Last month we learned that the events of Marvel’s Civil War II event would lead Tony Stark to hand up his rocket boots and pass the Iron Man mantle to 15-year-old girl genius Riri Williams. Can a kid who can’t even legally drive hack it as Iron Man? Riri Williams has a lot of expectations to live up to, but first, she needs to come up with a name. Riri obviously isn’t male, or even a legal adult, so Iron Man doesn’t really work any more, nor does the obvious flip Iron Woman. Iron Person would be politically correct, but dry as stale toast.
Iron Man writer Brian Michael Bendis struggled with these questions before finally settling on the name Ironheart. Bendis described how he came to this decision:
“Iron Woman seemed old fashioned to some. Iron Maiden looked like a legal nightmare. And Ironheart, coined by Joe Quesada, after I told him my planned story for Riri, speaks not only to the soul of the character but to the Iron Man franchise as a whole. Tony first put on the armor to save his heart. Riri puts it on for different reasons altogether but still heart-related. When people see her story, you’ll be amazed at how simple and brilliant Joe’s suggestion was.”
Can’t argue with Bendis’ logic, but Ironheart just doesn’t quite have that superhero ring, although I suppose we’ll get used to it. Too bad about the Iron Maiden “legal nightmare,” because that would be a truly hallowed name.
Riri Williams makes her Ironheart debut in the new Invincible Iron Man #1 some time this fall.