Black is beautiful. That’s my initial thought when opening up Invincible Iron Man #1 featuring Riri Williams as Iron Man (soon to be named Ironheart). It’s not that I haven’t read diverse comics before or comics featuring black characters, but I’m truly delighted to open up books like Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and now Iron Man on a regular basis and see people of color on the page, as title leading characters. After having read comics for years and years featuring primarily white characters, the more recent and more frequent representation is heart warming. I love it.
Being much anticipated after her revelation in the last run of Invincible Iron Man, Riri Williams has finally made debut as the new Iron Man, aptly named Ironheart. I enjoyed it issue #1. It jumps right into her origin with vivid depiction, swiftly establishing the fact that she is indeed a Super Genius who early on, struggled with social issues due to her remarkably gifted mind. Throughout, she’s fighting the mutant villain, Animax, who has the power to create monsters with her mind. The simple conceptualization behind the fight is fun because it gives Riri a chance to learn how to be a proper hero while fighting hordes of monsters created by a rather inexperienced villain.
Flashing back to her past, we discover that Riri tragically loses her stepfather and her best (and seemingly only) friend do to what looks to be a drive by city. I liked this because it gives readers a less often represented insight into how rough life can be in certain parts of urban cities like Chicago. Having been raised in Chicago as a very young kid, I can relate to this, to an extent. While it may seem “cliche” in terms of urban stories, it’s rather unique in the realm of Marvel comics since there hasn’t been many Marvel characters from urban communities in places high in crime like Chicago.
Back in the present, during the battle she struggles with her own suit’s shortcomings, which focus primarily on the lack of an A.I. similar to Tony Stark’s “Friday” which allow for quick decision making during the battle. Later, after she defeats Animax with flying fists to the face, she’s at home talking to her mother about the encounter. A suited man delivers a package and low and behind, it’s an A.I. and that A.I. is Tony Stark.
While this first issue didn’t blow my mind, it solidified my tentative love Riri as a character. I’m ready to see her come into her super hero being, and I really like this idea of Tony Stark being her A.I. It kind of brings Iron Man into the comic while maintaining Riri as a main character. Furthermore it gives her a teacher and guide to help her grow into the great hero that we all know she can be. Not much happened here, but the origin is out of the way. We got to see her doing some finding in her grey armor, and I’m waiting to see how her work out the specifics on the red and yellow Iron Man armor that we all know she’ll eventually have. Issue #2 needs to hurry itself out. Buy and list this comic folks! I recommend it!