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6 Reasons Ironheart is Marvel's Perfect Replacement for Spider-Man and Iron Man

Find out which superhero Marvel needs to bring into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to fill the hole left by Spider-Man and Iron Man.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is going through big changes. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has been the linchpin of the movies and the creator and designer of all the equipment and technology of the Avengers. He sacrificed himself in Avengers: Infinity War. Then, Marvel lost the rights to use Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland. He'll be back for one more solo film and a cameo but that's it. After that, he's gone too.

It's clear that the plan was for Peter Parker to take over the role of Tony Stark. People asked Spider-Man if he's the "new Iron Man" and everything was set up for him to take over. But when negotiations broke down between Sony and Disney it left them in a lurch. Who's going to take over? Who can become the new head of technologies for the MCU?

It could be Black Panther's sister Shuri (Letitia Wright), but she's busy as head of technology for Wakanda. There's another option though.

In 2016 Marvel started the "Civil War II" storyline. In the series, the superheroes discover a man named Ulysses that can predict crimes that will happen in the future. Heroes break ranks both for and against the idea. Iron Man is in favor of it, but Captain Marvel is against it. During the final battle, Tony Stark is fatally injured and is left in a coma. A young black woman named Riri Williams decides to take on the mantle of Iron Man.

1. Ironheart's a Genius

Invincible Iron Man (2015) #12
Riri first appears in Invincible Iron Man #7 (2016) and was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr. She's a 15-year old engineering genius from inner-city Chicago who gets a scholarship to the most prestigious private research universities in America: MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). When did she get the scholarship? When she was eleven-years-old.

Not only that but she takes one of Stark's old armored suit and reverse-engineers her own set of armor without Stark's billions of resources. She's a true self-made genius and resourceful. 

Iron Man is a genius who created an arc reactor in a cave with a bunch of scraps. Spider-Man is a self-made genius too but not as sharp as Stark. After all, he hit an unknown alien device with a hammer. Not the smartest move

2. Ironheart's a Teenager

Invincible Iron Man (2015) #12

One of the biggest things about Marvel's version of Spider-Man is he's a teenager. He's the only teenage superhero we know of in the MCU. Peter Parker was originally created specifically to appeal to teenagers and Holland's version is about the same thing. With the wall-crawler leaving the MCU it leaves a gap. Riri can fill that gap perfectly.

Plus, her genius at a young age left her introverted and shy. This is one of the things people love most about Tom Holland's Spider-Man. Riri can fill that gap. "I think there's something really magical about [15]," Bendis told Entertainment Weekly back in 2016. You are in some cultures considered an adult, but there are whole parts of you that are still childlike. You don't even know what you don't know yet. That actually becomes one of [Riri]'s mantras because she's more self-aware than your average teenager. She literally says, 'I don't even know what I don't know.' That's exciting and scary like the real world is. And I really think you can believe that a 15-year-old can make a suit of armor and wear it around if we let them."

3. Ironheart Has a Troubled Background

Spider-Man's origin is built around a childhood tragedy. In the comics, his parents died and his Uncle Ben is killed by a criminal. All that leads directly to him becoming a superhero. It's a familiar trope in the comics but unique in the Marvel universe. It's implied that Peter recently suffered a family tragedy but hasn't been completely explained yet.

Tony Stark also has a troubled background. While Tony Stark's parents are killed he doesn't realize it's not accident until years later. But it still motivated him to become a hero.

Riri also suffered a family tragedy. Her biological father died shortly after she was born. Then, when she was thirteen, her family was caught in the cross-fire of a drive-by shooting. While relaxing in the park her only friend Natalie and step-father were hit by stray bullets and killed.

4. Ironheart is a Woman of Color

Diversity is a big part of the next phase of the MCU and Ironheart can lead the charge. The MCU has a handful of black superheroes, most notably Black Panther. It has a handful of female superheroes, most notably Captain Marvel. But it has even fewer black female superheroes.

Black superheroes are a big part of creator Brian Michael Bendis' background. He created the afro-Cuban superhero Miles Morales for the Ultimate universe back in the 2000s and he stepped up to create another ethnic superhero. While Bendis is white he's a father to four children including an African and African-American girl. He defended his creation of a black character to EW. "I worry about the trap that that means that African American people should only write African American [characters] and Asian Americans should only write Asian Americans," Bendis told them. "Everyone should write and draw everything. Everyone has a unique perspective and ability. It goes with the perspective unique to a certain way of life. All those voices should be heard. But they should also be able to write whatever they want to write.

"There absolutely, 100% should be more voices of different ethnicities heard in mainstream comics. I'm thrilled that things are shifting as much as they have in the last two years. But I do know that Riri was not taken from an African American creator. That's absolutely false."

5. Ironheart Has Attitude

Tony Stark's trademark is his in-your-face attitude. He was always making jokes and ruffling feathers. Peter Parker is known for his snappy comebacks but it's held back by his shyness. Ironheart is the same way. The comics show she has a quick wit and sardonic attitude, but it's tempered by her shyness.

The MCU needs a smart alec like Ironheart to deliver gags and temper the drama. The MCU needs Riri Williams. But it's not just me saying all this.

6. Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland Wants Ironheart

Earlier this year Robert Downey Jr. came out and said he wants Ironheart in the MCU.

Tom Holland also wants Ironheart in the Marvel Studios movies. "Her name's Ironheart; Riri," Holland told Fandom. "She'd be a cool person to bring to the big screen … the multiverse opens up so many doors where we can introduce so many cool new characters like Ironheart."

Is Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, listening? "I think it's a great character, and it's been fun to see how she evolves in the comics," Kevin Feige told BET. "I just saw that quote, too. But again, the future..."

The future is now. Now's the best time to introduce Riri Williams as Ironheart. There are rumors Disney is looking to make a Disney+ series following Ironheart's adventures. In the comics, Riri has a holographic simulation of Tony Stark to guide her. Rumor is Robert Downey Jr. could return as her suit A.I.

Riri Williams is the best superhero to bring into the MCU and her brains, age, and attitude would fit in perfectly with the rest of the Avengers. Hopefully this time next year the name Ironheart will be as familiar as Black Panther is now. A well-known figure in the Marvel Universe raised from obscurity from the comics to the big screen. marvel, let's introduce Ironheart to the world.

Who do you think should replace Spider-Man and Iron Man? Let us know in the comments below!
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