Watch out Tony Stark, Riri Williams is coming for your throne. The scrappy young Chicagoan known in the Marvel universe as Ironheart is getting her very own comic series and Chicago writer, academic, and poet Eve Ewing is helming the series with art by Kevin Libranda.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Ewing gushed about the Brian Michael Bendis character (who debuted in 2016’s Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7, and has also had a supporting role in Marvel's ongoing Champions teen team-up series) that’ll be leading her own supersuited, self-titled comic in Riri Williams: Ironheart #1.
Kicked off by a fan campaign after Ewing showed interest in the character on Twitter, the road to writing a genius black girl who made her own supersuit culminated in an email from Marvel titled “Marvel calling.”
“The campaign was for me to work on Invincible Iron Man, but when Marvel said we’re actually thinking about doing a solo title for Riri, that was like ‘Omigosh, this is the coolest thing ever,’” Ewing said. “It’s really special, because this is a character that has some groundwork laid already but is still very new in terms of her role in the Marvel universe; it’s almost like getting into business on the ground floor. I get to play a role in really shaping who she is and who she’s going to become.” Ewing also hopes to include the Chicago details necessary to make Williams feel true-to-live - details gleaned as a resident of the city.
“I decided specifically that she’s from South Shore,” Ewing said. “Previous writers put in so much, in terms of beginning her autobiographical details, but as a Chicagoan, I want to get down and dirty — like where did Riri go to high school? What bus does she take? Does she eat hot chips? These are the things that are really going to make her a full three-dimensional person. I’m really excited about putting in some of those little Chicago details.”
But much of the characterization will be standard superhero fare. A loner, an outcast - someone that doesn’t quite fit in. The first piece of art from the series (above) also makes it clear Riri will be rocking a very different suit of armor once she goes solo. Ewing said Williams will have her humanity defined as much by her intellect as her heritage. “Being a genius and knowing how to fix stuff and build amazing gadgets doesn’t necessarily make you a happy person,” Ewing said. So how do you figure out how to use the power that’s available to you and how to connect with and be accountable to the people around you?”
That question will start to find its answers when Riri Williams: Ironheart #1 hits stores on Nov. 7.