Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, is a somewhat controversial figure in Marvel comics not for existing as the…usual suspects will claim, but because of how she was created. In canon Riri only decided to be the next Tony Stark because she misunderstood a quote by Sally Ride, believing the only way to find her path in life was to be told she couldn’t do something rather than chasing a dream regardless of what others said of your ability to achieve it. (Imagine if her clearly annoyed teacher had gone with “fine, you’ll never be the world’s greatest plumber” instead of “you’ll never be the next Tony Stark”. She’d be trying to join the Mario Brothers or something.) The only reason she exists is Brian Michael Bendis wanted to make a hero for his daughter (she’s black I’m guessing) and decided to do so at the expense of Tony Stark. The sad thing is I like the idea of Riri and in better hands than what Marvel currently has to offer she actually might have been good.

A trailer out of Marvel Hong Kong posted to YouTube (and given how Disney has treated black characters in promoting things to China, who pulled a Disney a few years ago and absorbed Hong Kong, which they’re trying to do now to Taiwan, I’m surprised they’re even getting a movie about a bunch of Africans) has given us nothing of any real value about the movie but we do get a sneak peak into Ironheart’s live-action debut. It’s…armor.

I tried to brighten up the image of the armor because I guess the sun is not positioned right to get a good look without heavy shadows. Marvel Studios is one of the few studios to actually use light and bright colors…most of the time…which at least for now still sets them apart from a lot of Hollywood action movies right now.

Somebody in a stream I was watching this morning pointed out how the designs on her armor kind of look like cornrows, a hairstyle Riri doesn’t have in the comics but apparently the actress does in the movie because cornrows are something black people naturally have in their hair or something according to certain white people in media and on Twitter (so are Norman and Harry Osborn secretly black?), and given things like What If Miles Morales Was Thor I wouldn’t be surprised. However, lightened up like this it kind of looks a bit more like a Klingon’s forehead design moved to the helmet’s “scalp”. There were also suggestions of it looking like a Transformer.

I can see something of EarthSpark in the design but after thinking about it I really figured out what this reminds me of.

Samus Aran’s Zero Suit from the Metroid franchise. It’s probably closest to this model from Other M but it seems to be the inspiration. A solicit for one of the MCU action figures (as seen in this article) makes the case even more. Whatever the inspiration I am really not a fan. Samus fights life-leaching monsters, giant brains, and a dragon that’s also a space pirate because shut up you know you want that as your end boss. Meanwhile, Riri’s current design in the comics…

…looks so much more damn cool! No cornrow ridges here. (As noted, Riri in the comics has more poofy hair and long bangs.) The purplish pink may annoy a few feminists who never heard of Bret “Hit Man” Hart, which actually just makes the hot pink on a form-fitting battlesuit sound even more awesome, but it only has mild Tony Stark influence, as Riri presumably sets out to be her own hero instead of an Iron Man derivative that is also a supersmart black teenage girl. She has her own logo, is going for for sleek and speedy over tough and powerful, and makes her stand out as her own person. The MCU design is like Tony Stark was fighting Metroids and Riri just swiped his armor instead of showing her smarts by making her own. Did the Wakandans insist she look like Iron Man when they kidnapped her? Oh yeah, apparently our “heroes” kidnap a teenage girl from her dorm/bedroom/apartment.

“You will come with us conscious or unconscious” better mean she did something really bad, like hack Wakanda’s mainframe or demand T’Challa be recast because even Boseman’s brother says the character that’s been around since the 1960s and all the importance that’s been placed on the Black Panther movies by the aforementioned usual suspects who never saw The Meteor Man was more important than one actor. Or maybe the “princess” line means she’s actually T’Challa’s long-lost little sister or illegitimate daughter? (They are trying to involve Storm, who was married to T’Challa for five minutes before Marvel’s anti-marriage mindset ruined that, and this does involve a knockoff Namor attacking Wakanda.) It’s not like they give a fig about getting right the characters from those silly comics that are the reason they HAVE a Riri Williams, Sub-Mariner, or Wakanda to make movies about. Otherwise, kidnapping a girl should be a crime, and if Riri is in America like she is in the comics, we’re talking potential international incident here. Was any thought put into this?

So it looks like fans of the actual comic character have even less reason to see this movie. I don’t care about the current racial situation, I care about good stories with characters who already have established fans of all races and genders continuing to be bent into a pretzel by elitist media snobs more interested in preaching when they don’t even know what they’re talking about than telling a good story and getting characters right.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

4 responses »

  1. :sigh: So glad I stopped following the MCU post-Endgame….

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    • That seems to be the stopping point for a lot of people, as if the title was prophetic.

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      • Well, I knew anything that went beyond Phase 3 ran the risk of becoming as bad as the comics, so… Even without the title, I figured I would stop there. The story would be over even though they would try to flog the gravy train further. I knew I would be better off stopping there, though I held out some hope for a couple of further projects. Once those were actively wasted by Disney/Marvel, I did my best to stop following the MCU entirely.

        The news cycle, unfortunately, does not permit me to completely cut ties with it. 😦

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        • Especially in the circles we travel since we discuss popular storytelling and comic-“based” movies are on the list right now. (Too bad the comics aren’t benefiting.) There are a couple of post-Endgame things I want to see: Captain Marvel for the morbid curiosity and Black Panther 1 because unlike this “sequel” it actually looks interesting. Otherwise, the Spider-Man movies lost me in Homecoming, the Disney Plus shows, even I even had the service, seems to be distancing themselves from both the comics and the movies (I’ve heard of wars between the TV and movie divisions in other Disney sub-studios), and it’s not really adapting the stuff I like so much as trying to replace it. It’s hard to care. Also was never into Thor or the Guardians so I haven’t watched any of those films.

          Liked by 1 person

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