Editor’s Word: The next comprise spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Ceaselessly.Rookie actor Dominique Thorne is taking advantage of her MCU debut as Riri Williams/Ironheart in Black Panther: Wakanda Ceaselessly, greater than holding her personal amidst performing heavy-hitters like Angela Bassett and Letitia Wright, stoking anticipation for her personal solo Disney+ sequence, Ironheart, in late 2023. Thorne brings a lightness to the general solemnity of the movie, and her Williams is a super-intellectual younger lady, albeit just a little naive, that finds a peer in Wright’s Shuri. The pair make for an excellent dynamic, two younger girls on a stage of genius properly above their friends. In truth, one might argue that the one different MCU character that comes shut is the one which Riri Williams won’t ever meet: Robert Downey Jr.‘s Tony Stark. And that may be a disgrace.
Tony and Riri Do Truly Meet within the Comics
The 2 even have met earlier than, within the comics. Whereas at M.I.T., Riri, having tragically misplaced her greatest buddy Natalie and her step-father to errant gunfire, makes it her mission to finish her personal swimsuit of armor, like Iron Man’s. She reverse-engineers an outdated Iron Man Armor Mannequin 41, and finishes a prototype swimsuit from it, bolstered with items picked up from round campus, for herself. Whereas testing the swimsuit’s flight capabilities, Riri comes throughout two escapees from the New Mexico State Penitentiary, damaging her swimsuit whereas stopping their getaway.
Information of her accomplishment makes its technique to – you guessed it – Tony Stark, who visits her at her dwelling and endorses her need to turn out to be a superhero. She repairs her armor, and with it fights alongside Iron Man within the second superhero Civil Conflict towards Captain Marvel. After Stark goes right into a coma combating Captain Marvel in the direction of the tip of the occasion, Riri chooses to fill the void he left behind. That was going to require a brand new, improved swimsuit of armor. So who does she flip to for assist? Tony Stark. Wait… what? Is not he in a coma? Sure, however an A.I. copy of Stark isn’t, and together with his steerage, Riri creates an improved swimsuit and a brand new alias: Ironheart.
Tony and Riri’s Tales within the MCU Have Clear Parallels
In fact, the door on that story (or a minimum of the first a part of it, maybe?) was closed with Stark’s dying on the finish of Avengers: Endgame. Nonetheless, Willliams’ story in Black Panther: Wakanda Ceaselessly is riddled with parallels to Stark’s. Her pieced-together prototype swimsuit within the film is akin to Stark’s first swimsuit whereas imprisoned by the Ten Rings in Iron Man, proper right down to the primary use below hearth when forces storm in (the FBI for Williams, the terrorists of the Ten Rings for Stark). Williams’ reference to her and her dad engaged on automobiles collectively brings to thoughts the second in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Stark goes about repairing Clint Barton’s (Jeremy Renner) tractor.
Each had no concept that their work was being utilized improperly, with Stark’s weapons being offered to terrorists, and Williams’ vibranium detector by the CIA. Riri’s first assembly with Shuri shares the identical “OMG is that this actually occurring” star-struck, open-mouthed gape that Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has upon assembly Tony for the primary time in Captain America: Civil Conflict. The clearest parallel, although, references Stark’s Iron Man prototype swimsuit shutting down when flying too excessive into the environment when Williams’ swimsuit offers out upon hitting 30,000 toes and 0% oxygen with a purpose to shoot down a drone.
However allusions and parallels to at least one one other merely aren’t the identical as a head-to-head assembly onscreen between Riri and Tony. We did catch a glimpse of what it might seem like, with the dynamic setup over the course of the Infinity Saga between Peter Parker and Stark. As clever as Parker is, he is not build-you-own-high-tech-costume savvy, together with his first costume a home made, low-cost cosplay swimsuit. Sure, he works with and understands Stark’s tech when he has entry to it. That is cute compared to Riri, who builds an Iron Man-esque swimsuit of armor and a tool that may detect vibranium (inside a number of months), a tool that works so properly that the federal government makes use of it for their very own functions. And that was only for a category venture, and solely as a result of her professor stated it was unimaginable to construct. That is virtually the driving pressure behind the whole lot Tony Stark did.
A gathering of the 2 would have been a kinship between friends of equal expertise and imaginative and prescient, separated solely by age and circumstance, and little else (properly, cash). Riri would have challenged Tony’s hubris, which of itself would have offered a wellspring of comedian risk. Tony, in flip, would have given Riri somebody who understands the place she got here from and who she is. One thing just like what Riri shares with Shuri in Wakanda Ceaselessly, however Tony might have crammed a fatherly position for her as properly, a lot as he did for Parker. It is easy to image how they might be capable to converse in shorthand with each other, leaping to the identical trains of thought as they seek for options. He shares that shorthand with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to a level, however you by no means get the sensation that Stark ever thought that Banner was smarter than he was, and Riri would undoubtedly, as talked about above, have challenged that.
However Does That Imply We Will not See Tony Stark Once more?
The comedian guide historical past of the 2 does depart a risk… a slight one, however one nonetheless… that Stark might return in A.I. type and meet Riri that approach. Whereas logistically, it looks as if Robert Downey Jr. is finished with the MCU, the likelihood can nonetheless linger. It is a lengthy shot, as one would assume that will have been the go-to over Parker’s EDITH in Spider-Man: Far From Residence, however by no means say by no means. It may very well be a transfer that offers Riri steerage in constructing a brand new Ironheart swimsuit, on condition that she needed to depart the vibranium-laden swimsuit from the movie in Wakanda. Doing so would additionally current a lot in the best way of a comic book relationship. Riri can be working with a Stark that, on account of being A.I., would fall right into a subservient position to her. It is one thing she would enjoyment of, and the A.I. Stark, nearly definitely programmed with the identical eye-rolling, sarcastic snark we all know from the true Tony, must comply. It is a dream situation, and though unlikely, if Downey Jr. had been to return within the Ironheart sequence, the disgrace of what we had been denied can be resoundingly absolved.