Riri Williams’ self-titled series Ironheart may have wrapped up last November, but readers will hardly have time to miss the M.I.T. prodigy as she makes her return in April’s 2020 Ironheart, a two-issue story written by Morbius scribe Vita Ayala and Queen of Bad Dreams‘ Danny Lore, who also co-wrote Dynamite’s latest James Bond comic together.
The micro-series will serve as a tie-in to this year’s six-part Iron Man 2020 event from Amazing Spider-Man penmen Dan Slott and Christos Gage, along with the three-part Force Works 2020, the two-part Machine Man 2020, the two-part Rescue 2020, the two-part iWolverine 2020 (formerly titled Weapon.EXE 2020), and the standalone Iron Age 2020.
The event sees Arno Stark, the rightful heir to the Stark family name, taking up the mantle of Iron Man to crush an uprising of artificial intelligence and sentient robots demanding equal rights and liberation from human servitude. At the same time, Arno’s adoptive brother Tony, who has recently discovered that he himself is an artificial lifeform, takes up the android cause under the new name of Mark One. Riri then finds herself in the midst of that conflict as her latest armor, the Ironheart Model 3, is outfitted with an A.I. reconstruction of her murdered best friend, Natalie, effectively putting the two on opposite sides of the ideological battlefield and providing an intensely personal view into this postmodern confrontation.
The former rival-turned-protégé of Tony Stark is a well-traveled teenager given her short tenure in the Marvel universe. She made her first cameo appearance in the pages of Invincible Iron Man #7 in May of 2016 before making her first full appearance two issues later, when it was revealed that she had obtained and reverse engineered schematics for the Model 41 Iron Man armor which had been designed for space travel.
She eventually became the centerpiece of Brian Michael Bendis’ eleven-issue run on the fourth volume of Invincible Iron Man before it was renumbered back to #593 and concluded with issue #600. She then transitioned to Eve Ewing’s twelve-issue run on Ironheart as well as serving as a member of the Champions for a time starting with the “Champions for a Day” storyline in Champions #16.
All of this comes on the heels of news that Marvel is developing an Ironheart series for the Disney+ streaming service and eyeing 16-year-old Wrinkle in Time star Storm Reid to play the title character with Pepper Potts reportedly returning for the show, too. It comes as no surprise then, given the synergy between Marvel Studios and Marvel Comics, that the print division of the company would want to keep the character public and relevant.
2020 Ironheart #1 debuts April 29th, while Iron Man 2020 #1 is available now, with the second issue hitting shelves February 12th.