In the emotional roller coaster that is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, many of the lighter, humorous moments in the story come from Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams. The teenage genius is simultaneously blown away by the excitement of meeting Shuri and going to Wakanda, while also displaying the appropriate level of fear of Namor.
The way she and Shuri bond over their genius is inspiring, and finally getting to see her in an Ironheart suit was a scream-out-loud moment. While she’s pivotal to the conflict between Wakanda and Talokan, Riri is definitely a supporting character who doesn’t have a ton of screen time in the 161-minute film. However, Thorne’s effervescent personality made every scene Riri was in captivating and important. Now that she’s become one of our new favorites, the burgeoning hero will take on her own adversaries and adventures in the Disney+ series Ironheart.
When we last saw her in Wakanda Forever, Riri was headed back home without her fancy new suit, but with all the knowledge she picked up from Shuri. She doesn’t have the technology of Wakanda, but based on how awesome her workshop was and the fact that she built a vibranium detector out of scrap metal, she clearly doesn’t need it.
Back in July at the 2022 D23 Expo, fans got a look at the first trailer for Ironheart and it revealed Riri working on a new suit and confidently proclaiming she would make it “better” than anyone else. Meanwhile, her friend Parker Robbins, played by Anthony Ramos, tells her she may have to do “bad things for good reasons.” We also saw Parker picking up a red hood and using magic, meaning he’s going to be super villain The Hood, with Ramos confirming the series would highlight a battle between technology and magic.
When we first met Riri, she was overly confident, ready to take on the world and unconcerned with the serious consequences of her actions. After running for her life and fighting in her first big battle, she definitely seemed more mature at the end of the movie. While I hope we see these qualities in Ironheart, I also don’t want her to lose that fun cockiness that made her so entertaining to watch.
Unfortunately, we have a frustratingly long wait to get answers to our questions, as Ironheart won’t hit Disney+ until late 2023.