Recently, a new rumor surfaced claiming that Riri Williams, aka Ironheart, will soon join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in her own Disney+ television series. In the comics, Riri is a young, genius-level student who built her very own suit of armor. After Tony Stark was left in a coma following the events of 2017’s Civil War II, Riri took his place as the Invincible Iron Man. Then, once Tony returned, he became a sort of guide and mentor, and she became Ironheart, teenage armored superhero and part-time member of the Champions.
The character and her origin are closely connected to Iron Man. However, with Tony Stark already dead in the MCU following the events of Avengers: Endgame, it might be difficult to form any sort of bond between the two. However, it turns out maybe one was already formed in a previous film. In fact, it’s possible that Riri Williams already appeared indirectly in Captain America: Civil War.
In Captain America: Civil War, we first caught up with Tony Stark while he was delivering a speech to a full auditorium at M.I.T., the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There, Tony presented the technology behind his B.A.R.F project before he announced to the entire room of students that they were now all “recipient[s] of the inaugural September Foundation Grant.” Essentially, as he explained it, every student in the room’s projects had been approved and funded, in the hopes that they would help “reframe the future!” The mass funding caused roaring cheers, as hundreds of M.I.T. students were now backed by Stark Industries.
In the comics, although she is only 15 years old, Riri Williams is a tech genius studying at M.I.T. where she eventually builds a suit of armor from scratch. Therefore, what if the case is the same for the MCU’s version of Riri Williams? If she is a student at M.I.T., then it’s possible she was in attendance during Tony’s speech. If she had projects in the works at the school, then his funding helped her get them approved.
Therefore, Riri might have the ability and the resources necessary to build her own suit thanks to Iron Man himself. This would create a connection between the two characters, despite them never having officially met. It could even create an official passing of the torch, as Riri works to become the next Iron Man.
Marvel has been known to plant seeds for things that would payoff much, much later. Such was the case with the B.A.R.F. technology, which was revealed to have been created by Quentin Beck. In fact, in Spider-Man: Far From Home, we learned that Beck was actually present in the M.I.T auditorium for Tony Stark’s presentation. It would, therefore, be relatively easy to offer another such connection between Captain America: Civil War and the next Armored Avenger.
If that is the case, then it means Riri Williams already appeared in the MCU. We may not have seen her, but she could have been in the room getting the funding that would allow her to, one day, become a superhero.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is available on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD.
Following rumors that Ironheart might soon join the MCU, we examine how the character might have already been set up in Captain America: Civil War.