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Riri Williams suits up in Tony Stark's armor as Ironheart

08.22.2016

riri williams, ironheart, invincible iron man, marvel comics, marvel universe, iron man

It wasn't too long ago that Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis announced that Riri Williams, an African-American teenager, would be stepping into Tony Stark's armor and carrying on the legacy of Iron Man, post-CIVIL WAR. As expected, the usual crowd voiced their displeasure over Marvel trying to do something like introducing diversity into their universe, complaining about new faces and characters being introduced in the roles of these established monikers. "Why don't they get their own comic?!" they'd cry. 

Today we got more information about this Iron Man transition going down, particularly about the name Riri Williams will be taking as she assumes such a big responsibility. Riri Williams will be Ironheart, and Benis explained to Wired why. 

"Iron Woman seemed old fashioned to some (and) Iron Maiden looked like a legal nightmare."

"Ironheart, coined by Joe Quesada, after I told him my planned story for Riri, speaks not only to the soul of the character but to the Iron Man franchise as a whole. Tony first put on the armor to save his heart. Riri puts it on for different reasons altogether but still heart-related. When people see her story, you’ll be amazed at how simple and brilliant Joe’s suggestion was.”

You can get much more information about who Riri Williams is, how she acquires the Iron Man armor and what Tony Stark's involvement will be in all of it from Wired's exclusive, but I think one of the more important issues to address is the backlash to these changes that keep happening. 

It's easy to say that these characters should just launch as entirely new properties, but, as we've seen time and time again, people don't support the "fresh, new content" they claim to always want. If fans would put their money where their mouths are, that might be a proposition that content creators like Marvel could move forward with. But as we constantly see, it's the brands that attract the eyes, with mainstream audiences constantly going back to what they know, what they're comfortable with, rather than taking a chance on something new - and that's where those opportunities falter. 

Let's not get confused and believe that Riri Williams is replacing Tony Stark and wiping his presence from the Marvel Universe clean as if he didn't exist. Instead she is simply a continuation of a greater story, an establishment of her credentials over time that then allows to the chance to branch out and exist on her own. She's getting the rub from the Iron Man name to become that characters a certain segment of the fanbase say they'd prefer. It's difficult for one to happen without the other. So before you write these developments off with kneejerk reactions, maybe give these issues a read and see what kind of story the changes tell. After all, if it serves the story well, isn't that the very thing we want anyway?

riri williams, ironheart, invincible iron man, marvel comics, marvel universe, iron man 

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Source: Wired

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+1
11:37PM on 08/23/2016
More hollywood agenda shoved down our throats
More hollywood agenda shoved down our throats
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9:04AM on 08/23/2016

cannot wait for the inevitable crossover with My Little Pony...

( that was sarcasm )
( that was sarcasm )
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6:41AM on 08/23/2016

Of course

It was obvious from the start that she would become a separate character who gets the spotlight for a while before Tony Stark takes over again, at which point she becomes a supporting character, or, if she proves popular enough, is spun off onto her own series. It had publicity stunt written all over it, and like all publicity stunts, it was never meant to be permanent. The comics always eventually return to the status quo. As many clones, body swaps and alternate universes they throw at him,
It was obvious from the start that she would become a separate character who gets the spotlight for a while before Tony Stark takes over again, at which point she becomes a supporting character, or, if she proves popular enough, is spun off onto her own series. It had publicity stunt written all over it, and like all publicity stunts, it was never meant to be permanent. The comics always eventually return to the status quo. As many clones, body swaps and alternate universes they throw at him, Peter Parker always becomes Spiderman again.
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2:49AM on 08/23/2016

Really...?

If this type of casting happens organically... great. Why not just create a new character? Why piss on the Iron Man legacy with some politically correct agenda? Why would anyone want to see this? I hope it fails miserably. Hollywood sucks.
If this type of casting happens organically... great. Why not just create a new character? Why piss on the Iron Man legacy with some politically correct agenda? Why would anyone want to see this? I hope it fails miserably. Hollywood sucks.
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7:18AM on 08/23/2016
Yeah, black ladies sure are scary! Hey turkey: they DID create a new character. Did you read the article? Nope! You're an ignorant fool.
Yeah, black ladies sure are scary! Hey turkey: they DID create a new character. Did you read the article? Nope! You're an ignorant fool.
+1
11:50PM on 08/22/2016
So much salt in this article.

Comic fans don't mind diversity, believe it or not. Nobody blinks an eye when Rhodey suits up - in fact, many love him more than Tony. Fans are probably annoyed because all of their favorite characters keep getting shunted into the background.
So much salt in this article.

Comic fans don't mind diversity, believe it or not. Nobody blinks an eye when Rhodey suits up - in fact, many love him more than Tony. Fans are probably annoyed because all of their favorite characters keep getting shunted into the background.
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10:48PM on 08/22/2016

Next in 5-10 years

Transgender Thor, Gay Male Black Widow, Mexican Captain America, and Asian, uhh, Asian, never mind, Asians don't piss and moan like everyone else.



Transgender Thor, Gay Male Black Widow, Mexican Captain America, and Asian, uhh, Asian, never mind, Asians don't piss and moan like everyone else.



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7:18AM on 08/23/2016
Black women are scary, huh?
Black women are scary, huh?
9:36AM on 08/23/2016
Yep that's it, how'd you guess? I'm a scared white, blonde, conservative, middle aged, male, who lives in their mother's basement.

Yep that's it, how'd you guess? I'm a scared white, blonde, conservative, middle aged, male, who lives in their mother's basement.

8:59PM on 08/22/2016
No the issue is instead of having her stand on her own they give her Iron Man's shtick
No the issue is instead of having her stand on her own they give her Iron Man's shtick
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7:19AM on 08/23/2016
She IS standing on her own. She's a new character. Idiot.
She IS standing on her own. She's a new character. Idiot.
7:13PM on 08/22/2016

I call bullshit

I said this before int he Zendaya casting and I'll say it again here.

I'm all for diversity, but if you want strong female and minority characters then elevate those characters within the Marvel universe that are female and/or minority. There are a lot of them, I mean Jessica Jones was a lesser character until the Netflix series and now most everyone knows who she is and is a fan. Or even better create new original ones and push them. Example would be one of my favorite new characters
I said this before int he Zendaya casting and I'll say it again here.

I'm all for diversity, but if you want strong female and minority characters then elevate those characters within the Marvel universe that are female and/or minority. There are a lot of them, I mean Jessica Jones was a lesser character until the Netflix series and now most everyone knows who she is and is a fan. Or even better create new original ones and push them. Example would be one of my favorite new characters Guillotine, a female and badass and most importantly ORIGINAL. I love how minority groups whine about appropriation of their culture but when white creations are changed for them it supposed to be totally ok. The response will be that "all these characters are white from an age where everything was white". Well that is true, white people created these characters so they created what they saw and dreamed about from their perspective. If you want minority and female lead characters and stories, then step the fuck up and create your own. I'll happily be there for original comic stories. But to the all SJW's stop thinking you're "owed" characters that reflect you by stealing established characters instead of getting up off your ass and working hard (like the original creators did 50+ years ago) to make what you want to see/read.
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7:16PM on 08/22/2016
"Pout pout whine whine." - You, always.
"Pout pout whine whine." - You, always.
8:58PM on 08/22/2016
What a well thought out, thought provoking, deep, and insightful comment. Being a purist isn't whining but judging from your response, my response is beyond your comprehension anyway.
What a well thought out, thought provoking, deep, and insightful comment. Being a purist isn't whining but judging from your response, my response is beyond your comprehension anyway.
7:04PM on 08/22/2016
Ironfart is more likely
Ironfart is more likely
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+4
6:27PM on 08/22/2016

Booo! These cheap publictity stunts are a riciulous disservice to minorities

Marvel knows darn well that at the end of the day, Tony Stark will always be Iron Man, Steve Rogers will always be Captain America, etc. etc. Rather than creating substantial new characters who are minorities and aggressively publicizing them (which takes actual work) they simply go for these cheap publicity stunts that are designed to do just that -- create temporary hype which both helps the company look progressive and create headlines around their flagship characters -- but they know that
Marvel knows darn well that at the end of the day, Tony Stark will always be Iron Man, Steve Rogers will always be Captain America, etc. etc. Rather than creating substantial new characters who are minorities and aggressively publicizing them (which takes actual work) they simply go for these cheap publicity stunts that are designed to do just that -- create temporary hype which both helps the company look progressive and create headlines around their flagship characters -- but they know that this will ultimately be short lived and then they an just pull the same stunt all over again a couple years down the road. Case in point, we have now had three black Captain Americas, and each time we get one Marvel turns it into an "event" and the character is shortly forgotten. Seems like a really shameful example of lip service rather than doing anything worthwhile to actually fix the problem of minority representation in their books.
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5:39PM on 08/22/2016
This same gimmick was already old a decade ago. These comics rely on shock factor to sell more comics. Then when the shock factor wears off and sales drop, they make an event out of "The Return of So and So!" Rinse and repeat.
This same gimmick was already old a decade ago. These comics rely on shock factor to sell more comics. Then when the shock factor wears off and sales drop, they make an event out of "The Return of So and So!" Rinse and repeat.
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5:30PM on 08/22/2016
blah blah blah, new character named Ironheart, blah blah blah….
thanks for the info
blah blah blah, new character named Ironheart, blah blah blah….
thanks for the info
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4:52PM on 08/22/2016

yeah, right...

Give them a year, 2 at most, and Tony is back in the armor and IronHeart gets her own title, Like War Machine did a few decades ago...
Give them a year, 2 at most, and Tony is back in the armor and IronHeart gets her own title, Like War Machine did a few decades ago...
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6:33PM on 08/22/2016
And then give it another two years an Ironheart's title gets cancelled and then give it a few more years and Marvel makes a big headline about having a female Ironman all over again! (See the exact same thing they did with Lady Thor, a black Captain America and a latino Spider-Man, all of which happened in the 90's and now are beig treated like their groundbreakingly progressive moves).
And then give it another two years an Ironheart's title gets cancelled and then give it a few more years and Marvel makes a big headline about having a female Ironman all over again! (See the exact same thing they did with Lady Thor, a black Captain America and a latino Spider-Man, all of which happened in the 90's and now are beig treated like their groundbreakingly progressive moves).
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