Written by Eve. L. Ewing
Art by Kevin Libranda
Cover by Amy Reeder
Review by KrisK
After a brief hiatus, Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, returns in her own eponymous series. If you aren’t hip to the Shy Town hero, here’s the deal. Riri lost two fathers and her best friend to violence. Riri built her own personal armor at age 15. Tony Stark found her, and he mentored her for a short time. When Captain Marvel beat Tony Stark into an unresponsive state, Riri received a surprise. An A.I., fashioned by Tony Stark to be a mental duplicate, appeared and notified her that she was the appointed heir to his mantle. Apparently, Iron Man never expected Doctor Doom to take his mantle.
Riri fought Iron Man villains, and she honed her skills. She took on even more responsibilities, when she overthrew a terrorist who ruled Latveria in Dr. Doom’s absence. She used her position of power to negotiate with S.H.I.E.L.D. for food, shelter, and schools for the people.
Tony Stark’s comatose body disappeared, and Riri worked with Mary Jane Watson, Amanda Armstrong (Tony’s Stark’s mom), and Pepper Potts to find his body. Leonardo Da Vinci approached her, and he asked Riri to join the new S.H.I.E.L.D. he was building. Riri joined up with Tony’s step brother Arno, Toni Ho (Daughter of Ho Yinsen, the man who helped Tony build his first armor), and others. She worked with the Champions since then, and when they fought Thanos, he destroyed her armor.
Riri built new armor, and she protects Chicago. She works out of a lab at MIT. She talks to the boy next door. As a result, Riri’s life improves, but it also gets more and more complicated. Riri rides solo now, the Tony Stark A.I. gone. Consequently, everything she works towards seems at risk and in question. She gets a break from the complications of real life, when Clash, the sound based Spider-Man villain takes a U.N. delegation hostage.
Riri is one of the best of Marvel’s recent creations. She sees the world differently then the old guard, and she fights to actually make the world better. Her wit and attitude shine bright, and she thinks her way out of any problem. She doesn’t carry the ego of others. She knows she doesn’t know everything, and she knows when she is in over her head. Riri also knows she is smart as hell, and someone has to rise up.
I love this character. She takes the time to think about what happens after the fight. When Stark Industries goons were sent by Stark executives attempting a coup, she gave up her armor instead of risking a battle that would wreck her neighborhood. She knew her community couldn’t afford the damage. Riri stops fighting as soon as the other person does, and she talks with the other person to see what they can do together. She hears them out.
Eve Ewing knocks this one out of the park. To have a Chicago poet writing a Chicago hero was a great decision by Marvel for flushing out a city besides New York for the umpteenth time. Ewing seamlessly takes the reins from Brian Michael Bendis, but she flushes out the character in whole new ways. The art by Libranda is beautiful. It has a style all its own while fitting neatly into the Marvel Style. I loved the colors of this book. The new armor looks great.
Verdict: Buy! This comic surprised me with how good it was right out of the gate. It built Riri’s life and background perfectly, and I can’t wait to see where Riri soars. Ewing and Libranda deliver a classic.