Ironheart #1 (Marvel Comics)
Riri Williams made a pretty big splash a few years ago in the pages of Tony Stark: Iron Man, and now that ol’ Tony is back in the armor, it’s time for her to break out on her own. Ironheart #1, from Eve L Ewing and artists Kevin Libranda and Luciano Vecchio, is a great start for Riri character-wise, but there’s not much to keep you interested when it comes to the plot.
Back at MIT, Riri Williams is trying to get her head back into her studies. Unfortunately, her adventures as Ironheart have lead to a heightened celebrity that causes her to be in constant demand from her teachers, colleagues, and friends. Even a regular hostage situation becomes a headache for Riri. How can she juggle being a superhero, inventor, and teenager? And does she even want to juggle all three of those titles?
That question is an intriguing one, and Eve L Ewing has a strong handle on Williams’ character to make it engaging, but there’s also not a lot of plot in this opening issue. For being 35 pages long, I’m pretty surprised at how little happens in this issue. There’s a few pages letting new readers know about Ironheart, but not so much to make this a glorified recap issue, and the small action beats aren’t as thrilling as they should be. While Riri is a fun character to read, there needs to be more going on with this series for it to really make an impact.
Kevin Libranda and Luciano Vecchio’s art is really solid, and handles the few action beats well. The two artists work well together, adding a fun, bouncy energy to the script. They have a strong gift for emotional moments and beats, so I imagine they’ll do just as well with the action sequences to come.
Ironheart‘s opening issue may not have been the slam dunk it should’ve been, but it’s still pretty entertaining if you’re a fan of the character. If done well, Ironheart could be a cool mix of Spider-Man and Iron Man. Hopefully that happens for Ms. Williams, cause it would be a shame for this series to fail such a deserving character.