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The Impact of Tony Stark’s Iron Man on MCU Ironheart in Black Panther 2

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Ironheart makes her Marvel Cinematic Universe premiere in this weekend’s Black Panther: Wakanda Forever before starring in a self-titled Disney+ series. Riri Williams, a youthful genius who is highly influenced by Tony Stark’s work as Iron Man, was first featured in comics in 2016.

Dominique Thorne plays Riri in the live-action adaptation. The character will make their own metal suit, giving homage to Tony Stark’s Iron Man but ultimately not being as affected by the character as she was in the comics.

Riri’s first and second Ironheart suits debut in Wakanda Forever, each adding their unique spin to the iconic Iron Man concept. In an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever producer Nate Moore said, “It’s not as slick and pristine as Tony’s costume.”

“The suit’s tracks are a little more gas powered. It has the appearance of a muscle car as a suit, which we found intriguing. Also, because Dominique is such a petite person with such a tremendous personality, the outfit is a little bigger and clunkier than Tony’s suit because that’s how she would’ve designed it.”

Tony created his Mk I suit in the first Iron Man outfit, which was far bulkier and less streamlined than the Mk LXXXV costume that Tony perished in Avengers: Endgame. Riri’s suits may follow a similar path, but she will be more independent in her designs than fans of the comic book character might imagine.

“I think Riri Williams follows in Tony’s footsteps less directly than she does in publishing, but there’s clearly a love for everything he accomplished,” Moore remarked.

“And, even while we were constructing shots and sequences, it was very exciting to think about what you’d seen in earlier Iron Man movies and sort of do our riff on it.” Wakanda Forever contains various references to Tony Stark’s travels as well as classic photographs of him in the Iron Man costume.

“The idea was because Ryan Coogler is such a grounded director, where would she go if someone was truly trying to develop an Iron Man suit but didn’t have Iron Man resources?” Moore commented on Ironheart’s outfit design. “So it’s a little bit more ad hoc, and he also liked the idea that you know, Riri used to build automobiles with her father, so there’s sort of a Detroit, Motor City vibe to it.”

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