9:08am PT by Graeme McMillan
Marvel Launching 'Ironheart' Comic Book Series
She was, for a brief period, the character that kept Tony Stark’s ambitions alive when Iron Man was missing from the Marvel Universe. Now Marvel Entertainment has announced a new comic book series for Riri Williams, to be titled Ironheart, written by novelist and playwright Eve Ewing.
Ewing’s connection to the character actually started last year, following the announcement that Brian Michael Bendis — who created Riri — was leaving Marvel after almost two decades. The writer was the subject of a fan petition to write the character, in addition to a number of social media posts from Ewing and others on the topic.
She credited that online buzz when talking to the Chicago Tribune about her new gig. “When the campaign was launched, it was really humbling and really inspiring for me, because it made me realize how much it would mean to so many people to have me take on the story, but it also made me realize how upsetting and angering it is for a lot of people to think about black women and people of color more broadly moving into this space — that was eye-opening,” Ewing said. “I’m really grateful for the support that people have shown me, but I also had to kind of step up to the plate as a writer and prove myself.”
Ewing told the Tribune that her plan was to build out what has already been seen of Williams in Invincible Iron Man and the team series Champions. “Specifically, what does it mean to be a teenage black girl from Chicago? Somebody who has lost family members to gun violence, somebody who understands the realities of the community is going to bring something very different to questions about justice and who the good guy is and who the bad guy is and what you do about that. She’s also a teenage genius and because of that, she skipped over a lot of social things — she went to high school when she was very young, she’s already in MIT, so Riri is not really great with her peers, she doesn’t really have any friends. Being a genius and knowing how to fix stuff and build amazing gadgets doesn’t necessarily make you a happy person. So how do you figure out how to use the power that’s available to you and how to connect with and be accountable to the people around you?”
On Twitter, Ewing was overwhelmed with emotion when announcing the project:
never cried so much writing a thread, what's happening— wikipedia brown aka eve ewing aka lil muji pen (@eveewing) August 20, 2018
i'm really proud to be doing this & really proud & happy for Riri. she is an awesome character & I'm going to do my best to bring every ounce of Chicago black girl greatness that she deserves and that you all deserve
There was a lot of pitching and revision and meetings and calls and pitching and revision and drafting and revision and many opportunities for Marvel to say "actually, no, we're good." I wrote something on spec which I *never* do. But now we're here. And I'm really grateful.— wikipedia brown aka eve ewing aka lil muji pen (@eveewing) August 20, 2018
The series, illiustrated by Kevin Libranda with covers by Amy Reeder, launches in November.