney Plus. And now we have a first look at the new character.
Our first look at Marvel’s Ironheart superhero
If you’ve seen the MCU Phase 4 titles released so far, you’ve probably noticed that Marvel is assembling several separate teams of heroes. While we’re waiting for the X-Men, the Eternals make up the easiest one to spot. We’ll soon see them in their standalone story. Then there’s the Thunderbolts, which we started seeing in some of the Phase 4 adventures.
Finally, there’s Young Avengers, whose members have also started appearing in some of the Disney Plus stories. That’s where Ironheart comes in.
Marvel has already confirmed a standalone TV show for the superhero, but we don’t have a release date for the new MCU series. However, Kevin Feige recently confirmed rumors that we’ll see Thorne play Riri Williams in a different type of adventure before Ironheart arrives. That’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which is expected to premiere on July 8th, 2022. It’s unclear why Williams appears in the movie or how the character is connected to Wakanda. Ironheart should have direct ties to Iron Man, but Iron Man is dead.
Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, 25-08-2021 pic.twitter.com/GjaA4w5GG5
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Press photos from the set have already leaked, giving us a first look at Thorne playing Williams. As you can see in the images above, we’re looking at someone who looks nothing like a superhero. It’s a kid going to school, and we do know that Marvel shot scenes at MIT, where Ironheart studied.
We might have to wait a while to see the character in full Ironheart battle gear. But while our first look at Thorne’s Williams might disappoint fans, there is one exciting rumor about the character. According to Bleeding Cool, Williams will get a superhero suit made of vibranium, complete with tech from Wakanda. Apparently, Riri Williams will play a prominent role in the Black Panther sequel.
The Iron Man legacy
With that in mind, we can’t help but wonder whether Marvel will establish any connections between Ironheart and Tony Stark.
Stark died at the best and worst possible time in the MCU. On the one hand, Stark completed his lifelong mission, sacrificing his life to save the universe. We knew he might die in Endgame, but we weren’t prepared for that emotional ending.
On the other hand, the MCU is going to get plenty of extraordinary new characters who will not get to interact with Stark. That’s why so many MCU fans would want to see Iron Man back in some form. That means keeping his legacy from Endgame intact. Thankfully, the multiverse gives Marvel the opportunity to bring any Iron Man variant back to the MCU. It so happens that What If…? episode 3 shows us one such variant. However, things aren’t looking good for that Iron Man.
We should also mention that there are five years of untold Tony Stark stories: the time between Infinity War and Endgame. Tony seems to have retired after the first conflict with Thanos. But he’s still working on Iron Man tech, as seen in Endgame. Could he have interacted with Riri Williams in some way before the events of Endgame?
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will bring the first answers to our Ironheart questions. We might soon learn whether the character’s origin story will resemble the comics or if Marvel is tweaking it to suit the MCU’s needs.