How MCU’s Ironheart Is Different From Marvel Comics

Warning! This article contains spoilers for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduces Riri Williams/Stone heart to the MCU, with a few notable differences from his first story in Marvel Comics. In the film, Riri Williams is responsible for building a contraption capable of detecting vibranium located beneath the Earth’s oceans. This then threatens the land of Talokan and angers its leader, Namor, causing Namor to send Wakanda to capture Riri due to the Vibranium’s connection to the African nation. This results in Riri being taken to Wakanda and beginning her MCU journey as Ironheart.


That being said, there are many differences between Riri William’s first story in the MCU and her comic book counterpart. From his relationship with Tony Stark in the comics to his costume appearance and introduction to the African nation of Wakanda in the MCU in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, notable changes have been made to Riri’s story to accommodate the sprawling nature of Marvel Studios’ franchise. That said, here are all the main ways Black Panther: Wakanda Forever changes Riri’s story.

Related: Yes, Wakanda Forever’s Riri Williams Is The Official MCU Iron Man Replacement

Tony Stark doesn’t approve of the MCU’s Riri Williams

Tony Stark Ironheart Robert Downey Jnr

In Marvel Comics, Riri has a genius intellect like in the MCU. Because of this, she begins building her own version of an Iron Man suit in secret using parts she steals from MIT. Although this is similar to how she is introduced in the MCU, her introduction to the larger world of superheroism is changed to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

In the comics, after Riri’s first test flight in which she stops a group of escaped convicts from escaping prison, she returns home after her suit is damaged to continue her work. After learning of Riri’s accomplishment in building a functional suit, Tony Stark visits Ironheart and officially endorses his desire to become a superhero. In the MCU, this link to Tony Stark is not present due to his death in Avengers: Endgame. Although the MCU may retroactively write a connection between the two, it is not yet present in its introduction to the MCU in black panther 2.

MCU Ironheart’s Mark II Was Built In Wakanda

Black Panther and Wakanda

In the comics, Riri’s second costume is constructed using an AI duplicate of Tony Stark, after the latter falls into a coma. However, the MCU gives Riri’s Ironheart Mark II armor a different origin. The film’s first act features Riri’s homemade costume, which is damaged during a battle with warriors from the underwater city of Talokan. The film’s third act sees Riri create her second armor in Wakanda, with the help of advanced technology from Shuri and Wakanda. With the lack of connection to Tony Stark and his death, it makes sense that Riri’s costume would be crafted with the help of the MCU’s other super genius, Shuri.

MCU’s Ironheart Isn’t Creating A Costume To Continue Tony’s Legacy

Custom Image Ironheart and Iron Man

In the comics, Riri’s decision to make a second suit of armor is fueled by Tony’s comatose state. After Tony’s injury in Civil War II, Riri vows to carry on Tony’s legacy by crafting his Mark II suit using his AI. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever however, the lack of connection between Riri and Tony Stark means that her Mark II suit is created for other reasons. While Riri was protected by the Wakandans, including Queen Ramonda who sacrificed herself to save Riri’s life, she creates the second MCU Ironheart Suit to honor Ramonda’s sacrifice and aid Wakanda in the fight against Namor and Talokan.

Related: Ironheart’s Black Panther 2 Role Shows Its Biggest Iron Man Difference

Riri isn’t fighting in a civil war like the comics

Marvel Comics Civil War II Trailer - Iron Man vs. Captain Marvel

Before the Mark II suit was created in Marvel Comics, Riri was thrown deep into superhero life fighting alongside Iron Man during Civil War II. During this war, Ironheart fought against the forces of Captain Marvel. The Civil War ending saw Tony Stark fall into a coma after a battle with Captain Marvel, which is the Mark II Suit’s aforementioned inciting incident. In the MCU however, a second civil war has yet to occur, and Riri is instead inducted into superhero life through Wakanda’s war with Talokan (the film’s Atlantis) and her own anger at Namor. .

Ironheart’s Wakandan Suit Doesn’t Look As Much Like Iron Man

An image of RiRi Williams in the Ironheart MCU Mark II armor

There are also some differences in her appearance, particularly her Ironheart armor. In Marvel Comics, Riri’s Mark II suit closely resembles Iron Man’s iconic armor, with red and gold plating and a more metallic look. In the MCU though, Riri’s Mark II armor made in Wakandan doesn’t look like Iron Man at all, which makes sense given the two characters’ lack of connection. In black panther 2, the costume is much bulkier, with huge shoulder plates and an almost alien look to the mask. The differences between this and Iron Man’s many MCU suits are notable, including Ironheart’s black, red, and blue colors.

Ironhearts MCU Mark II is probably made of vibranium

Vibranium in the MCU

Due to Riri Williams building her Ironheart Mark II armor in Wakanda, it is highly likely that she was imbued with the powers of Vibranium. In fact, the costume was probably made entirely out of the rare metal, which is unlikely for the comic book version of the costume. As the Marvel Comics Mark II suit was made with help from Tony Stark, it was made with elements and materials like his own Iron Man suits. With Riri directly tied to Wakanda, her second suit is much more advanced than the first, though it was taken over by Shuri at the end of the film who is planning a possible Mark III suit in the next one. Stone heart TV show released after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

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