Today is a special day for me so I thought to myself, why don’t I rant about comics for a change?
For those who are not familiar with comics, this might be new territory but I’ll try to keep things as simple as I can.
In recent years, Marvel Comics has been introducing alternate/younger versions of most of their major characters into their universe. So, we have a younger Black Spiderman (Miles Morales), a younger Chinese Hulk (Amadeus Cho), younger versions of the original X-men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Angel, Beast and Iceman) who were brought from the past by the current Beast, a female Vision called Viv Vision (the Vision’s daughter) and so on.
Just before the events of Marvel’s Civil War II (this might take a while to explain so just click the link for clarification), we meet Riri Williams a 15-year old super genius who makes her own prototype suit of armor using stolen material from campus after reverse-engineering technology from an old Iron Man Armor Model 41.
She gets on Tony Stark’s radar after a few flights and he pays her a visit himself asking to see the armor. She asks him to give her an AI (Artificial Intelligence) for her suit and Tony tells her how much it cost him to create his stating jokingly that he’s not that rich.
After the events of Civil War II (hopefully, you know what this means now), Tony ends up in a coma-like state. Apparently, he prepared himself for this eventuality (because he’s Tony Stark) and had downloaded his consciousness into an AI program that he sent to Riri Williams.
With the help of AI-Tony Stark, Riri Williams created her own Iron Man suit and becomes the new Iron Man (later called Iron Heart) going on her own adventures while facing the challenges of being a teenage girl and pressure from old enemies of Tony Stark that want to destroy the Iron Man legacy.
At the beginning, I was not a fan of these new characters and if I’m being honest, I still have my issues with quite a number of them but Riri Williams is definitely an exception.
I have to give props to writer Brian Michael Bendis for creating such a compelling and relatable story. Riri Williams is a fierce, intelligent and relatable character who has experienced her own fair share of pain and loss at such a young age. She understands responsible and even when her emotions cloud her judgment, her heart is usually in the right place.
She is no Tony Stark but she has her own fair share of demons. It’s difficult to be a fifteen-year-old super genius without being isolated in a lot of ways and Riri’s life reflects loneliness.
Riri’s existence also brings a different flavor to the world of Iron Man. Her relationship with AI-Tony Stark (who retains most of Tony’s cockiness and ego) is really fun to read. Other characters like Friday (Tony’s AI), Pepper Potts, members of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the rest of the young heroes all have varying responses to her as a new player in the superhero game.
Since her introduction, Riri Williams has received mixed reactions from fans. In my opinion, some of the concerns have been logical and understandable but a lot of them have come from sentimental views of people who do not like change.
I can relate with this bias on many levels but I also believe in giving things a chance before I form an opinion.
Take it from a guy who is following her story actively, Riri Williams is worth your attention.
Until next time folks.