The trailer for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” features Iron Heart for the first time, a real replacement for Iron Man in the MCU. Following the Infinity Saga, Marvel Studios began gradually introducing successors to the original six Avengers. It all started with Sam Wilson taking over the mantle of Captain America from Steve Rogers, followed by the appearance of Elena Belova as the new Black Widow, Kate Bishop as the new Hawkeye and Mighty Thor as the new Thor. Meanwhile, Hulk’s replacement is to be launched in the movie “The Hulk Woman” with Jennifer Walters. Thus, Tony Stark remains the last founding hero of the MCU, who has not yet had an heir apparent.
At Comic-Con, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” will complete the fourth phase of the MCU before unveiling the first trailer for the sequel to “Black Panther.” Director Ryan Coogler’s long-awaited return to Wakanda has been terminated due to the death of original star Chadwick Bozeman in 2020. However, in addition to creating a new Black Panther, as well as introducing Namor the Submariner to the MCU, the film is responsible for the debut of Iron Man’s successor in the MCU.
Riri Williams (Dominic Thorne), also known as Ironheart, makes her first appearance in the trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The character only appears in two short scenes. In the first scene she meets Shuri (Letitia Wright), and in the second scene she forges her own insignia, which visually resembles Tony Stark creating Mark I in the first “Iron Man”. Created by Brian Michael Bendis in 2015, Riri Williams is a 15—year-old child prodigy who has designed her own version of the Iron Man costume. She herself became a superhero nicknamed Iron Heart immediately after the events of the Second Civil War, because Tony was in a coma. Although Iron Man was physically incapacitated at the time, his consciousness functioned as the AI of her costume, allowing him to guide her through her adventures.
How Ironheart Can Replace Iron Man in MCU
Discussions about who would become the new Iron Man began long before Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) completed his MCU arc in Avengers: Finale, where Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Shuri were potential leaders. However, now that Peter has found his footing without ties to his former mentor, the MCU may instead firmly establish Ironheart as the rightful successor to Iron Man in the universe. Marvel can build on her story in print, which organically makes her a replacement for Iron Man in the MCU. Although her background and background are not exactly similar to her predecessor, having the same ingenuity and level of intelligence could make Riri Williams the next major inventor of the MCU. Shuri is filling that role right now, but she can focus on Wakanda technology, possibly assuming the mantle of the new Black Panther, while Ironheart acts as the main innovator of the Avengers or the Young Avengers.
Marvel Studios will find it difficult to properly install Ironheart as a replacement for Iron Man in the MCU. Unlike the rest of the original Avengers, who had time with their successors, Tony Stark and Riri Williams never managed to establish a relationship to make a meaningful transfer of the torch. It is unknown if they knew each other before Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Finale. Although viewers are unlikely to see enough of Riri in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” to get answers to all questions about the character, her own series about the character, “Iron Heart”, can shed more light on her role in the MCU, as well as be an ideal project to attract attention. back Robert Downey Jr. as Tony in one form or another.