Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart, Volume 1: Riri Williams, by Brian Michael Bendis

I love Iron Man. His was one of the very first superhero movies I ever watched and, ever since then, I hold him very close to my heart. So, naturally, when I found out that a girl – a smart as hell, black girl nonetheless – would be the next Iron Man I was over the moon.

Riri is every bit the superhero I deserve; she is smart, hard-working, funny, and above all a reflection of comic book geeks. And what I mean by that is that, in her, we finally see a piece of the diversity we deserve to see in the comic book world. People of colour, lgbt+ people, disabled or mentally ill people, make up a huge percentage of comic book readers; and we all deserve to see ourselves in the pages and heroes we so dearly love. And making the new Iron Man, one of the most well-known Marvel characters, a black girl is a step towards the right direction.

As for the comic book itself? It was a very entertaining read. With cameos from some beloved characters – including Pepper and Tony – and a fun storyline that kept me turning the pages, Ironheart was a very solid beginning. Perhaps one of the most powerful sequences in this volume – or any recently published comic book – was the one where Riri called out S.H.I.E.L.D and its abuse of power; she honestly had me shaking. Seeing such a young girl standing up to systematic abuse of power and highlighting the importance of critical thinking was a very powerful moment, and I’m glad it was included.

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