How the “Ironheart” TV Show Fits Into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

  • Oct 19, 2021
  • Daniel Tynski
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One of the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe TV shows developed for Disney+ is “Ironheart.” The series, which is part of MCU’s Phase Four, focuses on Iron Man’s replacement, the young Ironheart. 

You might be wondering how this exciting new show fits into the MCU. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about “Ironheart,” including some interesting facts about the show.

About the “Ironheart” TV Show

Produced by Kevin Feige and written by Chinaka Hodge, “Ironheart” follows the adventures of Riri Williams, who is also known as Ironheart. It’s an adaptation of the comic book series of the same name. The character was initially created for Marvel Comics in 2016 by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mike Deodato. 

IRON-MAN 4: IRONHEART (2021) Teaser Trailer | Marvel Studios' Robert Downey Jr Movie Concept

While the Black teen superheroine, played by Dominique Thorne, has been described by some as an Iron Man replacement, there’s more to the story.

Riri is a super-genius and MIT student at just 15 years old, as well as a bit of an Iron Man fangirl. With intellect that rivals Tony Stark himself, she reverse-engineers Iron Man’s suit of armor to create her own. The armor affords her a multitude of powers as she carries on the mantle of Iron Man.

Thorne, who made her film debut in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and also appeared in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was uniquely cast in the role of Ironheart without any audition. The relative newcomer to Hollywood was shocked by — and grateful for — the phone call from Marvel Studios telling her the part of the genius teen inventor was hers if she wanted it.

How Does “Ironheart” Fit Into the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Riri as Ironheart carries on the legacy of Stark, who was comatose by the end of “Avengers: Endgame” after sacrificing himself to defeat Thanos. That was a difficult loss for Marvel fans, as Iron Man has long been a fan favorite.

See also 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Spoilers: Coulson Lives!

But Robert Downey, Jr., who played Stark, has pushed for Ironheart’s MCU debut in recent years and has vocally supported the inclusion of the character. It’s also thought that Downey could return as an AI version of Stark — the digital upload of his mind that operates Riri’s suit of armor — in the new “Ironheart” series.

There’s still a lot to learn about Ironheart, though. Not only is she a new character for Marvel’s TV shows and films but she’s also relatively new to Marvel Comics in general, having only been introduced in the comic books in 2016. And Marvel Studios has been relatively tight-lipped about the details of the upcoming show. 

Who Is “Ironheart”?

As a Black teen super-genius, Riri Williams offers an exciting new take on the classic Marvel character of Iron Man.

Most of what we know about her comes from the comics and Marvel and Disney haven’t released many details about the show. They haven’t even released a full cast list.

Here is what we do know of her origin story: Riri Williams was originally from Chicago. Tragedy struck before she was even born, as her father died days before her mother gave birth. As she grew older, she was faced with death again. Her childhood best friend and neighbor, Natalie Washington, died in Riri’s arms during a drive-by shooting at a park picnic when she was just 13 years old. Her stepfather was also killed by stray bullets during this shooting.

Her love of Iron Man formed at a young age when the superhero rescued her and her stepfather during a Skrull invasion of Earth. It made a lasting impression on the girl.

Those around Riri also recognized her intelligence at a young age. She was a quiet, somewhat reclusive child. By the time she was 15 years old, she found herself attending MIT in Massachusetts, where she studies engineering.

See also How “Ms. Marvel” Fits Into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The tragedies that shaped her young life, her intellectual brilliance, and her appreciation for the genius of Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) leads to Riri building her own super suit of armor based on Iron Man’s armor. She uses materials stolen from MIT to create it.

In the comics, her suit gives her the ability to fly, magnetic powers, and superhuman strength. Not only that, but when wearing the suit, she has the power to trap her opponents in an energy bubble. As she upgrades her suit over time, she takes on other powers, including the ability to shoot blasts of energy from her gloves. She also uploads a digital copy of Stark’s mind into her suit to act as her primary operating system. It’s not known yet which of her powers will be featured in the show.

Ironheart also has a number of allies in the superhero community in the comic books. Stark, as an AI, guides her and offers her significant support and insight. She also becomes close with Pepper Potts — a business executive who worked with Stark and a part-time superhero — as well as Stark’s mother, his assistant Mary Jane Watson, and his holographic assistant Friday. She’s also later invited to join the Champions, an underground resistance that includes Black Widow.

Since the list of cast and characters hasn’t been released, it’s unknown if any of these characters will appear in the show.

Who Are the Villains in the “Ironheart” TV Show?

It’s not known yet who Ironheart’s villains will be during the first season of the new show. The comic books could provide some possibilities for fans to consider, though. Here are just some of the villains she has faced in the comics:

  • Animax: A mutant who can appear as any animal
  • Tomoe the Techno Golem: An inhuman and mysterious Japanese woman who can bond with any kind of technology
  • Eclipse: A member of the Ten Rings
  • Andre Sims: A former Stark employee brought down by Ironheart when he tried to sabotage the company’s Intellicars
  • Zhang: One of the high-ranking members of the Biohack Ninjas, who works with Tomoe
  • Warbringer: A Chitauri warlord who has the task of recovering a stolen Chitauri warship
  • Doctor Doom: A monarch of Latveria who is a powerful master of science and sorcery
  • Lady Octopus: An apprentice of Otto Octavious
  • Lucia von Bardas: A criminal cyborg who is Ironheart’s most formidable enemy
  • Viper: The former terrorist leader of HYDRA
  • Hijack: An enemy of Ironheart who has the power to control machines
  • Tank: A mutant with the ability to alter his size 
  • Thanos: An extremely powerful warlord with the ambition to rule the universe 
See also How the “Moon Knight” TV Show Fits Into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

When Will the “Ironheart” TV Show Premiere on Disney+?

Like other new MCU shows — including “Secret Invasion” and “Armor Wars” — no set release date for “Ironheart” has been announced by Marvel Studios or Disney yet.

It was initially thought that the six-episode series would premiere sometime in 2022, but Feige has confirmed that Marvel’s Ironheart character will make her Disney+ debut in the “Black Panther” sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

With the “Black Panther” sequel coming out in July 2022, “Ironheart” likely won’t hit the streaming service until later that year or even in early 2023. 

Since “Ironheart” is being created as a Disney+ show, once it’s released, the series will be exclusively streamed there.

Get the Latest Info on “Ironheart” Here on BuddyTV

Can’t wait for “Ironheart” to come out? Catch up on all the latest news through BuddyTV. Whether you’re a fan of movies like the “Captain America” trilogy, “Captain Marvel,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” or the “Thor” film series, or newer MCU shows like “WandaVision,” “Loki,” and “Hawkeye,” BuddyTV is the go-to place to stay up to date on all your favorite live-action Marvel Universe storylines and characters.

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